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Jambalaya is one of those one-pot-wonders I’ve been doing for a long time. I used to think I had to be traditional, so I always made it with rice. But on more and more restaurant menus, it was popping up with fettuccine. So, I thought, “Why not?” It wound up turning out great! In my opinion, there’s a bit more flavor to it with the pasta. The rice soaks it all up, and is delicious! But the fettuccine adds a whole other dimension!
There are always lots of people in and out of my house around mealtime. And when it comes to Jambalaya, some want rice and some want fettuccine. So I developed a way to do both! I make up my stew. Then I make a pot of rice and a pot of fettuccine. I let everybody serve themselves – kind of like making a bowl of gumbo.
If you’ve frozen your jambalaya in family portions and everybody agrees at the same time (it happens occasionally, I promise), you can add a little extra broth when you heat it up and cook your rice or fettuccine with your Jambalaya while it is heating up. There are a couple of bonuses to doing it this way. First, the rice or pasta soaks up all that flavor. Second, the rice or pasta doesn’t have time to get soggy and mushy.
How do you make Jambalaya?
As usual, this is my version. It’s the one I’ve tweaked on for years. I know that it is not authentic with the fettuccine. But it is really good!
Doing all of the prep work first (mis en place) makes this dish super easy to make. I won’t lie. There is a lot of chopping. But it’s a terrific opportunity to work on your knife skills! (See, there’s a positive way to look at everything!) It is important to make sure your pot is hot when you start to render the meat. After that, it’s just a matter of stirring the rest of the ingredients in. The creole seasoning really makes a difference! Don’t skip it! If you like your Jambalaya really spicy, you can always add a little extra. Not so sure about the heat? Cut back a little. There are no hard and fast rules. Adjust it to your taste.
What kind of rice (or fettuccine) do you use to make Jambalaya?
In the South, everybody (as far as I know) uses converted rice. Think Uncle Ben’s. That’s where we always sold our rice to, and I’m pretty sure most folks there still do the same. Converted rice doesn’t come out as sticky when cooked as conventional rice does.
If you want to go the pasta route, I personally prefer Barilla. It holds up really well. I’ve never tried it with homemade, but I’d interested to see how it comes out. My first thought is homemade pasta would be too delicate and fall apart. But…I think because it’s fresh, it should really absorb some flavor. I think I’ve talked myself into trying it out.
Can you freeze Jambalaya?
As I mentioned earlier, we do it all the time. It freezes great! And if you hold off on the rice or pasta before you freeze it, you don’t have to worry about it being soggy or mushy.
Let us know what you think about this recipe in the comments below. Tag us on Instagram @msdeltahospitality or on Facebook at Mississippi Delta Hospitality.
- 1 pound applewood smoked bacon, chopped
- 2 14 ounce packages andouille, sliced
- 1 pound hot pork sausage
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 2 large bell peppers, chopped
- 5 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 1 whole chicken, cooked, skinned, and deboned
- 2 14-1/2 ounce cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2–1/2 Tablespoons Creole seasoning
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- Heat large, heavy pot over medium heat.
- Add bacon, andouille, and sausage.
- Cook to release the fat. (Render.)
- Add onions. Cook and stir until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes.
- Add chicken and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and Creole seasoning.
- Stir well.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
- Add shrimp and green onions. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 797Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 393mgSodium: 2626mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 69g