Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

$7.21 recipe / $1.80 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 98 votes
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Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet to your meal prep rotation!

Cajun Sausage and Rice in the skillet with a wooden spoon and lid half on

What Kind of Sausage Do I Use?

To make this skillet meal taste the best, try to find Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage commonly used in Louisiana cooking. If you can’t find any in your area (I’m not sure how readily available this is outside the southern U.S.), you can use any smoked sausage in its place. If you want to go so far as to special order some to get the full experience, check out the selection from Cajungrocer.com

Is Cajun Sausage and Rice Spicy?

It can be, depending on the ingredients you use. I used a “medium” heat Andouille sausage, which had a good amount of spicy heat, as well as a little cayenne pepper in my Cajun seasoning blend. If you want to make this dish mild, make sure to get a non-spicy smoked sausage, and you can skip the cayenne pepper in the spices listed in the recipe. 

Can I Use Store Bought Cajun Seasoning?

The recipe below includes a half batch of my homemade Cajun seasoning, minus the salt because the other ingredients in the skillet contained enough salt that I didn’t need to add more. The total amount of spices used is about 1 tablespoon. If you’d like to use a store bought Cajun seasoning blend, first check to see how much salt it contains. Many store bought Cajun seasoning blends contain a lot of salt and are used more like a seasoning salt, or table seasoning, and probably will not work well for this recipe. If the blend you have is mostly just herbs and spices, I would use about 1 Tbsp for this recipe.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a much longer cook time than white rice, so you will need to take these into account if you attempt to substitute brown rice for the white rice in this recipe. While I haven’t tested a brown rice version, I would probably add at least another cup of chicken broth and increase the simmer time to closer to 40 minutes.

Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

You might also love my One Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice!

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Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

4.91 from 98 votes
This easy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet is the perfect easy and filling weeknight dinner, packed with plenty of smoky-spicy flavor!
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* ($3.99)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 1 bell pepper ($0.89)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.01)
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.00)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.62)
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth ($0.20)
  • 2 green onions, sliced ($0.20)

Instructions 

  • Slice the sausage into ¼-½ inch thick slices. Add the sausage and cooking oil to a deep skillet or Dutch oven and sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don't worry if the sausage begins to brown on the bottom of the skillet. That's extra flavor that will cook into the rice later.
  • While the sausage is cooking, dice the bell pepper. Once the sausage is browned, add the bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté for about one more minute.
  • Add the spices (smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and black pepper) to the skillet with the sausage and bell pepper and continue to sauté for one minute more to toast the spices.
  • Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest, with the lid on, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • After the skillet has rested, remove the lid, and fold the sausage and rice to redistribute the rice and sausage throughout. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille in your area, use any smoked pork sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 547.75kcalCarbohydrates: 50.8gProtein: 22.23gFat: 28.8gSodium: 1328.93mgFiber: 4.15g
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Overhead view of a bowl full of Cajun Sausage and Rice with a black fork in the side

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Andouille sausage package

This is the Andouille sausage that I used. Andouille may not be readily available in all areas, so if you can’t find any, just try to get a smoked pork sausage of some sort instead. You really want that smoky flavor!

Sautéed Andouille in the skillet

Slice the Andouille into medallions and add to a skillet with a tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don’t worry if the bottom of the skillet turns brown. That’s just extra flavor that will soak into the rice later!

Bell pepper and spices added to the skillet

While the sausage is browning, dice one bell pepper. Add it to the skillet and continue to sauté for about a minute. Then add the Cajun seasoning: 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to sauté the spices for another minute.

Tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Next, add one 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup long grain white rice, and 1.5 cups chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve those browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Skillet ready to simmer

Once everything is combined, place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. (Pictured: before simmering)

Simmered sausage and rice skillet

After simmering for 20 minutes, remove it from the heat and let it rest for an additional five minutes (with the lid on). After resting, it will look like the photo above.

Stirred Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Fold everything together to redistribute the sausage, rice, and bell peppers. OMG it looks so good at this point I just want to dive in!

Finished Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet with green onions

Top the skillet with sliced green onions and serve! It’s rich, spicy, smoky, and all around DELICIOUS.

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  1. Loved it, way different spin on this recipe versus jambalaya…was definitely worth trying!

  2. This dish is now in regular rotation in my house. I add some shrimp in the last five mins of cooking – it’s so delicious and quick and reheats well for leftovers.

  3. This recipe did not miss! It was so delicious and had a nice kick to it. I didn’t have canned fire roasted tomatoes but I did have fresh tomatoes. I just diced those up and it was bomb! This one is a keeper for sure. 

  4. My family loves this skillet dinner! I’ve made it multiples times, both as written as well as with some changes depending on availability. Today I used garden fresh roma tomatoes, finely chopped, along with a jalapeno in place of the can of fire roasted tomatoes. It worked great! I just added the tomatoes along with the chopped bell pepper to let them cook down a bit. I also had some fresh corn that needed to be used up, so I added that in as well during the last few minutes of cook time. This recipe is a keeper for sure! Thanks for all your great recipes. BudgetBytes is my favorite place to look for delicious, quick, and budget friendly dinner ideas!

  5. Delicious! I’ve never made a dish like this without the Cajun trinity, but stayed true to the recipe. The onion powder helped out and I didn’t miss the celery! So quick and easy and reasonably priced. Of course, right now costs have gone up so I can’t say this matched your $$ indicated, but it was much better than most recipes out there! Thanks for sharing a delicious recipe.

  6. This tastes great! I don’t even need to add extra seasoning. I used a smoked sausage as I didn’t have any of the other stuff. I used 1 cup chopped frozen bell peppers as it’s what I had on hand and added yellow onion when cooking the peppers (I omitted the green onions as I don’t have that either). Still taste amazing. My only issue is the rice not cooking fully. I think when I mixed it all together before boiling it some rice got on top and didn’t cook properly. Next time i’ll just add a little more broth and try to cover the rice better. Thank you for this recipe!

  7. Easy and delicious! At first I was worried my rice looked overcooked but it turned out perfect. Thank you. I used hot Italian sausage and the recipe worked great.

  8. Love this recipe. I made some small tweaks. I did have to laugh at the suggested cost per item. Way before inflation or definitely not in the SF Bay Area. I paid $3.79 for a can of store brand tomatoes.

  9. This has become one of our favorites!! We live in Texas, so we are blessed with tons of deer sausage. Jalapeño cheese deer sausage is the only sausage I’ve used in this recipe. It is absolutely delicious. I add a little onion and fresh garlic. Thanks for bringing us easy and tasty recipes. 

  10. Soooooooo yummy and full of flavor. I added fresh minced garlic, and used yellow rice instead. Takes a long time to cook but boy is it work the wait! 

  11. I absolutely love this recipe!! It has become one of my favorites! I have a question though. My rice never seems to cook all the way through I live in Colorado so that could have something to do with it but how can I get the rice to fully cook? I have tried cooking longer but it never works!

    1. With the high altitudes in Colorado, cooking rice can be a challenge! Liquid evaporates more readily and water boils at a lower temperature. To prepare rice successfully, you may need to increase both the volume of water and the cooking time.

    2. I find that pre-soaking white rice really reduces the cooking time. When I cook it by itself, soaked white rice is usually done is 9 or 10 minutes, and I like my rice to be a bit soft. You might try soaking it for 1 to 2 hours in lots of water and draining it before you add it to this recipe, and that should help. (Soaking brown rice has almost no effect on cooking time.)

  12. I have made this at least a half a dozen times now, and it always turns out perfect! I used smoked turkey sausage in mine and throw in some sautéed onions and corn and it is just so so good!! I love how quick and easy it comes together, too! Wonderful recipe, thank you!