Step-by-Step Guide to Making Jambalaya in a Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Jambalaya is a flavorful and comforting dish that brings the rich culinary traditions of Louisiana to your kitchen with ease. This hearty meal combines andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp, and a variety of vegetables and spices, all simmered slowly to perfection. The slow cooker does the heavy lifting, infusing every bite with deep, spicy flavors, making it an ideal recipe for anyone looking to enjoy a classic Southern dish without spending hours over the stove. Perfect for busy weekdays or relaxing weekends, this jambalaya is sure to become a favorite for its ease of preparation and delicious taste.




Why You’ll Love Slow Cooker Jambalaya

  • Rich and Spicy: Packed with bold flavors that develop and deepen during the slow cooking process.
  • Hearty and Filling: A complete meal in one pot, featuring proteins, vegetables, and rice.
  • Convenient: The slow cooker makes it easy to prepare, with minimal hands-on time required.
  • Versatile: Easily adaptable to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs.

Ingredients Notes

  • Proteins: Andouille sausage adds a classic smoky flavor, while chicken thighs remain tender during slow cooking. Shrimp is added at the end to avoid overcooking.
  • Vegetables: Onion, bell pepper, and celery (the “Holy Trinity” of Cajun cuisine) form the base, with diced tomatoes adding richness.
  • Rice: Cooked separately and added just before serving to maintain texture.
  • Seasonings: A blend of Cajun or Creole seasoning, thyme, and oregano offers authentic flavor. Adjust the heat with cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste.
  • Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth provides the liquid for the jambalaya, enriching its overall flavor.

Recipe Steps

  1. Prepare Ingredients: Slice the sausage, chop the vegetables, and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Layer in Slow Cooker: Place the chicken, sausage, vegetables, seasonings, and diced tomatoes in the slow cooker. Pour in the broth and stir to combine.
  3. Cook: Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender.
  4. Add Shrimp: Stir in the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cooking on low, or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  5. Serve with Rice: Prepare the rice according to package instructions. Serve the jambalaya over the cooked rice, garnished with sliced green onions or parsley for freshness.

Storage and Reheating

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze portions in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Reheat: Warm in a pot over medium heat, adding a splash of broth or water to loosen, if necessary.


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Step-by-Step Guide to Making Jambalaya in a Slow Cooker


  • Chicken breasts: 2, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Andouille sausage: 1 lb (450g), sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • Shrimp: 1 lb (450g), peeled and deveined (add in the last 30 minutes of cooking)
  • Onion: 1 large, diced
  • Bell peppers: 2, diced (use a mix of colors for variety)
  • Celery stalks: 3, diced
  • Garlic: 3 cloves, minced
  • Canned diced tomatoes: 1 can (14.5 oz), with juice
  • Chicken broth: 2 cups
  • Tomato paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Creole or Cajun seasoning: 2 tablespoons, adjust to taste
  • Dried thyme: 1 teaspoon
  • Dried oregano: 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaves: 2
  • Rice: 1.5 cups, long-grain, rinsed (add during the last 30 minutes of cooking if you prefer it cooked within the jambalaya, or serve on the side)
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
  • Green onions and parsley: for garnish


  1. Prepare the Ingredients:
    • Prep the chicken, sausage, shrimp, and vegetables as described. Rinse the rice if you’re planning to add it directly to the slow cooker.
  2. Combine in Slow Cooker:
    • In your slow cooker, combine the chicken pieces, sliced sausage, onion, bell peppers, celery, garlic, diced tomatoes (with their juice), chicken broth, tomato paste, Creole or Cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Stir well to mix everything.
  3. Cook:
    • Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
  4. Add Rice and Shrimp (Option 1):
    • If you prefer your rice cooked in the jambalaya for a more traditional approach, add the rinsed rice and the shrimp in the last 30 minutes of cooking on HIGH. Stir well and continue cooking until the rice is tender and the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  5. Serve:
    • Remove and discard the bay leaves. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sliced green onions and chopped parsley.
    • If you cooked the rice separately, serve the jambalaya over or alongside the rice.
  • Author: Maria

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