Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Back at the beginning of January I shared some of my food goals that I had for myself this year. One of those goals is to be more adventurous when it comes to trying different regional cuisines that I’m not familiar with; whether that be international cuisine or regional American cuisine and whether out to eat or cooking at home. Well, a week before Fat Tuesday, cue the jambalaya!

Cajun and Creole cuisines are one of the regional American varieties that I am admittedly very, very unfamiliar with. I’ve never visited the region and I can’t say that I’ve really tried any classic dishes in restaurants either. With Mardi Gras in full swing this weekend, I thought it was a great excuse to whip up a traditional Creole recipe – jambalaya.

I was watching one of my DVR’ed Barefoot Contessa episodes when I saw her make this dish. While I had never tasted jambalaya before, I thought her version looked and sounded fabulous! I have seen variations with both sausage and chicken or just chicken and shrimp, but I liked the combo of sausage and shrimp in this one. And with all of the other fresh vegetables, herbs and spices that get melded and simmered together, I couldn’t resist whipping up a big pot. And I totally fell in love! All of the flavors were superb and it has a great kick to it (which you can adjust based on your preferences).

Important Note: The dish really isn’t as brothy as it looks in the photos. There was some extra liquid towards the bottom of the pot that I fished out because, well, I’m Italian and I like soaking up sauce with bread. I can’t help it. Scooped out normally, it’s lots of rice, sausage, shrimp and veggies with just a bit of liquid.

One year ago: Rich Coffeecake with Sweet Cheese Filling
Two years ago: Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sausage, kielbasa or andouille, sliced
1 pound smoked ham, cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 cup seeded and diced tomato
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced OR ½ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons diced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon diced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 dashes hot sauce, optional
½ cup chopped scallions, divided
¾ cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pound medium shrimp, deveined (20 to 24 count)


1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the kielbasa and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Remove the kielbasa to a bowl, and set aside.

2. Add the ham to the same pot and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to the bowl with the kielbasa, and set aside.

3. Add the butter, onion, celery and peppers to the same pot and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

4. Add the tomato, garlic, jalapeno or cayenne, oregano, thyme, and tomato paste and cook until all the vegetables and herbs are blended well.

5. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice, and add the sausage, ham, bay leaves, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

6. Add ¼ cup of the scallions, ¼ cup of the parsley, the lemon juice and the shrimp, and stir well. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya steam, for 15 minutes, before serving.

7. Garnish with the remaining ¼ cup scallions and ½ cup parsley, and a dash of hot sauce, if desired.

(Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa)


41 Responses to “Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya”

  1. Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) on March 2, 2011 at 6:09 am

    This looks fantastic! I love jambalaya!


  2. linda on March 2, 2011 at 6:55 am

    i too am going to try this dish…but i think i will use spicy turkey sausage & turkey bacon (instead of ham)…thanks michelle for motivating me! 🙂


  3. Happy When Not Hungry on March 2, 2011 at 7:14 am

    This looks fantastic! This jambalaya looks and sounds delicious! Love soaking up sauce with bread too. Yum!


  4. Blog is the New Black on March 2, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I just made my first shrimp dish for my bf a few weeks ago and it was a success. He would LOVE this one!


  5. Katrina on March 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I’ve never heard of mixing sausage and shrimp. I don’t see why not, but I’ve never thought of it before. Cool recipe!


  6. Dawn on March 2, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Looks delicious, I use chicken, sausage, and shrimp in mine. I know there is a lot of ingredients, to save time, cut everything up ahead of time. This is one of my all time favorites. Tastes even better the next day.


  7. Emily (The Culinary Couple) on March 2, 2011 at 10:01 am

    My husband LOVES jambalaya. Bookmarking this recipe for him now!


  8. Jenny Flake on March 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Double YUM!! I need this today!


  9. RavieNomNoms on March 2, 2011 at 10:23 am

    That looks really delicious, I just had something very similar to this when I was in Baton Rouge, LA. Very tasty!


  10. crustabakes on March 2, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Wow, talk about being more adventurous, u definitely nailed it with this one. With all that ingredients in the list, this is definitely a party for the tastebuds!


  11. Maria on March 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I’ve never had jambalaya! I better give it a try!


  12. jen @ the baked life on March 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

    looks delicious! I love Jambalaya and Barefoot contessa. Way to broaden your tastes!


  13. Delishhh on March 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Nice photo and dish! I love jambalaya and this is not soupy at all i am all with you on dipping bread and cleaning the dish that way 🙂 Love New Orleans and the French District, but if you ever go in the summer time be prepared. With all the partying going on there there is a lot of stuff that get’s poured on the ground and when the sun comes out, yeah the smells are not too pleasant. But the foods and the reastaurants are awesome.


  14. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom on March 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Perfect dish for Mardi Gras and I’m with you, a little extra juice is good for the bread.


  15. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on March 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    What a lovely dish! I have been searching for jambalaya recipes for a while now with no success, until I found this! Thanks so much for sharing this… I’ll have to try it soon!


  16. Lori @ RecipeGirl on March 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    You always think of the best stuff to make. I absolutely adore Jambalaya, but have I made it myself yet… no!


  17. Amanda on March 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Gorgeous photos! This is my kinda meal 🙂


  18. something_good on March 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Trying out new dishes from different cuisines is so much fun! this one sounds exquisite and I love the combination of shrimps and sausages. Maybe in the future you could try some Romanian dishes 🙂


  19. Sunny @ on March 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    You had never tasted jambalaya before? Oh, girl! Do you feel robbed of the first part of your life now? Jambalaya is AMAZING! We put tons of extra hot sauce on it once we pour it over our rice. Yum!!!!!


  20. The Farmers Wife on March 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    OK I’m so totally drooling over here… That looks so good. Love Jambalaya!!


  21. Marilyn on March 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    So, I’m always looking for good uses of frozen shrimp. And this jambalaya definitely looks good. How would you use them here? Would you just throw them in for the last 5 – 10 minutes? Thanks.


    • Michelle on March 2nd, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Marilyn, I love frozen shrimp too – so convenient! I would do what you suggested – throw them in during that last “steaming” bit – it should definitely thaw them well.


      • Marilyn on March 3rd, 2011 at 10:51 pm

        Thanks. I’ll let you know how it goes.


  22. Tracy on March 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Going on my to-make list! My hubby loves cajun/creole food, but I don’t think I’ve ever cooked it before!


  23. Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner on March 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Do you think I could make this with Brown Rice?



    • Michelle on March 2nd, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Kathleen, I actually made mine with brown rice! I usually never cook with white rice at home; it was delish!


  24. Sandra on March 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Jambalaya, gumbos, etouffe’s; those are the foods I grew up eating. My Creole relatives would appreciate your recipe. Great job!


  25. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on March 3, 2011 at 11:33 am

    This looks great! I haven’t made jambalaya in a while, but it’s one of my favorites. Your version looks really tasty.


  26. Lindsey on March 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Looked so good I made it last night. It was awesome, but made WAY more than I expected for just 2 of us. Looks like we will be enjoying leftovers for a few days. lol


  27. Rodzilla on March 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Please rethink opening a bakeshop/cafe 🙂


  28. Sharlene on March 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t know that I’ve ever even tasted jambalaya before but it looks and sounds unbelievable. And you can never go wrong with Ina!


  29. Fuji Mama on March 4, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I love a good jambalaya and yours looks beautiful and delish!!!


  30. Sherry on March 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I would call this a gumbo instead of a jambalaya, but it still looks delicious. Thank you for sharing!


  31. Feast on the Cheap on March 7, 2011 at 11:13 am

    This looks absolutely fabulous! I’m sure it tastes even better than it looks


  32. Priscilla - She's Cookin' on March 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Congrats on being featured today on FB – your jambalaya looks fantastic! I’m making mine today since tomorrow is Fat Tuesday. Have a great week!


  33. Fran Pyeatt on March 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    This dish is way too soupy to be jambalaya. It looks more like a gumbo. Jambalaya is a much simpler dish. I would check out some recipes from authentic Cajun/Creole cooks. I mean, I love the Barefoot Contessa, but she IS from the Northeast! As a native Louisiana gal, I am happy to share my recipe that I have made for years for my family:
    Louisiana Jambalaya

    1 pkg. smoked sausage, sliced
    1 onion, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    2 ribs celery, chopped
    2 cups rice
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. pepper
    1 tsp. Cajun seasoning (such as Tony’s)

    In large pot, sauté sausage, onion, bell pepper, and celery until vegetables are soft. Add 3 cups water, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Stir in rice and bring to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and cook for about 25 minutes, until rice is done.

    Can substitute or add chicken, ham or shrimp for sausage.


  34. lola on March 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    we made this yesterday. we must have done something wrong. no gravy 🙁 and enough to serve, i don’t know, 20 people. we added chicken, and much more shrimp. it was like cajun paella but not made in the round pot. it was fabulous. thanks.


    • lmno on March 7th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      Jambalaya is a rice dish, the picture with this thread is very misleading. There shouldn’t actually be any broth left. You could try gumbo next time, pretty much the same type of ingredients, but more like a soup served over rice.


  35. Cati on March 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Made this recipe last night, and it turned out really good! 🙂 Thanks for sharing 😀



  36. Beth on August 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I made this for our Mardi Gras themed BBQ and everyone LOVED it! Mine looked different from the picture, though. The rice absorbed all the liquid and was very sticky. People loved it, but I wonder if it would have been better with a little more liquid and the rice separated. Do you think that I didn’t rinse the rice for long enough to get rid of the starch?


  37. Donna Amis Davis on February 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Oh, you really need to visit New Orleans! Nothing better than a morning beignet with chickory coffee, powdered sugar drifting onto your lap, listening to a trumpeter outside the patio playing Amazing Grace.


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