Jackson Jambalaya Shopping Tips
Southern food is a mixture of native american, creole, and european influences. Staples of this comfort food include corn (in all its forms), honey, chicken, pork, and seafood, all easily found at any neighborhood grocery store.
Jackson Jambalaya Cooking Tips
On the heavier side, be sure to eat lots of greens with your comfort food.
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Hands-down the best jambalaya recipe! It is surprisingly easy to make, customizable with your favorite proteins (I used chicken, shrimp and Andouille sausage), and full of bold, zesty, Cajun jambalaya flavors that everyone will love.
I thought it was time we revisit an old favorite recipe of mine here on the blog today, which I love all the more because it always reminds me of two of my favorite people — John and Cate’s famous jambalaya recipe! ♡
John and Cate were two of the very first neighbors I met when I moved to downtown Kansas City five years ago. When I arrived in the neighborhood, I didn’t know a soul around. But a cute new coffee shop serendipitously also happened to be opening next door that very week. And as I began to stop by morning after morning to order my favorite iced pour-over, I noticed that another couple was doing the same. Eventually we all introduced ourselves, and one of my favorite friendships was born.
For years, the three of us crossed paths at the coffee shop nearly every morning — giving each other groggy pre-caffeinated hugs, catching up on the past day’s events, ruffling the heads of one another’s pups, talkin’ shop about all things small business, and finally settling in at nearby tables with our laptops to work for a few hours. Then morning hangs eventually extended to evenings, swinging by one another’s places for impromptu happy hours and dinners, sneaking up to the rooftops to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July, or rallying all of our neighbors together each Tuesday for our beloved “neighbor nights” dinners.
In a heartbeat, these two moved from being neighbors, to what we called “freighbors”, to what we now consider “framily.” And I miss them and our Tuesday nights something fierce now, being 4800 miles across the ocean.
But whenever I pull out the ingredients to whip up a batch of their famous homemade jambalaya recipe, I’m instantly transported back to their old loft, and those impromptu, hilarious, always-longer-than-planned hours we used to spend cooking up a storm together in the kitchen. And the jambalaya simmering on the stove, wine glasses being refilled left and right, random neighbors showing up when they heard we were cooking. And those easy, good, long nights shared around the table together as our little neighborhood family.
As Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” And John and Cate are certainly two of my best.
Alright, let’s talk about this jambalaya recipe! With parents from the South, John grew up on spicy Cajun and Creole food, and always liked to brag to us Midwesterners about all of the fresh Gulf shrimp his family used to pick up at the market specifically for their jambalaya. (Which sounds…dreamy.) Still, though, he’s whipped this dish up for our neighbors time and time again right in the heart of Kansas, and proven that it can be a winner wherever in the world that it’s made. It’s full of great flavor, easily customizable with your favorite proteins (or you can make it vegetarian), and probably much simpler to make than you might think. It just requires lots of chopping, and a solid 45 minutes or so from start to finish.
So just grab a glass of wine, maybe invite some friends over to keep you company while you cook, John-and-Cate-style, and enjoy this one! Thanks for the recipe, you two! ♡
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What’s the Difference Between Cajun and Creole Jambalaya?
There are two general kinds of jambalaya: Creole and Cajun. Both utilize what’s referred to as the “holy trinity” – onion, celery, and bell pepper (usually green). The main difference is that Creole jambalaya, also called “red jambalaya” uses tomatoes while Cajun jambalaya does not. Another difference is the order in which the ingredients are prepared. This jambalaya recipe is the Creole version.
An important element in this dish is the Creole seasoning and we STRONGLY recommend you make your own. The flavor will be fresher, bolder and SO much better than store-bought! It’s super quick and simple to make and trust me, it’s WORTH it!
Get our recipe for the BEST homemade Creole Seasoning!
Tender chicken, juicy shrimp and spicy andouille sausage and tossed with rice, bell peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes, and a generous dose of Creole seasoning. It’s comfort food with some kick (how much kick is up to you) and it’s sure to become a favorite. So come get your Creole on and laissez les bons temps rouler!
And now for a few words from The Carpenters (yes, that’s the version I like best. Sorry, Hank.). Hit it, Karen!
Goodbye, Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh.
Me gotta go, pole the pirogue down the bayou.
My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh.
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!
Thibodaux, Fontaineaux, the place is buzzin’,
kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen.
Dress in style and go hog wild, me oh my oh.
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio.
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gayo,
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!
Let’s get started!
Make the homemade Creole Seasoning. Trust me, it’s so much better than store-bought and will make a HUGE difference in the flavor outcome of your jambalaya.
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and slice the andouille sausage. Stir half of the Creole seasoning in the chicken to evenly coat. Set aside until ready to use.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken until browned on all sides.
Add the andouille sausage and cook for another 3 minutes or until the sausage begins to brown.
Add the onion, garlic, green bell pepper, and celery and cook for another 4 minutes.
Stir in the rice, tomatoes, and the remaining Creole seasoning.
Add the broth, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, giving it a stir around the halfway point.
Stir in the shrimp, cover, and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Add more Creole seasoning, hot sauce, or salt and pepper to taste.
Serve sprinkled with some sliced green onions. Your jambalaya is ready to serve!
- Calories 210
- Fat 6.9 g (10.6%)
- Saturated 0.9 g (4.5%)
- Carbs 31.1 g (10.4%)
- Fiber 2.2 g (8.6%)
- Sugars 5.1 g
- Protein 6.2 g (12.4%)
- Sodium 621.2 mg (25.9%)
medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
small green chile, like a jalapeño, finely chopped
Worcestershire sauce, tamari, or soy sauce
low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
Cooked meat, tofu, or beans
Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. After it gets hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until they become translucent but not brown.
Add the garlic, chile, tomatoes, bay leaves, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne if using, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Let everything cook until some of the tomato juice releases, about 1 minute.
Add the rice and slowly pour in the broth. Lower the heat to medium and let the dish cook until the rice absorbs all the liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. If you’re using any of the additions, throw them in to cook with the rice after 15 minutes have passed.
Taste and adjust the salt, and pepper, and any other spices.
Cayenne level: If you're not quite as in love with chilies as I am, cut back on the cayenne powder or lose the green chile.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reprinted with permission from Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Workman Publishing Company.
Leanne Brown is a Canadian-born author and food studies scholar who believes everybody should eat great food everyday. She wrote Good and Cheap, a cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget.
- Stretch the Meal with More Rice. As mentioned, this is a thick and meaty version. I only added a single cup of rice and a single cup of chicken stock, with a focus on the proteins. I wanted those to stand out with huge chunks, but if you want this meal to stretch a bit further, double the rice and stock. I&rsquove done it both ways.
- If you add more rice, up your simmering time to 45 minutes or so. Really just until the rice has properly cooked through. The rice will absorb all those flavors and fill up the pan, and it will still satisfy.
Homemade cajun seasoning (triple this for the recipe):
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
Looking for more delicious Pasta recipes?
Tools Used in the making of this Cajun Jambalaya Pasta:
Cast Iron Skillet: This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Cajun Seasoning: If you want to grab a jar and skip the homemade blend.
Chef’s Knife: This knife is one of the three most used tools in my kitchen.
Tongs: are great for tossing all the spices with the ingredients and getting them in and out of the pan.
How To Prep Your Shrimp
You’ll want to start at the small legs on the shrimp. Simply pull those off and the rest of the shell should start to release. Pull off the rest of the shell – but keep the tails on. To remove the vein along the top simply cut a slit with a small knife down the middle of the shrimp’s back before removing the black vein with the tip of your knife.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya Recipe
Jambalaya is a hallmark of the Creole cuisine. It is a versatile dish that combines cooked rice with a variety of ingredients that can include tomatoes, onion, green peppers and almost any kind of meat, poultry or shellfish. The dish varies widely from cook to cook. Some think the name derives from the French word jambon, meaning ham, the main ingredient in many of the first jambalayas. Rice is a staple in many Creole dishes. We have developed this recipe as a weeknight meal, so that you can enjoy this comforting, Creole specialty even if you have a hectic schedule all the more reason to sit down to a satisfying meal. This recipe calls for budget-friendly chicken thighs as well as smoked sausage, two ingredients necessary to impart deep flavor to the dish. Toast the rice for just a few short minutes along with the sautéed onions, peppers, and seasonings, and then add the chicken broth, tomatoes, browned chicken and sausage. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Add a loaf of warm crusty bread, and in under an hour you can serve your family a traditional and delicious Creole dinner.
One-Pot Jambalaya Pasta (Video)
One-pot meals are a favorite on our site. It's hard to decide between Mexican, Italian and Greek. Try them all and let us know which was your fav.
Yes, even the pasta cooks in the pot! Cooking everything in one skillet or one pot makes meal prep and clean up easy.
I'm Ashley from Spoonful of Flavor. I'm back this month with another quick and easy one pot meal. One Pot Jambalaya Pasta is packed with cajun flavor.
The entire meal cooks in less than 35 minutes and is made with the freshest flavors.
Combine chicken, Cajun seasoning, Andouille sausage, shrimp, peppers, tomatoes, pasta, cheese and a few other simple ingredients in one pot to make dinner easy.