Apr 4, 2016

Creole Jambalaya

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Jambalaya, like ribs leads to arguments over which style recipe is better and what ingredients should go into it.

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Jambalaya is a cajun and creole dish that combines French, West African and Spanish influences (with roots in paella). The dish is made with highly seasoned meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Jambalaya, like BBQ, leads to arguments over which style recipe is better and what ingredients should go into it. While many recipes cook the rice in the dish I prefer to cook it separately and add it at the end.

Creole Jambalaya

Cajun vs. Creole Jambalaya

Typically there are two main types of jambalaya, Creole and Cajun. Creole, or red jambalaya, is made with tomatoes along with the meat and vegetables. Cajun jambalaya does not have tomatoes and is more of a brownish color. 

Both have what is referred to as the “holy trinity” onion, celery and green bell pepper.

creole jambalaya recipe from cooking with cocktail rings andouillie sausage and shrimp

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Shrimp – The terms “jumbo” and “extra jumbo” and “colossal” aren’t standardized terms within the industry. Instead look at the numbers – they estimate approximately how many shrimp are in 1 pound. Add the shrimp to the jambalaya just before you are ready to serve it so they do not overcook in the jambalaya.
  • Andouille – Andouille sausage is a smoked pork sausage that is prominent in Cajun cuisine. It adds a bit of a kick as well as a slight smoky flavor.
  • Okra – Okra is a pod filled with small white seeds with a sweet, slightly grassy flavor frequently used in Creole and Cajun cooking. While okra adds texture to the recipe the mucus inside the pods actually acts as a thickener as well.
creole jambalaya recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make Creole Jambalaya

  1. Heat oil in a pot. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through.
  2. Sauté vegetables. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and okra to the pan and sauté until the onion is tender and the okra begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Next, add the cayenne, stirring constantly until it is fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  3. Add tomatoes and stock. Stir in the tomato paste then add the tomatoes with their liquid, chicken stock, thyme and oregano. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture has reduced, about 30 minutes.
  4. Cook sausage and peppers. Meanwhile heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the sausage and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage and peppers to the jambalaya and continue to cook.
  5. Cook the rice. Heat a medium saucepan over medium and combine the rice with 2½ cups of water. Cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  6. Cook the shrimp. Pat the shrimp dry then season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a sauté pan add the remaining olive oil and cook the shrimp until pink, about a minute to 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Assemble and serve. Stir the rice into the jambalaya mixture; add the shrimp and ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.
closeup jambalaya cooking with cocktail rings recipe

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this creole jambalaya recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Creole Jambalaya

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 15 fresh okra pods, sliced into ½” rounds
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • cups chicken stock
  • teaspoons thyme
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 pound smoked Andouille sausage, cut on the bias
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 pound extra jumbo 16/ 20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat through.
  • Add the onion, celery, garlic, and okra to the pan and sauté until the onion is tender and the okra begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the cayenne, stirring constantly until it is fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomato paste then add the tomatoes with their liquid, chicken stock, thyme and oregano. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture has reduced, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the sausage and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage and peppers to the jambalaya and continue to cook.
  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium and combine the rice with 2½ cups of water. Cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • Pat the shrimp dry then season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a sauté pan add the remaining olive oil and cook the shrimp until pink, about a minute to 2 minutes on each side.
  • Stir the rice into the jambalaya mixture; add the shrimp and ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.

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  1. Excellent! Tony Chachere’s famous creole cuisine now sells 8 oz. boxes of dirty rice, jambalaya, and gumbo dinner mixes at our local grocery stores in Shreveport, Louisiana. This is the basic seasoning. You have to add shrimp, pork sausage, chicken. Whatever floats your boat.we have used all of them, and all are great.

    ..

  2. I have made jambalaya probably 150 times over the last few years trying to replicate something I had growing up. They’ve all been ehh ok but not all that exciting.
    THIS IS THE BEST! Soooo good. I have been eating it breakfast, lunch and dinner for a couple days and not even kind of tired of it. Reducing it down really helped this. Most recipes I made previously had been rather liquidy…
    This is going into he regular dinner rotation. THANK YOU!

  3. Okay, my husband and I have made this recipe twice, both times on week nights. Fantastic each time. The kids loved it and you can cater the heat to your preference. Great option if you won’t make it to New Orleans anytime soon. Kylie, much thanks for the recipe and the inspiration!