Channel your inner Cajun and enjoy this super flavorful meal made in your crock pot. Everything goes into one pot, set it, and go. Loaded with flavors of shrimp, chicken, sausage, tomatoes, the “holy trinity,” and a few spices. You can even cook the rice in the same pot in this easy Slow Cooker Jambalaya.
Dinner time is so great when you did all the work that morning by filling the crock pot.
I wish I had done that this morning, but I wanted to sit here and share this recipe with you instead. It’s that good.
You can follow the recipe as is, or I’ll give you a few alternatives, as I like to do.
Sometimes you’ve just gotta mix things up a little.
Making Slow Cooker Jambalaya
If you have slow cooker liners, go ahead and line your crock pot. This isn’t completely necessary, but it’s super helpful later when you’re cleaning up.
Ok, here we go. Throw everything into the crock pot except the shrimp. Stir. Pretty easy, right? I love this.
Why leave out the shrimp? Shrimp doesn’t take all that long to cook, and we don’t want it over cooked, so it goes in later.
Decide if you want to eat sooner, rather than later, and set your time on HIGH or LOW.
For example, if you cook it on HIGH, set the timer for 3 hours. Then add the shrimp, stir, and cook for another 1/2 hour.
On the other hand, if you cook it on LOW, set the timer for 7 hours. Then add the shrimp, stir, and cook for 1 hour more.
Also, make sure you put the lid back on right away.
That was it…time to eat.
Let’s talk shrimp.
The shrimp needs to be raw and it should already be cleaned and de-veined.
I leave the tails on, because it helps flavor the jambalaya as it cooks. There’s a lot of flavor in the shell.
Adding in shrimp without the tails is just fine, plus you won’t have to eat around the tails.
What size? It’s up to you, although I wouldn’t recommend the real tiny ones. Think bite-size. I usually use the extra large, which is perfect for taking 2 bites with the tail on.
No, you don’t have to defrost them first, just dump them in and stir.
Let’s talk chicken.
I use skinless boneless chicken breast in this recipe. If you prefer to use thighs instead, you may need to add more cooking time.
For cooking on HIGH, add another 1/2 hour, then add the shrimp. For cooking on LOW, add another 1 hour before adding the shrimp.
I’m sure you know this, but chicken should never be pink when you eat it. To play it safe, check first before serving.
Let’s talk sausage.
The classic version of this recipe, as far as I can tell, calls for andouille sausage, and it’s found at the meat counter.
That doesn’t mean you have to use it. I tried a spicy sausage just to give it more bite, which was delicious and surprisingly more spicy than I thought it would be.
I also use a lot of turkey sausage. Mostly because I like to eat healthy, but seriously, it tastes good, too.
So whether you use traditional andouille pork sausage, chicken sausage, or turkey sausage, it’s going to taste amazing.
Let’s talk rice.
Here’s another ingredient that you can pretty much use whatever you already have. I had basmati, which is a fragrant rice, but was great in this.
Long grain wild rice would also be good, or mix and match. Jambalaya is flexible in that way.
One more thought on the rice matter…you can also chose to serve jambalaya over rice. In other words, don’t cook the rice in the crock pot, cook it separately.
This way, it takes on a whole different look, but tastes just as good. It’s no longer a one-pot meal, but I’m ok with that if you are.
More slow cooker and one-pot recipes:
Slow Cooker Jambalaya
- 1 Large Crock Pot Optional: use with slow cooker liner
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
- 1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 28 oz. diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth, (or 14.5 oz. can)
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper,
- 1 1/2 cups rice
- 1 lb. raw shrimp - fresh or frozen (does not need to be thawed first), shelled and deveined (see Notes)
- Add the ingredients from chicken to rice into the slow cooker (leaving out the shrimp), and stir.
Cooking on HIGH setting:
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours. Remove cover and add shrimp. Recover and cook for another 1/2 hour.
Cooking on LOW setting:
- Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Remove cover and add shrimp. Recover and cook for 1 hour more.
- Garnish with optional fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Jambalaya
Before I close, I realize some of you may not know what the “holy trinity” is when cooking, and I didn’t want to leave you hanging.
It’s a Cajun and Louisiana Creole variant of mirepoix; traditional mirepoix is two parts onions, one part carrots, and one part celery, whereas the holy trinity is typically one or two parts onions, one part green bell pepper, and one part celery.
I didn’t stick to the exact ratios in the recipe, but you get the picture.
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