This Quick and Easy One Pot Jambalaya is a flavorful and filling meal all made in one pan, featuring sausage, shrimp, rice, vegetables, and cajun seasoning. Weeknight dinner comfort food at its best!
Several years ago, we were at my friend Heidi’s house and she made Jambalaya. It was delicious! And made me question why I hadn’t had it in so long. I’ve since said to Paul countless times, “I really need to get that recipe.” But I always forget to ask her. Even though we talk all the time. Also crazy. Stupid, really.
I finally remembered to ask…but she was out of town. Doesn’t have the recipe with her. I mean, who travels without their recipe binder? LAME. Lol.
Clearly I couldn’t wait for her to get back, now that I was finally ready to make it myself.
It’s been too long since I tasted hers, so I can’t say how this creation compares, but it’s definitely a total win. I’ve already made it again about five or six times. Paul absolutely loves it.
While I was compiling the ingredients and amounts, I wondered if I was even making jambalaya and not gumbo. Because what even is the difference?? So I poked Google and this is what I found…
What is the difference between Gumbo and Jambalaya?
New Orleans, famous for its culture, architecture, and food, has birthed many Creole dishes, including both Gumbo and Jambalaya. Gumbo has been around longer, though, originating in South Louisiana in the 1700’s.
While both dishes are similar because of the vegetables and meats used, there are some major differences that set them apart. Gumbo is a stew, almost always made with a roux to thicken it, and served with rice on the side. Jambalaya, on the other hand, is a rice-based dish, usually made in one pot with the rice (any wonder why I love it so much!)
The other major difference is that Gumbo typically cooks for at least three hours, where as Jambalaya maybe cooks for an hour tops, and is stirred infrequently, making it less time consuming.
I imagine the longer a Jambalaya cooks, the deeper the flavor, just like a good ‘ol homemade spaghetti sauce! But I simplified this Jambalaya even further, cooking it for only 20 minutes. Because I wanted quick. And also, why not? Rice only takes 20-22 minutes to cook and I didn’t want mush.
This dish is so easy, flavorful, and filling. You could prep the ingredients the night before, making it even easier. Is it any wonder why it’s so popular and has been adapted a million different ways? Great weeknight dinner winner!
Other One Pot Dishes you might enjoy!
Watch the video to see how it’s made!
Quick and Easy One Pot Jambalaya
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed, if frozen)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano, undrained
- 8 ounces kielbasa or andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup small cubed cooked ham
- fresh chopped parsley, optional
- Rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
- In an extra-large skillet (with a lid), warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and celery; saute until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper.
- Stir in the broth, tomatoes, sausage, rice, cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the shrimp, cover again, and cook for another 5 minutes or more until shrimp is opaque and rice is tender.
- Stir in the ham and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding a touch more salt and pepper, only if necessary.
- Sprinkle with parsley, if desired, and serve.