Slowcooker Jambalaya with Rice

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This slowcooker jambalaya recipe features hearty chunks of savory chicken, spicy sausage, and tender shrimp with oodles of delicious vegetables for a thick and satisfying stew your family will love. Stir in cooked rice to help the meal go even farther!

The cooked sausage and peppers and celery in a slow cooker.

The best slowcooker recipes feature plenty of flavor, tender veggies, and perfectly cooked proteins.

This easy slowcooker jambalaya with chicken, sausage, and shrimp fits that description perfectly.

Want to stretch the meal a little farther for your family? Serve it with cooked rice!

You can scoop some cooked rice into the serving bowl and ladle the jambalaya over the top or stir the rice right into the stew for a thick and comforting meal.

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Why This is the Best Recipe

This delicious slowcooker jambalaya recipe is the best because:

  1. Easy Prep: You can have everything popped into the slowcooker in just minutes.
  2. Not Too Spicy: Don't let the ingredients fool you, this chicken jambalaya has a well seasoned sauce and is kid-friendly. If you want it spicier, you can always adjust the seasonings for your family.
  3. Light and Healthy: Compared to jambalaya with chorizo sausage, my version uses a lighter turkey kielbasa sausage to keep things light.
  4. Freezer-Friendly: You can freeze the leftovers in smaller containers for easy lunches or dinners later.

Ingredients & Substitutions

The chicken, shrimp, sausage, and vegetables and seasonings sit in front of a Crockpot.

This easy recipe starts with such a simple list of ingredients.

The list might look long but most of what you need is probably in your kitchen pantry right now!

Fresh Ingredients:

  • Chicken: I use chicken tenderloins because they are so easy to cut but boneless, skinless chicken breasts would also work well.
  • Smoked Sausage: I use a light turkey kielbasa sausage but you could substitute a regular beef kielbasa, andouille sausage links, or chorizo if you love things extra spicy.
  • Shrimp: Whether you use fresh or frozen shrimp, be sure they are peeled and deveined with the tails removed. This makes the dish much easier to eat.
  • Celery
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Onion

Pantry Ingredients:

  • Canned Tomatoes: I use fire-roasted tomatoes for extra kick but if your family likes things mild, be sure to use just regular tomatoes.
  • Minced Garlic
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Cajun Seasoning blend: I use this for so many recipes in my kitchen. It's not too spicy at all, just a very flavorful blend that works great for chicken and shrimp.
  • Sugar
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Parsley
  • Dried Thyme
  • Dried Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper

How to Make Chicken Jambalaya

When cooking with a slowcooker, you often need to decide whether to cook the recipe faster on HIGH or slower on LOW.

When I make a slowcooker chicken recipe, I generally prefer to cook it on HIGH because the texture of the chicken remains more firm when cooked just a little bit faster.

Choose your cook time first:

  • HIGH: 2 - 3 hours
  • LOW: 7 - 8 hours

NOTE: The shrimp will be added at the very end of the cooking time, so plan a 10-minute waiting period before you can serve the final dish.

Add the Tomatoes and Spices

The first step to this easy slowcooker jambalaya is to add the entire can of diced tomatoes with their juices to the Crockpot.

Then add all the dried seasonings and minced garlic and stir them in to the tomato juices.

To avoid breaking the leaves up while you stir the ingredients, don't add the bay leaves until the very end.

The tomatoes and dried herbs and seasonings are added to the slowcooker.

Stir in the Chopped Vegetables

Next, add the diced onion and celery to the slowcooker and stir them into the tomato mixture.

The vegetables will cook and add moisture to the dish but they will remain mostly firm in your final meal.

The diced onion and fresh celery are mixed in.

If you prefer a softer celery, you may wish to saute the onion and celery in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Scrape all the juices from the pan into the slowcooker bowl along with the softened veggies.

Add the Chicken and Sausage First

Chop the chicken and sausage into large bite-sized pieces and stir them into the slowcooker bowl so that they are completely coated in seasonings.

The chicken and sausage need a much longer time to cook than the shrimp so these are the only two proteins to add to the jambalaya at this point.

Now that everything is stirred together, don't forget to add the bay leaves. You can nestle them into the chicken.

The chopped chicken and sausage are mixed in to cook longer than the shrimp.

Cooking Times

Now, depending on how long you want the dish to cook, set your Crockpot to:

  • HIGH: 2 - 3 hours
  • LOW: 7 - 8 hours

When to Add the Shrimp

10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir the chicken jambalaya and check the texture of the chicken.

At this point, add the raw shrimp and stir it into the tomato broth. Cover the slowcooker and cook for 10 minutes or until the shrimp are firm and pink.

If you are using frozen shrimp, just be sure to defrost it before you add it to the Crockpot or the extra water from the icy coating will water down your jambalaya.

You can read my tips for the best way to thaw frozen shrimp here.

The shrimp are added to the slowcooker last since they cook quickly.

Jambalaya with Rice

This is a very thick and hearty jambalaya recipe with lots of large chunks of meat and vegetables in a savory tomato sauce.

A great way to thicken the dish for hungry families is to serve it over cooked white rice.

Sometimes I like to add the rice right into the crockpot and stir it in. This makes it easy for my family to reheat leftovers later.

White rice is being mixed into the jambalaya.

Make Ahead Tips and Storage Info

The finished slowcooker jambalaya will keep in the fridge for 2 days.

If you want it to last longer, I would recommend omitting the shrimp since chicken and sausage have a longer storage life.

You can freeze leftovers for later, just be aware that if you used frozen shrimp in the recipe and then you freeze them again, they lose a little texture when you reheat the dish.

If you added rice to the meal, you can either store the leftover rice separately from the jambalaya or stir it in.

A glass casserole dish is filled with finished jambalaya for later or to bring to a friend.

Serving Suggestions

If you want to serve the slowcooker jambalaya with rice, you will love my easy Instant pot jasmine rice or herb butter rice recipes.

If you prefer bread, the deep flavor of my steakhouse brown bread would pair perfectly with the savory tomato sauce. Your family will also enjoy dunking chunks of crispy homemade garlic bread into the mix but you couldn't go wrong with a sweet square of Grandma's buttermilk cornbread.

Favorite Meal Train Recipe

This comforting jambalaya recipe is a great meal train recipe.

The hearty dish feeds the family and can be frozen for later use if they have too much food on hand right now. It's also an excellent alternative to pasta, which is the most common dish brought to families.

Deliver the meal with the cooked rice stored separately so they can mix it in as desired.

Don't miss my list of 30 meal train recipes for other ideas if you're feeding a friend in need.

๐Ÿ“– Recipe

The cooked sausage and peppers and celery in a slow cooker.

Slowcooker Jambalaya

5 from 1 vote
This hearty chicken jambalaya features spicy sausage and tender shrimp and plenty of savory vegetables. To stretch the meal even further, stir in cooked rice for a comforting stew your family will love!
TOTAL TIME 7 hours 10 minutes
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 7 hours
YIELD 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (32 oz can) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 celery ribs diced
  • 14 oz smoked sausage sliced
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins or boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined, tails removed (if frozen, thawed before using)

Instructions

  • Add the can of tomatoes and their juices to the bowl of a slowcooker. Add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and all the dried seasonings to the bowl and stir them together.
  • Chop the onion, green pepper and celery and stir them in.
  • Slice the sausage into 1/4-inch thick slices on an angle and chop the chicken into bite sized pieces. Add them to the slowcooker and stir them in to fully coat in seasonings.
  • Cover the slowcooker and cook on HIGH for 2 - 3 hours or on LOW for 7 to 8 hours. The vegetables should be tender and the chicken should be fully cooked.
  • Stir the thawed shrimp into the slowcooker and cover the pot. Let the shrimp cook for 10 minutes or until pink and fully cooked.
  • Remove the bay leaves and serve the stew over a bed of white rice.

Recipe Notes

Serving Suggestions

This is a delicious dish served over white rice or pasta but you could also eat it as a hearty stew.
COURSEDinner
CUISINECajun

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A photo collage shows the finished jambalaya next to an ingredients picture and another picture with the rice being mixed in.

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