Spicy jambalaya recipe

(138 ratings)

This jambalaya is a colourful, spicy dish with flavours of the Deep South

Spicy jambalaya
Cooking Time25 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories600 Kcal30%
Fat18 g26%

This colourful, spicy jambalaya is a real heart warmer, with flavours of the Deep South.

Just like its home city, New Orleans, jambalaya is a melting pot of different culinary influences from Spain, France and West Africa. It's mainly made of meat and vegetables mixed with rice and, traditionally, the meat will always include some kind of sausage. We've using chorizo because of it's wonderfully unique, smokey flavour. But simple sausage will work just as well. With only five ingredients, this is a great dish if you're on a budget, and one of our great cheap family meals. Perfect for a cold winter's evening to warm you up, a basic jambalaya is a meal for the whole family.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 350g long grain rice
  • 400g can tomatoes with chillies and peppers
  • 175g chorizo, diced




  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, add the onion and celery and gently fry until the onion is soft and golden. Stir in the rice, making sure that all the grains are completely coated in the oil.
  2. Add the tomatoes, chorizo and 500ml hot water. Season to taste, cover and simmer for about 12 mins until all the water has been absorbed.
  3. Heat it through and serve garnished with flat-leaf parsley, if you like.

Top tip for making jambalaya

Pick the right pot for your jambalaya, it should have thick sides to help maintain heat throughout cooking.

You can also add a smoked meat like andouille, and perhaps some pork or chicken. The amazing thing about jambalaya is it's so versatile, so you can add whatever takes your fancy. Other variations on this classic dish include prawns or shrimp.

Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.