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Jambalaya For One

Authentic Louisiana style Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe. A flavorful single serving recipe that can be ready in 30 minutes! Made with the "trinity" of vegetables, this traditional New Orleans jambalaya recipe will surely become a favorite!

Shrimp and sausage jambalaya in a bowl with onions, celery, and green bell peppers in the background

I was born and raised in New Orleans and I grew up eating some of the best cajun and creole meals, including jambalaya on a fairly regular basis. I was so fortunate to have been surrounded by many amazing chefs in my family who believed that food was the key ingredient to every gathering, large and small.

In many Louisiana families, including my own, specific dishes were traditionally served at certain times throughout the year. For example, red beans and rice were usually served on Mondays. Sunday afternoons were perfect for cooking a big pot of gumbo, and on Mardi Gras, after all of the afternoon parades have passed by, we made sure we enjoyed a plate of jambalaya and a slice or two of king cake before heading out to the evening parades.

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What Is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a dish consisting mainly of meat and vegetables cooked with rice. In the case of this wonderfully delicious shrimp jambalaya recipe, sausage and shrimp are cooked along with the vegetables and rice.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This easy jambalaya recipe is a family favorite. It's a scaled down version of the jambalaya I grew up eating and loving and I know you'll think it's the best jambalaya recipe out there.
  • This jambalaya is savory and absolutely delicious.
  • There are many versions of jambalaya and those who love it are always quick suggest their favorites. Some people prefer chicken and sausage, others love adding shrimp. If you love sausage and shrimp, I know you’ll love the version I have for you here. I added a small amount of canned diced tomatoes because that’s the version I grew up loving.

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What You Need

the ingredients used in making jambalaya on a tray placed on a brown table.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil in this jambalaya recipe as well as in every other recipe on One Dish Kitchen that calls for olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed form of olive oil. It is an unrefined oil and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra virgin olive oil is made, it retains more true olive taste. It also contains more of the vitamins and minerals found in olives. It's my favorite type of olive oil to use but you may use a lighter olive oil instead.
  • Onions, celery, green bell peppers: This trio is known as the "trinity of vegetables" and is the base of most savory Cajun and Creole dishes. It is similar to a French mirepoix which consists of onions, celery, and carrots.
  • Garlic: I use 1 clove of peeled and minced garlic. You can use 1/8 of a teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
  • Kosher salt and cayenne pepper: These ingredients are used to flavor the jambalaya. The cayenne pepper adds a nice subtle heat. If you want a mild, non-spicy jambalaya, feel free to leave the pepper out. 
  • Smoked sausage: Kielbasa, spicy andouille, bratwurst, or turkey sausage are all great sausage options to use.
  • Shrimp: If available to you, use wild caught American gulf shrimp.
  • Diced tomatoes: Use 1/2 cup of canned diced tomatoes along with the juices from the can.
  • White rice: I prefer using long grain white rice. The rice gets its flavor from absorbing all of the flavors from the ingredients and seasonings used in this recipe.
  • Chicken broth: I use low-sodium chicken broth.

How To Make This Recipe

  • Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic, and green peppers. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
green peppers, onions, and garlic cooking in a skillet.
  • Add the sausage and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp are almost completely pink.
cooking shrimp and sausage with vegetables in a nonstick pan.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes and the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add in the broth and bring to a boil.
a pan of jambalaya on the stove with the broth bubbling.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
an overhead picture of a covered pan.
  • Transfer to a bowl and enjoy!
an overhead picture of jambalaya in a skillet.

RELATED: How To Make A Single Serving Of Rice

Expert Tips

  • Jambalaya is made with what is called "the trinity of vegetables", a staple in New Orleans cooking. These vegetables consist of onions, celery, and green peppers. This combination of vegetables provide an abundance of flavor and shouldn't be left out.
  • Feel free to adjust the spice level to suit your tastes.
  • If you'd like to make a vegetarian jambalaya, use vegetable broth and plenty of your favorite vegetables in place of the sausage and shrimp.
  • When cooking for one, I find that keeping bags of frozen shrimp in my freezer to be a really great idea. Having these items on hand make it easy to make a wonderful meal at the end of a long day. Simply use what you need and know with confidence that by keeping these items in your freezer, you can enjoy a delicious meal any time.
Shrimp and sausage jambalaya in a bowl with onions, celery, and green bell peppers in the background

What To Do With Leftover Ingredients

Since this jambalaya recipe yields 1 serving of jambalaya, you will likely have leftover ingredients. You might like to consider using up the rest of the ingredients in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Jambalaya and Gumbo?

Jambalaya is similar to gumbo with the main difference being that the rice is cooked along with the rest of the ingredients. In a gumbo, the rice is cooked separately and served with the gumbo.
I actually think jambalaya is more like paella. Both dishes are cooked in a large pan and include vegetables, broth, and spices. The main differences between the two lie in the additions of meats and various spices.

What Size Pan Should I Use For This Single Serving Recipe?

For this shrimp jambalaya recipe, I use a 10-inch skillet. For best results, use a pan of a similar size.
If you would like more information on the baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

How Do I Peel and Devein Shrimp?

To Peel Shrimp: Pull off the legs. Using your fingers, crack open the underside of the shell and peel it off.
Pinch the tail where it meets the body of the shrimp and pull off.
How To Devein Shrimp
Gently run a paring knife along the back of the shrimp.
Look for the vein. It will look like a long, dark, gritty string. Using the tip of your knife, pull it out.

What Should I Serve With Jambalaya?

In keeping with a New Orleans theme, why not try Bananas Foster For One,
Crawfish Beignets, or a King Cake.

If you’ve tried this easy jambalaya recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

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Jambalaya For One | One Dish Kitchen

Jambalaya For One

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Main Dish
Keywords: jambalaya
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 695kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 pound smoked sausage , sliced and cut in half
  • 1/4 pound shrimp , peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

How To Video

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic, and green peppers. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sausage and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp are almost completely pink.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes and the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add in the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Jambalaya is made with what is called "the trinity of vegetables", a staple in New Orleans cooking. These vegetables consist of onions, celery, and green peppers. This combination of vegetables provide an abundance of flavor and shouldn't be left out.
  • Feel free to adjust the spice level to suit your tastes.
  • If you'd like to make a vegetarian jambalaya, use vegetable broth and plenty of your favorite vegetables in place of the sausage and shrimp.
  • When cooking for one, I find that keeping bags of frozen shrimp in my freezer to be a really great idea. Having these items on hand make it easy to make a wonderful meal at the end of a long day. Simply use what you need and know with confidence that by keeping these items in your freezer, you can enjoy a delicious meal any time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 366mg | Sodium: 2707mg | Potassium: 941mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 242mg | Iron: 6mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

21 thoughts on “Jambalaya For One”

  1. 3 stars
    I made this tonight and the rice was still crunchy. I even added extra tomato liquid from the canned tomatoes.
    Great flavor though.

  2. 5 stars
    I have tried many of your recipes with much success but this one is the one to talk about. I thought I was in NO never been but loves me some jambalaya. Your one serving recipes has been my life saver no unnecessary leftovers just great meals and desserts one after another. Thanks from the bottom of my pans….

  3. MaryKay Lawrence

    5 stars
    This was amazing! I followed the recipe as written and it turned out perfect. The recipe made enough for two generous servings. Thank you for another winning recipe.
    MK

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