5 from 22 votes
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Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya (One-Pot Meal)

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You’re going to love this Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe! It’s a fast and straightforward way to get a fast, hearty meal on the recipe. One bite, and you’re going to be hooked!

A white plate of jambalaya.

Just when you thought you couldn’t love using the Instant Pot anymore, it shows you that it’s really the king (or queen) of the kitchen! This easy Jambalaya recipe with sausage and rice is one flavor you’ll never forget!

There are two general kinds of jambalaya: Creole and Cajun. What? There is a difference! Yep, there sure is. The main difference is that Creole jambalaya, also called “red jambalaya,” uses tomatoes, but the Cajun recipe does not.

Another difference is the order in which the ingredients are prepared. But both utilize what’s referred to as the “holy trinity” onion, celery, and bell pepper ”usually green”. This is the creole-style jambalaya version.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe…

  • This recipe delivers a mouth-watering and satisfying meal in under 30 minutes, making it ideal for those busy weeknights when you still crave something substantial and delightful.
  • Made with readily available ingredients, this dish is not only convenient but also a breeze to prepare on any given day, and the whole family will love it.
  • Packed with robust flavors, it’s a comfort food classic that is sure to warm your stomach and your spirit on even the chilliest evenings.
  • As a nutritious bonus, this Instant Pot Jambalaya is brimming with vegetables like onion, celery, and bell pepper, providing a wholesome balance to the savory sausage and rice.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Jambalaya

  • Sausage: A key player in Jambalaya, sausage adds a smoky depth and rich, unmistakable flavor in every bite, tying the different tastes together beautifully.
  • Raw shrimp: These succulent sea gems infuse the dish with a delicate texture and seafood essence, elevating the overall complexity of the meal.
  • Chicken breast: Lean yet tender, chicken breast provides a substantial protein that absorbs Creole spices and harmonizes with other ingredients.
  • Onion: The foundational base of many savory dishes, onions are essential for their aromatic quality and sweet yet sharp flavor, which enhances the overall taste profile.
  • Bell peppers: Their vibrant color and crisp sweetness give this comforting dish a fresh dimension and nutritional value. Use a mix of red, yellow, and green bell pepper.
  • Creole seasoning: The heart and soul of this great recipe brings a bold blend of spices that gives the Jambalaya its signature warmth and zest.
  • Salt: An indispensable seasoning, salt is used to amplify and balance the flavors within the dish.
  • Crushed tomatoes: They break down to create a rich, tangy sauce that complements and contrasts the smoky notes of the sausage and the spices.
  • Chicken broth: Serving as the cooking liquid, chicken broth gently infuses the rice and proteins with a mellow savoriness and ensures the dish is moist and flavorful.
  • Long grain rice: The absorbent grains become tender and fluffy, soaking up all the surrounding flavors to become the heart of the Jambalaya.
  • Oil: Used to sauté the initial ingredients, olive oil, or oil of your choice, is crucial for building the first layers of flavor right at the start of the cooking process.

Substitutions and Variations

  • For a vegetarian version, Omit the meats and add extra veggies like zucchini and mushrooms, or consider a plant-based sausage and shrimp substitute.
  • Andouille sausage: While any smoked sausage can be used, Andouille sausage will give your Jambalaya an authentic Southern flavor.
  • Brown rice: For a whole grain alternative, use brown rice, but note that you’ll need to increase the cooking time as brown rice takes longer to cook.
  • Spice level: Adjust the Creole seasoning to suit your preference for heat. Add cayenne pepper or hot sauce if you enjoy a spicier dish, or use cajun seasoning for a slightly different taste.
  • Seafood options: To add variety to the dish, feel free to include other seafood, such as scallops or firm white fish.
  • No shrimp: If you’re not a fan of shrimp or have an allergy, simply leave it out or replace it with another protein, like cubed ham.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

How To Make Instant Pot Jambalaya

Jambaya on a white plate sitting on a flower designed tablecloth.
  1. Activate the saute setting on the Instant Pot to heat the oil.
  2. Add chicken, Creole seasoning, and a pinch of salt to the bottom of the pot. Cook until browned, then remove and set aside.
  3. Cook onions and bell peppers in the pot until soft.
  4. Return chicken to pot, then add rice, crushed tomatoes, and chicken broth. Stir together.
  5. Cover the pot and select the rice setting for a high pressure cook of 12 minutes.
  6. Perform a quick release of pressure. Place sausage over rice, then add a layer of shrimp on top of the sausage.
  7. Switch the pot to manual mode and set it for a 2-minute cook.
  8. After cooking, release the remaining pressure quickly or with a natural release. Stir the mix, evenly distributing sausage and shrimp throughout the rice.

Expert Tips 

  • Cooking the chicken: Make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way. The best way to do this is to use a meat thermometer. If the internal temperature is 165 degrees, the chicken is done cooking.
  • Searing the sausage: Before adding to the pot, sear the sausage slices on both sides to enhance their flavor and add a tasty char to your Jambalaya.
  • Deglazing the pot: After browning the meats, deglaze the pot with a bit of chicken broth to scrape up the tasty bits left behind, which will add an additional layer of flavor.
  • Layering ingredients: When adding the layers of ingredients, avoid stirring them together. This helps prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom and ensures even cooking.
  • Rinsing rice: Rinse the long grain rice under cold water before cooking to remove excess starch. This will help prevent clumping and keep your Jambalaya nice and fluffy.
  • Natural pressure release: After the final 2-minute cook time, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for at least 10 minutes. This will help the rice finish cooking perfectly.
  • Adding garnish: Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley or sliced green onions on top of the Jambalaya before serving for added color and a fresh flavor booster.

Alternative Cooking Methods

While the Instant Pot offers a quick and effortless cooking experience, this instant pot Jambalaya recipe can be adapted for a slow cooker. 

To do so, first, sear the chicken and sausage in a separate pan to enrich their flavors. Transfer the meats to your slow cooker, along with the rice, vegetables, and seasonings. Pour in the chicken broth, ensuring that the liquid covers the ingredients. 

Cover and set your Slow Cooker to low heat for about 4-6 hours or on high heat for 2-3 hours. Stir the shrimp into the mix during the last 30 minutes of cooking. 

The slow cooker method infuses the Jambalaya with deep flavors over a longer period, perfect for when you have more time to let the meal simmer to perfection.

Storing Tips 

This pressure cooker Jambalaya is simple to store! Just let the leftovers cool down completely, then add them to the fridge and store them in an airtight container.

To reheat you can reheat it in the microwave and enjoy it later!

This Instant Pot Jambalaya freezes wonderfully for those times you need a quick meal without the prep work. Once cooled, transfer the Jambalaya into freezer-safe bags or containers, leaving a little space for expansion. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or reheat it directly from frozen, adding a splash of chicken broth to keep it moist while warming it up in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Closeup of Jambalaya with shrimp and sausages.

What To Serve With Instant Pot Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a robust and flavorful dish that pairs beautifully with a variety of sides. For a lighter touch, consider a crisp green salad dressed with a zesty vinaigrette to balance the hearty flavors. Classic Southern staples like cornbread or hushpuppies provide a delightful texture contrast and soak up the savory sauce. 

If you want to add more greens to your table, sautéed okra or collard greens seasoned with a touch of garlic can complement the spices found in the Jambalaya. 

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

The biggest difference is how the rice is added. Gumbo is typically served on top of the cooked rice, while jambalaya has the rice added to it.

Can you overcook jambalaya?

More than likely if you overcook jambalaya, you’re going to notice in the rice. If the rice is clumpy or sticky, it’s overcooked. It’s still edible, but it will have a different texture.

What kind of bread do you eat with jambalaya?

Bring on the cornbread! Eating this flavorful dish with a huge serving of cornbread is making my mouth water right now! Serve it with or on top of cornbread. You can also serve it with regular homemade bread or rolls. The options are unlimited!

More Delicious Instant Pot Recipes To Try

Want even more Instant Pot meal ideas? I’ve got you covered!

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White bowl of Jambalaya.
5 from 22 votes

Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya (One-Pot Meal)


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Instant Pot
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Manual Mode 2 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Yields 6 Servings
Instant Pot Jambalaya This red Creole jambalaya is a classic of New Orleans. the one-pot dish is packed with robust flavors.

Ingredients 

  • 1-2 sausages such as andouille, sliced
  • ½ lb (226 ⅘ g) large raw shrimp large raw
  • 1 lb (453 ⅗ g) chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 3 bell peppers medium finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Creole seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 14.5-ounce can , undrained
  • 2 ½ cups (591 ½ ml) chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups (277 ½ g) of long grain rice
  • 1 tbsp oil

Instructions

  • Activate the saute setting on the Instant Pot to heat the oil.
    1 tbsp oil
  • Add chicken, Creole seasoning, and a pinch of salt to the bottom of the pot. Cook until browned, then remove and set aside.
    1 lb chicken breasts,1 tbsp Creole seasoning,½ tsp salt
  • Cook onions and bell peppers in the pot until soft.
    3 bell peppers,1 onion
  • Return chicken to pot, then add rice, crushed tomatoes, and chicken broth. Stir together.
    1 can crushed tomatoes,1 ½ cups of long grain rice,2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • Cover the pot and select the rice setting for a high pressure cook of 12 minutes.
  • Perform a quick release of pressure. Place sausage over rice, then add a layer of shrimp on top of the sausage.
    1-2 sausages,½ lb large raw shrimp
  • Switch the pot to manual mode and set it for a 2-minute cook.
  • After cooking, release the remaining pressure quickly or with a natural release. Stir the mix, evenly distributing sausage and shrimp throughout the rice.

Notes

  • Cooking the chicken: Make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way. The best way to do this is to use a meat thermometer. If the internal temperature is 165 degrees, the chicken is done cooking.
  • Searing the sausage: Before adding to the pot, sear the sausage slices on both sides to enhance their flavor and add a tasty char to your Jambalaya.
  • Deglazing the pot: After browning the meats, deglaze the pot with a bit of chicken broth to scrape up the tasty bits left behind, which will add an additional layer of flavor.
  • Layering ingredients: When adding the layers of ingredients, avoid stirring them together. This helps prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom and ensures even cooking.
  • Rinsing rice: Rinse the long grain rice under cold water before cooking to remove excess starch. This will help prevent clumping and keep your Jambalaya nice and fluffy.
  • Natural pressure release: After the final 2-minute cook time, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for at least 10 minutes. This will help the rice finish cooking perfectly.
  • Adding garnish: Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley or sliced green onions on top of the Jambalaya before serving for added color and a fresh flavor booster.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 382kcal (19%) Carbohydrates: 43g (14%) Protein: 31g (62%) Fat: 9g (14%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0.05g Cholesterol: 121mg (40%) Sodium: 786mg (34%) Potassium: 655mg (19%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 2246IU (45%) Vitamin C: 79mg (96%) Vitamin D: 0.3µg (2%) Calcium: 56mg (6%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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30 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Which INSTANT POT did you use to prepare this dish. I’m about to purchase an IP and would like your recommendation.

  2. 5 stars
    First time I made Jambalaya in an instant pot, but wow, I am really pleased with the result! Gorgeous flavours and everything cooked beautifully following your timings! Will definitely make it again soon!

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