This Instant Pot Jambalaya was adapted from an authentic Creole Jambalaya recipe and has spicy andouille sausage, chicken and shrimp combined with rice, is flavored with Cajun spices and cooked to perfection.
Nawlins. New Or-linz. New Or-leens. No matter how you pronounce it, if you’ve visited New Orleans, you have to agree that it’s one of the most historic and charming cities in the United States. I feel it’s a city that everyone should have a chance to visit. I was introduced to New Orleans by a friend when we worked together at my first job right out of college. Mary was born and raised in New Orleans and I now realize how lucky I was to experience New Orleans (including Mardi Gras!) with a local girl.
I’ve been back to New Orleans since those early trips at different stages of my life, with different people and the city never loses its charm. I just discover new things. Alas, Bourbon Street now holds less appeal than the side streets and antique shops of the French Quarter, the stately homes and mansions of the Garden District, and the live jazz music all around the French Quarter.
But the one thing that doesn’t change in my experience is the standout star of New Orleans – the Cajun and Creole cuisine. Cajun and Creole restaurants abound and you can literally eat your way through that city! Some of my favorite dishes include Jambalaya, Etouffee, and Gumbo. I plan to share with you my gumbo recipe in an upcoming post, but today I want to share this Instant Pot Jambalaya. Jambalaya is a hearty one pot meal made with rice, meat and seafood, similar to Spanish paella.
There are two types of Jambalaya. Creole, which includes tomatoes, and Cajun, which is made without tomatoes. Creole cuisine originated in the city of New Orleans and Cajun food is traditionally associated with the French Acadian people who settled the swamps of southwest Louisiana. My version of Jambalaya includes tomatoes and is derived from a cookbook I’ve had in my possession forever, but have no idea when or where I got it! It’s a tiny little cookbook a bit larger than a smart phone, written by chef Austin Leslie of the famed New Orleans restaurant Chez Helene, which closed in the 1990’s.
I adapted my recipe to be an Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe and am super pleased with how it turned out. If you’re looking to make something different in your Instant Pot, try it out. Looking at the ingredient list, you might think it too long and be tempted to skip this recipe, but I hope you won’t! Some recipes are the ‘dump in the Instant Pot’ kind and some take a little more effort. This one is definitely worth the little effort it takes (which is really not much at all.) The primary hands-on work requires sauteing the meats and vegetables individually before adding the rice and liquids.
The shrimp can be cooked one of two ways: You can rub some Cajun seasoning over the shrimp and set aside for 15 minutes, then briefly saute and add at the end (as stated in the recipe) OR you can stir in the uncooked shrimp at the end and let it cook in residual heat with the Instant Pot covered, just add a couple of extra minutes. The advantage of adding it in at the end is that the shrimp juices get absorbed into the rice and there’s less of chance that the shrimp is dried out.
Andouille is a spicy smoked Cajun sausage. If you don’t have access to it, substitute it with a Spanish chorizo or kielbasa. You can substitute Cajun seasoning with Creole seasoning, and you can also add more or less seasoning than I’ve suggested. The quantity of salt you need will depend on the quantity and type of Cajun seasoning you use. Go easy on the salt if you are using more seasoning and/or if your Cajun seasoning is very salty!
Hope you get to try out this Instant Pot Jambalaya. It’s a meal in one that doesn’t really need any side dish. It’s a great dish to make for a group.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot Manual / Beginner’s Quick Start Guide blog post first and then come back here to learn how to make Instant Pot Jambalaya.
Instant Pot Jambalaya INGREDIENTS
Instant Pot Jambalaya Step-by-Step Instructions
- Rub shrimp with 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning and set aside.
- Press ‘Saute’
- Add oil to inner pot of Instant Pot.
- Add sausage and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. (If the sausage browns too quickly, press ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ until the Instant Pot cools down a bit and press the ‘Saute’ button again.)
- Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. (If the chicken browns too quickly, press ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ until the Instant Pot cools down a bit and then press the ‘Saute’ button again.)
- Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken to plate and set aside.
- Press ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ to turn off heat.
- Add shrimp and stir briefly, for just a few seconds. You are not cooking the shrimp through. It will cook at the end.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove to plate and set aside.
- Press ‘Saute’ again.
- Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic; Saute till onion is translucent.
- Add thyme, Cajun seasoning, salt, rice and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, chicken broth and bay leaves.
- Stir in the reserved sausage and chicken.
- Close Instant Pot Lid, and make sure steam release handle is in the ‘Sealing’ position.
- Press ‘Manual’ and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘7’ (7 minutes)
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 7 to 0; it will switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0;00’.
- To open the Instant Pot, first move the steam release handle to ‘Venting’. I like to place a folded towel over the steam release handle and move it to the venting position.
- When your Instant Pot is depressurized, the float valve will be in the down position.
- Press ‘Cancel’ and open the Instant Pot.
- Carefully stir in shrimp.
- Close the Instant Pot and allow the shrimp to finish cooking in the residual heat.
- After 10 minutes, open the Instant Pot and add parsley. Gently stir the jambalaya.
- Serve with hot sauce on the side.