The Jambalaya Recipe That Earned This New Englander a Compliment as a “Southerner”

Sep 15, 2023 | Main Blog | 0 comments

“Only a southerner can make Jambalaya this good!” said the man at our church Mardi Gras party after he tasted my creation (I took a basic jambalaya recipe and made my own changes – and it was a huge success). “Oh,” I replied, “and I’m from Massachusetts.”

I take that as a great compliment.

For this party I omitted the shrimp or other fresh seafood because it’s not as simple as just popping any in the crock pot. The shrimp will get hard, and the other seafood will probably get overcooked. When I add shrimp, I cook it minutes before we are ready to eat so it’s firm and not overcooked. The same is true for any white fish.

But canned fish can be added as the jambalaya cooks if you prefer or added at the end the same as the fresh type (there’s a note at the bottom of the recipe).

Here is my recipe:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (“hot” would mean take out the seeds; “super, almost burning, spicy” means keep the seeds)
  • 1 green chili pepper (ditto on the seeds!)


1 lb chicken breasts or thighs, chopped

1 lb Andouille sausage, sliced

1 tablespoon Zatarain’s Creole spice

Add to onion mixture and cook 5 minutes, stirring

Add and stir in:

  • 1 tablespoon Zatarain’s Creole spice
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or liquid smoke

Stir in:

  • 2 cans of 8 oz stewed or chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 16 oz cans of pinto beans

Simmer for 1 hour on the stove or cook in slow cooker for 4 hours.

Check seasoning.

I prefer to cook the rice, put it in the bowl, and spoon the jambalaya over the top, but an alternative would be adding cooked rice to the jambalaya and cook until warm.

Optional add ins:  canned clams, shrimp, oysters or other seafood – cook when the jambalaya is finished and add to each bowl when ladling out the portions.

Serve with grated cheese and chopped green onions.

For people who would like to make the seasoning rather than buy Zatarain’s Creole, here’s a great jambalaya spice recipe (feel free to change as you’d like for more kick or for less heat)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic

This recipe produces a wonderful dinner for a party. As you’re cooking, you’ll realize it’s quite simple. It makes a lot of virtually a stew, especially when it’s ladled over rice. Besides, if it takes a good southerner to make jambalaya, and I’m from New England, it’s almost a challenge!

Her Nexx Chapter invites you to join our free Community where women from around the world are connecting with each other’s stories, exploring different experiences, and transforming ideas.

Photo Credit:

The Future of Connection for Women


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Grace Aspinall

Follow Us!