Let’s talk about jambalaya. Because this easy jambalaya recipe is not TECHNICALLY jambalaya. (If you know me, you know I don’t do a lot of technical in my kitchen…) An authentic jambalaya recipe would have the Cajun holy trinity: onions, celery, and peppers. From what I’ve read there are actually two types: the Cajun brown jambalaya (without tomatoes) and the Creole red version (with tomatoes). My version? Is a five ingredient rice-based dish that is delicious and low stress.
[Want to get nerdy about real jambalaya? Read this great post. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through a link, I may get a referral commission at no extra cost to you!]
The thing about New Orleans and cajun cooking is that it originated with a mix of various cultures and backgrounds to become something wholly unique. I love that. And I feel like that makes it okay that I’m creating my own version in the kitchen.
I feel truly like you could do anything with rice and a can of tomatoes. Yes, a can. I LOVE canned tomatoes. Fresh are great as well, but in many recipes, crushed or diced tomatoes just make everything better. This dish was born out of necessity: I literally had five things to make dinner. Kind of like an episode of chopped, but with no gummy worms or octopus that had to be included.
Easy Jambalaya Recipe
I had rice, onion, sausage, and a can of tomatoes. Plus olive oil and Tony Chachere’s seasoning, which I’ll put together to make the fifth ingredient. I’m including the full recipe, but essentially I sauteed the onions til soft in the olive oil (with a sprinkle of salt) until soft. I added the sausage and let it brown a little, though it was already cooked. I added a little more oil to the pan, the rice, and some Tony’s. I eyeball it, but probably 1-2 teaspoons. I stirred until the rice was popping a little, then added a large can of crushed tomatoes and the right measurement of water to rice. From there, follow the rice directions, which usually means bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 or so minutes.
You could top this with cheese (though that would make it even LESS of a jambalay-like dish) or cilantro or herbs, but it was stinking good as is. My hubby had seconds. I might have had thirds.
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 package cooked sausage
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 T olive oil
- 2-4 tsp Tony Chacheres seasoning (to taste)
- Chop the onion roughly. Heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions until soft. While onion is cooking, chop the sausage. Add it into the onions and let brown a little. Add 1 T of olive oil and the cup of rice. Season with Tony Chacheres to taste. Stir the rice until coated in oil and seasonings and popping. Add the can of tomatoes and the 2 cups water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer according to package directions, usually about 20 minutes. Serve warm.
- You can use any kind of rice. Follow the directions on the package to cook correctly than sticking strictly to the proportions I've included here.
- I used the fully cooked sausage that was sold in two large links, andouille style.
- You could add garlic, peppers, or celery to the first stage when you're cooking the onion.
Do you have any favorite easy recipes? Leave a comment below!
Here are a few other of our family favorites!