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Are you looking for a quick, delicious meal that brings a taste of New Orleans right to your kitchen? Look no further! This single serving Jambalaya recipe is your ticket to a flavorful and satisfying meal, perfect for any day of the week. Packed with flavorful sausage, succulent shrimp, and aromatic vegetables, this dish is ready in about 30 minutes.

Enjoy a bowl of this authentic Jambalaya and pair it with some crunchy French Bread, spicy Crawfish Beignets, or golden-brown Hush Puppies. For a sweet finish, treat yourself to a slice of festive King Cake or a luscious serving of Bananas Foster.

RELATED: Single Serving Comfort Food Recipes

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: This recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, making it ideal for busy weeknights or whenever you’re short on time.
  • Flavorful: The combination of savory sausage, plump shrimp, and aromatic vegetables creates a depth of flavor that will leave you wanting more.
  • Customizable: Feel free to experiment with different proteins and vegetables to suit your preferences.
  • Single Serving Perfection: This recipe is perfectly portioned for one, eliminating leftovers and ensuring every bite is fresh and delicious.
  • Authentic Inspiration: This recipe draws inspiration from traditional New Orleans-style jambalaya, featuring the classic “trinity” of vegetables: onions, celery, and green peppers.

What Is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is primarily a savory combination of meat and vegetables simmered together with rice. In this scrumptious shrimp jambalaya recipe, both sausage and shrimp are cooked to perfection with the rice and vegetables, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this authentic Jambalaya recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: I use extra virgin olive oil due to its minimal processing and high quality. It’s the purest form of olive oil, offering a richer olive flavor and more nutrients compared to other types. However, a lighter olive oil can be used if preferred.
  • Onions, Celery, Green Bell Peppers: These are the cornerstone of Cajun and Creole cooking, forming the “trinity of vegetables.” They provide a foundational flavor similar to the French mirepoix, but with green bell peppers replacing carrots. These three vegetables are also found in our Seafood Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, and Crawfish Pasta recipes.
  • Garlic: One clove, peeled and minced, is my go-to for this recipe. Alternatively, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder can be substituted.
  • Kosher Salt: Added for seasoning and enhancing the overall taste.
  • Smoked Sausage: Versatile choices like kielbasa, spicy andouille, bratwurst, or turkey sausage work well in this dish. If you have leftover sausage, consider using it in Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice or Sausage with Broccolini.
  • Shrimp: I recommend using wild-caught American gulf shrimp when possible for the best flavor and quality. Use any extra shrimp you may have in Shrimp Étouffée, Shrimp and Grits, or Shrimp Fried Rice.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Include 1/2 cup from a can, along with the juices, to infuse the dish with a tomato essence. Consider using leftover diced tomatoes in Chicken Tacos, Pomodoro Sauce, or Shrimp Creole.
  • White Rice: Long grain white rice is my preference, as it beautifully absorbs the rich flavors from the other ingredients and seasonings.
  • Chicken Broth: I use a low-sodium variety to control the salt content of the dish. If you’ve got leftover broth, consider using it in Risotto or Potato Soup.
  • Hot Sauce: Feel free to use your favorite brand. I’m partial to Louisiana Hot Sauce, Crystal, or Cholula. You can omit it for a milder taste or add more for extra spice.

Recipe Variations

Exploring different variations of this easy Jambalaya recipe allows you to tailor it to your personal taste or to simply mix things up a bit. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Chicken Jambalaya: Replace the shrimp with diced chicken breast for a poultry twist. Chicken adds a different texture and absorbs the flavors beautifully, giving you a hearty and protein-packed meal.
  • Vegetarian Jambalaya: Skip the meats and load up on more vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, and red bell peppers. You could also add beans for a protein boost and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. This version brings a fresh, garden-like quality to the dish.
  • Spicy Jambalaya: For those who love a bit more heat, add diced jalapeños. This modification turns up the warmth and brings an extra zing to each bite.
  • Seafood Jambalaya: Transform it into a seafood extravaganza by including a variety of seafood like crabmeat, mussels, or even chunks of firm fish. This creates a luxurious and indulgent version, perfect for seafood lovers.
  • Creole Jambalaya: Add Creole seasoning and a splash of Worcestershire sauce for a more complex, layered flavor profile. This adaptation gives the dish an authentic Creole twist, differentiating it from the classic Cajun style.
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How To Make Jambalaya

These step-by-step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make the best jambalaya. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Start by heating the oil over medium heat in a pan. Toss in the onions, celery, garlic, and green peppers, seasoning them with a pinch of salt. Stir the mixture and let it cook until the vegetables are tender, which should take about 3 minutes.
onions, bell peppers, and celery cooking in a skillet.
  1. Next, add the sausage to the pan. Cook it, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute, just enough to start releasing its flavors.
sausage, onions, and peppers cooking in a skillet.
  1. Now, mix in the diced tomatoes and rice. Stir everything together for 30 seconds, ensuring the rice is well coated. Pour in the broth and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
broth, sausage, and vegetables in a skillet.
  1. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 25 minutes. This slow cooking allows the rice to absorb all the delicious flavors.
jambalaya simmering in a skillet.
  1. Finally, remove the lid and stir in the shrimp and your chosen amount of hot sauce.
shrimp added to a pan of jambalaya cooking on the stove.
  1. Cover the pan again and cook for an additional 5 minutes. This last step cooks the shrimp and lets the rice soak up most of the liquid. Serve your Jambalaya in a bowl and enjoy your homemade Southern feast!
shrimp and sausage jambalaya in a pan.

Expert Tips

  • Cooking For One Pro Tip: For anyone who loves cooking for themselves, I highly recommend keeping bags of frozen shrimp in your freezer. It’s a game-changer! With these handy, you can effortlessly whip up a fantastic meal after a long day. The beauty of frozen shrimp is the convenience – use just the amount you need and rest assured that a delicious, quick meal is always within reach. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure you’re never too far from enjoying a satisfying, home-cooked dish.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh shrimp and vegetables for the best flavor.
  • Low and Slow: Cook on a low simmer to meld the flavors together.
  • Season to Taste: Adjust spices and salt according to your preference.
Shrimp and sausage jambalaya in a bowl with onions, celery, and green bell peppers in the background.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between jambalaya and gumbo?

Jambalaya and gumbo are both staple dishes in Louisiana cuisine, but they have distinct differences. In Jambalaya, the rice is cooked together with all the other ingredients, blending the flavors as they cook. Gumbo, on the other hand, is more of a stew where the rice is prepared separately and served alongside or under the gumbo.
Jambalaya vs. Paella Jambalaya is often compared to Paella, a traditional Spanish dish. Both are cooked in a large pan and combine vegetables, broth, and spices. However, the key differences lie in the types of meats

How do I peel and devein shrimp?

Peeling Shrimp
Start by removing the legs. Simply pull them off with your fingers.
Crack open the underside of the shrimp’s shell and peel it away.
To remove the tail, pinch it at the point where it meets the shrimp’s body and pull it off.
Deveining Shrimp
Use a paring knife to gently make a slit along the back of the shrimp.
Look for the vein, appearing as a long, dark, gritty string.
Carefully use the tip of your knife to lift out the vein.

How do I store leftover jambalaya?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Is jambalaya spicy?

This recipe has a mild kick, but you can adjust the heat to your liking.

Can I double this jambalaya recipe?

Absolutely! Just double the ingredients and use a larger pan.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

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.

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Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Jambalaya For One

4.92 from 25 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Prepare an authentic Shrimp Jambalaya in just 30 minutes! This easy, single serving recipe brings Louisiana flavors to your kitchen with simple ingredients.

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2.5 ounces smoked sausage , sliced and cut in half
  • ½ cup canned diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2.5 ounces shrimp , peeled and deveined (about 5 medium shrimp)
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce

Instructions 

  • In a medium-sized skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped green peppers, onions, celery, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables have softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes and the rice and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the shrimp and hot sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 5 mnutes, until the rice is tender, the shrimp is cooked, and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Transfer to a bowl and enjoy hot.

Video

Notes

  • Cooking For One Pro Tip: For anyone who loves cooking for themselves, I highly recommend keeping bags of frozen shrimp in your freezer. It’s a game-changer! With these handy, you can effortlessly whip up a fantastic meal after a long day. The beauty of frozen shrimp is the convenience – use just the amount you need and rest assured that a delicious, quick meal is always within reach. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure you’re never too far from enjoying a satisfying, home-cooked dish.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh shrimp and vegetables for the best flavor.
  • Low and Slow: Cook on a low simmer to meld the flavors together.
  • Season to Taste: Adjust spices and salt according to your preference.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 486kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 936mg, Potassium: 709mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 316IU, Vitamin C: 36mg, Calcium: 78mg, Iron: 3mg

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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34 Comments

  1. I cooked this Jambalaya recipe this week. I added “cajun dust” for additional spice as well as a little more chicken stock. It was a very tasty and delicious bowl of jambalaya! I will definitely make it again.

  2. Amazing and definitely enough for 2 servings. Perfect for my Husband and myself. It is in our permanent rotation!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you
    I cooked this Lovely Jambalaya tonight for dinner it was so easy & tasty & I made it even easier, I used a packet of 90 second long grained rice, no need for the extra time or chicken stock … Bam !!! it was done … thanks for the inspiration