Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage
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This is the best jambalaya recipe! It is full of bold, zesty, Cajun flavors that everyone will love.  Even the kiddos.

I’ll be honest, getting the little ones to eat is a trial some days.  Mine are five and three years old right now and they aren’t exactly jumping up and down to try new foods.  But if they can help me make the meal, then it’s THEIRS and they get excited about it.  That is how I get them to try most new foods.  I love this meal because they love to make it.  Cooking with them is a joy of mine and I love that they are learning early a skill that they will need as they grow up.

With this jambalaya, one of them will climb up on the stool and cover my hand while I’m chopping and the other will take their turn helping me stir and taste.  The flavors in this recipe get them excited about some slightly spicier and bolder flavors than they are usually comfortable with.  When the meal is served, they love hearing everyone raving about it.  They might pick around some of the ingredients still, but they are getting more adventurous every time we have it.

Each time we have it, it changes a little bit to suit them.  I originally made this recipe with jalapenos, but when chopping them one time my five year old asked if they are what makes it spicy.  When I told her that they add to the heat, she asked if we could try leaving them out because “It’s a little too spicy.”  So now they’re learning, not only to cook, but how changing quantities and ingredients can alter the flavor of the recipe.  I love it!

You can totally customize this jambalaya based on your flavor preferences.  In this version I used shrimp and Andouille sausage, but it goes great with chicken, smoked sausage, and a variety of seafood.  You can also substitute or add in other ingredients.  I’ve made it with fish stock instead of chicken stock.  Sometimes I use zucchini when I’m out of okra.


Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

Hands-down the best jambalaya recipe! It is surprisingly easy to make, customizable with your favorite proteins, and full of bold, zesty, Cajun flavors that everyone will love.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 523kcal
Author While It's Cooking


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb andouille sausage sliced into rounds
  • 3 small bell peppers cored & diced
  • 1 cup corn frozen or fresh
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 14 oz
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • cups long grain white rice uncooked
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup okra thinly sliced (if using frozen, be sure to thaw before adding)
  • kosher salt
  • cracked pepper

Optional Garnishes

  • fresh parsley
  • green onions thinly sliced
  • hot sauce


  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a stock pot (or a very large, deep sauté pan) over medium-high heat. 
  • Add the sausage and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is lightly browned.  Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the stock pot. 
  • Add bell peppers, corn, celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, rice, Cajun seasoning, thyme, cayenne, bay leaf, and stir to combine. 
  • Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked through, stirring every 5 minutes or so along the way so that the rice does not burn.
  • Add the shrimp, okra, and stir to combine. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink.
  • Stir in the sausage, and remove and discard the bay leaf.
  • Taste season the jambalaya with salt, pepper, and additional Cajun seasoning if needed.  (I typically add about 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.) 
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve warm with your desired garnishes.  Or refrigerate and store for up to 3 days.


Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 1169mg | Potassium: 776mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4623IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 4mg
While It’s Cooking

“Like most dishes of early American origin, jambalaya was born of necessity, a delicious and inexpensive means of using whatever ingredients were likely on hand. Each cook and culture contributed their own unique variations: Tomato was likely the addition of Spanish cooks, a practical substitution for the orange saffron they commonly included in paella, and the French doubtless contributed spices brought from the Caribbean.”

Read more in “The History of Jambalya: Cajun Vs. Creole” by CookingLight

Make it a Meal

Serve it along side a nice skillet cornbread and you’ve got yourself a meal! It also goes great with fried okra, creamed corn, and collard greens.


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While It's Cooking

I love cooking. Always have. As a busy mother of two young kids, oftentimes the best time I have to pick up a cookbook or explore a new idea is while food is cooking. Sometimes I use that time to explore more about the meal I am preparing - the food, the traditions, the culture. Sometimes I use that time to figure out what I'm going to cook next and delve deeper into ingredients and techniques to experiment with. Usually while I'm cooking my family leaves me alone in the kitchen and I can enjoy a rare moment to myself. One of my favorite times of the day is "While It's Cooking."

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