Chorizo Chicken Jambalaya

$8.98 recipe / $1.12 serving

Jambalaya is one of the easiest, filling, and inexpensive dishes you can make. Just ask anyone from Louisiana—we live off the stuff. Flavorful sausage, savory aromatic vegetables, and rice all cook together in one pot to make a super satisfying, one pot dish. I love cooking up a big pot of jambalay on the weekend so I can feed myself off of it all week. Talk about easy!

Instead of doing a standard jambalaya, I decided to change it up and use Mexican chorizo instead of the traditional Andouille sausage. This added a nice spicy kick, which I complimented with cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. I didn’t have much Chorizo in my freezer, so I bulked up the meat end with some chopped chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are my new favorite because they are inexpensive, but super tender and juicy. Top it all off with some fresh sliced green onions and you’ll be in heaven. OR, if you happen to have some sour cream or avocado laying around (I just happened to buy some avocados on sale), they are awesome on this!

P.S. This freezes really well!

Chorizo Chicken Jambalaya

Chorizo Chicken Jambalaya

4.6 from 24 reviews
Chorizo Chicken Jambalaya
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $8.98
Cost Per Serving: $1.12
Serves: 8 (1.25 cups each)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.02
  • 2 links (8 oz.) Mexican Chorizo $1.67
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1¼ lbs) $2.35
  • 12 oz. bag frozen onion, bell pepper, celery mix $1.39
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.12
  • 2½ cups dry long grain white rice $0.83
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes $0.89
  • 4 cups chicken broth $0.52
  • 1 whole bay leaf $0.15
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • ½ tsp oregano $0.05
  • 1 bunch green onions $0.79
  1. Cut the chicken thighs into small, one inch chunks. Add the vegetable oil to a large pot along with the chopped chicken thighs and chorizo (squeeze the chorizo out of the casing). Cook the meat over medium heat until the chorizo is browned and the chicken is white and firm (about 7-10 minutes). Drain off the excess fat. Add the frozen, chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper mix. Stir to combine and heat through (about 1-2 minutes).
  2. Add the tomato paste and dry rice to the pot. Stir and cook for about two minutes. You should hear the rice crackling and popping as it cooks. This toasts the rice and caramelizes the tomato paste for more flavor. It's okay if it begins to coat the bottom of the pot, but don't let it burn.
  3. Add the chicken broth and diced tomatoes (with juices) to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve anything stuck to the bottom of the pot. Finally, add the bay leaf, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano. Stir once more, place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat up to high. As soon as the pot reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the heat off and let the pot sit for an additional 10 minutes, undisturbed, to continue to steam.
  4. Remove the lid and fluff the jambalaya. If you see the bay leaf, remove it. Serve hot topped with sliced green onion.
Substituting brown rice for the white rice in this recipe will not yield the same results. Brown rice requires more liquid and a longer cooking time.


Chorizo Chicken Jambalaya


Step by Step Photos


I had two links (about 8 oz.) of Mexican chorizo left in my freezer that needed to be used up. You could certainly use more if you’d like, or use all chorizo and no chicken. The chorizo is important, though, because it contains a lot of herbs and spices that flavor the jambalaya. This is Johnsonville brand, which is available at most major supermarkets in the United States. Mexican chorizo is a spicy, fresh sausage, and much different from Spanish chorizo, which is a cured meat product (like salami or pepperoni).

Chopped Chicken

I also used four boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1.25 lbs.). Cut the chicken up into small pieces. You can take the time to cut the fat off first if you want, but I didn’t bother. Most of the fat cooked off and then I just drained the pot before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Browned Meat

Brown the chorizo and chicken thighs in a large pot along with one tablespoon of vegetable oil (just to help get it going). After the chorizo is fully brown and the chicken is white and firm, drain off the excess fat (there was a LOT to drain off). This photo is after draining off the fat.

Seasoning Blend

Because I was feeling lazy (no shame), I used a 19 oz. bag of frozen, pre-chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper. One of the nice benefits of using ingredients like this is that there are no leftovers (like half a bunch of celery) to use up later. I don’t use pre-chopped ingredients like this often, but sometimes it’s worth it! If you don’t want to use frozen, just chop up one yellow onion, one bell pepper, and a couple stalks of celery.

Seasoning Blend

Add the frozen veggies to the pot and stir to combine. They’ll thaw almost immediately.

Rice and Tomato Paste

Next, add 2.5 cups of dry long grain white rice (not brown rice) and 2 Tbsp of tomato paste. Stir and cook this mixture for two minutes. You’ll hear the rice crackling as it cooks. This step helps caramelize the tomato paste and toasts the rice, both of which deepen the flavor. If it starts to make a film on the bottom of the pot, that’s okay. Just don’t let it burn. If you suspect it is beginning to burn, move on to the next step.

Tomatoes and Broth

Add one 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes (with juices) and 4 cups of chicken broth. Stir to combine and to dissolve of any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add one whole bay leaf, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, and 1/2 tsp oregano. Stir to combine, then place a lid on top and turn the heat up to high. As soon as the pot reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer on low for 30 minutes (with the lid in place). After 30 minutes, turn the heat off and let it continue to steam (lid in place, undisturbed) for an additional 10 minutes. 


At that point the rice will have absorbed all of the liquid. Quick note: if you are using an inexpensive pot with a thin bottom, the heat will not distribute evenly and you may have pockets of rice that did not cook as well as the rest. It’s best to use a heavy, thick pot or dutch oven.

Fluffed Jambalaya

Use a big spoon to fluff up the mixture. If you see the bay leaf in there, go ahead and pull it out. Slice the green onions and sprinkle them on top.

Chorizo Chicken JambalayaMmm-Mmm good!

Chorizo Chicken Jambalaya



  1. Knicky says:

    I make this recipe twice per month. I use 1 lb. chicken, 1 lb. chorizo, and only 2 cups of rice. Easy, delicious, and it makes three nights worth of dinners. Thanks!

  2. Jess says:

    Going to try this tonight! I have half pound of chorizo I need to use and also two (cooked) chicken bratwurst that I will cut into little pieces to add. Can’t wait to try it!

  3. Alyssa says:

    made this tonight and it came out OK. I overcooked the rice a bit (my fault) but I also thought the seasoning could’ve been ramped up a bit. maybe a quarter teaspoon more of both paprika and cumin. nonetheless, I will be making this again because I know it has amazing potential.

  4. happymom says:

    Absolutely delicious . I did used fresh ingredients, we don’t buy frozen vegetables. I also used brown rice, used more broth and let it simmer longer. The results were amazing. My husband had seconds and even my toddler cleaned up his plate.

  5. Josh says:

    This was the first recipe of yours that I tried. The flavor was spot on a delicious, except I used Andouille instead of Chorizo. I could not, for the life of me, get the rice to soften, so I ate it with crunchy rice and it was still awesome! I am giving this recipe 5 stars, as I am sure it was my error on the rice. (For those that are curious, I cooked the rice for over an hour, while adding liquid.)

  6. Victoria says:

    Hey Beth!

    I have a quick question regarding this recipe.

    I was wondering if this recipe is freezable, and if so, for how long? Is it best stored in a certain type of packaging of frozen as well?

    I have made this recipe twice now and it is divine! I was hoping to make a big batch and freeze some if possible.

    Thank you for your time, and for your dedication to good food on a budget!


    • Hi Victoria! Yes, rice dishes like this freeze really well. :D I like to freeze them in those resealable blue-topped Ziploc containers in single portions, so that I can just take it straight from the freezer to the microwave to reheat. You could also freeze it in quart sized freezer bags and then just peel away the bag before reheating. The freezer shelf life really depends on your freezer and packaging, but it should be good for at least a couple months.

  7. Rachel says:

    I just cooked this with my boyfriend. We more or less kept to the recipe, but we used some chicken wings and thighs on the bone which we’d roasted then diced. We put that in at the same time as the chorizo.

    My boyfriend secretly added some chopped halloumi, added with the chorizo. It was AMAZING. Imagine jambalaya-flavoured halloumi. That’s what it tasted of. Please, everyone, try this!

  8. Danyel says:

    This is the first of your recipes I’ve used and it was divine. I followed your directions to the letter except I diced the chorizo after de-casing but before adding to the pan. I am incredibly pleased. My whole family loves it. My husband added a little Belize sauce to his to spice it up some. This is definitely in the regular rotation.

  9. Lindsey says:

    I just made it! It’s really good but I really didn’t taste the chorizo once done, so I will definitely use more next time…Thanks!

  10. Olivia says:

    This is delicious, so easy to make, and very fulfilling. Thank you!

  11. Making this right now! I must have gotten the wrong kind of chorizo because it was very wet. I also failed at trying to pour the extra liquid out of my pot and didn’t want to make a mess so I just left it and used about half a cup less broth.
    Fingers crossed!
    Here’s the chorizo I used, Reynaldo’s Pork Chorizo

    • Mackenzie says:

      Well I failed at this one! I ended up with crunchy rice that I couldn’t fully rescue. The chicken bits were good though!
      Next time I would err on the side of too much moisture.

  12. Stephanie says:

    I am hooked!! My family loved this recipe and I didn’t even tell them what it was…I just said chicken and rice because my daughter is so picky! So if you any more similar please post!!!

  13. Megan says:

    Loved this recipe! Super easy cleanup. I just made it with some chicken sausage from Trader Joes and that was the only meat I used…still turned out great. Thanks again for another good one :-)

  14. Beth says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious, but the rice came out a little mushy……should I use less broth next time? I followed the recipe to the letter, so I’m not sure what happened! Rice is always my downfall…..

    • Yep, a little less water should do it. Rice can be tricky sometimes, especially in a dish that has other ingredients that provide moisture, like this one. :)

  15. Joanna says:

    This was really good. I only made a 1/2 recipe and I guess I needed a little more than 1/2 the liquid, because my rice was just a little chewy. But, it was still pretty awesome. I only used the chorizo, no chicken.

  16. OMG.

    So, I’m not good with rice. I never cook it enough or a explode it into oblivion.

    Soooooooooo I made this dish with these organic rice pouches that I love! I just added them in, and added the liquid, and let it stew.

    So. Freaking. Good.

    Oh. Em. Gee.

    It was just spicy enough and we ate two big bowls each and there was leftovers YUM.

  17. Karen says:

    This was pretty delicious – I used brown rice instead of white rice, added an extra cup of stock, and increased the cook time to 35 mins and it turned out perfectly. The only problem was that the jambalaya was extremely undersalted – add salt to taste!

  18. Made this late last week, it was the perfect thing to start and leave for my husband and daughter while I was out!
    Both of them loved it and it makes a TON of food! We’re still enjoying leftovers.
    I have, well none of those things (except chicken…breasts) and just subbed in some random frozen veggies I had and it was still fabulous. Used kielbasa because I had it on hand.
    The beauty of jambalaya is like stew- awesomely versatile.
    Will definitely be making this again.
    Your fantastically easy and cheap one-pot meals are quickly making their way into my regular rotation!!

  19. lauren says:

    thank you so much for this recipe! I had some leftover shredded chicken thighs, and a package of smoked sausage, so I used both of those and they were fantastic. I must have added a little too much broth, because my rice was a little overcooked – but the flavor was really nice. I will definitely make it again, thanks for sharing!

  20. Rita N says:

    I made this tonight with brown rice. I used the basic rice cooking proportions on the brown rice package; reduced the amount of rice to 2 cups, used 4 cups of broth, and cooked it for 45 minutes. It turned out great, very flavorful. It will be on our make-again list! Thanks!

  21. Krystal says:

    Love this web site and just bought your book. Just wanted to drop a line to say thank you for what you do. I’m making this recipe tonight – so excited!


  22. Martha Hughes says:


  23. Rachel says:

    Made this tonight, yum! I had everything but the chorizo, so to avoid an extra trip I just used double andouille sausage and increased the spices. So. Delicious. Thanks for this great recipe! I’m portioning it out now, and between this and your chili recipe I’ll have work lunches for ages!

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