Sunday, January 26, 2014


Learning to make Jambalaya is one of my favorite family memories. It was many years ago when my Ma Ma was still living. There were three generations of cooks in the kitchen that day, myself, mom, my nannie (god-parent and mom’s sister) and their mom (Ma Ma). Ma Ma was doing the teaching, but when it came to the point to add water to the pot the 2nd generation cooks each had their own opinion. The debate was how much water to omit since we were adding a can of tomatoes. Ma Ma listened as I did to what each had to say. She rolled her eyes and shook her head from side to side, then told me what to add. I did just as she said and have ever since. In fact, I wrote down every instructions she gave me.

Last weekend I went to Mom and Dad's and showed Mom how Ma Ma had taught me. It turned out so great! You don't need a bunch of extra spices if you use a good smoke sausage. We used a smoke sausage from Bergeron's. You don't need a lot of extra salt either. The ham and sausage adds their salty flavor. This dish is full of simple ingredients that work great together. You can make it stove top or in the oven. This time we made it in the oven. I think I like this method the most. It makes a little layer of crunchy brown rice on the bottom of the pot. This was my Ma Ma's favorite part. 

I asked Mom and Dad if their Moms ever used leftover meats in Jambalaya. Dad chimed in that that was all Maw Maw (his Mom) used. He said it was how they cleaned out the refrigerator. He said sometimes she would put corn and cabbage in her Jambalaya. I don't remember ever being served a Jambalaya like that. That must have been when Maw Maw was raising her family.

My family almost always serves Jambalaya with White Beans. This night we served broccolini. It made a great side and definitely less carbs. The only thing I will keep experimenting with is when to put in the shrimp. I like shrimp just cooked through. I felt like they over cook in the oven. The family thought they were great. Next time I might cook them in a separate pan and fold them in when I fluff the rice. We will see? I will be sure to report back.

Makes approx. 4 quarts; Serves 8 (2 cups)


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
3/4 lb. ham, diced
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
3 cups rice
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
Salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Tony's, and hot sauce to taste
3/4 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined


In a 4 quart or larger enameled cast iron Dutch oven, over medium heat add olive oil and sauté vegetables until they are translucent and begin to brown. Add sausage and ham; cook for a few minutes. Add chicken and cook until most of moisture is gone and meat if brown. Add rice, fry until dry or there is little to no water left in the pot. Rice should change from translucent to white. Add water, seasonings and tomatoes. Taste liquid for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Stovetop Method: Bring to a boil. Lower heat, adding shrimp and cover. Let simmer covered for about thirty (30) minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.

Oven Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take off heat and arrange shrimp on top. Cover and bake about one and a half (1-1/2) hours. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.

Nutritional Information per serving*: Calories 458, Total Fat 16 g, Total Carbohydrate 44 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Protein 24 g, Calcium 6 g.
WW P+ 11

*Information from the Myfitnesspal calculator. NI may vary depending on the brand or size of the ingredients used to prepare it.

Linking to:
My Mixing Spoon: Random Recipe Roundup
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen: Show Me Your Plaid Mondays
It's Your Life: Tuesdays with a Twist
Anyonita Nibbles: Tasty Tuesdays
Dizzy Busy & Hungry: Wine'd Down Wednesday
Family Home and Life: Wow Us Wednesday
Turnips 2 Tangerines: Four Seasons Blog Hop
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Get Him Fed Fridays
My Turn for Us: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Carole's Chatter: Food on Fridays - Slow Food


  1. Looks scrumptious and I would love a plate right now! And I love how you paired it with broccoli. Cheers, cher!

    1. Thanks! Marguerite, I think Dad missed the white beans but I loved the broccolini. Have a great day!

  2. My boyfriend is making this for us tonight actually. I hope his looks as good as yours! Happy Sunday!

    1. Thanks! Leslie, What a great boyfriend, you should probably keep him. I am sure it will be wonderful. Any Jambalaya is better than no Jambalaya in my book.

  3. Looks fantastic! I've never made jambalaya in the oven. I've also seen jambalaya packets on the grill--have always wanted to try that too. Interesting about the white beans. My parents recently went to some event in Gonzales, LA and apparently that's how they serve their jambalaya too.

    1. On the grill? That sounds fun! I will have to look for that one. Thanks! Michelle

  4. I love your step by step pictures and instructions! I have never made this but I really need to try it! Pinning! Thanks for posting on the Four Seasons Blog Hop! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You!

    1. Thanks! Sandra, Love that you pinned it. I really enjoy your Four Season Hop!

  5. Good Morning Denise, I am so thrilled to find a home recipe for Jambalaya as it is a dish I have wanted to make for a long time. I have heard of the dish, but, being English, I have never eaten. I love the mix of smoked sausage, ham, chicken and prawns and I just know my husband will love Jambalaya.
    Denise, I have enjoyed my visit so I have become a new follower.
    Best Wishes

    1. Thank you so much Daphne! It is so nice to meet you. I loved England when I visited. We were only there (London) for a week and we did all the touristy things. I have always wanted to go back to see more of the country. I love your blog and the tour of your kitchen. I will be following you too.

  6. Your Jambalaya looks fabulous and we will just love it! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen


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