Fluffy flavorful rice, tender, plump, and juicy shrimp, and so much flavor. This is the shrimp jambalaya recipe you have been looking for.
If you are looking for a dish to get you out of your dinner rut–Shrimp Jambalaya is it! It is a hearty, flavorful, rice dish that is a protein filled, fun meal with a Cajun taste that will leave you begging for more.
This amazing dish is loaded with both shrimp and andouille sausage, and has creamy rice and vegetables too. So dang good. I love a meal with multiple proteins in it and that has enough variety and ingredients that it does not demand a side dish. In a pinch I feel totally good about serving Shrimp Jambalaya on its own and I am not mad about it.
While I love an Easy Spanish Paella and the fact that it has some similarities to Jambalaya, sometimes I want a dish with a flavor profile that has a more Cajun inspired flare to it. Welcome Shrimp Jambalaya.
What You Need to Make Jambalaya
Jambalaya intimidated me forever because I had it in New Orleans, and the amount of flavor was insane. I knew it must take a lot of ingredients and work. And I like things easy. But once I realized how simple it was, I couldn’t stop making it. Yes it is a lot of ingredients, but it is so worth it. Can you just picture the aroma of flavors permeating through your house as you cook this dish? Let’s make this dream a reality and get shopping!
- Vegetable Oil
- Protein: Andouille Sausage and Large Shell On Shrimp
- Vegetables: Onion, Celery Rib, Green Bell Pepper, Diced Tomatoes
- Flavor Builders: Garlic Cloves, Salt, Creole Seasoning, Fresh Thyme, Clam Juice, Bay Leaf, Scallions
- Long Grain White Rice
- Tomato Paste
How to Make The BEST ever Shrimp Jambalaya
This recipe is fairly simple, you start by preheating your oven, then you cook the sausage and shrimp, and set aside. Saute the vegetables, add in the rice and seasonings, stir the andouille sausage back in, as well as a bay leaf and bake covered with foil and a lid. While baking, peel your shrimp so they are ready to add back in. Add shrimp and its juice to the pot and continue to cook. Take out of the oven and remove the foil covering and bayleaf. Lastly, fold in scallions and serve immediately.
Step One: Preheat Oven.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with the rack set in the middle position.
Step Two: Cut and Cook Sausage.
- Cut sausage by halving it lengthwise and then cutting it crosswise into ¼ inch half moons.
- In a large dutch oven heat oil until shimmering and then add sausage, cooking until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer the sausage to a paper towel lined plate, using a slotted spoon.
Step Three: Cook the Shrimp.
Cook the shrimp peel on, until they are mostly done, until the shells are lightly browned on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Then remove from the pan and refrigerate.
Step Four: Cook Veggies, Spices, Tomato Paste, and Rice.
Cook Veggies: Cook onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Stirring occasionally until veggies are softened.
Add additional ingredients: Add rice, tomato paste, salt, and thyme. Cook until rice is coated with fat. Stir in remaining ingredients, except scallions. Stir to combine everything.
Bring to a boil: Cover the top of the dutch oven with foil placed on the rice. Bring the pot to a boil, and cover the pot with the lid of the Dutch oven.
Step Five: Bake in the Oven.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the rice is almost tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
Step Six: Peel the Shrimp and Add to the Pot.
- Peel the shrimp and discard the shells.
- Remove the pot from the oven and lift the foil so you can add the shrimp, plus any juice.
- Once shrimp and juice are stirred in, replace the foil and lid and return to the oven.
Step Seven: Continue to Cook.
Cook until the rice is tender and shrimp is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Step Eight: Remove from Oven and Prepare to Serve.
Remove the pot from the oven and discard the foil and bay leaf. Then fold in the scallions and serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks
Making this recipe is Eazy Peazy…
- Make sure when cooking the shrimp, you cook 1 minute per side followed by immediate refrigeration: This will help ensure perfectly plump shrimp, rather than dry and rubbery, unappetizing shrimp.
- Don’t forget the foil: Foil is an important tool in helping to prevent crunchy uneven cooking of the rice.
- No shrimp? No problem: Not a fan of shrimp? No biggie. Sub out shrimp for another protein like chicken or crabmeat.
- Tomato paste will make Jambalaya thicker: Some Jambalaya recipes will call for tomato sauce. To prevent watery Jambalaya stick to the recipe and use tomato paste.
- There is so much you can serve with this dish: Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread, Corn Salad, and Summer Fruit Salad. There are so many options, so get creative and have fun.
Make Ahead and Storage
How to make this recipe for easy shrimp jambalaya ahead of time:
Freezing Jambalaya can be a little tricky. The rice may not have the best texture after being frozen, and the integrity of the shrimp may be compromised.
- Follow directions like normal, but do not add the rice or shrimp.
- Let Jambalaya cool completely and transfer to freezer safe bags.
- When ready to eat, in a pot over the stove bring Jambalaya to a boil and add already cooked rice and cooked shrimp at the end.
Note: Rice is usually cooked with Jambalaya, but to make it as a freezer meal, the necessary adjustments have to be made. The flavor will not be as good, but you will still enjoy it.
For leftovers: Keep Shrimp Jambalaya in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pot over the stove or in a microwave safe bowl covered with a paper towel.
Eat Shrimp Jambalaya for dinner or lunch, either way you will be so glad that you made this delicious dish!
Other Great Recipes:
- Cajun Baked Salmon
- Cajun Chicken Alfredo Skillet Pasta
- Wild Rice and Chicken
- Spanish Rice
- Brown Rice and Quinoa Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 8 ounces andouille sausage
- 1 pound shrimp large shell on
- 1 onion minced
- 1 celery rib chopped fine
- 1 green bell pepper steamed, seeded and chopped fine
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme minced
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes drained with ¼ cups juice reserved
- 16 ounces clam juice 2 bottles (or chicken stock)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 scallions sliced thin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with rack in middle position.
- Cut andouille sausage into ¼ inch half moons.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Then transfer to a paper towel lined plate using a slotted spoon.
- Add the shrimp to the pot and cook until the shells are lightly browned on both sides, about 1 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl and refrigerate.
- In the same pot, reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are softened. Add rice, tomato pace, salt, and thyme and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 1 minute.
- Stir in remaining ingredients except the scallions, and stir to combine everything.
- Cover the top of dutch oven with a square of aluminum foil placed directly on the surface of the rice. Bring the pot to a boil and cover the pot with the lid of the Dutch oven, leaving the foil in place.
- Transfer to the oven and bake 20 minutes, until the rice is almost tender and most liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, peel the shrimp and discard the shells.
- Remove the pot from the oven, lift off the aluminum foil, and set aside, and gently stir in the peeled shrimp and any juice that has accumulated on the plate. Replace the foil and lid, and return the pot to the oven and cook until the rice is fully tender and the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, discard the foil and bay leaf, fold in the scallions and serve immediately. Season with salt and pepper to preference.
Foil helps you avoid the crunchy uneven cooking of the rice, so don't skip that. You can substitute chicken stock for clam juice if you want or if you can't find it. Amp up the flavor even more by stirring in an additional 1-2 Tablespoons of Creole Seasoning.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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