Quick From Scratch Jambalaya

If you’re craving jambalaya but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, this recipe is for you. It’s also for those with little ones with uber-sensitive taste buds. Although I love my spicy food, it’s just not practical for me to cook that way most of the time with two kiddos at home. Sometimes I’ll spice up my serving with red pepper flakes to get a little kick. This Quick From Scratch Jambalaya is full of flavor, fast to throw together and good for you too.

Quick From Scratch Jambalaya

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I’ve altered this recipe to include easy to acquire, common ingredients. Andouille sausage is the authentic choice for jambalaya, but not always available in every grocery store. Trust me though, you can still create a mouth-watering, satisfying dish the whole family will love with this quick and easy recipe. Let’s get started.

Quick From Scratch Jambalaya

The big stars of any jambalaya are the proteins. As I mentioned above, I’m substituting 14 ounces Polska kielbasa for the andouille. Slice the kielbasa in half length-wise and then in quarter inch slices. Polska kielbasa is readily available in almost any area. If you’d like to make a special trip for the andouille, please do so. Make sure to taste the sausage before serving it to little ones however, sometimes andouille can be on the spicier side. For this recipe, I purchased peeled, deveined and tail removed cooked shrimp to speed up the process. You will need about 12 ounces large shrimp. Two bone-in chicken thighs added more than enough chicken to the recipe and, by using dark meat you eliminate the chances of serving dry chicken in your jambalaya.

Quick From Scratch Jambalaya

On to the supporting cast. You will need: one onion, one rib celery, one sweet bell pepper (I used orange, color doesn’t matter), six cloves garlic, two teaspoons olive oil, one and a half cups long-grain white rice, one teaspoon salt, an eighth teaspoon dried thyme, one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, one cup bottled clam juice, one and a half cups chicken broth, two bay leaves, and two teaspoons dried parsley.

To save time, I trimmed and peeled the onion, celery, pepper and garlic cloves respectfully, and threw them all into my food processor. Besides saving time, I have found that kids will eat more veggies when they are too small for them to know they’re eating them! Don’t get me wrong, thankfully our girls love veggies, but not ALL veggies. By pureeing them I eliminate the nagging at dinner time to eat your peppers, onions, yada yada.

Last summer, we had all our tomatoes come ripe at once! We couldn’t eat them all before they went bad so I chopped them up, measured them into 14.5 ounce portions and froze them in zip-top bags. It’s been wonderful to not have to buy diced tomatoes all winter and when I open the bag of tomatoes, it smells like summer! So, that explains why my tomatoes may look a little different in the photo above. For this recipe, drain your tomatoes and reserve a quarter cup of the liquid.

I’ve mentioned my love for the Better Than Bouillon products before, and I’ll touch briefly on them once more. I love that I can measure out exactly how much broth I need for a recipe with this product! No more wasted half cartons or cans of broth! For one and a half cups broth, I combined one and a half teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken with one and a half cups water. I also use the beef and vegetable broth bases in other recipes.

Quick From Scratch Jambalaya

Ok, now that I have WAY over-explained the ingredients, let’s make this thing! You will need a large dutch oven or pot with a lid. I used my 9.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven. I love this thing and am so glad I invested in it years ago. If you’re looking for a dutch oven, Le Creuset is the way to go. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin down, and brown for about five minutes. Flip them over and repeat on the other side for three minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and add the sliced kielbasa to the dutch oven. Brown, stirring occasionally, for about three minutes. Remove the kielbasa to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the veggies. Cook and stir for one minute. Add the rice, salt, and thyme, stir to combine. Add the tomatoes with the reserved liquid, clam juice, chicken broth, bay leaves, and kielbasa to the pot and stir. Take the skin off the chicken and and place the chicken skin side down on top of the rice. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir again, making sure chicken stays on top and skin side down, and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and temp test to 165°F. Use two forks to removed the meat from the bone and shred. Add the chicken back to the pot along with the shrimp and dried parsley. Stir to combine, remove the bay leaves and enjoy!

Quick From Scratch Jambalaya

Here’s some more quick, weeknight dinner inspirations:

Fast One-Pan Ham and Broccoli Pasta

One-Pan Paleo Pork Chops with Brussels Sprouts

Simply Amazing, 5 Ingredient Oven Roasted Chicken

Below you will find some of the equipment I found useful while preparing this Quick From Scratch Jambalaya. I only recommend items that I actually own and use.

I place affiliate links to make it easy for you to find products mentioned and used in the recipes. If you purchase a product after clicking an affiliate link, I receive a small percentage of the sale for referring you, at no extra cost to you. Purchasing through affiliate links is an easy way for you to help out your favorite bloggers. Thank you so much for your continued support!

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Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Quick From Scratch Jambalaya
Follow along!
Quick From Scratch Jambalaya
Quick From Scratch Jambalaya
Print Recipe
Looking for delicious jambalaya that's kid-friendly AND ready in under an hour? Quick From Scratch Jambalaya is the perfect recipe for you!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Quick From Scratch Jambalaya
Quick From Scratch Jambalaya
Print Recipe
Looking for delicious jambalaya that's kid-friendly AND ready in under an hour? Quick From Scratch Jambalaya is the perfect recipe for you!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Place the onion, celery, pepper and garlic into a food processor and pulse a few times. If you don't have a food processor, you can finely dice the veggies.
  2. In a large stock pot or dutch oven with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin down, and brown for about five minutes. Flip them over and repeat on the other side for three minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and add the sliced kielbasa to the dutch oven. Brown, stirring occasionally, for about three minutes. Remove the kielbasa to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the veggies. Cook and stir for one minute. Add the rice, salt, and thyme, stir to combine. Add the tomatoes with the reserved liquid, clam juice, chicken broth, bay leaves, and kielbasa to the pot and stir. Take the skin off the chicken and and place the chicken skin side down on top of the rice. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir again, making sure chicken stays on top and skin side down, and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and temp test to 165°F. Use two forks to removed the meat from the bone and shred. Add the chicken back to the pot along with the shrimp and dried parsley. Stir to combine, remove the bay leaves and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

-Recipe modified from Cook's Illustrated.

Comments 6

  • You had me at from scratch! I totally agree that freezing tomatoes in ziploc bags is a little taste of summer in the dead of winter. The clam juice is a great addition too. I’ve never thought to puree the holy trinity before cooking but I bet that makes it just melt right into the rice. If there are no little ones eating how much cayenne or creole seasoning do you think it would take to bring it into grown up territory?

    • Glad you like it, Romain! If I was making this without kiddos, I’d probably go with anywhere between 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on how spicy you like your jambalaya. If I were to use cajun seasoning, I’d probably go with at least one Tbsp. I make my own, so I know how spicy it is, I’d adjust that based on the spice of individual cajun seasonings 😉

  • This looks like something my whole family would love! I hear you on the spicy foods, I love it, but the little ones…not so much! This looks like it cooks fast enough to even serve on a busy weeknight. Perfect for my crazy busy family! Pinning!

  • Your Jambalaya looks fantastic, we will just love it! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Miz Helen

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