$10.99 recipe / $1.37 serving

Once I got over the excitement of roasting a chicken, I quickly realized that roasted chicken is not the type of thing that I really enjoy eating (smart, eh?). So, I set to work turning the chicken into something that I would actually look forward to eating, like… Jambalaya!

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

I’ve lived in Louisiana for almost ten years now and jambalaya is definitely one of my favorite “local” foods. Surprisingly, I had never made a pot until now. I’ve been very busy so instead of doing a bunch of recipe research I just turned to my most trusted cook book, The Joy of Cooking. Working off of the backbone of that recipe, I made it fit my budget and on-hand ingredients. Now, I know this recipe is probably not like your Cajun Grandmother’s recipe but it is pretty darn good! I’ve been happily eating my jambalaya every day since :D

I made a couple changes, of course. First, I bought a bag of frozen, chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Sometimes, depending on produce prices, the frozen pre-chopped mix is less expensive than buying one onion, one bell pepper and a bunch of celery. Plus, as mentioned, I was super busy this week and needed every short cut I could get. If you want to use fresh, just sub one onion, one bell pepper and 1/2 bunch of celery.

Second, I increased the rice/meat ratio. The recipe called for only one cup of rice and two pounds of meat and I felt that it could be stretched out a bit more. Even after increasing the rice to 2 cups (about 5 cups once cooked), the mix seemed almost 50/50 rice to meat. I bet you could up the rice to three cups (and 5 cups water, yielding 8 cups cooked) and make even more servings for an even lower price.

Anyway, I WILL be cooking this again.


Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

4.2 from 5 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $10.99
Cost Per Serving: $1.37
Serves: 8
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken $2.99
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage $3.99
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 12 oz. seasoning mix (diced onion, bell pepper, celery)
  • (onion, bell pepper, celery) $1.25
  • 2 cups long grain rice $0.60
  • ½ to 1 tsp cayenne pepper $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.19
  • 3.5 cups water $0.00
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes $1.26
  • 2 whole bay leaves $0.05
  • ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • ½ bunch parsley $0.35
  • to taste salt and pepper $0.05
  1. Slice the sausage and cook in a large pot over medium heat until thoroughly cooked (about 5 minutes). Don’t worry if the drippings begin to stick and coat the bottom of the pan, it will be deglazed later. Remove the cooked meat (leaving the fat/drippings in the pan) and set it aside for later.
  2. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the pot with the meat drippings and cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes). The moisture from the vegetables should loosen anything stuck to the bottom of the pan from the meat (all of that flavorful good stuff).
  3. Once the vegetables have softened, add the dry rice, cayenne pepper and tomato paste. Stir it all together and cook for approximately 1 minute more. This will allow the tomato paste to caramelize and the rice to toast just slightly.
  4. Add 3.5 cups of water, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, fresh cracked pepper (about 20 cranks) and salt (about ½ tsp). Stir it together, then add the meat back into the pot. Bring it up to a simmer, add a lid and reduce the heat to low. Allow the pot to simmer on low until all of the moisture has been absorbed by the rice (about 30 minutes). Stir in the chopped parsley and serve.
If you don’t have pre-cooked chicken, use 1 lb. chicken thighs. Cook them along with the sausage in the first step.


Step By Step Photos

cook sausageSlice and cook the sausage (and chicken if using raw) in a large pot until done (about 5 minutes). Remove the meat from the pot and set aside for later.

seasoning blendThis frozen seasoning blend (onion, bell pepper, celery) was definitely a life saver with my recent time constraints… plus it was actually less than buying the fresh – I checked.

cook vegetablesCook the vegetables in the left over meat drippings until soft. The moisture from the vegetables will pull up all of the flavor stuck to the bottom of the pot (that’s why it’s brown-ish).

rice tomato paste cayenneAdd the rice (I used brown & white), tomato paste and cayenne pepper.

stir, cookStir them all around for about a minute to let it cook just slightly…

water tomatoes bay leafAdd the water, can of diced tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.

add meat back inAdd the cooked meat back into the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer then put the lid on, reduce the heat to low and let it cook until the rice has soaked up all of the liquid (about 30 minutes).

jambalaya all done!Fluff it up with a fork and stir in the chopped parsley!


C’est bon!

p.s. This freezes well.


  1. I have heard that you can use stock- such as chicken broth instead of water. I was thinking of doing this,and I wondered if you had tried making this using chicken broth? I am curious about how it would change the flavor and taste.

    any thoughts?

  2. Gavin says:

    I made this dish tonight and it was the most amazing jambalaya we’ve ever tasted! Added a little more cayenne pepper because I like It spicy. Awesome recipe!

  3. This was a complete and utter failure. I’ve had great results with your other recipes, so I’m sure it’s something I did wrong rather than something wrong with the recipe. The rice will not cook. We had to throw the whole thing out–there was no way to salvage any of it because the rice stayed not just undercooked but completely rock hard. Huge waste of time, money, energy, and food.

  4. Fiona says:

    I loved the flavours in this dish, but my rice turned out very mushy and generally unpleasant in texture. Not sure if it went wrong because I used jasmine rice, or if something else happened. Any troubleshooting tips?

    • Yes, it sounds like there was too much liquid. The rice to liquid ratio can be a bit finnicky and sometimes you have to adjust it slightly for your rice/stove/pots. So, if you try it again, I would suggest using 1/2 cup less water. That should do the trick. :)

  5. Thanks much…

  6. AmyG says:

    We had a version this last night and we loved it! Thank you for the inspiration recipe. I used 6 oz each of Andouille smoked sausage and roasted chicken thigh meat to make 4 servings. I used an onion carmelized in olive oil, a roasted red bell pepper, about 1 1/2 stalks of celery, all of the 14 oz can of tomatoes as well as a 14 oz can of low sodium chicken broth, but only 2 cloves garlic and 1 Tablespoon tomato paste. I did add 2 teaspoons of a Cajun spice mix we like. I simmered it until the mixture was no longer soupy, then served it over brown rice, cooked separately. By adding the rice to each serving, the texture of the rice was unchanged in the leftovers and would freeze well.

  7. I’m planning on making a version of this today! I have a few shrimp, chicken and keilbasa, and I wanted to use riosotto instead of long grain rice. Think this will be ok?
    Luv this web site.

  8. Hello, this looks lovely. I just wondered how I would reheat it from the freezer? I don’t have a microwave.

    • If you don’t have a microwave, you can probably reheat it in a covered casserole dish in the oven. I’m not sure how long it would take, but I’d keep the heat relatively low, around 300. Make sure it stays covered to prevent it from drying out.

  9. Geeg says:

    I made this and added shrimp and used orzo instead of rice. HUGE hit. Great recipe. You rock beth

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