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Easy Crockpot Jambalaya

Jazz up dinnertime with this easy crockpot jambalaya. By combining chicken, sausage, shrimp, and Creole seasoning in a slow cooker, this dish is big on flavor, takes just 15 minutes of prep time, and is sure to wow any crowd!

Jambalaya in a white bowl.
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A Slow Cooker Spin on a Louisiana Favorite

This hearty and easy crockpot jambalaya looks and tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen, but it takes just a bit of chopping, making rice, and stirring. Let it simmer for a few hours and you’ll end up with a dish that is packed with flavor and perfect for a hungry crowd.

My version of jambalaya uses Andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp (added in with only one hour left of cooking time), but you can make it your own by swapping in a different type of sausage or seafood. I like to cook the rice on the stove separately to ensure an even and tender texture and the stir it in at the end or pour the jambalaya over the top before serving.

For a complete meal, I typically serve the jambalaya with sweet cornbread and end with bread pudding drizzled in bread pudding sauce. What could be better?

Why This Recipe Works

  • Little effort. Taking just 15 minutes of prep time, this easy crockpot jambalaya is a dream to make.
  • Full of flavor. What this dish lacks in prep time it more than makes up for with big, bold flavors.
  • Feeds a crowd. This recipe makes enough for 8 people, and is an impressive dish to serve at your next backyard party or game night.

Recipe Ingredients

Jambalaya ingredients on a marble counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Sausage: Andouille sausage is traditional and adds so much spice and garlic-y goodness to the dish.
  • Chicken: Cutting the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces makes it easier to eat.
  • Shrimp: I like to peel, devein, and remove the tails of the shrimp before cooking, but some may want to leave the tails on to add flavor.
  • Creole seasoning: As the main spice for this crockpot jambalaya, I like to use Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, but you can make your own (see below) if you can’t find it.
  • The trinity: Chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, and celery are considered the “trinity” in Southern cuisine, and are vital to this dish’s flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes with their juice help cut the spice with a bit of acid.
  • Broth: I use chicken broth to add more flavor and help with the moisture once the rice is added.
  • Rice: This is a key ingredient in traditional jambalaya and one that I like to stir in right before serving. Stovetop rice or Instant Pot rice is so easy to make!

Variations + Substitutions

  • Sausage swap. Andouille sausage is traditional, but if you would prefer a little less spice then use smoked sausage.
  • Turn up the heat. For a bit more spice, add a finely-chopped jalapeno or ground cayenne, to taste.
  • See more seafood. For a richer seafood flavor, swap out the chicken broth for seafood broth or lobster stock. You can also add crawfish or crab in place of or in addition to the shrimp. If you love seafood, you might want to try my slow cooker seafood stew recipe, as well.
  • Want more veggies? Okra, carrots, and corn work well in this recipe. Feel free to use any color bell pepper you like, but keep the onion and celery to maintain the flavor.

How to Make Crockpot Jambalaya

Showing how to make jambalaya in the crockpot.
  • Combine ingredients. Stir together the sausage, chicken, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, broth, Creole seasoning, oregano, and salt in the crockpot.
  • Set it and forget it. Cook 3 hours on high or 7 hours on low.
  • Don’t forget the shrimp. Add the shrimp during the last 1 hour of cook time.
  • Make rice. Add rice to boiling water, cover and lower the heat. Cook until tender.
  • Stir and serve. Stir the cooked rice into the jambalaya and sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t have Creole seasoning? Make your own. Simply grind together 2 Tablespoons paprika, 1 Tablespoon dried oregano, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional).
  • Flavor boost. If you have a little extra time, brown the sausage with the onions, peppers, and celery before adding to the crockpot to help intensify those flavors.
  • Garnish. For a fresh pop of flavor don’t skip the parsley garnish. Chopped green onions give the same aromatic finish!
  • On the side. I love to serve this easy crockpot jambalaya with cornbread muffins and honey butter, hush puppies, or even fried okra.
Jambalaya cooked in a black slow cooker.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use Cajun seasoning instead of Creole seasoning?

You can, but Cajun seasoning is a bit spicier (made with more peppers) than the Creole (made with more herbs), so just be prepared for a different flavor.

Can I cook the rice in the crockpot?

Absolutely, but the rice may not cook evenly, which is why I prefer to cook it separately. If you want to make the dish one-pot, add the rice 1 hour before the end of cook time and skip the water in the ingredients.

Can I use frozen shrimp in this easy crockpot jambalaya?

Yes, simply thaw the shrimp first before adding to the crockpot.

What is the difference between jambalaya vs gumbo?

Though these dishes have a great deal in common, the main difference is that gumbo is made with some sort of thickening agent, such as a roux or okra.

Storing, Freezing + Reheating

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 

Freezing: This dish is best eaten right away, but if you want to freeze it I would recommend doing so without the shrimp and then adding cooked shrimp when reheating to serve.

Reheating: You can microwave this crockpot jambalaya in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 second intervals until warm. I personally prefer to reheat Jambalaya on the stove, especially when reheating the shrimp. Simply add to a pot and stir over medium heat until warmed through.

Looking for more comfort food dinners? Try this chicken pot pie with biscuits, chili and cornbread skillet or my easy slow cooker beef stroganoff.

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Jambalaya cooked in a black slow cooker.

Easy Crockpot Jambalaya Recipe

5 from 10 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Jazz up dinnertime with this easy crockpot jambalaya. By combining chicken, sausage, shrimp, and Creole seasoning in a slow cooker, this dish is big on flavor, takes just 15 minutes of prep time, and is sure to wow any crowd!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound Andouille sausage , cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 white onion , chopped
  • 2 stalks celery , chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers , seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , diced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes , undrained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 pound large shrimp , peeled and deveined (tails removed optional)
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • Chopped fresh parsley , for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • In a crockpot, stir together the sausage, chicken, onion, celery, bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes, broth, Creole seasoning, oregano, and salt.
  • Cook on low 7 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours, or until the veggies are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Add the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  • Cook the rice 20 minutes before serving. In a medium pot with a lid, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir once. Cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer 18 to 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid while it’s cooking. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.
  • Stir the rice into jambalaya. Season to taste and sprinkle with parsley, if using, to serve.

Video


Notes

Shrimp: You can use fresh or frozen, but thaw the shrimp first if using frozen before adding to the crockpot. It is traditional to serve the shrimp with the tails on, but you can remove them before cooking, if you’d prefer. 
Sausage: Andouille is traditional, but can be a bit spicy for some. Use a smoked sausage instead if you’d like to turn down the heat.
Creole seasoning: If you want to make your own, grind together:
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 865mg | Potassium: 743mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 511IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Diet: Gluten Free

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