6-Ingredient Jambalaya




A jambalaya can be made with pretty much anything -- I prefer sausage and shrimp. But what really holds it together is the rice and spice. Zatarain's makes one of the most flavorful rice mixes on the planet. Packed with chili powder, paprika, and other seasonings, it makes it unnecessary to add anything else to the pot. I won't cook this dish without it. -- Kate Merker, Associate Food Editor, Real Simple

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Like the soups and stews that see you through the winter, jambalaya is a flexible dish, ready to accommodate the ingredients you have on hand (even if those include alligator fillets). But it's got more fiery freshness than most cold-weather staples, and this version is quicker to make. With a handful of shrimp, tangy kielbasa, rice, and a can of tomatoes, you'll have dinner done in less time than it takes to dig out your Wynton Marsalis CDs.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 16-ounce package kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 8-ounce box jambalaya, Spanish, or fiesta-flavored rice mix
1 1-pound package peeled and deveined raw shrimp
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

Step 1: Brown

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the kielbasa and cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes.

Step 2: Add

Add the tomatoes and their juices along with 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Add

Stir in the rice mix. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for the time specified on the rice package.

Step 4: Add

Add the shrimp and stir. Cover and cook until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the hot pepper sauce (if using).

Step 5: Serve

Spoon into individual bowls.



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11 Discussions

General Zod

6 years ago on Introduction

Made some of this last night and added some "extras" that were hanging out in the fridge. It ended up being a 3-gallon pot of awesomeness that will get me and my buddies through the weekend.


Am I the only one noticing the strangeness of someone posting a jambalaya recipe, but not telling you how to make jambalaya? Sorry, I don't think telling people to use pre-made versions of the thing you're telling them to make is very kosher. The rest of the ingredients are great, but they're all something the box of zatarain's tells you to do. This reminds me of telling someone how to make tomato soup, and beginning the instructions with "first, open the can".

2 replies

I am also disappointed.

Where I am from no one knows what  jambalaya is, much less what it is made of or what authentic/proper jambalaya is supposed to taste like. I'm behind a limited intranet while at work; instructables.com is one of the few websites my tech department forgot to block off so my options for second opinions are a little limited.

Telling people "use this mix, add this stuff" is not very appropriate in an instructable, I agree. Unless you are you are doing something really unconventional with premade food, I find it's a little misleading and redundant.


10 years ago on Introduction

this is great that you posted this, i've used the same EXACT ingredients forever and they never fail to be good, you should post chicken curry


11 years ago on Introduction

I found Zatarain's a few years ago. I love Jamalaya, and yes, that is a great brand, plus cheap. I find it is greatly improved with any or all of the following: -Replace a bunch of the water with V8 juice - anywhere from 1/2 C to 1 C - doesn't matter. -Toss in an unreasonable amount of sliced mushrooms, remembering that they will shrink to a MUCH smaller size as they cook (have found no need to adjust water due to this) - a whole package of pre-sliced mushrooms works great, though slice your own and save money. Point is I think that is 1/2 lbs or so. -Add a sliced stick of celery. I normally hate the stuff, but here it adds some needed texture and the taste works well -Add about half a chopped up bell pepper (whatever color) -Add some chopped onion, but not a whole lot -Definitely add some good quality andouille sausage, sliced. Even better (I thihnk ) if you peal the nasty skin off first (feed it to your wolfhound who has learned to come running at the smell of said sausage - She doesn't seem to notice the hot spices, but I've only given her the skin, not even the pieces I drop on the floor and won't eat). I also like shrimp, or both, but I had a pet shrimp once in a salt water aquarium that I liked and have never had a pet pig, so I find it easier to eat sausage. How warped is that?) -DO let it sit for 5 minutes after cooking, it really does help. -Lastly, to make this really worthwhile, make another dish. At least steam a corn cob or some other vegetable. Otherwise you have this great-tasting mass of similarly colored rice-based gunk on your plate that has a very strong flavor, so another dish makes a big difference. Try wrapping a corn cob in paper towel and soaking the towel in lime juice and nuking it for 2 minutes or so then adding a bit of butter and salt: very different color, flavor and texture whch makes the mush of jambalaya much more appealing. Note: no claim that any of above are traditional jambalaya ideas, I wouldn't know. Our supermarket sells it normally for around $3/box (and a box makes more than I can eat in a few meals if I'm really stuffing my face). However, I've noticed that every other month or a bit more they have a 10 boxes for $10 sale, so I stock up. It does have lots of MSG for those who are sensitive, and tons of sodium (they just came out with a low sodium, haven't bothered). Make sure you get the much cheaper box that you cook than the bag that contains a precooked reheatable very small portion for a lot more money.


11 years ago on Introduction

Glad others like this means to a jamablaya end! My experiments have always started with Zataran's. I suspect jamabalya is rather like "goulash:" nearly everyone has a family expectation of what the dish should include and taste like, but they are rarely the same. Myself, I like to add one or two wedged onions and, instead of shrimp (I'm a Yank), canned or "fresh" chunks of cooked chicken white meat. Someone else might prefer adding green or red or HOT! peppers, mushrooms, etc. Okra for a gumbo jambalaya? Bratwurst??? One of the joys of cooking for yourself or family is personalizing dishes. Guests have been surprised to find green olives hidden in my meatloaf. My spaghetti sauce, based on inexpensive canned varieties, features pepperoni and Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, more Italian seasoning and sometimes brown sugar ... and lots of wedged onion, of course. Starting with commercial products greatly shortens the prep time, but you can still make the recipe "your secret!" BTW, the Banquet Homestyle Bakes are also great beginnings for family favorites, enhanced with added meats, maybe mushroom or celery soup and, of course, wedged onions!


11 years ago on Introduction

jambalaya is great stuff (i'm from southern louisiana so i know my jambies)...if you don't have time to make it from scratch (come on...it's rice and seasoning)...get the zataran's boxed jambalaya from the store (pretty much all stores that i've seen have it)....just brown off some sausage or chicken (or both) and throw it in there...it's one of the best "pre packaged" cajun dishes on the planet...but...what else would you expect from zataran's right?

2 replies