Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

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This Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya features tender chicken, spicy sausage, and tender rice folded into a tomato-based broth for an easy one-pot meal. Add a salad and dinner is done!

If you love the fantastic flavors of Cajun cuisine, make my Cajun butter chicken thighs, stat, and this amazing air fryer shrimp boil! These recipes are packed with the same vibrant spices and hearty ingredients that make jambalaya irresistible. 

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Image of a pan with jambalaya featuring a bed of rice topped with chicken bites, sliced sausages, and diced red bell peppers.

Change up your basic chicken dinner and make one pan jambalaya with chicken and sausage! This super flavorful, easily adaptable meal is cooked all together in a single pot – I recommend a Dutch oven – making both prep and cleanup a breeze.

I first fell in love with jambalaya during a college trip to New Orleans. The vibrant flavors and the lively atmosphere of Mardi Gras left a lasting impression on me. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed recreating that unforgettable taste at home. My family loves this dish, especially my husband Goce, who appreciates its hearty and traditional nature. He’s also a big fan of my jambalaya pasta, which combines his love for pasta with those same bold flavors.  It’s a hit at our family gatherings, bringing a bit of New Orleans magic to our table.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy. Yes, a one-pan meal is always a favorite in my kitchen, especially when it contains enough to satisfy everyone. From the tender rice to the sausage and vegetables, this recipe is a tried and true winner.
  • Adapt away. You can play around with the ingredients in this chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe to adapt it to your family’s taste!
  • Hearty. I love that you have everything you need in this one-pot dish, from protein to rice to savory vegetables. You will not be hungry after you eat a portion of jambalaya!

What Is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a rice-based dish from Louisiana that features meat and seafood cooked into a thick stew along with vegetables and spices. Unlike gumbo, which is similar but not the same, jambalaya cooks the rice right into the stew to form a scoopable and savory meal. Gumbo, on the other hand, serves the stew on top of rice.

Chicken and sausage jambalaya ingredients are shown labeled: sausage, chicken, rice, garlic, chicken broth, seasonings, spices, olive oil, celery, red bell pepper.

Recipe Ingredients

For this easy jambalaya recipe, you’ll need a few basic pantry ingredients that come together to create this traditional and hearty Cajun dish. Please check the recipe card for the full directions and ingredient amounts.

  • Olive Oil – Any cooking oil, including vegetable oil, will work here.
  • Chicken – I use skinless boneless chicken thighs.
  • Salt and Pepper – To season the chicken and enhance all the flavors of the entire dish.
  • Onion – I use a yellow onion, and a white onion will also work.
  • Andouille Sausage – This sausage is a must in my book, especially in Cajun cooking. It adds a smoky, spicy kick, but if you can’t find it, use your favorite smoked sausage.
  • Bell Pepper – Any color of bell pepper will work, but I like to use red bell peppers.
  • Celery Ribs Celery adds extra savory flavor to the aromatics in this recipe.
  • Garlic – You can add more garlic if you prefer. Garlic powder will also work.
  • Jasmine Rice – Or use any long-grain white rice.
  • Dried Spices – I use smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne or red pepper flakes. You can add whatever other spices you like.
  • Chicken Broth – Regular or low-sodium chicken broth is fine. Vegetable broth is a good substitute.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – Use “fire-roasted” tomatoes for even more flavor.
  • Bay Leaves I love adding bay leaves for an earthy flavor, but it’s okay to omit them.
  • Garnish Scallions and fresh parsley.
A pan of jambalaya with a serving spoon stirring through it.

How To Make Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

This classic recipe is packed with bold flavors and textures all simmered to delicious perfection. See the photos below and follow these simple steps to create a delicious jambalaya that will have everyone coming back for more.

  1. Season the chicken. Add salt and pepper to the chicken.
  2. Cook. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and brown the chicken for about 7 minutes, then set aside.
  3. Sautee the veggies. Stir in the onion, sausage, red bell pepper, celery, and minced garlic and sauté.
  4. Add the rice. Stir in the dry rice and the seasonings.
  5. Add the chicken. Return the cooked chicken thighs to the pot, add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and bay leaves, boil, then simmer until the rice is cooked.
  6. Finishing touches. When the jambalaya is cooked, remove it from the heat and fish out the bay leaves to discard.
  7. Serve. Garnish the dish with sliced scallions and chopped fresh parsley, and serve.
A big pan of chicken and sausage jambalaya on a table with bread.

Recipe Tips & Variations

Jambalaya is amazing, and to make it even better, here are my top tips and variations!

  • Adjust the spices. Sometimes I like to make this dish very spicy, and other times I tone it way down! You can also add a drizzle of hot sauce to each portion if you like a bit more heat.
  • Always use long-grain rice. Jambalaya can have a tendency to get mushy, which is something I try to avoid. This most often happens when short-grain rice is used, so make sure to use long-grain Basmati or Jasmine rice for the best results.
  • Switch out the protein. Use this recipe as your base for other protein! Try it with pork or seafood like shrimp or crab, or make it vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and sausage and using plant-based sausage and red beans.
  • Other vegetables. Jambalaya also means “a jumble” and can be adjusted to what you have in the fridge. Swap the canned tomatoes for fresh tomatoes, add mushrooms, use more garlic if you don’t have onion, or try your own experiments!

Serving Suggestions

While this is technically a one-dish meal, I like to round out our dinner with a few more vegetables, a salad, or a loaf of fresh bread. My favorite accompaniments for this chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe are easy and fresh sides like my Avocado and Tomato Salad. You can also top servings with a dollop of Avocado Salsa.

Make a big pile of Sauteed Green Beans or flavorful Romano Beans in Garlic Butter Sauce to go with hearty portions of jambalaya! Scoop up bites of chicken and sausage jambalaya with slices of freshly baked No Knead Dutch Oven Bread, or make a batch of No Knead Skillet Cheese Bread.

We love a side of Grilled Corn on the Cob or making a fluffy Corn Souffle to serve with jambalaya.

Jambalaya served on a dinner plate.

Proper Storage

Place leftover, cooled jambalaya in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave in 1-minute increments, giving it a stir after 1 minute, until heated through.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

This Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya is a flavor-packed feast featuring juicy chicken bites, spicy sausage, and tender rice, all folded into a rich, tomato-based broth. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings


For the Jambalaya:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced into ½- inch thick rounds
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • cups dry long-grain rice, or jasmine rice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • teaspoon cayenne, or red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

To Serve:

  • sliced scallions
  • chopped fresh parsley
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  • Prep the chicken. Season the chicken pieces with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides.
  • Cook the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken thighs to the skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 6-7 minutes. Once browned, remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and set it aside, covering it with foil to keep it warm.
  • Sauté the veggies and sausage. In the same pot, add the diced onion, sliced sausage, red bell pepper, celery, and minced garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened and sausage begins to brown, about 5 minutes
  • Stir the rice. Add dry rice and the seasoning blend to the Dutch oven. Stir well to coat the rice and vegetables with the spices.
  • Combine and simmer. Return the browned chicken thighs to the Dutch oven. Pour in chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is cooked through. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Finish. Once the jambalaya is cooked, remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
  • Taste. Adjust the seasoning with salt and cracked black pepper, if needed.
  • Enjoy. Serve hot, garnished with sliced scallions and chopped fresh parsley.


Serving: 12ounces | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 562mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 817IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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