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Creole Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya {From a NOLA Local}

Jambalaya served in a dish. Made with andouille sausage, chicken, tomatoes, stock, vegetables, creole spices, and rice.

A traditional Creole rice dish made with pork sausage, tomatoes, and Creole seasonings simmered in stock with a trinity of vegetables that include onion, celery, and bell pepper. This authentic Jambalaya recipe is a one-pot rice dish with deep creole flavor that you’ll only find in Louisiana. As a New Orleans local, you’ll find my real Jambalaya recipe is authentic and full of flavor.

What is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a real southern Louisiana dish of American origin. Two varieties of this seasoned rice dish originated in Louisiana. Cajun jambalaya is “brown” and gets its flavor from browned pork sausage. Creole jambalaya is “red” because of its use of crushed tomatoes. Both dishes use a trinity of vegetables that include onion, celery, and bell pepper cooked in stock. Rice is then added to the simmering pot until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Today, chicken, pork sausage, or shrimp can be added to the French Quarter NOLA dish.

Jambalaya is a southern delicacy. It is served as a main dish entree, side dish, or appetizer.

One pot Jambalaya. An authentic New Orleans rice dish simmered in stock with tomatoes and classic creole flavors. Features chicken and sausage. BEST NOLA Louisiana recipe.

Creole Vs. Cajun Jambalaya

Cajun jambalaya is referred to as a brown jambalaya because of its origin in the bayous of Lousiana. The ingredients include smoked andouille sausage that’s browned until the fat is rendered in a pot. It’s then cooked with onion, celery, and green bell pepper in stock with traditional seasoning and rice.

In Creole cuisine cooking, the introduction of tomatoes and shrimp has influences from Spanish, French, Africans locals. Today, Creole jambalaya is more popular than Cajun Jambalaya. You’ll find local restaurants serve “red” Creole Jambalaya with tomatoes more often than Cajun Jambalaya in New Orleans. Most of the locals I know prefer to make jambalaya with the addition of tomatoes. For a Cajun recipe that is not heavy on tomato, try this authentic Dirty Rice Recipe.

NOLA Jambalaya — taste the French Quarter. Authentic New Orleans Creole Jambalaya made with Andouille Sausage, chicken, Creole seasoning, & rice. An authentic Louisiana rice dish made with tomatoes from NOLA, real deal — serve it as the locals do with red beans and rice or cornbread for dinner.

How to Make Jambalaya; Jambalaya Ingredients

  • ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE: Smoked and seasoned cajun or creole pork sausage. The pork sausage gets cooked in butter. The fat from the pork adds deep flavor to this dish.
  • CHICKEN: Cooked chicken thighs, shredded.
  • A TRINITY OF VEGETABLES: Classic Louisiana cooking vegetables that include onions, green peppers, and celery get cooked down.
  • TOMATOES: Canned crushed tomatoes and tomato puree are ingredients used to give this Creole Jambalaya its classic red color. The tomato ingredients thicken the base of this dish as well as flavor it.
  • STOCK: Chicken stock is added to the pot of cooked vegetables and tomatoes then simmered until deep flavors develop; about 1 hour.
  • CREOLE FLAVOR & SEASONINGS: Garlic, bay leaves, thyme, cayenne, black peppers, salt. Pepper sauce is used to add more spice/heat. These classic Louisiana spices and seasonings add flavor.
  • RICE: Long-grain white rice is used in making jambalaya. It is added to the simmering pot during the end of cooking where it absorbs the deeply seasoned liquid base.
Jambalaya Recipe - Jambalaya in a black skillet on a wooden board with a pink napkin. A seasoned rice dish recipe with rounds of andouille sausage, green onions, celery chunks in a yellow tomato sauce. Text in center reads New Orleans authentic recipe from a local Jambalaya. Second image is the jambalaya in a white bowl on a wooden board.

Jambalaya vs. Gumbo: Are jambalaya and gumbo the same thing?

No, they are not. While both dishes originated in Louisiana, gumbo is a soup-based dish made with a dark roux, broth, and vegetables. The roux is made of flour and oil and it’s cooked on the stovetop until it’s dark in color. This roux gives gumbo its classic taste. Gumbo is often served with a scoop of cooked rice.

Jambalaya is an easy rice dish with deep flavors from vegetables, seasoning, spices, and sausage. It can include tomatoes like in this creole recipe or none at all like in cajun recipes. In this dish, the rice gets added to the pot at the end of cooking. The end result is a well-seasoned rice dish. Jambalaya is not the same as dirty rice.

This Louisiana Jambalaya is authentic and made with classic creole New Orleans flavors. The BEST Jambalaya made in one pot with creole sausage, chicken, tomatoes, and rice.

Expert Tips: Authentic Homemade Jambalaya

Jambalaya Additions: What meat can I use in Jambalaya? Jambalaya is traditionally made with chicken and sausage. You will also find it made with shrimp. If adding shrimp, add it when the rice is tender and only a few minutes of cooking remains. Stir in 1 pound raw, medium shrimp and cook for 3 minutes.

Is Jambalaya Wet or Dry? It has a texture that is similar to porridge. As a local New Orleanian, correctly cooked creole jambalaya is slightly pasty. It’s a little wet and thick but can easily turn dry after it’s done fully cooking. Jambalaya is not soupy or gooey. To prevent gooey jambalaya, it’s always recommended that you wash the starches out of the rice by rinsing it under cold water until the water runs clear. As the dish sits, the cooking liquid should nearly be all absorbed.

Shopping for Ingredients

  • CHICKEN: Use of chicken in this recipe is traditional. If in a hurry, use rotisserie chicken in a pinch. Also, chicken thighs or chicken breasts may be baked in the oven first and added to the stockpot while simmering. Chicken may also be pressure cooked. 
  • ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE: Andouille sausage is seasoned and heavily smoked sausage. It is often called Cajun sausage. A good substitute for Andouille sausage is Kielbasa sausage. I do not recommend breakfast sausage for jambalaya.
  • TOMATO PUREE: You’ll need crushed tomatoes and tomato puree in this Louisiana dish. Find tomato puree near tomato paste. If you cannot find, you can make your own tomato puree by mixing 3 tbsp tomato paste and 6 tbsp water. 
  • HOW TO RINSE RICE: Pour rice into a fine-mesh strainer or kitchen tea towel. Rinse under cold water until rice runs clear.
  • PEPPER SAUCE: Pepper sauce can be found near hot sauce. Pepper sauce is hot peppers in vinegar. It is not the same as hot sauce. Use red pepper flakes in place of pepper sauce if needed. 

The Best Side Dishes for Jambalaya

Jambalaya is traditionally served as an entree or side dish in the deep south New Orleans. It can be served with these classic New Orleans, Louisiana recipes.

What is YOUR favorite southern recipes found in the French Quarter NOLA that you want to re-create at home?

Creole Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya {From a NOLA Local}

A traditional Creole rice dish made with pork sausage, tomatoes, and Creole seasonings simmered in stock with a trinity of vegetables that include onion, celery, and bell pepper. This authentic Jambalaya recipe is a one-pot rice dish with deep creole flavor that you'll only find in Louisiana. As a New Orleans local, you'll find my real Jambalaya recipe is authentic and full of flavor.

4.78 from 9 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, creole
Keyword: Creole, Jambalaya, Louisiana, New Orleans, One Pot, Southern
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 47 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 624kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken thighs (see notes for quicker alternative)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. Andouille Sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (separate white and green parts)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or about 1.5 tsp garlic paste)
  • 20 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree (see notes for alternative)
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Louisiana pepper sauce (or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, more to taste)
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice, well rinsed

Instructions

  • Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add chicken thighs to skillet, smooth side down; cook for 5 minutes or until you can easily flip over the chicken. Flip and continue to cook for 6-7 more minutes or until no longer pink.
  • Melt butter in a large stockpot or dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Brown sausage on both sides.
  • Stir in onions, green pepper, celery, white parts of green onions, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook about 5 minutes or until clear.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning, and bay leaf. Stir 2 minutes.
  • Pour in chicken stock and stir to combine. Stir in pepper sauce or red pepper flakes.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. I reduced heat to a level 2/3 on the stovetop.
  • Cook uncovered until liquid is reduced by 1/3 or about 1 hour.
  • Bring jambalaya to a boil. Stir in 2 cups uncooked rice then reduce heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, cook 15-25 minutes, or until rice is done. *NOTE* If rice is not done and liquid is gone, stir in 1/4 cup water at a time.
  • Stir in remaining green onions. Serve with hot sauce if desired.

Notes

CHICKEN: Use of chicken in this recipe is traditional. If in a hurry, use rotisserie chicken in a pinch. Also, chicken thighs or chicken breasts may be baked in the oven first and added to the stockpot while simmering. Chicken may also be pressure cooked. 
ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE: Andouille sausage is seasoned and heavily smoked sausage. It is often called Cajun sausage. A good substitute for Andouille sausage is Kielbasa sausage. I do not recommend breakfast sausage for jambalaya.
TOMATO PUREE: Find tomato puree near tomato paste. If you cannot find, you can make your own tomato puree by mixing 3 tbsp tomato paste and 6 tbsp water. 
HOW TO RINSE RICE: Pour rice into a fine mesh strainer or kitchen tea towel. Rinse under cold water until rice runs clear.
PEPPER SAUCE: Pepper sauce can be found near hot sauce. Pepper sauce is hot peppers in vinegar. It is not the same as hot sauce. Use red pepper flakes in place of pepper sauce if needed. 
 

Nutrition

Calories:624kcal | Carbohydrates:67g | Protein:26g | Fat:28g | Saturated Fat:10g | Cholesterol:78mg | Sodium:1485mg | Potassium:871mg | Fiber:4g | Sugar:9g | Vitamin A:691IU | Vitamin C:31mg | Calcium:78mg | Iron:3mg

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Creole Jambalaya - A taste of the French Quarter. Authentic New Orleans Jambalaya made with Andouille sausage, chicken, tomatoes, Creole seasoning, and rice. This jambalaya recipe is authentic and the real deal from a local in New Orleans. Do what the locals do and serve this with red beans and rice or cornbread.

23 Comments

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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    Amanda Jones
    05/12/2020 at 6:14 pm

    Making this tonight, can’t wait!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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    Lina
    05/22/2020 at 7:27 am

    I am very excited to try this recipe! Any chance you can clarify what: Louisiana pepper sauce is? A picture or brand? I saw a picture of the Crystal Lousisiana’s Pure Hot Sauce in your picture, but I don’t think that’s what you’re talking about in the recipe. Thank you!

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    Kristine
    05/23/2020 at 8:01 pm

    3 stars
    The flavor is good but for whatever reason mine looks NOTHING like the picture. It looks more like what should have been an Italian dish but I used rice instead of pasta. I followed everything exactly so no clue why. Any ideas?

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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      Jessica Knott
      05/26/2020 at 5:49 pm

      Sounds about right. The lighting was different that day so yes it will be a darker tomato color. Glad you liked it!

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    Anna
    08/13/2020 at 12:51 pm

    I am excited to try this! It is in line with the taste and look I want. I DO want a more brown taste and appearance. Do you think I can add just the puree (omitting the crushed tomatoes) and it will lend enough flavor while not turning it too red? And if I do that, what would that do to the liquid level? I am going to attempt today or this weekend, I just wanted your opinion. Last time I used canned diced and did not like the tomato skins.

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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      Jessica Knott
      08/20/2020 at 3:10 pm

      You’ll have to add slightly less water in its place but it should work.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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    Kristine
    11/16/2020 at 12:34 pm

    Can I use brown rice instead of white? How would this effect the liquid and timing?

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Jessica Knott
      11/19/2020 at 1:26 pm

      I have not tried it so I am not sure how it will turn out.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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    Tara
    12/04/2020 at 4:12 pm

    Can this be made in an instant pot?

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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      Jessica Knott
      12/05/2020 at 4:36 pm

      No it cannot. The tomato ingredients are too heavy and thick to not result in a burn notice. I may modify it and try it in the future and update the post if I find a variation that works.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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    Erin
    12/21/2020 at 10:26 pm

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was definitely worth the time to prep ingredients! A few things I can add:
    – I missed the part about shredding the chicken, so I cubed it raw and cooked it before the sausage.
    – I subbed the tomatoes listed for 15oz crushed, 6oz paste, plus 6oz water to clear the rest of the paste can.
    – I needed to turn my heat all the way to low and cover it to keep too much of the liquid from cooking off. Then I brought it back to boil before adding the rice and turning it back to low to cook the rice.

    If you’re on the fence, you should totally try this. So soooo good, my one year old even loved it!

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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      Jessica Knott
      12/22/2020 at 2:23 am

      Glad to have a fan. Don’t rush and dump all the ingredients in at once otherwise it’s a different recipe. Almost like the tomatoes never had time to deepen in flavor and develop with all the other vegetables and herbs befor adding rice.

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    Kristina j
    01/15/2021 at 4:39 pm

    5 stars
    Maybe I just missed it but I don’t see anything in the recipe that says where you add the chicken thighs back into the sausage, onion &spice mixture. I did make this before and just threw the chicken in after adding the broth to the pot and it turned out delicious.

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      Danna
      02/14/2021 at 2:32 pm

      No, you didn’t miss it. I think you did it in the right sequence though. It also doesn’t say it in the recipe, but the chicken is supposed to be shredded. It’s mentioned in the How to Make Jambalaya, but not the recipe itself.

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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      Sandy Lopez
      02/16/2021 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you! I was wondering the same, will follow you and add chicken before broth!

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    Dawn
    01/21/2021 at 7:23 pm

    5 stars
    This is a very easy recipe. Absolutely delicious!!😋

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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    emily
    02/20/2021 at 12:14 am

    5 stars
    I’ve been using this recipe for a year now. never thought to comment but it is delicious and simple to make.

    I’ve tried other recipes but this one is one of the best I’ve found.

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    Dustin Ramer
    02/25/2021 at 2:56 pm

    5 stars
    So we’ve been cooking jambalaya out of a packet at the firehouse for years. And it wasn’t bad. I’ve recently really started getting into cooking. So I tried your recipe at the station the other day. The guys said that was the best jambalaya they’ve ever had. On point Laura. Thanks for sharing.
    Dustin

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    Christina knott
    07/10/2021 at 8:26 am

    5 stars
    Turned out amazing! My husband loves it. This will definitely be added into our rotation.

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    Elliott
    08/15/2021 at 9:49 am

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I’ve made it several times and it’s a household favorite. I have to ask, when you say 20oz can crushed tomatoes did you mean to write 28? I’ve never been able to find a 20oz can. Everything seems to be 28. I usually have to add a little extra water.

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    HeatherDawn
    08/15/2021 at 6:14 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe is fantastic. Followed it to a ‘T’.
    If you want authentic Creole Jambalaya, I highly suggest you use this recipe.
    Fantastic 10⭐

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