This delicious Jambalaya Recipe is full of flavor, depth, and complexity- yet lightened up with chicken sausage and seasonal, healthy veggies. This can be made in an Instant Pot or on the Stovetop!  A delicious weeknight dinner. Vegan-adaptable.

Jambalaya in a bowl with shrimp and chicken sausage.

Whether celebrating Mardi Gras or just wanting a simple, flavorful meal, you’ll love this lightened-up version of Jambalaya.  What I love about this recipe is its depth of flavor and adaptability- the perfect foundation for seasonal veggies. As you see here, I’ve added spring asparagus and fresh peas, giving it a lovely vibrancy.

During the winter months, I like to add a few cupfuls of simple roasted veggies, kale or spinach for a burst of nutrients. Comb through your fridge and see what you have.

Sometimes, I’ll serve the warm Jambalaya over a bowl of baby spinach, letting it gently wilt.  You get the idea. Basically, I use this Jambalaya as a vessel for healthy veggies.  The flavor is so good! 😉

Jambalaya in a bowl with veggies.

Here, we’ve used Chicken Andouille Sausage instead of pork sausage in the Jambalaya to lighten things up.

The shrimp could also be left out if shellfish is not your thing, upping the chicken sausage. And, of course, you can also use a vegan sausage.

Jambalaya COOKING TIPs:

  • Rice: If making this on the stovetop, be sure to read the recipe notes. Cooking time will vary depending on the type of rice you use. I always like to check the package for recommended cooking times. Long-grain white rice works the best here!
  • Brown the sausage for the best flavor.
  • Pan-sear the shrimp with a pinch of salt, pepper, and smoked paprika before adding to the cooked jambalaya. In my opinion, this improves presentation and flavor.
  • To make this vegetarian, use a veggie broth and vegan sausage. Deepen the flavor with a splash of soy sauce or some miso. Adding some nori flakes will give it a “seafood” flavor.
Instant pot Jambalaya.

Hope you are having a happy week so far! Let me know how you like the Jambalaya recipe and any adaptions you make below!

Happy cooking!

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Jambalaya! Delicious and easy, this can be made in an Instant Pot or on the Stove Top. Flavorful!!! #jambalaya #instantpot #bestjambalaya

Jambalaya Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 25 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: main, seafood,
  • Method: instant pot, stove top
  • Cuisine: Southern


A delicious and easy recipe for Jambalaya! This flavorful version can be made in an Instant Pot or on the Stove Top. Flavorful!!!


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1216 ounces chicken andouille sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds ( or vegan sausage!)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 red (or green) bell pepper, large dice
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped ( or sub one small can green chilies)
  • 46 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 14-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth ( or shellfish broth)
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice (basmati or jasmine)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dry thyme )
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons regular paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce ( if using chicken broth, trust me)
  • ———-
  • 816 ounces large raw shrimp ( peeled and deveined, if frozen see notes)
  • Optional additions: 1 cup fresh or frozen peas and 1 cup asparagus, 2 cups roasted veggies, or 1 can cooked chickpeas.
  • Garnish: scallions, parsley, hot sauce.


Instant Pot Instructions: 

  1. In an Instant Pot, using the saute function, heat oil, add sausage, and sauté for about 5 minutes or until browned. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño, and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Add tomatoes and their juices, broth , thyme, oregano, bay leaves, paprika, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne and fish sauce.
  3. Bring to a simmer and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot ( this will help prevent the “burn error” from turning on while pressure cooking). I find using a wooden spoon works best here.  Add the rice, give a good stir (see note about shrimp!)and set Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 5 minutes.
  4. Let naturally release for 5 minutes, then manually release, covering steam spout with a kitchen towel.
  5. Stir in thawed shrimp (see notes) and let this cook on “warm” setting for 5-7 minutes ( depending on size), adding peas and asparagus at the same time. When shrimp is done ( it will look pink) taste for salt and spice level, adding more to taste.
  6. Garnish with sliced green onion and chopped parsley.

Stovetop Instructions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage, and brown each side until golden, about 5 minutes. Set the sausage aside.
  2. To the same pan, add the onion ( a little more oil if necessary)and saute until fragrant and golden. Add celery, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño, lowing heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until tender. Return the browned sausage to the pan.
  3. Add rice, and stir about 3 minutes until lightly toasted. Add tomatoes and their juices, broth , thyme, bay leaves, paprika, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne and fish sauce.
  4.  Scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a boil. Scrape up again. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Cover and cook for 20-45 minutes or until rice is tender. (Check cooking time on the package- all brown rice is different depending on size and thickness- quick-cooking brown rice will take 15-20 mins, long grain 30-40-ish mins, short grain brown 40-50 mins.  My advise, check at 20 mins, then 30, then 40. 🙂
  6. While the rice is cooking, season the shrimp with a little salt, pepper and smoked paprika, and give a quick sear. Once the rice is tender, nestle in the shrimp, asparagus and peas, cover and cook for 5-10 more minutes, until shrimp is cooked all the way through.
  7. Garnish with green onion, parsley and or hot sauce.


I use fish sauce in the recipe to replace the traditional shellfish broth. It works!

Shrimp: If using large frozen raw shrimp, feel free to add to Instant pot and let it pressure cook with the rice. If using thawed or cooked shrimp, add to the pot after pressure cooking. TIP:  I prefer to give shrimp a quick sear in an oiled pan on the stove, adding pinch of salt, pepper and smoked paprika. It just looks more appealing, not mandatory. Up to you.

RICE: If using other types of rice (like brown basmati rice) you may need to increase pressure cooking time and increase the broth ( be sure to read package directions). I’ve only tested with white long-grain rice. Short grain rice is not recommended.


  • Serving Size: -using chicken sausage and 8 ounces shrimp
  • Calories: 496
  • Sugar: 6.9 g
  • Sodium: 871.5 mg
  • Fat: 15.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.2 g
  • Fiber: 6.1 g
  • Protein: 32.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 135.9 mg

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  1. Excellent recipe-housemates really liked it. I added peas and used Field Roast sausage(maybe will add sausage a bit later next time)Thanks incredible

  2. This was absolutely delicious! So satisfying without being super heavy. The fish sauce is such a genius idea! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

  3. Made the recipe with my partner and it came out delicious. My only issue is that it came out quite liquidy, is there anything we could’ve done wrong that made it so?

  4. How long would you recommend pressure cooking for brown rice? Will increasing the time of press cook impact the vegetables or sausage at all? Want to use brown rice for this recipe but don’t want to overcook the rest of the ingredients.

    1. Pressure cook 15 minutes. Make sure to add shrimp after the pressure cooking. 🙂 Should be ok??

  5. I am a little confused where the asparagus and peas come from. They are not listed in the ingredients! Am i missing something obvious?

  6. SO GOOD!!! This was my first recipe using the instant pot so I followed the recipe exactly (just used 2 c. rice instead of 1.5 based on other reviews) and it turned out perfect!!! Beautifully spicy and flavorful. I used the Minute brand Brown Rice and it cooked perfect (not mushy) in 5 mins as well. 🙂 Thank you for such a good recipe!!

  7. I don’t eat meat, if I only use seafood and vegetables do the liquid amount stay the same? I only just bought a instant pot and I would like to try this recipe. Thank you for your suggestions

  8. I was a little hesitant to try this recipe because my husband is from Cajun country and he always cooks this when we have it. He was pleasantly surprised.

    We go for spicy in our household. My modifications: added 1.5 lbs chicken breast, 2 jalapeños (instead of 1), 2 bell peppers (instead of 1), brown rice, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 can original rotel (instead of crushed tomatoes), 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, and pressure cooked for 15 min (for the brown rice). No garnish, no shrimp (didn’t have any on hand), and I skipped the optional additions.

  9. Looking forward to making this! We are not a fan of shrimp. Could we throw in frozen chicken thighs instead? I’m new to instant pots and curious if that would work or if we would need to thaw them out first.

    1. I think the frozen thighs take much longer than the 5 minutes pressure cooking time in the recipe- so your chicken would not be done. I would thaw and brown them first then add to pot.

  10. Very tasty! I made the recipe as written, except (aren’t there always excepts? Sorry) we used pork andouille, and chicken breast (cooked it first) instead of the shrimp (because bugs. Ew.)
    I read the comments first and I’m glad, because upping the long grain rice to 2 cups, and shorting the broth to 3.5 cups was perfect. There’s still a little liquid in the bottom but I imagine it’ll be absorbed as it cools and the rice is not mushy.

    The only thing I’d change next time is less thyme. It’s pretty overpowering (I used the 1 level teaspoon of dried). I’d maybe even omit it altogether unless a person is a huge fan of thyme.

  11. Hi! is the 1 cup asparagus meant to be frozen or fresh? Would you change the cook time whether it’s frozen or fresh?

  12. Delicious! I will certainly make it again but pressure cook longer than the suggested 5 minutes. The rice was a tad undercooked.

  13. I cut the broth in half (2 cups). Rice was perfect… consistency of final dish was perfect.

    I really enjoyed the flavor and heat in this recipe. I left the seeds and ribs in from the jalapeño, used a medium spiced andouille sausage and the 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne. Very nice heat and delicious flavor. I also added 3/4 lb. chicken thighs.

    Definitely a keeper!


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