Simplified Jambalaya Recipe

This dish was born of necessity and scarcity (of time, not ingredients). I operate a fishing lodge in southeast Alaska. After long days of hiking in the rain and chasing steelhead, everyone’s cold, wet, and very hungry. The perfect antidote? Jambalaya. It’s great comfort food and very filling.

This isn’t, however, the typical Southern-style recipe that takes hours of slow cooking. This recipe was created to conserve cooking time, while still retaining the spirit of the dish. It’s an easy and relatively fast version of a Southern classic that has gained grudging approval from clients born and bred below the Mason-Dixon.

Serving size


Time to make

70 minutes


6 cloves garlic, pressed
1 coarsely chopped white or yellow onion, roughly 3/4-inch pieces
7 cups stock (1/2 ungulate and 1/2 bird, preferably from wild game)
1 1/2 pound andouille sausage (I use venison, but commercial will work)
1 1/2 pound shrimp (wild harvested is best, but store-bought works)
2/3 stick of salted butter
2 cups white long grain rice
1 tbsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 15 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 bunch green onions, diced (separate the greens from the whites)

Special equipment

5-quart Dutch oven or deep frying pan


  1. In large (5 quart) Dutch oven or deep frying pan, melt the butter and add the crushed garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to get fragrant, add the chopped yellow onion and the white onion bottoms (from the green onion bunch) and sauté on medium-high heat until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir until evenly coated with butter. Add 5 cups of stock to rice (reserve the remaining 2 cups to finish cooking the rice; added as needed). Simmer on medium-low heat until rice softens.
  2. If the andouille sausage is fresh, you will need to grill it. Let it cool before slicing into bite-sized rounds. If the andouille is already smoked, slice the links into bite-sized rounds.
  3. Once rice is al dente, add the entire two cans of fire roasted tomatoes and their juice. Add the Tony Chachere’s and Old Bay seasoning. Mix well, and continue to simmer until most of the standing juice is incorporated into the rice. Continue to stir. Bring heat back up to medium and add sliced andouille. Continue to cook. If the rice needs more stock to finish cooking, add 1/2 cup of stock at a time until all liquid is absorbed. Continue to add stock until the rice is fully cooked. 
  4. Once rice is soft and the desired thickness of dish is achieved, add raw shrimp. Stir in shrimp and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. The shrimp will continue to cook even after it’s removed from heat.
  5. Remove from heat and garnish with green onion tops. Serve with toasted french baguette.

Feature image via Bryan Gregson