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Recipe Rescue: Jambalaya

Celebrate a belated Mardi Gras with the one-pot wonder that is jambalaya! Spicy sausage, chicken breast, and shrimp stewed together with tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and rice that soaks it all up. The best!

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe)

Image removed.

Original Recipe (Serves 8)
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 20 ounce package andouille sausage
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 4 cups parboiled long grain white rice
    • 4 cups tomato sauce
    • 4 cups chicken stock
    • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
    • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      Changes Made:
                • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter: Decreased to 1 tablespoon and substituted olive oil (sausage is already very high in saturated fat and butter would add more)
                • 20 ounce package andouille sausage: Decreased amount to 2-3 links (about half a package), and used hot Italian sausage since it was readily available
                • 1 medium onion, chopped: Doubled for more nutrients
                • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped: Doubled for more nutrients
                • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
                • 4 cups parboiled long grain white rice: Substituted uncooked brown rice for more nutrients and fiber; cut in half for better balance of protein, starch, and vegetables
                • 4 cups tomato sauce: Used a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano (about 7 cups total)
                • 4 cups chicken stock: Decreased to 2 cups as more liquid was added from tomatoes
                • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
                • Added 1 pound of raw shrimp for more lean protein! Also, shrimp is often included in jambalaya recipes.
                • 2 tablespoons hot sauce: Used Cajun seasoning for heat with more herb flavor
                • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
                • Decreased the portion size so that the recipe serves 12 people rather than 8

                              Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

                              As you can see, there are major differences in fat and sodium! We achieved this by using more lean protein – chicken and shrimp – compared to sausage. Even with a smaller portion size, we still have quite a bit of protein as well as more fiber and vitamin C.

                              Image removed.

                              One-Pot Jambalaya (Printable PDF Version)

                              Makes 12 servings


                              • 1 tablespoon olive oil
                              • ½ pound hot Italian sausage links (2-3 links), sliced
                              • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
                              • 2 medium onions, chopped
                              • 2 medium green bell peppers, diced
                              • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
                              • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
                              • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
                              • 2 cups brown rice, dry
                              • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (approximate yield from 1 ½ pounds raw)
                              • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
                              • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning or to taste
                              • Freshly ground black pepper


                              1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat and brown the sausage pieces. When browned and cooked through, remove sausage and set aside in a bowl, leaving the oil and rendered fat.
                              2. Add ¼ cup of chicken broth to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape brown bits off the bottom. Add onion and bell pepper to the pot and saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
                              3. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Return sausage to pot and add chicken. Cover and let simmer approximately 45-60 minutes, or until most of liquid has been absorbed but a small amount remains.
                              4. Add shrimp and stir to combine; re-cover pot and continue simmering for additional 5-10 minutes or until shrimp is opaque.
                              5. Season to taste with black pepper and Cajun seasoning.

                              Nutrition Facts (~1 ½ cup serving): Calories 320, Total Fat 8g (Saturated 2g), Cholesterol 100mg, Sodium 590mg, Total Carbohydrate 35g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Protein 25g, Vitamin A 15% DV, Vitamin C 45% DV, Calcium 6% DV, Iron 15% DV

                              Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.