Deutsch: Jambalaya / Español: Jambalaya / Português: Jambalaya / Français: Jambalaya / Italiano: Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a popular Cajun and Creole dish from the Southern United States, particularly Louisiana. It is a hearty, flavorful dish that combines rice with a variety of other ingredients including tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and a mix of meat and seafood. The meats typically used are sausage, chicken, and shrimp, but other meats like pork or duck can also be included.


Jambalaya is often compared to other rice-based dishes like Spanish paella due to its combination of rice, proteins, and vegetables, but it has a distinct flavor profile influenced by its Cajun and Creole roots. This includes a base of "the Holy Trinity" in Cajun cooking: celery, bell peppers, and onions. Jambalaya is known for its vibrant mix of spices, which may include cayenne, paprika, thyme, and bay leaves.

Application Areas

Jambalaya is served as:

  • A One-Pot Meal: All ingredients are cooked together in one pot, making it an economical and convenient dish for feeding large groups.
  • Festival and Party Food: Frequently prepared for celebrations and family gatherings in the Southern United States.
  • Comfort Food: Its hearty and warming qualities make it a popular comfort food.

Well-Known Examples

  • Creole Jambalaya (Red Jambalaya): Includes tomatoes and is generally more colorful and has a slightly tangy flavor.
  • Cajun Jambalaya: Does not include tomatoes and is typically spicier with a brown color.

Treatment and Risks

Jambalaya is typically safe to consume with a few nutritional considerations:

  • Allergens and Dietary Restrictions: Contains shellfish, meats, and gluten, which may not be suitable for all diets.
  • Caloric and Nutritional Content: Can be high in sodium and fat depending on the ingredients used, particularly with the addition of sausage and other processed meats.


Here’s a simple recipe for making a basic Creole-style jambalaya:

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
    • 1 pound chicken breasts, cubed
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 cup rice
    • 1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Method:

    • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic, cooking until the vegetables are soft.
    • Add the sausage and chicken, cooking until the chicken is browned.
    • Stir in the paprika, cayenne pepper, and rice. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, bring to a boil.
    • Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked.
    • Add the shrimp, cooking until they are pink and firm. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley if desired.

Similar Terms

  • Paella
  • Gumbo
  • Creole cuisine
  • Cajun cuisine
  • Rice dish


Jambalaya is a versatile and flavorful dish from Louisiana, embodying the rich culinary traditions of both Cajun and Creole cooking. It is beloved for its spicy, hearty qualities and the ease with which it can be made to feed a crowd, making it a staple of Southern American cuisine.


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