New Orleans-Style Jambalaya


This hearty Creole jambalaya is smoky, aromatic, and just a little bit spicy.

New Orleans Style Jambalaya
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

Jambalaya is a Creole dish with roots in French, African, and Spanish cuisines. There are many variations on this dish of shrimp, meat, and vegetables cooked with rice. In this New Orleans-style recipe, rendered fat from a combination of andouille sausage, bacon, and smoked sausage serves as the base for building flavors, and the dish keeps going from there. Take the time to cook each element of the jambalaya to add browned, caramelized flavor to the final dish. Make sure to save the shells when peeling and deveining the shrimp, as they'll be used for a homemade shrimp stock that goes in the dish towards the end.


  • 1 ½ pounds extra-large unpeeled raw shrimp

  • 4 cups water, plus more if needed

  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

  • 14 ounces smoked sausage, sliced (use more andouille if you like)

  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon (about 4 slices), chopped

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 large celery stalks, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice

  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (from 1 [14-ounce] can)

  • 4 scallions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)


  1. Peel and devein shrimp; reserve shells. Refrigerate shrimp until ready to use. Place shells in a medium saucepan; cook over medium-high, stirring often, until shells blister slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in water; bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, undisturbed, 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a medium-size heatproof bowl or measuring jug; discard shells. You should have 3 cups reserved stock total; if needed, add water to stock to measure exactly 3 cups. Set aside.

  2. Cook andouille sausage, smoked sausage, and bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered, about 12 minutes. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until bell pepper and celery start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, paprika, salt, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, and bay leaf; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  3. Stir tomatoes and reserved 3 cups shrimp stock into rice mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer gently until rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes, stirring once after about 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in reserved shrimp. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until shrimp are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with scallions.

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