This Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe was adapted from an authentic jambalaya recipe with spicy andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp, and rice. Flavored with Louisiana spices and cooked to perfection, it’s a delicious one pot meal that can be made in the pressure cooker or on the stovetop. Great for an easy dinner on busy weeknights or a special occasion!
[This post was first published in February 2017 and was one of the first original and authentic Instant Pot Jambalaya recipes! It’s a popular recipe with rave reviews. Read the reviews at the bottom of this post.]
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Table of Contents
Introduction to Jambalaya
Jambalaya is a Cajun recipe that originated in Louisiana. It’s a one pot rice dish consisting of meat (pork or chicken), seafood (shrimp, crab, or crawfish), and a spicy sausage called andouille (pronounced aahn-doo-wee).
There are two types of Jambalaya: Creole or red jambalaya, which includes tomatoes, and Cajun or brown jambalaya, which is made without tomatoes.
Creole cuisine originated in the city of New Orleans, while Cajun food is traditionally associated with the French Acadian people who settled the swamps of southwest Louisiana.
This easy jambalaya recipe includes tomatoes and is derived from an authentic jambalaya recipe from a cookbook I’ve had in my possession forever, but I can’t recall when or where I got it!
It’s a tiny little cookbook a bit larger than a smartphone, written by chef Austin Leslie of the famed New Orleans restaurant Chez Helene, which closed in the 1990s.
I adapted this recipe for the Instant Pot and prefer this one pot pressure cooker jambalaya recipe over the stove top version! But I do provide the stove top instructions too.
Back when I first published this recipe, it was the only one. And it’s the real deal. This is the best Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe you’ll find! Read the reviews at the bottom of this post to see how popular this recipe is.
Learn more about your Instant Pot…
- Natural vs Quick Release: What are the different types of steam release and when should you use them?
- Instant Pot Tips and FAQs: What are some of the most commonly asked questions about the Instant Pot?
- Instant Pot Not Sealing: Why is your Instant Pot not sealing and what can you do to fix it?
- Common Instant Pot Problems: What are the most common problems encountered by Instant Pot users and how to solve them.
- Instant Pot Sous Vide: If you have a Sous Vide button on your Instant Pot, learn how to use it for perfectly cooked foods.
Make this one-pot Instant Pot jambalaya for a quick weeknight meal or when you’re entertaining. It’s perfect not just for Mardi Gras, but for any time of year.
Try These Creole and Cajun Instant Pot Recipes…
- Gumbo is a Cajun stew with chicken, shrimp and sausage that is a popular and hearty recipe. It’s thickened with okra and a dark roux and traditionally served over rice. Gumbo and jambalaya are the two most popular Cajun dishes.
- Etouffee is a Cajun seafood recipe that is another popular recipe in New Orleans. It’s traditionally made with crawfish cooked in a blonde roux, but my version has shrimp.
- Instant Pot red beans and rice has andouille sausage, ham bone, and red beans. It tastes like it’s simmered on the stove all day, but the Instant Pot makes it so easy! It’s one of my favorite recipes to make.
- Cajun chicken pasta is pasta with a Cajun twist. It’s like a jambalaya made with pasta! It’s a one-pot creamy pasta with chicken and sausage that’s really easy to make.
Tips to Make Instant Pot Jambalaya
Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp
This Instant Pot jambalaya is made with chicken, andouille sausage, and shrimp. However, you can use chicken alone, or make chicken and sausage jambalaya by omitting the shrimp.
You could also make a seafood jambalaya – the options are endless!
Shrimp: Peel and devein the shrimp. Peeling ensures that the spices penetrate the shrimp.
Chicken: I love how tender chicken thighs turn out in the Instant Pot. And nothing beats their flavor. However, if you’re not a fan, feel free to use boneless skinless chicken breast. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Cooking the Shrimp
It might seem unusual to add the raw shrimp at the end and allow it to cook in the residual heat of the jambalaya. But this is something I discovered through trial and error and find it works well and the shrimp don’t get overcooked or tough.
Rub Creole seasoning over the uncooked shrimp and set aside while the rice is cooking, and stir in the shrimp at the end. Close the Instant Pot lid and allow the shrimp to cook in the residual heat.
Try to work quickly and add the shrimp as soon as the pressure goes down. You don’t want too much heat to escape because the shrimp needs to cook in the residual heat.
When you put the lid on, you might have trouble getting it to close. Put the steam release handle/button/switch in the Vent position and it should close easily. After closing the lid, put the steam release back into Seal. It might seal back up (i.e. the float valve may come up) and that’s okay. The shrimp is just going to steam in the rice.
If you have extra-large or jumbo-sized shrimp, you’ll need to let the shrimp sit in the covered Instant Pot for an extra 3 to 5 minutes. If you have smaller shrimp you may be able to decrease the amount of time.
If you prefer, you can saute the shrimp at the beginning when you’re sauteing the sausage and chicken and add it in once the rice has cooked.
In that case, do a natural release of pressure for 10 to 15 minutes after the rice is done pressure cooking. Then release any remaining pressure by moving the steam release to Venting position.
Different Types of Rice
Brown rice requires a longer cook time (approximately 22 to 24 minutes), so your meats and vegetables may get a bit overcooked. Many of my readers use brown rice and do it this way. See the FAQ section for more options.
You can substitute Creole spice with Cajun spice. 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 or Creole spices you use.
Go easy on the salt if you use more seasoning and/or the Creole or Cajun seasoning is very salty!
Stock / Broth
This recipe calls for chicken stock but you may want to try out my Instant Pot Shrimp Stock. It adds another dimension of flavor and it’s so easy to make. You already have the shrimp shells, so why not make some stock with them?
Many people don’t like the taste of raw onions, and that’s the case with one of my children. So I often omit the shallots. The jambalaya tastes great either way.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, you might find it helpful to first read one of the following guides and then come back here to learn how to make this recipe.
- Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO EVO PLUS Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO NOVA Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO GOURMET Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO CRISP Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot PRO Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot PRO CRISP Beginner’s Manual
Jambalaya and gumbo are both from Louisiana and have some similar spices. However, gumbo is more of a soup or stew and is served over some rice, while jambalaya is primarily a rice dish.
You have a few options:
– Substitute brown rice for long-grain rice and cook for about 24 minutes. Brown rice cooks for much longer than white rice, so the meats and vegetables could get a bit overcooked. However, many of my readers do it and like it.
– Use parboiled brown rice, and increase the original cooking time by a couple of minutes.
– Another option is to reduce the quantity of liquid in the recipe, pressure cook everything but the rice for a couple of minutes, and stir in cooked brown rice at the end.
Yes, you can double the recipe. Keep the cooking time the same.
Different models and sizes of pressure cookers can vary. If you find your rice is undercooked, add some more liquid and cook for a few extra minutes. Next time add an extra tablespoon or two of liquid and pressure cook for 2 extra minutes.
Ensure you deglaze and scrape the bottom of the pot well before pressure cooking. Also, don’t stir the rice or tomatoes. Add them on top and gently press down to ensure the rice is submerged. If you’re still having issues, increase the liquid by ¼ cup. Find out how to avoid the burn notice.
Instant Pot Jambalaya Recipe – Ingredients
- Andouille sausage
- Uncooked rice
- Red and/or green bell pepper
- Olive oil or vegetable oil
- Bay leaves
- Worcestershire sauce
- Creole or Cajun spice
- Shallots (missing from photo)
Full recipe instructions and details are below in the recipe card.
How to Make Authentic Jambalaya in the Instant Pot
- Season shrimp
- Turn on Saute Mode
- Saute sausage
- Saute chicken
- Saute vegetables
- Add the chicken, sausage, tomato, and rice
- Pressure cook
- Quick-release pressure
- Stir in Shrimp
- Garnish with parsley
- Thaw and thoroughly dry the shrimp with a paper towel.
- Rub creole spices all over the shrimp and reserve.
How to Turn on Saute Mode
- Instant Pot DUO: Select the Saute function.
- Instant Pot ULTRA: Select the Saute function and press Start.
- Once it has preheated, add oil to the inner pot and let it heat up.
- Add sausage slices and cook until browned, about 6 minutes.
- If the sausage browns too quickly, press Cancel until the Instant Pot cools down a bit, and press the Saute button again. Deglaze the bottom of the pot as needed with a tablespoon of broth.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage slices to a plate.
- Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Deglaze as needed.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Press Cancel to turn off the heat if the Instant Pot is too hot, and turn it back on when it’s cooled down a bit.
- Now add the holy trinity of Cajun cuisine (onions, bell peppers, celery) and garlic.
- Saute vegetables until the onion is translucent. The liquid released from the vegetables should be enough to deglaze the pan. If it’s not, add a few tablespoons of broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot and incorporate the brown bits. The bottom of the pot should be completely clean.
- Add thyme, Creole seasoning, salt, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to coat for about 30 seconds.
- Stir in broth and bay leaves.
Add Chicken, Sausage, Tomato, and Rice
- Stir in the reserved chicken and sausage.
- Add the tomatoes and gently spread them out with a spatula. Don’t stir.
- Add the rice and gently push down with a spatula till covered with broth. Don’t stir the rice mixture.
Program the Instant Pot and release pressure
- Close the lid.
- Program the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
- The display will go from On to 7:00. The float valve will go up after a few minutes. The display will count down to 00:00.
- Do a quick release of pressure. Once the float valve goes down, the lid can be opened.
Stir in Shrimp
- Open the lid and add in shrimp.
- Using a spatula, stir up the rice mixture and nestle the shrimp in the rice.
- Try to work quickly so too much steam doesn’t escape.
Garnish with Parsley
- Close the Instant Pot and allow the shrimp to finish cooking in the residual heat. If you have trouble closing the lid, move the steam release to the Vent position.
- After 10 minutes, open the Instant Pot and add parsley. Gently fluff the rice with a fork.
- Let the jambalaya rest (lid open) for 5 to 8 minutes before serving
- Serve with hot sauce on the side.
How to Make One Pot Jambalaya on the Stove
- Season the shrimp with the creole seasoning and reserve.
- Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute the sausage and chicken separately, and remove.
- Saute the onions, bell peppers, and celery until the onions are translucent. Saute garlic until fragrant.
- Add the spices and saute briefly. Deglaze the bottom of the pan.
- Return the meats to the pot. Stir in the broth and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. You’ll need to add an extra cup of broth compared to the Instant Pot version of the recipe.
- Add in the rice.
- Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low, and cover. Don’t stir again.
- Let the rice simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
- Add the shrimp to the rice and allow the shrimp to cook through.
- Once the shrimp is cooked, open the pot and garnish.
See the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya
- 1 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning or to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 12 oz. Andouille sausage (340 grams) cut into ½ inch slices
- 12 oz. boneless skinless chicken thighs (340 grams) cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste *
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth (3 cups for stovetop version)
or homemade Instant Pot Shrimp Stock
- 2 small bay leaves or 1 large
- 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes (411 grams)
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
- 2 tablespoon parsley chopped, to garnish
- ½ cup shallots thinly sliced – optional
- hot sauce to taste
- Dry shrimp with a paper towel, rub with 1 teaspoon of Creole seasoning and set aside.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Press 'Saute' and add oil to inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Once the oil is hot, add the sausage and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. If the sausage browns too quickly, press ‘Cancel’ until the Instant Pot cools down a bit and press the ‘Saute’ button again. Deglaze as needed with a tablespoon of broth.
- Add chicken to the inner pot, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the bowl containing the sausage, and set aside. If the chicken browns too quickly, press ‘Cancel’ until the Instant Pot cools down a bit and press the ‘Saute’ button again. Deglaze as needed with a tablespoon of broth.
- Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Stir until onion is translucent. The liquid released from the vegetables should be enough to deglaze the pan. If it's not, add a tablespoon or more of broth to deglaze.
- Add thyme, remaining Creole seasoning, salt, worcestershire sauce and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in chicken broth and bay leaves. Make sure there's nothing stuck to the bottom of the inner pot – deglaze as needed.
- Stir in the reserved sausage and chicken.
- Add the tomatoes (with the liquid) and spread out with a spatula, but don't stir.
- Add the rice and gently push down with a spatula till immersed in the liquid, but don't stir in.
- Close the lid and pressure cook on High Pressure for 7 minutes. **
- Do a quick release of pressure (QR) and open the lid. [Read More: The Different Pressure Release Methods].
- Carefully stir in shrimp. Take care to not allow too much steam to escape because the shrimp will cook in the residual heat.
- Close the Instant Pot and allow the shrimp to finish cooking in the residual heat for about 10 minutes. Jumbo shrimp may require an additional 5 minutes. If you have trouble closing the lid, move the steam release to 'Vent', close the lid, and move it back to 'Seal'.
- Open the Instant Pot and add parsley. Gently stir the jambalaya. Allow the Instant Pot jambalaya to rest for a few minutes. Garnish with shallots, if using.
- Serve with hot sauce on the side.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the oil and heat until the oil is hot and shimmering.
- Add andouille sausage, and saute until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. Repeat with the chicken.
- Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Add more oil as needed. Stir until onion is translucent. The liquid released from the vegetables should be enough to deglaze the pot. If it's not, add a tablespoon or more of broth to deglaze.
- Add thyme, remaining Creole seasoning, salt, worcestershire sauce and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, bay leaves, reserved meats, and diced tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add rice to the pot. Stir just until combined and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Don’t stir again.
- Let the rice simmer for 25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. If you find it sticking, add some more broth.
- Add the seasoned shrimp to the rice, stirring gently so that the shrimp is nestled in the rice. Allow the shrimp to cook through (about 5 to 7 minutes).
- Once the shrimp is cooked, open the pot and sprinkle with parsley and shallots (optional). Serve with hot sauce on the side.
- Prep time does not include steps that are already accounted for in the ingredient list, e.g. cut up chicken, chopped onion, etc.
- * Quantity of salt will depend on your Cajun seasoning. If it’s more salty, go easy on the extra salt.
- ** I find that 7 minutes is perfect. However, some people find the rice to be undercooked at 7 minutes. This could be due to variations in pressure cooker models and brands of rice. Modify the recipe to add an extra 2 minutes to the cooking time if you experience this.
- If you prefer, you can very briefly saute the shrimp at the beginning and remove. I find that adding the raw shrimp at the end allows the juices to get absorbed by the rice, without the shrimp drying out.
- This recipe has been modified from the original publication version: tomatoes and rice are layered on top without stirring in to avoid the Burn Message.
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips. You don’t want to miss any!
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I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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