Easy Jambalaya

This is one of those wonderful dishes where you can switch things up depending on what ingredients you have on hand. For example, you can use any type of sausage or bacon, but I still think the dish would be tasty even if you left the meat out all together. If you don’t have any shrimp you could throw in some other type of seafood instead. If you don’t like oysters (I fall in this department!) then not to worry. This is the type of dish where you can be creative andJambalaya from 100 Days of Real Food make substitutions as you see fit…and best of all enjoy the end result (and don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!).

When I recently made this dish I did not use sausage (we used bacon instead) and I did not add any of the extra black pepper or hot sauce. There is already a little red pepper in the Creole seasoning so that was the only source of heat in our dish. And to my surprise both of my girls ate (small amounts) of it when it was served. Point being – at least they didn’t hate it! When I first added the spices I took a bite and immediately thought it would be too spicy for them, but after the rice and liquids got cooking it really made the dish more palatable for those younger taste buds. So give it shot with your children before offering up a separate kid meal!

Easy Jambalaya

Adapted from Commander's Kitchen cookbook
4.8 from 16 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ pound sausage preferably andouille (or you can use bacon instead)
  • 1 large bell pepper any color, large dice
  • 1 large onion large dice
  • 3 ribs celery large dice
  • 1 head garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped (or equivalent quantity of cherry tomatoes)
  • 3/4 pound shrimp raw and peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (quick cooking variety)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (if you don't have any stock you could use water instead)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 pint oysters shucked, with their liquor (optional)
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • green onions for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Combine the butter and sausage (or bacon) in a large soup pot over high heat. Cook for about 6 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add the bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic, Creole seasoning, salt and black pepper to taste. Sauté over high heat for about 8 minutes, or until the veggies have browned and caramelized.
  • Add the tomatoes, shrimp, and bay leaves, and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the rice, stir gently, then add the broth and water. Gently stir the rice again to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes (or until the rice is tender).
  • Turn off the heat and fold in the oysters (if using), cover, and let sit for about 8 minutes. If not using oysters you can skip this step altogether.
  • Garnish with green onions and serve.

Notes

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Easy Jambalaya
Amount Per Serving
Calories 635 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 273mg91%
Sodium 1546mg67%
Potassium 976mg28%
Carbohydrates 68g23%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 35g70%
Vitamin A 2600IU52%
Vitamin C 83.2mg101%
Calcium 208mg21%
Iron 4.9mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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98 thoughts on “Easy Jambalaya”

  1. I just got to the end of the creole seasoning I made from your website years ago – we’ve Mande your jambalaya and it’s amazing every time – we love it. Do you have a link to the recipe for the creole seasoning? The link in the recipe takes me to amazon now. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Lindsey. Doesn’t look like the recipe is on the site anymore, like you said, but it’s basically a mix of salt, different peppers, garlic, and other spices. – Nicole

  2. Cassie Dobberstein

    Going to try this tomorrow with cauliflower rice to make it Paleo! Im thinking I will need less liquid, but we’ll see.

    1. Cassie Dobberstein

      I know I’ve made this before, but it’s been awhile. A whole head does sound like a lot, but 1 clove doesn’t sound like enough. I’m going try 3 – 4 cloves and see how it goes. Did you end up trying the recipe?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. Sausage is processed but if you prefer to use it, it will work, too. Just look for a source that is minimally processed without added nitrates.

      1. Ok, not educated on nitrates but will do some research and see if I can find anything that fits the bill. Thanks!

  3. I would like to use regular brown rice for this recipe. I am wondering if I should either at least partially cook the brown rice prior to adding, and how the liquid should be adjusted. It seems like there would not be enough liquid if I just sub the brown rice and cook for 50 minutes. Has anybody tried regular rice? Thanks.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. I would cook the rice first in a combination of stock and water. You can reserve some of the liquid in the recipe and add it back in as needed for the right consistency.

  4. Hello, I am just beginning to start a whole foods journey as my husband is having some liver trouble. Doctor says we must move to whole foods. I was concerned about the sausage in the recipe. Can a whole foods diet consist of bacon and sausage? Or what else could I use for similar taste?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Shannon. These are ingredients that Lisa very occasionally uses in her recipes. What she buys is at the very least uncured meat with no added nitrates. You can always leave them out but you would definitely sacrifice flavor. :)

    2. Shannon, I used chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s. I’m not the biggest fan of chicken sausage on its own, but in this recipe with all the seasonings, it was absolutely fantastic!

    1. 5 stars
      This made a TON of food! Our family of 5 had enough for 2 full meals. And yes, even my children ate it(even though their portions are smaller)! I’d say it is at least 8 1 cup servings but didn’t measure. My husband is asking if we could make this for our Super Bowl party instead of chili this year!

  5. 5 stars
    We made this jambalaya last night and it was FANTASTIC! And it really was easy! My fiancé (who can be a bit of a food snob) could not stop talking about it! I’ve made three things so far this week from 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook and website and they’ve all been great! I’m so glad I bought the cookbook and we’re both really looking forward to eating healthier and cutting out processed foods from our diets. Thank you!!!

  6. I am curious as to how many servings this makes? I am a family of 2, and am wondering if I should cut the recipe in half.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for Jambalaya for dinner tonight. It was great! I will make this again. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Denise. It makes about six servings. You can always freeze it for another dinner, another day. :)

  8. Hi, I just finished shopping with the meal plan 1 grocery shopping list and I didn’t get quick cooking brown rice as it didn’t say that :-( Is that going to make a big difference in the recipe or cooking time using regular brown rice??

  9. 5 stars
    Being from Louisiana and there is ALWAYS jambalaya offered everywhere at every occasion. I have grown tired of this dish over the years. I was hesitant to try this recipe due to that fact. Well, I gave in and must say this is an AWESOME recipe….even my daughter who HATES jambalaya loves this dish. Will definitely be put on our monthly menu rotation. Thanks again for a great recipe :-)

  10. 5 stars
    Every time I make this I love it! Today we made a vegetarian variety with lots of peppers, onions, celery and garlic, homemade veggie stock and basmati rice, and home-canned stewed tomatoes instead of fresh. It was delicious (I just never add enough salt).

  11. Made this for dinner tonight. It was a-may-zing!! I absolutely loved it and so did the hubby who is finally on board with healthy eating! We skipped the oysters and used a chicken sausage with chipotle peppers. I also added the shrimp at step 5 and it was just right.
    I served it over a bed of sautéed spinach and mushrooms that needed to be cooked. It was delish! Will be putting it on the favorites list.
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and info you provide for us who are wanting to eat healthier but just don’t have time to do the “due diligence”!
    We are signing up for your 10 day challenge to kick things off for the whole family!

  12. 5 stars
    Delicious! I was so glad I read the reviews and followed the suggestion to add the shrimp during the last 5-10 minutes. Skipped the oysters. Everything was perfect!

  13. 3 stars
    I am making this now, I like the flavor of it. But my daughter doesn’t like the sight of veggies….Do you think next time I can puree them (after cooking them) and maybe reduce the water some?? Then she wont see them, and we will still have the flavor and nutrition.

  14. I personally love love love this dish but unfortunately my family doesn’t think much of it. I will say fresh shrimp is so much better than frozen. Don’t make that same mistake like I did.

  15. I’m gearing up for a shopping trip for our first week of this for our family of four. Meal Plan 1 indicates this Jambalaya is to be made one night then used as leftovers the next. Is this REALLY enough to feed a family of four for two nights? My 6’3″-and-growing 17 year old son is going to go into shock if all he gets to eat is a 1/2 of jambalaya for dinner. Any advice on this?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jan. You can double the recipe if you are concerned. If it is too much, you can always freeze it. Lisa has two young girls an 0 tall growing teenage boys so it is hard to compare the two. ;) ~Amy

  16. 5 stars
    I made this jambalaya this evening using seasoned pork sausage, cooked and crumbled, and no shrimp (my oldest is sensitive in the stomach to it). It was easy, fresh, and DELICIOUS!!! My 17 and 11 year olds loved it. My sweet husband LOVED it and after every bite said “yum, this is so good! Please make this again!” I was just recently turned on to your site, and I have printed several recipes to try. I am focused on feeding my family only nutritious, good-for-them foods. I am quite impressed with what I have learned already. Thank you!!! :)

  17. 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner and it was delicious!! Too spicy for my 11&12 year olds, but my husband and I found it very tasty. I used raw shrimp and just added it for about 10 min of the simmering at the end and it was perfect. My favorite thing about this recipe is that except for the shrimp, every ingredient is something I usually have on hand (made the Creole seasoning a few days ago so that will last me awhile). Even the sausage (we have lots of venison sausage for that!) Thank you! Great, easy, recipe.

  18. To avoid the tough shrimp cook the shrimp for 5 mins separately. Then once the rice is cooked stir in the shrimp cover and let sit for 5 minutes to warm.

  19. 5 stars
    My husband and I first came across your website in December of 2012. I was trying to come up with healthier snacks to put in his lunchbox and became intrigued with the concept of eating real food. After a few weeks of back and forth we decided to take the plunge in January of 2013. This was the very first recipe we made while eating real food, and it was absolutely amazing. I firmly believe that if we had not started off with such a great recipe we wouldn’t still be eating real foods today. This recipe has found it’s way into our monthly rotation. We have continued to eat real foods to this day and have had many successful dinner’s from your recipes. We have also begun to start using more natural cleaning and beauty products. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you do in helping people starting (and continuing) this lifelong journey into eating better. If it wasn’t for you, I guarantee that we would still be eating processed and chemical filled food today. Thanks again!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there. Comments like yours make our day! Wish we had to time to say thank you for every single one! :) :) :) ~Amy

  20. 5 stars
    LOVED it! I used local chicken andoullie sausage and left out the oysters & shrimp (we are allergic) and I also added a 1/2 cup more of the brown rice. It was amazing!! I could eat it everyday lol!

  21. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night and it was a big hit, even my hubby had second helping and he is totally not on board with the whole real food no processed idea so it was great to see him enjoying something healthy and chemical free. :) Thanks for all the great ideas

    1. 4 stars
      I just made this (And we loved it!!) and measured it so I could get a calorie count per serving. It ended up being 6.5 cups after all said and done but I only had 1 cup of rice to add instead of 1.5 and 1 tomato instead of 2.

  22. I made your jambalaya last night for dinner and we loved it. I wanted an easy dinner and it was pretty quick and easy. I have leftovers for lunch. I love all of your recipes. I can’t wait for your cookbook.

  23. Well be on my monthly rotation. May I suggest adding the shrimp in more towards the end? Mine were overdone…I think they only need like three minutes ;)

    1. Yes, my shrimp were quite tough as well, but I assumed it was only because I used pre-cooked frozen. I’ll definitely be making this again soon, so thanks for the tip.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Katelyn – you could probably do either as you’ll need to cut it up anyways. I haven’t tried it in the crockpot, I’m not certain how that would turn out, but, give it a try if you like. Jill

  24. This recipe sounds great, I can’t wait to try it. Just as a quick fyi, the link in the recipe for the homemade creole seasoning is broken.

  25. “All I do is win, win, win, no matter what” — that’s what this recipe sings. Protein, veggies, whole grain, deliciousness, WIN.

  26. We just made this for the 1st time and it was a huge hit! I don’t like rice and I loved itt. Also my 4 yr old and my 21 mth old ate it up! Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Do you have suggestions on how to choose sausage/bacon. What ingredients need to be avoided? I live in a small town that many options are not available so it would be nice to be able to eat sausage and bacon again. Thank you.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Natalie. I would just suggest buying local if possible and also make sure there are no nitrates. Hope that helps. Jill

  28. I am getting ready to make this and I do not have quick cooking rice – only short grain brown (which takes 50 min) and quinoa. Have you ever made it with quinoa? I’m thinking it might be too mushy. Would you pre-cook the rice or just let it simmer longer? Thanks :)

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      Oops I think I am a little late here (sorry I am behind on comments at the moment!), but I agree quinoa would be mushier than rice as a base. I hope it worked out!

  29. I just found your website and have enjoyed every recipe I’ve made from it, but, wow, this one is by far the best. So, so good. Next time I’ll have to make a double batch, so there will be some leftovers.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      You could probably substitute another fish or maybe chicken, although, we have not tried it.

  30. I am NOT a cook, but tried this recipe last night for my family of 5. I made my own chicken stock w/ the leftovers of the “Whole Chicken Crock Pot”. (which was fabulous, BTW) I followed this recipe exactly, but could tell when it was simmering that it was going to be way too watered down and not look like the picture. So, I cooked some extra rice seperately and that supplemented perfectly. It was very tasty, my husband LOVED it. Even my girls (8 & 10) and my 2 1/2 yr old son liked it. SCORE! Also, my 10 yr old girl helped me cook it and made for a very good lesson for both of us. Thanks!

  31. Made this for dinner and hubby it was a 5 out of 5′ that’s pretty rare. I used regular brown rice, so I cooked the sausage first and then the shrimp in the drippings, the pulled those out, I cooked the rest according to the recipe, simmered for 50 minutes, adding the protein in during the last 15 minutes. It worked great. Tried the cornbread with it, which didn’t turn out so great, but I’d try it again (I didn’t add the cheese, and well cheese makes everything better!).

  32. Just made it with what I had on hand-bison sausage, carrots, asparagus, onions, & red pepper–with some old bay seasoning-Delicious! I love how all your recipes are a great base & then you can simply change them a bit with what you have on hand! I also loved the one pot clean up…

  33. Made this recipe tonight….my husband LOVED it :) I just found your website and am going crazy making everything. Thank you!

  34. Made this two nights ago and I botched it up. The rice never cooked properly and it was crunchy to eat. So disappointing. We drove to Chipotle for back up. However, I ate it for lunch today and it was better – it seems the juices softened the rice. At least I tried it, but I won’t make it again.

  35. Debbie and anyone else that is interested, the Nishiki quick cooking brown rice can be bought online on Amazon. Just dont take it all cause I need to order some too!

  36. Hi Lisa, I tried this recipe last night and it came out looking totally different. Mine was VERY wet/soupy, but amazingly still yummy. I think my main issue was not being able to find organic quick cooking brown rice. At my EarthFare, there wasn’t such a thing – all in the bulk section – none were quick cooking (nothing less than 40 minutes) – same in the aisles, none that I thought would work. I left with the only “quick” anything and it was the kind that took 90 seconds to cook (i.e. I think it was already packaged mostly cooked). So, it never “bulked up” or did anything during the 15 minutes of simmering. I don’t know where else to try and get such a thing, but guessing/hoping that’s why mine looked so different. At least my son and I both liked it! Wahoo!!!

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      If you couldn’t find quick cooking then you probably would need to simmer it for much longer. I am glad it still tasted okay though. If you can’t find quick cooking next time then cook it for longer or soak up the liquid with some good whole-wheat bread! :)

  37. Sounds delicious. On a seperate note, could you do a blog on what your typical shopping list looks like…..either on this site or 100 days of Real Food? It’s overwhelming to start shopping/eating this way so a quick list to get us started would be great. Thanks in advance!

  38. I’m glad you had your kids try it. I think we’ve been hoodwinked into thinking that kids only like “kid food”, or bland, flavorless food. If kids only like kid food, I tend to think it is because it’s the only thing they’re presented with. My OB gave me great advice when my now-16-year-old was beginning to eat solid foods. I asked her what he could eat – she said “feed him anything you like to eat. Otherwise he’ll only eat macaroni and cheese.” She was so right.

    I’m enjoying your blog very much.

    1. The one we buy is Nishiki brand and it literally says “Quick Cooking Brown Rice” in big letters across the front of the bag. I found it at Earthfare.

  39. Okra is a favorite of mine!!! I know okra is usually an all or nothing as far as preference- it really adds a lot to gumbo. I’ve lived in Louisiana all my life, I’ve had it a few times;) I am allergic to shellfish, so I have to think outside the box for add-ins for gumbo!

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