Jambalaya is Louisiana classic comfort food. Instant Pot Jambalaya lets you have a flavorful dinner ready with little effort. Sausage, chicken, and shrimp combine with rice and other flavorful ingredients for this easy Instant Pot recipe.
This Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe takes an easy meal and makes it even easier! The flavors are incredible and the whole dish just so satisfying and filling.
At the heart of this recipe is the “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking – onion, green pepper, and celery.
Oil – You can use olive oil, canola oil, or avocado oil.
Chicken Breast – Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can opt for boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you wish.
Shrimp – Buy raw shrimp that is peeled and deveined.
Veggies – Yellow onion, green bell pepper, celery, and green onions (the whites and greens separated).
Minced Garlic – Fresh minced garlic is best but you can use the jarred kind if it’s all you have.
Long Grain White Rice – Do not use a quick cooking rice as the cook time will be different.
Spices – Cajun seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper.
How to Make Jambalaya in the Instant Pot
Saute proteins – Start by cooking the sausage. Turn your Instant Pot to the saute function and cook the sausage until golden brown then set aside. Add the chicken and shrimp to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes until fully cooked. Finally, add back the sausage, cook for another minute all together, then remove the proteins and set aside.
Cook the vegetables – With the Instant Pot still on saute, cook the onion, bell pepper, celery, and whites of the green onions. Cook until tender and add garlic.
Add jambalaya ingredients – Add the white rice, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, and Cajun seasoning. Stir until well combined.
Pressure Cook – Close the instant pot and set the lid to the sealing position. Cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes then allow the pressure to naturally release (just let it sit) for 5 minutes before quick releasing any remaining pressure.
Serve – Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Top with the sliced green onions and serve.
How To Serve
I love that Jambalaya is a complete meal! Protein, veggies, and carbs all in one recipe. If you’re going to serve it out of the Instant Pot, I recommend turning it off (vs. keeping on warm) so that it doesn’t continue to cook and cause the rice to stick to the bottom. Otherwise, I like to serve in a large, shallow bowl with lots of sliced green onions sprinkled on top.
Garnish – The green onions on top are optional but really make for a fresh finish.
Shrimp – The shrimp can be omitted if you prefer.
Sausage – Andouille sausage is the classic choice but you can swap in another sausage of choice.
Creole/Cajun Seasoning – If you’re watching your sodium intake, look for a low sodium Creole or Cajun seasoning.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between Gumbo and Jambalaya?
Both Gumbo and Jambalaya are popular Creole dishes in Louisiana but they have their differences. While Jambalaya is a rice dish, Gumbo is more similar to a stew. But they are similar in that they both contain the ‘holy trinity’ of onion, green bell pepper, and celery and both often have both sausage and shrimp.
What is the difference between Jambalaya and Paella?
Jambalaya and Paella are similar in that they both are rice-based dishes with protein and veggies. But they taste very different due to the seasoning and spices used. In paella, saffron is the main spice unlike the cajun seasoning in jambalaya. Paella also has a much milder spice/heat than jambalaya.
Storage and Reheating
While Instant Pot Jambalaya is best served after making, you can store leftovers to enjoy later.
Storage – Leftover Jambalaya can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheating – Jambalaya can be reheated in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. If reheating on the stove, you can add a splash of water or broth to keep it from drying out.
1chicken breast, cut into one inch piecesabout 2 cups
1lbsraw shrimppeeled and deveined
1cupgreen bell pepperchopped
3green onionsthinly sliced (green tops separated from the white bottoms)
2cupslong grain white rice
14.5ouncecanned diced tomatoeswith juices, 1 can
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: green onionssliced for serving
On the saute setting, heat oil in the instant pot and cook the sausage until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Add the chicken and shrimp to the instant pot and cook on saute setting for 5 minutes or until fully cooked. Add the sausage back to the pot and allow to cook together for one additional minute. Remove the mixture and set aside.
Continue using the sautee setting to cook the onion, bell pepper, celery and bottoms of the green onion. Cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for one additional minute.
Stir in the white rice, tomatoes, chicken broth and Cajun seasoning until well combined.
Place the lid on the instant pot in the sealing position and cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes.
Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes before moving to the quick release.
Add salt and pepper to taste and top with sliced green onions if desired.
Storage – Leftover Jambalaya can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.Reheating – Jambalaya can be reheated in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. If reheating on the stove, you can add a splash of water or broth to keep it from drying out.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.