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Easy Jambalaya with Sausage and Shrimp — The EASIEST and BEST recipe for jambalaya you’ll ever taste that’s ready in 20 minutes!! Juicy sausage and shrimp with tender rice and the PERFECT amount of kick will keep you going back for more!!
Super Easy Jambalaya Recipe
If you’ve never made jambalaya before because you were put off by what seems like a lot of steps and work, this easy, one sheet pan jambalaya recipe with some handy shortcuts changes everything! It tastes so amazing that we were eating it straight off the sheet pan.
There’s juicy shrimp, flavorful sausage, lightly caramelized onions, tender seasoned rice, just the right amount of heat and spiciness (which you can dial down if you’d like), and it’s ready in 20 minutes.
And with one sheet pan, clean up is as easy as throwing away the sheet of foil that lined it. Truly easy-breezy.
This recipe needs to become part of your regular weeknight dinner rotation because it’s fast, easy, and tastes like a million bucks.
Tip: Make sure to check out my One-Pot Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya recipe, too!
What’s in This Easy Jambalaya?
To make this sausage and shrimp jambalaya recipe, you’ll need:
- Cooked smoked sausage
- Yellow onion
- Olive oil
- Cajun seasoning
- Raw shrimp
- Cooked rice
- Green onions
Chicken is also common in jambalaya, but for this recipe the cooking time would have been different than the sausage, onions, and shrimp, so I omitted it. Plus, two great proteins is plenty; we didn’t need a third.
How to Make Sheet Pan Jambalaya
It doesn’t get any easier than this one pan meal. Follow these straightforward steps:
Step 1: Scatter sliced cooked sausage rounds, yellow onion slices, drizzle with olive oil, season with jambalaya seasoning, and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes or until onions soften and the sausage is ‘searing’ a bit around the edges.
Step 2: Add cleaned, fresh, raw shrimp, drizzle lightly with olive oil, season, and bake for about 4 minutes, and flip the shrimp.
Step 3: Add a mixture of cooked rice tossed with thick and chunky salsa, bake for 2 more minutes, and get ready to devour your jambalaya.
What Kind of Sausage Should I Use?
I used a 12-ounce smoked beef sausage and while andouille sausage (smoked pork) is more traditional, I couldn’t find it at my grocery store, didn’t want to run around, and the beef sausage turned out to be great. My family complemented me on the flavor of the sausage.
What Kind of Shrimp Should I Use?
I used large (15-20 count) shrimp because I prefer the taste of larger shrimp but smaller ones are acceptable, noting they will cook quicker. In just a couple of minutes so watch them.
What’s the Best Jambalaya Seasoning?
I used Cajun (generic store brand) seasoning rather than Creole seasoning. It was half the price of Creole seasoning and in my research: “Creole and Cajun cooking terms are used interchangeably. However, Cajun seasoning is a basic blend mix: use garlic powder, onion, black pepper, and Cayenne pepper. While Creole seasonings goes further that these basic spices with more herbs ranging from oregano to basil and paprika.”
The Cajun seasoning was great, I wouldn’t change a thing, and it delivered plenty of heat and spice on top of the other semi-spicy things I used including the seasoned rice and salsa.
What Kind of Rice Should I Use?
This recipe calls for cooked rice, and two 8.8-ounce bags of Spanish Style Rice work perfectly. If you want to dial down the overall heat of the recipe, use regular plain white rice rather than Spanish.
To save time in general in recipes, I am a fan of precooked rice in pouches, but of course you can use any form of already cooked rice that you prefer.
What Type of Salsa Should I Use?
You will be tossing your rice in a thick and chunky salsa. I used this Trader Joe’s Organic Thick and Chunky Salsa and it has medium heat. The diced tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, and jalapeños, with cayenne pepper and garlic was exactly perfect for the jambalaya.
If you can’t find it, use another trusted salsa. Make sure it’s thicker and not a thinner ‘restaurant-style salsa’ like this one which would be too watery for the jambalaya.
The bottom line is that my jambalaya recipe is flexible from the type of sausage, seasoning, rice, and salsa used.
Tips for Making Homemade Jambalaya
Between my liberal dousing of cajun seasoning over the proteins, the spiced Spanish rice, and the medium heat level of the salsa, the jambalaya had a nice kick. If you prefer it milder, dial down the various heat levels in the individual components to fine tune it to your preferences.
Note that by design though, jambalaya is not a ‘plain’ type of recipe and it should have a little punch to it. Embrace it for what it is.
Even one of my family members who is very averse to heat said, wow, this is so good and just gets better and better with each bite I take. Yep, I agree.
- 12 ounces cooked smoked sausage, sliced into thin rounds (andouille is traditional, I used smoked beef sausage)
- 1 medium/large yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning, divided; or to taste (use less for milder flavor)
- 3/4 to 1 pound cleaned and deveined raw shrimp (I prefer large 15-20 count shrimp)
- two 8.8-ounce bags cooked rice, warmed according to directions (I prefer Spanish-Style Rice) OR 4 cups of your preferred cooked rice
- one 16-ounce jar thick and chunky salsa (I used medium heat)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons green onions, sliced into thin rounds for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 400F and line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup. Then, spray with cooking spray.
- Add the sausage, onions, evenly drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and evenly sprinkle 2 teaspoons seasoning.
- Bake for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until onions soften and sausage ‘sears’ around the edges.
- Remove sheet pan from the oven, flip the sausage and onions, evenly add the shrimp, evenly drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and evenly sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon seasoning.
- Return the pan to the oven, and bake for about 4 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque and nearly done. If you’re using smaller shrimp, bake for less time (~3 minutes) so they don’t overcook.
- While the sheet pan is in the oven, to a medium bowl, add the warmed rice, salsa, and stir to combine.
- Remove sheet pan from the oven, stir and flip the sausage, onions, and shrimp.
- Evenly sprinkle the rice and salsa mixture, stir to combine, and bake for about 2 minutes, or until everything is warmed through and the shrimp are done.
- Evenly garnish with the green onions and serve immediately.
Storage: Jambalaya will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 576Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 3071mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 26g
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Originally published August 5, 2019 and republished September 30, 2022 with updated text.
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