Jambalaya

Ever since I visited New Orleans for the first time in the early 1990s, I’ve been hooked on Cajun food. Jambalaya, Gumbo, Po Boys, Beignets…you name it, I love it! So when my sister shared this recipe for kid-friendly Jambalaya, I knew it would enter the permanent recipe file. It’s full of flavor, but not too spicy, making it a perfect kid-friendly dinner, a must-have around here! Plus, it’s a one-skillet meal, which is great when it comes to cleaning up.

Jambalaya

I love it so much that I often include it in my monthly menu planning. (If you’re following the menu plans, I’m sure you’ve come across this recipe often!)

Ingredients:
2 Tbs. butter
½ cup green pepper
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup celery
½ cup rice
1 cup cubed, cooked chicken
1 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes (or one quart whole, canned tomatoes)
½ lb. kielbasa, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 ½ tsp. bullion (2 cubes)
½ tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup shrimp (if desired)

Instructions:

Veggies for Jambalaya

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the garlic, green pepper, onion, and celery. Saute until the onion is clear.

Adding kielbasa to Jambalaya

2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 3 – 4 minutes. Stir carefully so as not to splash tomato on yourself.

Adding rice to Jambalaya

3. Turn the heat to “low” and give the dish a final stir. Then, using some strong language, such as “drat,” or “ugh” (after all, you are a mother, and you are setting a good example for your children!), look down and notice that in the final stage of stirring, you have splattered tomato all over your favorite white shirt.

Boiling Jambalaya

Sigh deeply, put the lid on the skillet, and simmer the Jambalaya for 20 – 25 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to take off the shirt and put some Dawn dishwashing liquid on the stains. Remember that you have no one to blame but yourself, since you didn’t listen to your mother and wear an apron. If, however, you always listen to your mother and wear an apron when cooking, you may skip this step! 🙂

4. Return to the kitchen with renewed focus. If you’re including shrimp in your Jambalaya, add it now, cooking for an additional 4 – 5 minutes, or until pink. (I would like to add shrimp, but that just increases the cost of the dish, and I am the only person in the house who enjoys shrimp anyway.)

Remove the bay leaf from Jambalaya

5. Remove the bay leaf, give the Jambalaya a quick stir (carefully!), and serve warm with fresh-baked rolls. (These homemade rolls are so good, I could eat them all day! In a pinch, however, you can use crescent rolls, as I did here. They’re a great option to keep on hand, especially if you were able to buy them with coupons!)

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Jambalaya
 
Prep time
Cook time
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This Jambalaya is full of flavor, but not too spicy, making it a kid-friendly version of this Cajun favorite.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Cajun
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • ½ cup green pepper
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery
  • ½ cup rice
  • 1 cup cubed, cooked chicken
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or one quart whole, canned tomatoes)
  • ½ lb. kielbasa, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 ½ tsp. bullion (2 cubes)
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ⅛ tsp. thyme
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup shrimp (if desired)
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the garlic, green pepper, onion, and celery. Saute until the onion is clear.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 3 – 4 minutes. Stir carefully so as not to splash tomato on yourself.
  3. Turn the heat to “low” and give the dish a final stir. Put the lid on the skillet, and simmer the Jambalaya for 20 – 25 minutes.
  4. If you’re including shrimp in your Jambalaya, add it now, cooking for an additional 4 – 5 minutes, or until pink.
  5. Remove the bay leaf, give the Jambalaya a quick stir, and serve warm with fresh-baked rolls.

 

5 Responses to Kid-Friendly Jambalaya

  1. Dawn Smith says:

    What size can of diced tomatoes?

  2. Bonni Long says:

    Thanks, MaryJane! I am anxious to try this dish with the shrimp for a special dinner!

  3. Bonni Long says:

    Hi MaryJane! Does the Jambalaya have a can of tomatoes or tomato sauce in it?
    Thanks, Bonni

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