It’s been warm enough here to boat and beach it the past six weeks, but we had a few chilly nights recently that were begging for something slow cooked and slightly spicy. That’s right, Jambalaya time! This one pot dinner is brimming with chunks of tender meat and vegetables in a broth loaded with flavor. This recipe is easy to make ahead. It freezes fantastically. And the spice is just right—enough party for those who prefer bold flavors but too much heat to scare off those who are hot sauce shy.
This recipe is a tweaked version of Colleen’s Slow Cooker Jambalaya. I cut the shrimp, doubled the meat, and replaced the “Cajun seasoning” with what we had in our pantry. I also added rice directly into the slow cooker near the end of the cooking time. The result is a comforting, easy take on this classic Louisiana meal.
To start, get chopping. Green peppers, onions, and celery, the Cajun Holy Trinity, are the basis for this dish. Don’t discard the celery leaves either. Toss them in the slow cooker with the rest of the veggies. They are packed with a vibrant celery flavor and can be used like an herb in soups, salads, etc.
This recipe makes enough to cook half and freeze the other half in a gallon ziplock bag. (It tastes even better the second time when you don’t have to prep!)
Once you are done chopping, add the meat, vegetables, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, and herbs and spices to the slow cooker.
Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4. Serve over rice or stir in rice during the last hour or so of cook time. Free smells included.
And if you are feeling fancy fresh, try it topped with chopped tomato, onion, and parsley. Or just load it up with cheese and hot sauce. Either way, you’re welcome, mouth.
Slow Cooker Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya
1 ½ lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into chunks
1 ½ lb kielbasa sausage, sliced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp cayenne pepper
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp paprika
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp black pepper
Cooked rice or 2 boxes (8 oz size) Zatarain’s Red Beans & Rice (optional)
Optional Toppings: cheese, tomatoes, onions, herbs, hot sauce, etc
- Combine all the ingredients (except rice) in the slow cooker and cook 7 to 8 hours on LOW, or cook 3 to 4 hours on HIGH. If using the Zatarain’s Red Beans & Rice, add both boxes plus ½ cup of water to the slow cooker 1 to 1 ½ hours before the jambalaya is done. (If cooking on HIGH, check the rice after 30 minutes.)
To make ahead: Combine all ingredients (except rice) in a gallon ziplock bag. Freeze until ready and thaw before putting into the slow cooker.