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Instant Pot Jambalaya


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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!

Jambalaya in two white bowls next to an instant pot.

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.

Jambalaya in white pots next to chopped jalapeno peppers and forks.

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!

Ingredients

Sausages, veggies, and other ingredients for the jambalaya recipe in bowls on a table.

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.

Chopped andouille sausages and oil in an instant pot.

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.

Onions and bell peppers sauteeing in an instant pot.

Step 3: Add Seasonings and Sauce

Add the creole seasoning, thyme, tomato paste and salt to the instant pot and mix well.

Diced onions, bell peppers and garlic sauteeing in an instant pot with a plate of sausages at the side.

Step 4: Add the Rice

Add the rice and continue to saute for another minute before turning the saute mode off.

Veggies and rice sauteeing in an instant pot with creole seasoning.

Step 5: Add Liquids

Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and sauces to the instant pot and mix well.

Veggies, rice and hot sauce cooking in an instant pot.

Also add the cooked sausages back in along with the green onions, and bay leaves.

Chopped sausages, green onions and bay leaves on top of other ingredients in an instant pot.

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.

Chopped sausages, veggies, rice and other jambalaya ingredients in an instant pot.

Step 6: Serve

Spoon the spicy instant pot chicken and sausage jambalaya into bowls and serve!

Chicken and sausage jambalya in white bowls.

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.
Jambalaya rice and sausage on a fork above two white bowls of jambalaya.

FAQs About Instant Pot Jambalaya

What is the difference between Cajun and Creole 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.

How different are paella and jambalaya from each other?

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.

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

Gumbo is a type of Louisiana stew that is served with rice, while jambalaya incorporates the rice into the dish.

We’re trying to eat healthy. Can I use brown rice instead?

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 Jambalaya Recipe

You can print off the complete ingredients and instructions for this Instant pot Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya recipe via the recipe card below.

If you love this recipe please leave a 5-star rating!

Instant Pot Jambalaya

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Cajun
Servings 4
Calories 603 kcal

Equipment

  • Electric Pressure Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 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 tsp 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 tsp hot sauce
  • ½ Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbs green onions sliced

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

If you don’t like your food very spicy, reduce the creole seasoning by half and omit the hot sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 603kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 24gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 912mgPotassium: 569mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1344IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

6 thoughts on “Instant Pot Jambalaya”

    • 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.

      Reply

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