One Pot Pastalaya

$7.51 recipe / $1.25 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.98 from 47 votes
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Happy Mardi Gras!! It was an icy cold and grey morning here in New Orleans, so instead of going out and enjoying the parades, I decided to take it easy, stay warm, and cook up a big pot of Pastalaya. What is pastalaya? It’s like jambalaya, but made with pasta instead of rice! You’ll find this easy and filling dish at large gatherings, celebrations, and even along the parade route during Mardi Gras. Pastalaya is one of those super easy crowd-pleasers that doesn’t break the bank. Sounds like Budget Bytes material, ammiright?

A big bowl of Pastalaya garnished with parsley and green onion

Every Pastalaya Recipe is Unique

Just as with jambalaya, every chef has their own version of pastalaya. Mine is super simple with andouille smoked sausage, trinity, a good dose of herbs and spices, and a splash of cream at the end to smooth things out. A lot of people do sausage and chicken, so if you have some leftover rotisserie chicken or some boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can throw them in there as well.

What Kind of Sausage to Use

Andouille is the only choice if you live in Louisiana, but I know that it can be hard to come by everywhere else. So if you can’t get any good andouille at the grocery store, your next best option will be any type of smoked sausage, and spicy if you can find it! 

Use Fresh or Frozen Trinity

Trinity, a mixture of onion, bell pepper, and celery, is the base for most Cajun and Creole dishes. My grocery store was out of green peppers today (I guess everyone was cooking jambalaya!), so I had to sub a pre-chopped and frozen “seasoning mix” (aka trinity) instead.

It’s a nice short cut if you don’t feel like chopping everything up, but fresh always tastes better. If you want to go the fresh route, use one yellow onion, one green bell pepper, and about two stalks of celery instead of the bagged seasoning mix I used.

Close up of a large spoonful of Pastalaya with the pot in the background

You ready to get this Mardi Gras party started?

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4.98 from 47 votes
Celebrate like you’re in Louisiana with this easy, filling, and inexpensive one pot favorite, Pastalaya. It’s the shortcut pasta version of Jambalaya!
Celebrate like you're in Louisiana with this easy, filling, and inexpensive one pot favorite, Pastalaya. It's the shortcut pasta version of Jambalaya!
Servings 6 (1.5 cups each)
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 45 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil ($0.04)
  • 1/2 lb. smoked sausage (preferably Andouille) ($2.50)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 10oz. bag frozen “seasoning mix”* ($1.29)
  • 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.59)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Creole seasoning** ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp thyme ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1 lb. penne pasta ($1.39)
  • 2 Tbsp half and half or cream ($0.11)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley ($0.45)
  • 1/2 bunch green onions ($0.42)


  • Slice the smoked sausage into thin rounds, then cut any larger pieces in half. Add the sausage and vegetable oil to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned (about 5 minutes).
  • Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to the pot. Sauté for one minute, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Add the bag of frozen seasoning mix and sauté until heated through (3-5 minutes). Add the can of diced tomatoes (with juices), Creole seasoning, oregano, smoked paprika, thyme, freshly cracked pepper (about 20 cranks of a pepper mill), and pasta to the pot. Finally, add the chicken broth and 1 cup of water, and stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Let the pot come to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, stir briefly, replace the lid, turn the heat down to low, and let the pot simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Stir the pot once every few minutes as it simmers to prevent the pasta from sticking. Replace the lid as quickly as possible to maintain a simmer. If the mixture still seems soupy at around 8 minutes, let the pot simmer without a lid for the last few minutes. A little bit of thick sauce at the bottom of the pot is perfect.
  • While the pasta is simmering, chop the parsley and slice the green onions.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the half & half or cream. Stir in most of the chopped parsley and green onions, reserving some to sprinkle over top of each bowl. Serve hot.

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*The “seasoning mix” used is a pre-chopped and frozen blend of onion, bell pepper, and celery, also known as “trinity”. If you prefer to use fresh, chop one yellow onion, one green bell pepper, and two stalks of celery.
**Creole seasoning can be found in most major grocery stores, but you can make your own using this blend of spices. Store bought Creole seasoning blends usually contain a lot of salt, so if you make your own you may need to add extra salt to the final product to compensate.


Serving: 1.5CupsCalories: 472kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 19gFat: 15gSodium: 715mgFiber: 4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

The full pot of finished Pastalaya with a wooden spoon

How to Make Pastalaya – Step by Step Photos

Brown Smoked Sausage in the pot

Start with 1/2 lb. of smoked sausage, Andouille if you can get it. Cut the sausage into rounds, then cut each round in half to make a half-moon. Add the sausage and a tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil to a large pot. Sauté the sausage over medium heat until it is nice and brown.

Seasoning Blend Frozen Mix

Normally jambalaya has a mix of diced onion, bell pepper, and celery, which is called trinity. While fresh always tastes better, you can usually find a frozen mix of these same vegetables. Since the grocery store was out of fresh bell pepper that day, I went with the frozen mix (10oz. bag). To make it fresh, use one onion, one bell pepper, and about 2-3 ribs of celery.

Garlic and Seasoning Mix in the pot with the sausage

Just before adding the trinity, mince two cloves of garlic and add them to the pot. Let them sauté for one minute, then add the trinity. Sauté the trinity just until softened (the frozen trinity softens immediately upon thawing, fresh will take 5-7 minutes).

Add Pasta Tomatoes and Spices to the pot

Add one 15oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1 lb. penne pasta, 1/2 Tbsp creole seasoning, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp thyme, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Broth and water in the pot

Finally, add 2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup water, and stir until everything is well combined. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it come to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, lift the lid briefly to stir, replace the lid, turn the heat down to low, and let simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Stir every few minutes to keep the pasta from sticking, but replace the lid quickly to prevent heat loss. It needs to simmer the whole time for the pasta to cook. 

Simmered Pastalaya

If you notice that it’s still quite soupy at around the 8-minute mark, you can let it simmer the last couple of minutes without the lid. A little thick saucy liquid at the bottom of the pot is okay.

Add Cream to Pastalaya

Stir in 2 Tbsp half-and-half or cream.

Add Parsley and Green Onion to the pot

While the pasta is simmering, pull the leaves off half a bunch of parsley and give them a good chop. Slice half a bunch of green onions as well. Stir most of the parsley and green onions into the pasta, saving a little to sprinkle over top of each bowl.

Finished pot of Pastalaya

And there you have it. Pastalaya, a delicious Louisiana-style one-pot pasta! NOM.

Close up of a bowl full of Pastalaya
Side view of a spoonful of Pastalaya being scooped out of the pot

Happy Mardi Gras!

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  1. We enjoyed this. I made a few modifications but basically followed the recipe. We will definitely make again. It makes a huge amount!

  2. I make this at least twice a year since 2018. Always delicious, always budget friendly.

  3. Greetings from Baton Rouge, LA! I just tried this recipe Sunday March 10, 2024, and it turned out DELICIOUS! I added shrimp and chicken thighs along with the Andouille sausage. We had salad and yeast rolls with it! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Your way of making this is fantastic. However, I want to stress that this is New Orleans style pastalaya. I used to cook jambalaya and pastalaya that way, too, because I’m originally from Chalmette. However, I now live in the Gonzales area. Gonzales is known as the jambalaya capital of the world. They do t make a tomato based jambalaya or pastalaya…they make it roux jambalaya and pastalaya. So if you leave out the tomatoes and make a roux instead, add some pork temple meat or bite sized pieces of the darker meat of the Boston butt portion, use beef broth instead of chicken and use spaghetti noodles instead of penne, you will have what we in Gonzales call pastalaya. I like it both ways! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Whoa! Now THAT sounds like a great modification — your “Gonzales style”! Beef broth instead of chicken, and the addition of flavorful pork, and san the tomatoes… I’m not sold on the spaghetti or lack of tomatoes – but I’m willing to give it a try! Cheers!

  5. Not too spicy. Almost has a “refreshing” taste. Very pleasant and flavorful. Tomatoes and sausage bring a party each time you get a piece of each. Recipe saved!

  6. I looked at the date and realized I haven’t been quite cooking it for a full 10 years. But Beth, if you’re out there, I am still cooking this one!

    1. Thank YOU for hanging out with me (online) for almost ten years!! :)

  7. I have been making this for what seems like a decade now and my partner still requests it. Still good! We like to serve with rice on the side inside of cooking the pasta in. I also like to blend up the veggies and tomatoes in my food processor so it comes out smooth. I like it better without the chunks but it’s absolutely delicious either way.

  8. This is delicious. I did need to cook my poster about 8 extra minutes to get to al dente, and I began to check at 11 minutes. My husband loved it and felt that I’d cooked him something very special. This recipe lends itself to being even faster if I’d want to cut up the trinity, garlic, mix spices etc. the day before…..super quick to pull together.