Blogging from A to Z: J is for Jambalaya

jAs I’m sure you’ve noticed in the run-up to Bayou Fire‘s May 1 release, I’m talking a lot about Louisiana culture.  One of the top ways we preserve culture is through food and music, which brings me to today’s post.

One of my favorite Cajun or Creole dishes (remember, the difference is that Creole food uses tomatoes) is jambalaya.  This is a rice dish that is both tasty and filling.  Here is a smoked sausage jambalaya recipe from Marcelle Bienvenu’s Cajun Cooking for Beginners.

Photo by jeffreyw under Creative Commons License 2.0, via wikimedia

What you’ll need:


  • 2 pounds of smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped bellpepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of uncooked long-grain rice
  • 4 cups of water or beef broth
  • Salt and cayenne, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley

What you’ll do:

  1. In a large Dutch oven, sauté the sausage, onion, bellpepper and celery in the vegetable oil over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the rice and water.  Season with salt and cayenne.
  3. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  4. Add the green onion and parsley.  Stir to mix.
  5. Serve immediately.

Serves six to eight people.

If you prefer a tomato-based dish, I can recommend an excellent shortcut:  Blue Runner Jambalaya Base.  You dump it in a pan, add rice and meat, and let it simmer for 30 minutes.  Seriously, it is the best commercially available base you’ll find, and it tastes like home-made.

Of course, it wouldn’t be dinner without some music, so here’s Hunter Hayes, when he was only four years old, rocking the Cajun button accordion and singing “Jambalaya” with Hank Williams, Jr.


7 thoughts on “Blogging from A to Z: J is for Jambalaya

    1. The first time I saw that video, I just started grinning from ear to ear. Wasn’t it precious?

      Jambalaya is a favorite in our home, too. We’ve done all kinds of variations, including (accidentally) chicken-apple sausage. We grabbed the wrong meat out of the freezer and decided to go ahead anyway. It turned out great!

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not too “scary,” and you control the heat level by adding as much or as little cayenne as you and your family like. I always say the same thing when it comes to Cajun and Creole cookery: if all you taste is heat and cayenne, the chef is doing it wrong. The “holy trinity” of onion, bell pepper, and celery is what makes it so flavorful. I’d love to hear what your family thinks of this dish! Thanks for stopping by.


  1. How cute is this kid?!!! Or was, ’cause he said this was when he was four. Don’t really know him. But he was already so talented!

    As for the food, good thing I just ate or you would have made me hungry again, he he (going through your letters backwards so I saw the next dish first).

    As Lovely as a Tree


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