Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya is the perfect one pan meal. This delicious southern favorite combines sausage, seafood, vegetables, and rice in one incredibly flavorful dish. Best of all it can be on the table in less than an hour!
My introduction to jambalaya came from watching Emeril Lagasse in the Food Network. He had one of the first cooking shows on the network and we were mesmerized by his cooking style and iconic “BAM”! His signature Creole and Cajun cuisine just looked so good, that I had to try his recipes. Of course, his jambalaya was excellent!
Over the years I adapted my recipe to use spices and ingredients that are always in my pantry, and I adjusted the level of heat so that my kids could eat it too! I have been making this recipe for the last 20 years and it is one of my family’s favorite meals.
So what is Jambalaya?
Jambalaya originated in Louisiana and has influences from Spain, France, and West Africa. The main ingredients consist of some sort of sausage (usually smoked), seafood, chicken or pork, rice, and vegetables. The vegetables are a sofrito of onions, green peppers, and celery. In Cajun and Creole recipes this combination is referred to as the “holy trinity” and is used as the base for many dishes. I learned about the “holy trinity” of cooking from Emeril as well. Who said watching television isn’t educational?
Cajun vs Creole Jambalaya
There are 2 main versions of jambalaya: Cajun and Creole. Creole jambalaya is also referred to as “red jambalaya, because of the addition of tomatoes. Cajun jambalaya does not include tomatoes and is more common the farther away you get from New Orleans.
My jambalaya is based on the Creole recipe as I love the flavor the tomatoes bring to the dish. The nice thing about Jambalaya is that you can add other vegetables or alter the meat or seafood to create your own delicious version.
What do you serve with this recipe?
The ingredients in shrimp and sausage jambalaya create many layers of flavors and are quite hearty, so it can be a meal all on its own. But the addition of a simple salad and a loaf of No Knead Bread or Extra Moist Cornbread is all you need for a lovely dinner.
- Sausage: You can use any sausage that you like, but Andouille is what is most commonly selected. Andouille is a smoked pork sausage made with onion, garlic, and wine. If you can’t find Andouille, you can substitute chorizo or other smoked sausage. I have often made jambalaya with Italian sausage when that was all I had in the house.
- Seafood: You will usually see jambalaya made with shrimp or crawfish. But you may also see oysters, turtle or other seafood in some recipes as well.
- Meat: Chicken or Pork (most often Ham) can also be added. We prefer to use only the sausage and seafood, but traditionally pieces of chicken or ham are included.
- Vegetables: Green pepper, onion and celery, the “holy trinity”, are the base of every jambalaya. Different versions may include okra, carrots, and garlic as well.
- Rice: Long grain rice is the favorite choice for jambalaya.
- Spices: Cajun vs. Creole seasoning blend. You can decide the seasoning blend that suits you best. This recipe uses Creole seasoning. Both are delicious and robust. Cajun tends to be spicier, while Creole seasoning is milder.
- Cajun seasoning includes celery seed, onion and paprika along with several different types of peppers, such as black, white and cayenne which elevate the heat level. Creole seasoning is milder relying on herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and parsley to create layers of flavor. This recipe uses the Creole seasoning blend which allows you to regulate the amount of heat in your dish.
Looking for other one pot meals? Simply Delicious Chicken Cacciatore
Need other ideas for Shrimp? Easy Honey Grilled Shrimp
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya
- 1½ pound Andouille Sausage Or other smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces.
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 ½ cups Green Peppers about 2 medium peppers seeded and chopped
- 1 ¼ cups Onion about 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup Celery about 2 stalks, chopped
- 1 tsp salt Kosher
- ¼ tsp Black pepper ground
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1½ cups Rice Long grain, not instant
- 1 tsp Thyme dried
- 2 tsp Creole Season
- 28 oz Plum Tomatoes in juice canned, rough chopped, drained and juices reserved
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1-2 cups Chicken Stock add enough to the tomato juices to get to 2 ½ cups of liquid
- 1 pound Shrimp Large or Extra Large, Raw, cleaned and deveined
- Brown sausage in a heavy sauce pan. Once browned on all sides, transfer the sausage to a plate.
- Add olive oil to the sauce pan and heat. Add the green pepper, onion, celery, salt and pepper. Sautee until the vegetables start to become tender and fragrant. About 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute.
- Add the rice and cook mixing with the vegetables until the rice is opaque, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the sausage, thyme, creole seasoning, cayenne, tomatoes, broth/tomato liquid and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil. This is a good time to adjust the seasoning and spice level to your liking. If you like more heat, add more cayenne. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Stir in the shrimp and cook about 5 minutes. Remove from heat as soon as the shrimp just turns pink.