Spicy and flavorful Slow Cooker Jambalaya is instant family favorite comfort food you will fix again and again. Way too easy and delicious to make only once!
Want more of these big, bold Cajun flavors? Be sure to try my recipes for Cajun Grilled Salmon, Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet, and Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta next.
How to Make This Recipe
- Andouille Sausage – Smoked sausage is so good in his jambalaya recipe. I do prefer Andouille, but you can use whatever smoked sausage you like.
- Uncooked Shrimp – I always buy the already peeled and de-veined shrimp but you can purchase the shrimp with the shells and tails, it will just be more work for you once the dish is cooked.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast –Pound the boneless, skinless breast to an even thickness to ensure even cooking.
- Bell Peppers – For a pretty jambalaya, add one of each bell pepper: green, red, and yellow or orange) and dice them up.
- White or Yellow Onion – Either onion you have on hand here is okay. Apply a fine chop to them.
- Jalapeños –Remove the seeds and stems from the jalapenos for a delicious kick without overwhelming heat.
- Uncooked White Rice – The rice will cook in the broth and other juices, so go ahead and add it in uncooked, it’s totally fine.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth – Any name-brand chicken broth will work here. I like low sodium so that I can add the salt later to taste. You could also use chicken stock if you prefer.
- Crushed Tomatoes – Open a can, any can, and add those crushed beauties right to the pan.
- Minced Garlic – I like to use the garlic in the jar that’s already minced but you can mince your own.
- Cajun Seasoning – Either store-bought or homemade Cajun spices will work well.
- Salt and Pepper – Any salt and pepper to tase is a-okay by me!
- Cilantro or Parsley – These herbs are optional, but I like to finely chop them and add them over the top of this jambalaya recipe as a garnish. You can also use green onions and a tablespoon of olive oil swirled on the top in a pinch.
Step By Step Directions
- First, slice the smoked sausage into sections (into about ¼ inch thick slices). Remove the tails from shrimp if they are still on, and chop the chicken into 1-inch pieces.
- Next, add the sausage, chicken, bell peppers, onion, jalapeños, chicken broth, tomatoes, minced garlic, Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to greased slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook the jambalaya for 3-4 hours on low. Stir in the rice and cook another 1-2 hours until rice is fully cooked and tender.
- Then, about 20 minutes before serving, uncover the slow cooker, stir in the shrimp, cover again, and then cook it for about another 15-20 minutes. Stir in the contents of the slow cooker, sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley if desired, and serve hot.
Not sure how to store this jambalaya? It’s easy. You can put it in an airtight container in and pop it in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you’d prefer to freeze it, use an airtight container as well and put it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
If you’ve used shrimp with the shell on, be sure to take the shells off before freezing.
Yes, you can totally go ahead and put uncooked rice in the slow cooker, there is enough broth and juices from the tomatoes to cook the rice just fine in the slow cooker. If you put cooked rice into the slow cooker, it will be complete mush by the time the jambalaya is done.
Your jambalaya should not be watery…if it is, you have added too much chicken broth or your tomatoes were too watery/juicy. If you run into this problem, one way to salvage it is to add a tablespoon of cornstarch to some tomato juice or broth and then add this slurry to the jambalaya recipe and stir, stir, stir, till the sauce starts to thicken.
For this jambalaya recipe, the best kind of rice to use is just plain, old fashioned uncooked white rice. Some rice varieties take longer to cook and would alter the recipe cooking instructions. Since I haven’t tested all kinds of rice, I tend to stick to the long grain white rice that’s the most common.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Two jalapeños will not make this dish real spicy. If you want more of a kick, I recommend adding a third jalapeño, or try adding in your favorite hot sauce or a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Make sure you use the right amount of liquids and no more. Otherwise, the jambalaya will be too mushy.
- If you typically wash your rice before cooking, in this case I would suggest not rinsing it as the starches on the rice help thicken the jambalaya.
- To make this jambalaya vegan, use vegetable broth and skip the sausage. Instead, add more peppers or other vegetables you enjoy.
More Recipes You’ll Love
Loving fix and forget meals in your crockpot? Try Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala Soup, Best Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs, and Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore.
Slow Cooker Jambalaya Recipe
- 1 package andouille sausage
- ½ pound uncooked shrimp - (peeled and de-veined)
- 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast - pounded to even thickness
- 3 bell peppers - (one each of green, red, and yellow or orange), diced
- 1 white or yellow onion - diced
- 2-3 jalapeños - (see note), seeds and stems removed
- 1 ½ cups uncooked white rice
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 30-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons store-bought or homemade cajun seasoning
- ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper - or to taste
- cilantro or parsley, for topping (optional)
- Slice sausage into sections (about ¼ inch thick slices). Remove tails from shrimp if they are still on. Chop chicken into 1-inch pieces.
- Add sausage, chicken, bell peppers, onion, jalapeños, chicken broth, tomatoes, minced garlic, cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to greased slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on low. Stir in rice and cook another 1-2 hours until rice is fully cooked and tender
- About 20 minutes before serving, uncover slow cooker, stir in shrimp, re-cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Stir contents of slow cooker, sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley if desired, and serve hot.
I tried this yesterday…fantastic! I did make some changes following some of the comments below. I used a large can of diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes. I reduced the chicken broth to 1 cup. I added the rice after 3 hours of cooking and only cooked for 1 hour, then added the shrimp for 20 minutes….PERFECT!!!
Hello Sylvie, what type of rice did you use? Also, it was raw shrimp? Thank You
I made this for Mardi Gras and it turned out great with three modifications. First, I only added one jalapeno because I didn’t see I needed two. There was definitely a kick to it still. Second, I cooked the rice separately and then added it to the crockpot 15-20 minutes before serving. Was not mushy at all. Third, I didn’t add shrimp because I do not like shrimp. Got a lot of compliments, everyone loved it!
My rice is way undercooked. It has been cooking for 4 hours. Any tips?
Not bad, rice turned out very mushy. The ingredients list calls for an onion, but the instructions never use it.
I tried this today and while the flavor is absolutely delicious the rice and when to put it in is not quite right. Also I was unsure what type of rice, whether instant or regular. After reading about the mushy rice I went with regular and it was partially undercooked and I left it in longer trying to fully cook it.