The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 09, 2020 1:00 am

Recipe Swap

Recipe Swap: Jambalaya can be adapted to fit your tastes

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

I enjoy a bit of heat from time to time, and have been known to pick up one of those boxes of jambalaya rice mix where all you add is meat for a quick weeknight meal.

I usually end up wishing I had more vegetables or a different spice level, and there's only so much you can adjust with those boxes.

This jambalaya recipe is good for freezing because you don't cook rice in the pot with it like a traditional jambalaya dish. It has been my experience that when frozen as part of a larger dish, rice never reheats well.

The ingredients can be tweaked to match your preferred spice level. If you want to go more mild, swap out the andouille sausage for smoked sausage and ditch some (or all) of the cayenne. If you like things hotter, add a few more dashes of cayenne.

Onion, peppers and celery are known as the “holy trinity” in Cajun and Creole cooking. You can also add other vegetables to this recipe such as corn or carrots. A traditional jambalaya usually includes seafood such as a pound of shrimp, which you can add in the last few minutes until they are cooked through. I have a seafood sensitivity, so I have left the shrimp out. 


Makes 6 to 8 servings.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 (13.5 ounce to 14 ounce) package andouille sausage links, sliced

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped with core and seeds removed

2 celery stalks, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound chicken, in 1-inch cubes

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with liquid

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Add oil to a large pot on medium high heat. Brown sausage until the edges are crisp, then remove to a plate or bowl.

Add vegetables and cook 5 minutes or until they are just starting to soften.

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining ingredients. Stir and cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure chicken is cooked through.

Return sausage to the pot, stir and a give the liquid a taste. Add more cayenne if you would like more spice.

Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes.

Serve over rice or pasta.

To freeze: Spoon leftovers into a zip-top freezer bag by desired portion size and lay flat in the freezer to take up as little room as possible. For best reheating, do not freeze with pasta or rice.

– Adapted

Recipe Swap is published the second Tuesday of each month. Corey McMaken is a home cook, not a food expert.

Share your recipe

Readers can share their favorite recipes for inclusion in Recipe Swap by emailing or mailing Corey McMaken, c/o The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St. Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

You don't need to write a complete story like you see here, but please include your recipe, tips you have for fellow cooks making the dish, details about why it is a favorite, your full name, city and phone number so we can contact you. Photos are also welcome, but copies can not be returned.

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