This Louisiana-inspired instant pot chicken and sausage jambalaya is the perfect one-pot dish for a weeknight dinner! Chunky bites of andouille sausage contrast perfectly with the veggies and rice to produce a quick and wholesome meal!
What is Jambalaya?
Originating in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, jambalaya is a tasty and wholesome dish that includes meat, vegetables, and rice. Easy to make in one pot, it’s the perfect comfort food for a spicy dinner with the family.
The History of Jambalaya
Necessity is the mother of invention they say. Or as in the case of jambalaya, the lack of an ingredient resulted in the creation of a new dish. The Spanish settlers brought their culture with them to New Orleans but faced one problem — A lack of saffron to make paella.
They substituted with tomatoes, and the rest as they say is history. A new dish was born. Jambalaya! Or specifically “Red Jambalaya” or “Creole Jambalaya”.
As jambalaya grew popular, a newer Cajun version of the dish was birthed in the Southern towns of Louisiana where tomatoes were sparse. This brown version of the dish called “Cajun Jambalaya” included local meats and seafood, onions, bell peppers, and seasonings brought over by the French in the early 19th century.
By the 1840s the Germans made their way to Louisiana bringing with their sausage-making culture. Soon sausages found their way into the jambalaya and other Louisiana dishes too. And that’s how the current version of this iconic dish to be!
The base ingredients for any Instant Pot Jambalaya are rice, onions, bell peppers and sausages. Add to that some seasonal veggies and local ingredients such as chicken, ham and you’ll have a variety of spinoffs of both the Creole and Cajun version. For this Cajun dish, we use these ingredients.
- Diced Onions
- Diced Green Bell Peppers
- Diced Jalapeno Peppers
- Chicken Stock
- Andouille Sausages
- Dried Thyme
- Creole Seasoning
- Tomato Paste
- White Long-Grain Rice
- Diced Tomatoes
- Hot Sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Bay Leaves
- Sliced Green Onions
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Cooking up this instant pot jambalaya recipe is as easy as ever. Just follow these steps and you’ll have dinner ready in 30 minutes.
Step 1: Sauté the Sausage
With the instant pot in saute mode, heat the sausages with oil. Stir often till they are cooked and brown on both sides. Then remove the sausages and set aside.
Step 2: Sauté the Onions and Bell Peppers
Add the diced onions and bell peppers to the pot and cook till translucent. Add the garlic continue sautéing for another minute before adding the diced jalapeño. Stir well.
Step 3: Add Seasonings and Sauce
Add the creole seasoning, thyme, tomato paste and salt to the instant pot and mix well.
Step 4: Add the Rice
Add the rice and continue to saute for another minute before turning the saute mode off.
Step 5: Add Liquids
Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and sauces to the instant pot and mix well.
Also add the cooked sausages back in along with the green onions, and bay leaves.
Loosen any bits of food stuck to the bottom of the pot by using a wooden spoon. Then secure the lid, set the pressure valve to sealing and set to high pressure for 7 minutes. Next, allow the instant pot to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes before venting.
Step 6: Serve
Spoon the spicy instant pot chicken and sausage jambalaya into bowls and serve!
Optional Serving Suggestions and Tips
- Don’t skip the step where you loosen the bits stuck to the bottom of the instant pot with a wooden spoon. If you do, you might end up with a bit of burnt crust at the end.
- You can save time by chopping the onions, garlic, and bell pepper together in a vegetable chopper.
- If you don’t like your food very spicy, reduce the creole seasoning by half and omit the hot sauce.
- If you cannot find andouille sausages, any other smoked sausages will do.
- To make this dish vegetarian, replace the sausages with chopped okra.
- If you can’t find cajun seasoning, use this homemade chili seasoning as a substitute. It won’t taste exactly the same, but it has many of the same spicy notes.
- Top with fresh jalapeno slices as a garnish if you like.
- Serve with this delicious crab dip appetizer.
FAQs About Instant Pot Jambalaya
The Creole version of jambalaya contains tomatoes and is also called “red jambalaya”. The Cajun version that originated in South Western and Southern Louisiana is brown in color due to the absence of tomatoes in the dish and the deeper browning of the meats included in the dish.
The dishes are quite similar considering that jambalaya is a spin-off of the paella. But the big difference is the flavor – paella is more Mediterranean and uses olives and saffron, while jambalaya is more Creole/Cajun and uses bell peppers, onions and celery.
Gumbo is a type of Louisiana stew that is served with rice, while jambalaya incorporates the rice into the dish.
Yes, you can use brown rice. You’ll have to increase the cooking time by about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the brown rice you choose.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Instant Pot Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Mardi Gras Rolo Pretzels
- Instant Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
You can print off the complete ingredients and instructions for this Instant pot Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya recipe via the recipe card below.
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Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Electric Pressure Cooker
- ½ cup onion diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper diced
- 2 Tbs minced garlic
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced and seeded
- 13 oz andouille sausage sliced
- 2 Tbs creole seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 ½ cup white long-grain rice)
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 ¾ chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbs green onions sliced
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Once hot, add oil and the sausage. Cook sausage, stirring frequently, until browned and cooked through. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.
- Next, add onions and green bell peppers to the pot. Cook until the onions are translucent, about three minutes.
- Add garlic to the pot and continue sautéing for about a minute. Then, add the diced jalapeño and stir well.
- Add creole seasoning, thyme, tomato paste and salt. Mix well.
- Then add the rice. Stir again and sauté for another minute. Turn off sauté mode by selecting cancel on your instant pot.
- Add the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well and then add the cooked sausage, green onions, and bay leaves.
- Use a wooden spoon to scrape any scraps of food that are stuck to the bottom of your Instant Pot.
- Secure the lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Set to high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Once the cook time ends, allow your Instant Pot to naturally release for about 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, do a manual release by turning the pressure valve to venting.
- Spoon into bowls and serve immediately. Top with fresh jalapeno slices as a garnish if you like.