I have been making Jambalaya for years, even before I visited New Orleans many years ago. I started out trying to follow various recipes, but over time I changed a few things, and this is my favorite version.

It’s delicious, full of flavor, and you can make it really spicy, or mild, depending on who you’re cooking for. It’s great for leftovers, too, and freezes well.

I typically like to use chicken thighs and Andouille sausage, but many people like to add shrimp, chicken breast or ham. Some people don’t add tomatoes. You can pretty much add whatever you want. It doesn’t take that long to throw everything into the pan, then let it simmer. Or you can use a slow cooker, if you prefer.

If you don’t have Creole seasoning, you can use 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus a dash of black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. The sausage is also salty, so be careful not to use too much salt. Add more cayenne pepper if you like it extra spicy.

Some recipes advise you to add chicken broth and cook the rice in the same pan with everything else, but I find that it’s much better to cook the rice separately. Then each person can add as much or as little rice as they like to the bottom of their bowl, and it won’t be mushy and overcooked.

I like to serve it over riced cauliflower that has been cooked with a bit of butter and salt. My husband likes regular rice, so I will mix in some cauliflower rice with a small amount of regular rice, and he doesn’t know the difference.


Servings:  4

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless, organic chicken thighs (free range), chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces natural, nitrate-free Andouille sausage, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies


Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil, the chicken and the Creole seasoning.  Saute the chicken for about 5 minutes, until starting to brown. 

Add the onions, peppers and celery to the pan and cook until softened, 5-10 minutes.  Add the garlic, sausage, spices and parsley, and stir for about 1 minute.  Then add the tomatoes with the juice and stir.  Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.   

Taste to adjust the seasonings.  Serve over cooked riced cauliflower, or regular rice.  Add a dash of hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot, if desired.

Variations:  Add raw peeled and deveined shrimp to the pan during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Sprinkle minced green onions and more parsley on top before serving.

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