Quick & Easy Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a staple dish in Louisiana cuisine. It doesn’t get any better than preparing (and sharing) a great recipe you’ve enjoyed for most of your life. Made with a hearty ratio of tender chicken breast and juicy chicken sausage, my easy Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya is filled with Creole and Cajun flavors and even packs a little heat.

Large serving bowl and single serving bowl of jambalaya

I can remember attending family cookouts and how the person in charge of the jambalaya was the captain of the ship. Making jambalaya is serious business! It would always be made in a giant cast iron skillet (paid link) over a fire outside. The aroma of the “holy trinity” (onions, celery, and bell peppers), along with those Cajun spices, had everyone anticipating what was to come.

Growing up in Louisiana, food with huge flavor was par for the course, and jambalaya is at the top of my list of all-time favorites. This one-pot recipe is simple to make and may soon be a family favorite in your home too!

What is the difference between Cajun and Creole jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a mixture of West African, French, and Spanish food cultures. It dates back to the 18th century in New Orleans and southern Louisiana, where this melting pot of cultures collided.

A traditional Creole chicken & sausage jambalaya will use tomatoes as an ingredient. Cajun chicken & sausage jambalaya, on the other hand, leaves it out. The difference lies in the flavor profile. I am combining both Creole and Cajun flavors by using tomatoes and blending that with Cajun seasonings for this recipe.

Large bowl of jambalaya

Can you use pre-cooked rice?

Absolutely, and that was my choice for this recipe. Traditionally, jambalaya is prepared using uncooked rice that is cooked along with the other ingredients. However, I find using precooked rice results in the same flavorful dish. The rice will not be mushy, nor will it clump together. It takes on the flavors in the dish very well. Just make sure the rice in rinsed before cooking to remove the starches on the surface that may cause the rice to clump.

Ingredients you’ll need to make this jambalaya:

  • Long grain white rice is your best option when making jambalaya.
  • The “holy trinity” of yellow onions, celery, and green bell pepper is a must.
  • For my proteins, I used boneless chicken breast (seasoned with smoked paprika and thyme) and chicken sausage. Feel free to add in or switch out with any protein of your choosing. It is also great with fish, like cod.
  • At the base of my jambalaya is the fire-roasted tomatoes. Because jambalaya does not contain a lot of liquid, I find this provided the perfect amount of moisture.
  • To bring the heat, I used black pepper and cayenne pepper. You can add more or less depending on your spice preferences.
  • And a nice helping of fresh garlic, garlic powder, basil, and let’s not forgot the Cajun seasonings that bring everything together.

How to make Creole jambalaya:

Cook the rice. This recipe begins with the rice because it is basically the host of the party. And jambalaya is not jambalaya without rice. Cook your rice as instructed, drain, and set it to the side.

Cook the chicken. Cut your chicken breast into small cubes and season with ground thyme and smoked paprika. Add a small amount of olive oil to a cast iron skillet (paid link) and sauté the chicken for 3 minutes on medium-high. Remove from the pan and set it to the side. Since you’ll be cooking the chicken a little longer with the other ingredients, it is important not to overcook it in this step.

Cook the sausage. Chop your sausage into slices and slightly brown them in the same pan. Remove the sausage from the heat and set it to the side.

Add other ingredients. While the skillet is still hot, add your butter and minced garlic to those tasty chicken and chicken sausage drippings you left behind. You can’t have jambalaya without the holy trinity, so dice the onion, celery, and green bell pepper and add them to the skillet. Cook until they become soft and translucent. Drain the excess liquid from the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and add to the skillet. Add the cooked chicken sausage and chicken breast back to the skillet along with Creole seasoning, black pepper, basil flakes, garlic powder, and red cayenne pepper.

Add the rice. Once the ingredients are blended well, add the cooked rice to the skillet. Lower the heat while continuing to stir all the ingredients together. Allow to cook covered on low heat for an additional 10 minutes, then serve.

Can I refrigerate or freeze jambalaya?

You can keep your jambalaya in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days, and it can keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to allow the jambalaya to thaw before reheating it if it has been in the freezer.

Close up of jambalaya in a large serving bowl

Jambalaya is an easy recipe that is packed with flavor! When you want to experience an awesome Louisiana dish, give this recipe a spot on your dinner table.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Large serving bowl and single serving bowl of jambalaya

Creole Chicken and Chicken Sausage Jambalaya

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Made with tender chicken breast & juicy chicken sausage, my Creole Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya is filled with Cajun flavors and packs a little heat.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 13 oz chicken sausage, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 whole yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 whole green bell pepper, diced
  • 15 oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tbsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp red cayenne pepper


  1. Cook rice according to instructions. Set to the side.
  2. Season cubed chicken breast chunks with paprika and ground thyme. Sauté chicken breast on high heat for 3 minutes or until pink is removed. Remove from heat.
  3. Add sliced chicken sausage. Cook on high heat until browned. Remove from heat and set to the side.
  4. To the same skillet, add butter and minced garlic. Add diced onions, celery, and green bell pepper. Cook on medium heat until vegetables become soft and onions are translucent.
  5. Add drained fire-roasted tomatoes to the skillet.
  6. Add chicken and chicken sausage back to skillet. Add rice. Add Creole seasoning, black pepper, basil flakes, garlic powder, and red cayenne pepper. Mix well.  
  7. Cook covered for 10 minutes on low heat.


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Comfort Food
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Southern


  • Calories: 592
  • Sugar: 4.3g
  • Sodium: 1801mg
  • Fat: 27.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Protein: 38.4g
  • Cholesterol: 129mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. Kelly Jackson says:

    I made a scaled down version since there’s only two of us and we’re trying to cut down on food waste. It’s so tasty that I have a feeling when my trucker husband gets home from the road he’s going to ask why I didn’t make more!

  2. Britney Brown says:

    This recipe took me back to my visit to New Orleans! I couldn’t believe how delicious this recipe was. This is definitely a new favorite of mine that I will be making again and again!

  3. Uncle Bert says:

    I just got hungry from the pics!

  4. Your instructions were spot on and my jambalaya came out perfectly. Thanks for the tip on using Success Rice!

  5. Wow! This jambalaya was packed with so much delicious flavor! I never thought to use the quick rice to create the dish. It’s genius! Cut my cooking time in half!

  6. Chenée Lewis says:

    This jambalaya was everything I wanted in a weeknight meal! So full of flavor!

  7. It’s nice to know jambalaya can be made with pre-cooked rice! Thanks for the tip! I followed the recipe and it was delicious!!

  8. As a history buff, I love learning about the difference between Creole and Cajun Jambalaya. Eating your dish is pretty good too.

  9. I love New Orleans and this dish took me right back there. The flavors were incredible end the directions were so easy to follow. Thank you!

  10. Sha! This jambalaya had me walking around the kitchen hollering laisser bon temps rouler! Between the ease of the rice and the flavor-packed tomato base, I felt like I was back down in Cajun Country. Thanks for another hit recipe!

  11. Any recipe that calls for quick rice is the recipe for me. I used Turkey sausage in this recipe and it was definitely delicious. Can’t wait to make this again.

  12. This is one of my new favorite recipes! It’s simple, easy to make and most of all delicious. I also enjoyed learning a little more about the history of Jambalaya. Thanks!