Some of my favorite meals are one pan or pot options that help me clear out the fridge. A clutter of half used veggies and open packs of protein sources drives me a little looney. We all have our hang ups, right? Plus, this one can be done on the cheap but doesn’t skimp on flavor or nutrition. Alright, let’s do this. Here are the ingredients for a simple jambalaya:
- The Cajun/Creole “holy trinity”: Celery, onion and green bell pepper. We always add in other veggies such as zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms, asparagus etc. A traditional jambalaya has okra but I am not a fan personally. It does help thicken the sauce for texture however.
- Jalapeño and cayenne: These are for heat of course. Start with a little then add more depending on your heat preferences. Remember, it will get hotter the longer it cooks and as leftovers.😅🔥
- Garlic, Creole or Cajun seasoning, bay leaf, thyme.
- A protein source or 2, or 3. Traditional fare is chicken, shrimp and Andouille sausage. We typically do chicken sausage or tempeh. We stopped eating fish/seafood because our oceans are in dire distress. Learn more here: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/why-you-shouldnt-eat-seafood/
- Chicken stock: If the rice needs more liquid as it cooks, feel free to add in more. Of course veggie broth works too!
- Crushed tomatoes: For flavor. Although my Martha Stewart husband over here uses tomato powder he makes each summer. Not necessary of course but I find it fun to brag about his kitchen activities. I think he may have missed his calling😂
- Rice: Long grain white is traditional but I almost always use short grain brown.
- Salt and Black Pepper: Important! Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper to taste at the end.
This is one of those recipes you make more intuitively as far as ingredient amounts hence why they are not listed. We do ours with less rice and more veggies than anything else but you can play with the ratios. Same with the “brothyness” of it. Consider the size of your pan as well. Practice, play and you’ll find your jam-balaya😉
- Sauté the proteins. Sauté until cooked through then transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
- Sauté the veggies. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, celery, jalapeño, garlic and other veggies until just barely soft.
- Add rice, liquids and seasonings. Add in the uncooked rice, chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, Cajun/Creole seasoning, thyme, cayenne and bay leaf. Give everything a good stir.
- Cover and cook. Simmer for 20-ish minutes, being sure to stir the mixture every 5 minutes or so (to prevent burning) until the rice is tender.
- Taste and season. Season the jambalaya with salt and pepper (and extra Cajun/Creole seasoning, if needed) to taste.
- Serve warm. Garnished with your desired toppings. I’ve been known to add a slice of avocado…enjoy!