Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya get’s done under 30 mins. This Louisiana style Instant Pot Jambalaya shrimp and sausage recipe is a bold one-pot meal loaded with spicy cajun/creole sausage, juicy jumbo shrimp, the holy trinity (onion, celery & bell pepper) and an amazing seasoning, a single serving of this flavor packed New Orleans Jambalaya is never enough.
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Instant Pot Jambalaya Shrimp and Sausage
Pressure cooker Jambalaya is as good as traditional stove top version. And today’s recipe will teach you how to nail that perfect Creole style Louisiana Jambalaya flavor and texture without getting the BURN in your electric pressure cooker.
Instant Pot Jambalaya is the most outstanding seasoned rice dish that you’ll ever make!
What does Jambalaya mean?
According to “Oxford” dictionary Jambalaya comes from the Provençal word “Jambalaia” which means a mish mash, a pilaf kind of dish.
Jambalaya is a Louisiana seasoned rice dish consisting of spicy cajun/creole sausage, meats like chicken or pork, seafood like shrimp cooked in a base of “soffritto” like holy trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper) and cajun or creole seasoning. Everything is cooked together in one-pot until the rice is done!
Tips & Tricks
- Best rice for Jambalaya: Use Long grain white rice. We used Kroger’s brand long grain white rice. DO NOT sub the rice with any other variety, the recipe might not work, as rice : liquid ratio in Instant pot is critical. The cook time will also not remain the same for different varieties of rice.
- Rinse Rice: This is a must and a very important step that’ll prevent the BURN error & also prevent gummy, mushy rice. Rinse the rice until clear water runs through, this will rinse out the surface starch from the rice.
- De-glaze pot: If you do not de-glaze the pot well you’ll end up with BURN for sure. There should not be any food particles stuck at the bottom of the pot, scrape the sides & the bottom of the pot very well with the spatula to loosen any stuck food particles.
- Prevent BURN: Rinse rice very well, de-glaze pot, add the tomatoes on top of the rice & DO NOT mix or stir. These 3 things well keep the BURN error at bay. Tomatoes often settle down & stick at the bottom of the pot & trigger the burn, Add them at the very end wile layering ingredients. Mix everything only after the pressure cooking cycle is over.
- Prevent over-cooking Shrimp: Saute shrimp lightly in oil until pink. Set them aside and add them after the pressure cooking cycle is over. The shrimp will remain nice and juicy. You’ll have the shrimp flavor & juices in the oil and the shrimp won’t over cook and turn rubbery.
- Best subs for Andouille Sausage: Kielbasa, any Polish smoked Sausage, Chorizo sausage.
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Long grain white rice: We recommend using Long Grain white rice only. DO NOT sub it with any other variety. The recipe might not work! Do not forget to rinse the rice well. You can use any brand that you prefer.
- Andouille Sausage: Smoked Cajun or Creole sausages work amazing. Refer the subs mentioned above.
- Shrimp: De-shelled, de-veined shrimp works best for the recipe. You can take the tails off if you want to. However, keeping the tails intact will add lots of flavor to the Jambalaya.
- Holy trinity: Onion, celery, bell peppers (usually green bell pepper is used, we also included red pepper to add a subtle sweetness to the Jambalaya).
- Seasonings: Cajun or creole seasoning, oregano, ground black pepper, cayenne (for extra heat). Cajun is intense, spicier and has more depth of flavor than creole seasoning. Creole is mild on the palate. Today’s recipe is Creole Jambalaya, however, we chose to go with cajun seasoning because we love the intense flavor. It’s absolutely addictive. Skip the cayenne if you do not prefer spicy food.
- Worcestershire Sauce: The sweet, savory & the distinct tang from the sauce totally elevates the flavor of the Jambalaya. We highly recommend the sauce.
- Crushed Tomatoes: Creole Jambalaya does contain tomatoes whereas, the cajun chefs do not use tomatoes at all. If you want to make Cajun Jambalaya than skip the crushed tomatoes from today’s recipe and add 2.25 cups stock instead of 2 cups. I would also up the amount of cajun seasoning. The rest of the recipe would remain the same.
- Better than Bouillon: This is crazy good stuff and you’ll never use store bought packaged chicken stock again. Dilute better than bouillon paste with warm/hot water to get an instant and flavorful chicken stock. We highly recommend Better than Bouillon.
- Cooking Fat: Use extra light or light olive oil or any other neutral oil like avocado oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil.
How do you make Jambalaya from scratch?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Brown sausage & Saute Shrimp
- Brown Sausage: Set instant pot on saute function on high heat, add oil and brown the sliced sausages. The browned sausages will add lots of great depth of flavor to the Jambalaya. Do not skip or rush this step. Set the sausages aside once done.
- Lightly saute shrimp: Lightly saute the shrimp until they turn pink and do keep the tails intact as they will add good flavors. You can always take off the tails while eating. Set them aside.
Step # Saute holy trinity & seasonings
- Saute holy trinity: In the same pot add the onion, celery and garlic. Saute them well until the onion and celery begin to turn soft. Than add the bell peppers and saute for another minute.
- Saute seasonings: Throw in the dry seasonings and saute everything for 1-2 mins. Your house will smell amazing at this point 😀 The sautéing will help release the essential oils from the seasonings and add huge flavor to the Louisiana style Jambalaya.
Step #2 De-glaze pot & pressure cook
- De-glaze pot: Pour chicken chicken stock, add Worcestershire sauce (in the recipe video I had forgotten to add the sauce, added it after adding the tomatoes) and de-glaze the pot really well by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with spatula. This will loosen any stuck food particles and help prevent the BURN error. DO NOT rush this step!
- Layer ingredients: Layering the ingredients in order is another important step that’ll prevent the BURN! Add the sausage first, than add the rinsed rice (rinse very well until clear water runs through), gently spread out the rice and press down with the help of a spatula. DO NOT stir or mix. You need to just spread it out in an even layer but not stir or mix it. Add the crushed tomatoes from the can on top of the rice in an even layer. DO NOT stir or mix.
- Pressure cook: Secure the lid, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 6 mins followed by 10 mins natural pressure release, than release the rest of the pressure manually. Open the lid carefully.
Step #4 Fluff Jambalaya & serve
- Fluff Rice: Gently fluff the pressure cooked Jambalaya with the help of a pair of forks. This will help mix all ingredients together.
- Add shrimp: Transfer back the sautéed shrimp into the pot and gently mix them with the Jambalaya.
- Serve: Rest the Jambalaya for 5-10 mins for perfect texture and consistency and than serve garnished with chopped green onion (scallion).
What is the difference between Cajun & Creole Jambalaya?
One can pretty much say by looking at a pot of Jambalaya whether it’s Cajun or Creole. Cajun jambalaya is made without tomatoes & hence look brown. Whereas, Creole Jambalaya contains tomatoes and hence, look red or orange. The rest of the recipe is pretty much the same.
What is a good side dish for Jambalaya?
Jambalaya is a hearty filling well rounded one-pot meal as such. You really do not need much with a bowl of Jambalaya. Some corn bread and a light salad should hit the spot.
Can Jambalaya be frozen?
Yes, Jambalaya can be frozen for upto 3 months in the freezer. Use heavy duty freezer safe bags or containers. They will keep the best flavors intact.
Thaw the dish over night in the fridge and reheat following the below mentioned reheating directions.
The easy Instant pot Jambalaya will last for 5 days in the fridge when stored in air tight containers.
Can Jambalaya be reheated?
Yes, Jambalaya can be reheat in the microwave oven until warm or hot. Sprinkle little water over the rice before reheating the dish. This will add some extra moisture and prevent the rice from getting dry.
Can Jambalaya be made ahead of time?
Yes, Jambalaya can be made ahead of time. In fact Jambalaya tastes even better the next day.
Easy Instant Pot JambalayaPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 2 cups long grain white rice (**rinsed until clear water runs through. Drain well.)
- 14 ounce Andouille Sausage (**we used Zatarain’s smoked spicy cajun sausage. 397 g. Dice into rings.)
- 12 ounce Shrimp (**de-shelled, de-veined Jumbo shrimp thawed. 340 g.)
- 1 cup onion (**yellow onion roughly chopped)
- 1.5 tbsp garlic (**minced)
- 1/2 cup celery (**finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper (**roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper (**roughly chopped)
- 14.5 ounce crushed tomatoes (**1 can)
- 1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil (**or any neutral oil)
- salt (**use according to your own taste preference.)
Liquid ( or use store bought chicken stock)
- 2 cups water (**warm water.)
- 1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon (**paste)
- Brown Sausage: Dice the sausages into discs/rings. Set Instant Pot on SAUTE function and set it on HIGH heat. Add 2 tbsp oil, when the oil becomes hot gently release the sausages and brown them (around the edges) both sides. Set them aside.
- Saute Shrimp: In the same pot gently release the thawed de-shelled, de-veined shrimp (we kept the tails intact for more flavor) and saute them lightly just until pink. Set them aside.
- Saute Holy Trinity & seasonings: Now, add 2 tbsp oil and add the onion, garlic & celery. Saute them well until the onion and celery begins to turn limp. Add salt according to your taste to quicken the process of sautéing. Next, add the bell peppers and saute for another 1 min. Than add the seasonings like cajun/creole, cayenne, oregano & black pepper and saute well for 1-2 min.
- De-glaze pot: Pour the chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and help prevent the BURN error! DO NOT rush this step, there should not be any food particles (even tiny amount) stuck at the bottom of the pot. Add the Worcestershire sauce & mix well (in the recipe video I forgot to add it now & instead added it after adding the crushed tomatoes.) TURN OFF the SAUTE function.
- Layer Ingredients: Transfer the sausages into the pot, spread them out with the help of a spatula. Now, add rinsed long grain white rice (rinsed very well until clear water runs through & drained well with a colander). Gently spread out the rice with the help of spatula and press it down to cover it as much as you can with the liquid. DO NOT stir or mix. Add the crushed tomatoes on top of the rice layer and spread it out so that the rice is fully covered with the tomatoes. DO NOT stir or mix.
- Pressure Cook: Now, secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and pressure cook on HIGH for just 6 mins. Once the pressure cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep. Wait for 10 mins natural pressure release and than release the rest of the pressure manually by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully only when the metal pin on the lid drops.
- Fluff Rice: Gently fluff the cooked rice with the help of a pair of forks. This will also help to incorporate all ingredients in the pot and blend the flavors. At this stage the rice will be more moist, that’s perfect, as you rest the Jambalaya for another 5-10 mins it’ll attain the perfect texture and consistency. Add the sauteed shrimp and gently mix it with the Jambalaya.
- Serve Jambalaya: Allow the Jambalaya to rest for another 5-10 mins. This will help marry the flavors. Garnish with chopped green onion (scallion) and serve. Enjoy!
- Rice: Use long grain white rice. Rinse the rice several times until clear water runs through. This is important. DO NOT use any other type of rice.
- Is this Jambalaya Cajun or Creole? Today’s instant pot jambalaya recipe is creole. It uses tomatoes.
- Can I use chicken in Jambalaya? Yes, you can add 1 cup diced skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs in todays recipe. Saute them after sautéing the sausage and add the sautéed chicken back to the pot along with the sausages. The rest of the recipe would remain the same.
- Is the Jambalaya spicy? Yes, today’s recipe is mildly spicy. If you are heat intolerant do skip the cayenne pepper from the recipe.
- Can I use creole seasoning? Yes, you can sub the cajun seasoning with creole seasoning.
More one-pot rice recipes
Jambalaya Recipe – FAQs
No, Jambalaya is not supposed to be mushy. It is supposed to be dry just like Paella.
Jambalaya would turn mushy if you stir the rice too much or if you over cook the dish.
No, Jambalaya does not use a roux.
Jambalaya is both Cajun and Creole. Cajun Jambalaya is minus tomatoes & creole Jambalaya contains tomatoes.
Gumbo is a cajun/creole stew dish and is served with rice. Whereas, Jambalaya is a seasoned cajun/creole one-pot rice dish having a consistency like Paella. Both the dishes contain holy trinity, sausage, shrimp & chicken.
Paella and Jambalaya are entirely different rice dishes. They have the same texture but the taste is complete different. The star ingredient in a Paella is saffron whereas, a Jambalaya is entirely based on either cajun or creole seasoning. Paella is also milder to the palate whereas Jambalaya can be spicy or have a certain kick to it.
Jambalaya rice can be crunchy when not fully cooked through. In that case you need to cook it more or let it rest for sometime covered.
Jambalaya tastes spicy, smoky, intense with an earthy note that’s so addictive. It’s fragrant and has a great depth of flavor. Jambalaya has some of the flavor notes similar to gumbo because it has some of the same ingredients like sausage, shrimp and cajun/creole seasoning.