This flavorful Crockpot Jambalaya recipe is super easy to make, and full of bold Cajun flavors that everyone will love! It’s effortless to make in the slow cooker with a mix of chicken, sausage, shrimp, rice and vegetables in a zesty sauce. A crowd pleasing meal that always gets rave reviews!

Jambalaya in a bowl garnished green onions.

Oh My God! This was amazing. I followed the recipe to the letter and it was the best I have ever eaten.

— Lisa

Whether you’ve got a busy weeknight ahead or you’re needing a tasty meal for game night, everyone needs a delicious, but also super simple dish that they can throw together and forget. This flavorful crockpot jambalaya is totally that dish!

We love Cajun style food, I regularly make Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta and Cajun Chicken Pasta for my family. And this jambalaya recipe has become a new favorite, it’s filled with meat, seafood and veggies and has SO much flavor. We’re keeping things pretty traditional with shrimp, chicken, classic cajun seasonings and rich, savory smoked sausage. Love using andouille sausage to really take the flavor up a notch!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Super satisfying. This dish is incredibly delicious, comforting, and filling. It’s sure to become a family favorite!
  • Packed with nutrients. Crockpot jambalaya has it all! It’s made with three types of protein, carbohydrates from the rice and plenty of veggie goodness.
  • Easy to make. If you want hearty comfort food without a ton of work, slow cooker jambalaya is the recipe for you. This meal takes just a few minutes to put together in the morning, then you get to come home to dinner ready to eat!
  • Restaurant quality at home. When I see jambalaya on a restaurant menu, I always have to order it. That combination of meat, seafood and tender rice is just SO good! This version, that can be made at home, tastes as good (or better) than the restaurant version.
Jambalaya made with shrimp, sausage and rice in a white bowl.

Ingredients needed

This cozy, comforting dinner is packed with protein, LOTS of vegetables and flavor from a blend of simple seasonings. You’re going to be in LOVE. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

  • Diced tomatoes. We’re using two cans of diced tomatoes, one with onions and one with green chiles. Of course, if preferred, you can use plain diced tomatoes too.
  • Chicken. We use boneless, skinless chicken breasts to keep things on the lighter side, but you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, instead, for a richer and juicier flavor.
  • Andouille sausage. This type of sausage has a sharper and smokier flavor than other sausage varieties. It’s a classic in cajun cooking!
  • Vegetables. For delicious savory flavor, we’re adding in chopped onion and diced bell pepper.
  • Chicken broth. I recommend using a low-sodium chicken broth because then you can control the sodium. Everyone’s salt preferences are different.
  • Herbs & spices. Oregano, parsley, cajun seasoning, thyme and cayenne pepper seasons this dish perfectly. You can sub the cajun seasoning with creole seasoning, if that’s what you have.
  • Shrimp. You’ll need 1 pound of shrimp. We typically use a medium to large shrimp, but you can use any kind of shrimp or prawns. You also want to use shrimp that is frozen, cooked and has been peeled, deveined, and tails removed.
  • Rice. Since this recipe calls for cooked rice, you can use any kind you like. We love white basmati rice because it cooks up nice and fluffy. Brown rice is a great choice, too, because it is a little more nutritious than regular white rice. And, of course, instant rice or long grain rice works too. For a low carb option, try cauliflower rice.
Ingredients for jambalaya cooking in a Crockpot.

How to make this recipe

This slow cooker jambalaya recipe could not be easier and it’s super quick to put it all together. Here’s the simple method:

For the full, printable recipe, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Combine ingredients in the slow cooker. Mix tomatoes, chicken, sausage, onion, bell pepper, and broth in your Crockpot. Season the mixture with oregano, parsley, cajun seasoning, thyme and cayenne pepper.
  2. Cook. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Add rice & shrimp. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in the shrimp. You can also stir in the cooked rice or you can serve the cooked jambalaya over the rice in a bowl.
  4. Serve. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or basil and sliced green onions and enjoy!
Stirring shrimp and rice in a slow cooker.

Tips for recipe success

This crockpot jambalaya recipe is pretty basic and straightforward, but here are a few tips to make this jambalaya perfect for you.

  • Frozen veggies. To save time, we like to use frozen onion and tricolor bell peppers that have already been diced. Feel free to use fresh, if preferred. You can also use any type of bell pepper that you like in this dish – I like the color contrast of all three colors, but it’s fine to just use one color.
  •  Sausage. This recipe calls for andouille sausage, which is a slightly spicy smoked sausage that can be found with the other pre-cooked sausages at most grocery stores. Highly recommend!
  • Spice level. This meal is slightly spicy, about a medium on the heat scale. If you’re feeding anyone sensitive to spice, you may want to use a mild smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, use a little less cajun seasoning and omit the cayenne pepper.
Wooden spoon stirring rice with shrimp.

Variations

  • The Holy Trinity. In cajun cooking, you’ll find a popular base called The Holy Trinity. It’s a vegetable combination of celery, bell pepper, and onion, and it’s also the base in most jambalaya recipes. I’m not a huge fan of celery, so I did not include it in my version, but you can certainly add in about a cup of diced celery (about 2 stalks celery).
  • Andouille sausage. Can’t find andouille? Use kielbasa, chorizo, or other smoked sausages.
  • Okra. Another popular ingredient in jambalaya that I just don’t really enjoy. If you’d like to add it in, I suggest about 1 cup sliced okra.
  • Other flavor makers. Some other seasonings you may want to consider adding – garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, and/or hot sauce.

Frequently asked questions

What is jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a dish that is served primarily in Lousiana and has Spanish, African and French influences. This recipe is usually made with sausage, chicken or pork and shellfish. There are two different versions, a Cajun and Creole version. Creole-style typically served in New Orleans has tomatoes, whereas Cajun-style in the bayou country omits them. This version is more of a Creole jambalaya, with tomato, Cajun seasonings, and both chicken and smoked andouille.

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a rice based dish, whereas gumbo is more of a thick stew or soup. Gumbo is often served with rice, but not actually mixed in with the other ingredients. Both gumbo and jambalya often contain a mixture of proteins such as chicken, sausage and seafood.

What sides go with jambalaya?

Jambalaya is plenty satisfying, hearty and filled with ingredients. You really don’t need to serve it with anything other than cornbread, or fresh baguettes. Hush puppies, collard greens, or a simple salad also make great sides.

Storage recommendations

  • Storing leftovers. Transfer the leftover jambalaya to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. You can also reheat the leftovers in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of broth to keep it from drying out.
  • Freezing. You definitely can freeze this dish, however it tastes best fresh. When reheating, you run the risk of the shrimp becoming chewy. If you plan on freezing, I suggest leaving the shrimp out until you’re ready to serve. To freeze, cool the jambalaya completely and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To enjoy, thaw, cover, and reheat in the microwave on high in 30-second intervals, occasionally stirring until hot.
Bowls filled with jambalaya.

Whether you’re looking for a tasty, comforting meal on a weeknight, enjoying game night or celebrating Mardi Gras, this jambalaya is sure to please!

More crockpot recipes to try

If you love using your slow cooker as much as we do, give these other delicious recipes a try:

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

Jambalaya in a bowl garnished green onions.
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Crockpot Jambalaya

This flavorful Crockpot Jambalaya recipe is super easy to make, and full of bold Cajun flavors that everyone will love! It's effortless to make in the slow cooker with a mix of chicken, sausage, shrimp, rice and vegetables in a zesty sauce. A crowd pleasing meal that always gets rave reviews!
Author: Kim

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, plain or with onions, drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, plain or with green chiles, drained
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen chopped onion or 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup frozen tricolor bell pepper strips diced or 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth + more if additional liquid is desired once jambalaya has cooked
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, use less for less spiciness
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional, depending on level of spice desired
  • 1 pound frozen cooked shrimp without tails
  • 4 cups cooked rice

Instructions 

  • Mix tomatoes, chicken, sausage, onion, bell pepper, and broth in a slow cooker. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, thyme, and cayenne pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cook time. Cooked rice can also be stirred in with the shrimp or cooked jambalaya can be served over rice in a bowl.

Notes

  • Storing leftovers. Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. You can also reheat the leftovers in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of broth to keep it from drying out.
  • Freezing. You definitely can freeze this dish, however it tastes best fresh. When reheating, you run the risk of the shrimp becoming chewy. If you plan on freezing, I suggest leaving the shrimp out until you’re ready to serve. To freeze, cool the jambalaya completely and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To enjoy, thaw, cover, and reheat in the microwave on high in 30-second intervals, occasionally stirring until hot.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 325kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 125mg, Sodium: 774mg, Potassium: 458mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 284IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 1mg

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