This chicken and smoked sausage jambalaya recipe is an easy way to make a Cajun classic at home. It has all the flavors of your favorite dish with just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
Not only is this a tasty dinner recipe, it also makes great leftovers! Whether you’re cooking for one or ten people, this recipe will be perfect every time.
And if you want even more flavor, try adding some hot sauce to give it a little kick! Ayeeeeee!
This is one of the few Cajun dishes I liked while attending college in Southwest Louisiana (Geaux, Ragin’ Cajuns!). I spent a few years in Lafayette, where there was no shortage of interesting culture, flavors, and people.
It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t like seafood OR spicy food at that stage in my life. I could have eaten so. much. awesomeness.
Practically everything there was either seasoned with Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning
Instead, I probably opted for grilled chicken or something like that. Booorrrr-ingggg.
Now that I’m all grown up, I’m redeeming myself here by making my own huge pot of Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. Still no seafood, but it’s a step in the right direction.
If I have some shrimp laying around sometime, maybe I’ll add them to the mix. Maybe.
You don't have to be in the New Orleans area to enjoy this easy jambalaya recipe - you can make it in the comfort of your own home. It mimics the delicious flavors of the original in the format of a quick dinner recipe.
This recipe has just enough spice to keep the integrity of the dish but still keeps it family friendly for the younger family crowd.
It’s easy enough to pull together for a weeknight meal and the sodium is way less than a store-bought jambalaya mix. To save time, prep the ingredients the night before by cutting the veggies and meats.
Ingredients in Smoked Sausage Jambalaya
- olive oil - you can also use vegetable oil or canola oil
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts - boneless skinless chicken thighs can be used as an alternative
- the Holy trinity in Cajun cooking - onion, green bell pepper and celery. Those of you who know mean already know I'll say if you have a red bell pepper, by all means, use it!
- minced garlic
- crushed tomatoes
- seasonings - cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, thyme
- smoked sausage - sometimes called kielbasa. You can use a smoked pork sausage, beef sausage...basically anything you find in the Hillshire Farm section at the grocery store.
- uncooked white rice
- chicken broth - store bought or homemade chicken stock. You can use vegetable broth if you prefer
How to make Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
To make smoked sausage jambalaya, start by browning the chicken in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the chicken.
Then, add the onion, green bell pepper, celery and garlic.
In go the crushed tomatoes, cayenne, black pepper, salt, thyme, kielbasa, and chicken back into the pot and stir to combine.
Next, add the water and broth to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through.
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If you make this easy sausage jambalaya, leave a recipe review or comment below. I'd love to hear from you! Until next time, les bons temps rouler!!!
This post was originally published March 2019 and updated April 2022.
Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 28 ounces. can crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 14 ounces kielbasa cut in half lengthwise and then sliced (half moon shapes)
- 1 ¼ cups uncooked white rice
- 2 ½ cups of chicken broth
- green onions for topping/garnish optional
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until pieces are lightly browned on all sides but not cooked through. Remove and set aside.
- Add 1 Tablespoon oil to the same pot, if needed. Add onion, green pepper, , celery and garlic and cook until tender.
- Add crushed tomatoes, cayenne, black pepper, salt, thyme, kielbasa, and chicken back into the pot. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the rice and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook on low heat for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.