Rachael Ray’s Jambalaya Recipe: A Flavorful Creole Classic

Jambalaya is one of those quintessential dishes that bring the heart and soul of Louisiana cuisine right to your table. With its roots deeply embedded in Creole and Cajun cultures, this dish is a medley of flavors, spices, and textures. If you’ve ever watched Rachael Ray whip up her version on TV, you know how mouthwatering it looks. In this article, we’ll delve into how to recreate Rachael Ray’s Jambalaya recipe at home, ensuring it’s as delicious as if she made it for you herself.

What is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a one-pot dish that typically includes rice, a variety of meats (such as chicken, sausage, and shrimp), and a mix of vegetables. The dish is renowned for its bold flavors and vibrant colors, often featuring a blend of spices that give it a distinctive Creole kick. It’s a staple in Louisiana cuisine, reflecting the state’s rich culinary history and cultural melting pot.

Ingredients for Rachael Ray’s Jambalaya

To make Rachael Ray’s Jambalaya, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper (red or green), diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Rachael Ray’s Jambalaya


  1. Gather Your Ingredients: Before you start, make sure you have all your ingredients measured and prepared. This will make the cooking process smoother and more enjoyable.
  2. Preheat Your Pot: Use a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven to ensure even cooking. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Cooking the Meats

  1. Brown the Sausage and Chicken: Add the sliced andouille sausage to the pot and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside with the sausage.

Sautéing the Vegetables

  1. Cook the Vegetables: In the same pot, add the diced onion, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

Adding the Rice and Spices

  1. Combine Rice and Spices: Add the rice to the pot, stirring to coat the grains with the vegetable mixture. This helps toasting the rice slightly, enhancing its flavor. Stir in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, Creole seasoning, dried thyme, paprika, and cayenne pepper if using.

Simmering the Jambalaya

  1. Simmer the Mixture: Return the browned sausage and chicken to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid.

Adding the Shrimp

  1. Cook the Shrimp: Stir in the shrimp and green onions. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.

Final Touches

  1. Season to Taste: Taste the jambalaya and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Tips for Perfect Jambalaya

Use Quality Ingredients

High-quality ingredients make a significant difference in the flavor and texture of your jambalaya. Opt for fresh vegetables, good-quality sausage, and fresh shrimp to ensure the best results.

Don’t Rush the Process

Jambalaya is a dish that benefits from slow cooking. Allowing the flavors to meld together over time will result in a richer, more complex taste. Be patient and let the dish simmer gently.

Customize to Your Taste

Feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your preferences. You can add more vegetables, adjust the spice levels, or even substitute the meats to create a jambalaya that’s perfect for you.

Nutritional Benefits of Jambalaya

Jambalaya is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients:


With chicken, sausage, and shrimp, jambalaya is a great source of protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, making this dish a hearty and satisfying meal.

Rich in Vegetables

The inclusion of onions, bell peppers, and celery provides a good amount of vitamins and minerals. These vegetables add both flavor and nutritional value to the dish.

Balanced Meal

Jambalaya is a well-rounded meal, combining protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. This makes it a great option for a complete and satisfying dinner.

Serving Suggestions

Jambalaya is a versatile dish that can be served in various ways:

As a Main Course

Jambalaya is traditionally served as a main course. It is hearty and filling, perfect for lunch or dinner. Serve it with a side of cornbread or a green salad for a complete meal.

For a Party

Jambalaya is a great dish for entertaining. It can be made in large batches and is easy to serve. Just set out a big pot of jambalaya and let your guests help themselves.


Jambalaya makes excellent leftovers. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of chicken broth if needed to keep it moist.

Storing and Reheating Jambalaya

To keep your jambalaya fresh and delicious, follow these storage and reheating tips:


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to three days.


Jambalaya can also be frozen for up to three months. Place the cooled jambalaya in a freezer-safe container, leaving a little room at the top for expansion. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.


Reheat jambalaya on the stove over medium-low heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to prevent it from drying out. Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave.


Rachael Ray’s Jambalaya is a fantastic recipe that brings the authentic flavors of Louisiana right to your kitchen. With its combination of savory meats, aromatic vegetables, and perfectly cooked rice, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re making it for a family dinner, a gathering of friends, or just because you crave some delicious comfort food, this jambalaya recipe is a winner. So, gather your ingredients, follow these simple steps, and enjoy a taste of Creole cuisine at its finest!

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FAQs About Rachael Ray’s Jambalaya Recipe

Can I use different types of sausage in jambalaya?

Yes, you can use different types of sausage depending on your preference. While andouille sausage is traditional, kielbasa or even a spicy Italian sausage can be great substitutes.

Is it possible to make jambalaya vegetarian?

Absolutely! You can make a vegetarian version by omitting the meat and adding more vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, and okra. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

How do I adjust the spice level in jambalaya?

To make your jambalaya spicier, add more cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce. For a milder version, reduce the amount of cayenne pepper or omit it entirely.

Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

Yes, you can use brown rice, but keep in mind that it takes longer to cook. You may need to adjust the cooking time and add a bit more liquid.

What can I serve with jambalaya?

Jambalaya is often served with cornbread, garlic bread, or a simple green salad. You can also pair it with a side of sautéed greens or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.