Jambalaya


My brand new season 2 of Ali in the Valley Youtube show starts off with this yummy Jambalaya!

This Jambalaya recipe is super easy to execute and has a fabulous taste of New Orleans. Another lifetime ago, in my early 20's I spent a lot of time New Orleans and really learned how to cook Creole cuisines.

What you’ll love most about preparing creole New Orleans Jambalaya is that it’s an easy one-pot meal. I know that you and I are on the exact same page in looking for ways to free ourselves up so we can spend more quality time with our families. Life is fast-paced and hectic, so it’s more important than ever to find quick and easy recipes that will allow us to sit down at the table with our families and enjoy a delicious meal together. Spending time connecting with one another after a busy day keeps families bonded and tight, and encourages the doors of communication to remain wide open.

A traditional creole New Orleans Jambalaya recipe includes onions, garlic, cajun seasonings, a bevy of bright colorful bell peppers, chicken, shrimp, and delicious smoked sausage.


Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make a spectacular Creole New Orleans jambalaya: olive oil, celery, onion, bell peppers (I use a colorful blend of green and orange), garlic, boneless/skinless chicken, smoked sausage (I used spicy chicken sausage), shrimp, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, long-grain rice and spices.

Because a store-bought jar of cajun spices is not available everywhere, I love making my own homemade Essence spice blend. It gives me the opportunity to dial up the heat when cooking for whom ever loves spicy foods or dial things down for family members whom don't like it spicy. My special Essence spice mix includes easy-to-find spices that you may already have on hand: paprika, sea salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. I also use two bay leaves for this jambalaya recipe.


Start by adding 2 tablespoons of oil to a large cast-iron pan that has a lid. If your cast-iron pan doesn’t have a lid you can use a Dutch oven or another type of large, heavy pan.

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with essence, creole seasoning or salt and pepper. Add the chicken and smoked sausage to the pan . Continue to sauté everything until the chicken is no longer pink and looks like it’s almost completely cooked.



Add in the celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté the veggies over medium-high heat until they just start to become tender. On my stovetop this process takes about 4 minutes .

Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, seasonings and two bay leaves. With a wooden spoon, stir everything together until well combined. Cover the pan with a lid, turn down the heat to medium-low and allow the ingredients to simmer, stirring every five minutes until the rice is tender and cooked. On my stovetop this takes 25 minutes. The reason I stir the rice often is to make sure it doesn’t start sticking to the bottom of the pan and burn.

Once the rice is done, fold the shrimp into the mixture. Cover the pan again and allow the shrimp to cook until it’s no longer pink. This only takes about five minutes.

Your scrumptious jambalaya recipe is now complete! It’s time to garnish your jambalaya with a few sliced green onions or fresh parsley.

Take a moment to stand back and truly admire your beautiful, Creole Jambalaya!

Soon your Jambalaya will be enjoyed by your family and you’ll be receiving a lot of compliments. If your family is anything like mine, there might not be any leftovers for the following day. But hey, that’s okay! The important thing about dinnertime with your family is having the opportunity to converse with one another in a meaningful way. My family likes to share stories of what happened that day, brainstorm ideas and problem solve, celebrate accomplishments, and basically just feel the love that expands between all of us around the table.

Ahhh…the delicious savory smells rising from your stovetop and floating through your kitchen will get everyone excited about eating jambalaya for dinner!


During the fall and winter seasons jambalaya is a warm, cozy, hearty meal that your family will absolutely love.


Ali in the Valley

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