Instant Pot Jambalaya
Instant Pot Jambalaya brings the bold creole flavors of Louisiana to your dinner table in under 30 minutes!
We love the big, bold flavors from Louisiana. Cajun and Creole cooking just burst with a blend of spices and influences from France, West Africa, and the Carribean.
The result are some truly delicious and satisfying unique meals like jambalaya.
This dish literally means jumbled and it refers to the combination of rice with a blend of veggies, meats and seasonings all served together in one dish.
We love it- especially since we can make this bold meal quickly and easily right in our pressure cookers.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
This recipe uses a lot of fresh ingredients and spices. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:
- Olive Oil – Olive oil helps prevent ingredients from sticking together.
- Meats – You’ll need a single chicken breast cut into pieces and andouille sausage cut into ¼-inch-thick slices.
- Chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
- The “Holy Trinity” – In creole and cajun cooking, the holy trinity includes onion, green peppers, and celery. You’ll need to dice each.
- Seasonings – You’ll need dried thyme, creole seasoning, salt, a bay leaf, and minced garlic.
- Chicken broth – Chicken broth adds some extra flavor and provides the liquid for the Instant Pot pressure cooking.
- Diced tomatoes and green chiles – You’ll add these to the pot undrained for a little extra spice!
- Long grain white rice – Long grained rice helps bulk up the jambalaya and makes it a full meal.
New to using an Instant Pot? Make sure you read our beginner’s guide on “How to Use an Instant Pot” to get started!
Here is everything you need to know to make a big batch in your Instant Pot.
Step 1 – Saute the protein. Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil gets hot, add the sausage and chicken breast and cook until browned on all sides. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Carefully remove the sausage and chicken from the pot and set aside.
Note: If you want to get a little bit of a sear on your meat you’ll need to brown them separately. First add the sausage and brown it then remove it and set aside before browning the chicken. I have made it both way and I don’t notice much of a difference in flavor so I opt to save time and brown them together.
Step 2 – Saute the veggies. Once the sausage and chicken are removed, add the diced onions, green peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions soften and turn translucent. As they cook, make sure to use a sturdy spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. This will help prevent the burn notice.
Step 3 – Add the spices and liquids. Cancel the saute mode once the onions are translucent. Give the bottom of the pan a final scrape to remove any stuck on food.
Next, add the dried thyme, creole seasoning, and salt to the vegetables and stir it all together. Then pour in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and green chiles. If there are any browned bits left on the bottom of the pan, you can use the liquid to help you scrape them up.
Step 4 – Add remaining ingredients. Add the browned meat back to the pot next and stir it in before nestling the bay leaves into the liquid. Finally, add the rice on top but do not stir it! Instead, just push the rice down so it is all submerged in the liquid enough to appear wet.
Step 5 – Cook. Once the rice is submerged, lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Set to HIGH pressure for 5 minutes.
When the timer goes off, press CANCEL, and let the pot do a natural release for 5 minutes. After the natural release, carefully flip the valve to VENTING and let the remaining steam and pressure escape.
Step 5 – Serve. Once the pin goes down, carefully open the lid. Stir all the ingredients together, remove the bay leaves, and allow the jambalaya to sit for about 5 minutes. This will help everything absorb into the rice.
Serve it with hot sauce on the side for a bit of extra heat.
What is the difference between Jambalaya and Gumbo?
Both jambalaya and gumbo come from Louisiana and are deeply rooted in creole and cajun cooking. They both use similar proteins, such as shrimp, andouille sausage, and chicken.
And they both start with a base of the holy trinity and build on the classic trio of onions, green peppers, and celery.
One major difference between the two dishes is that gumbo uses a dark brown roux that is packed full of flavor to help thicken the stew. Gumbo is then served over rice
Both dishes are delicious with many different variations depending on who makes it and where it is made.
Can You Add Shrimp?
If you want to use shrimp, you definitely can! You can add 12 ounces of fresh or frozen shrimp that are peeled, deveined, and tail-off. Before using frozen shrimp, you must allow it to thaw first in the fridge or under cool running water.
Before adding to the jambalaya, toss the shrimp in ½ teaspoon creole seasoning. When the cooking time ends and the natural pressure release is done, carefully remove the lid and gently fold in the raw shrimp.
Place the lid back over the pot to hold in the heat and let the shrimp cook in residual heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are pink and cooked through.
A good way to tell if the shrimp is fully cooked is the open crevice along the spine of the shrimp will change from translucent to opaque. When the color change occurs, it is cooked through.
How to Store It
If you want to make this ahead or just store leftovers, you can place the it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Before storing, allow it to cool completely.
To reheat, you can use a microwave and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If you prefer, you can heat it over low heat in a small pot on the stove for about 5 to 7 minutes. When using the stove to reheat, you can add a small amount of chicken broth to help it retain its moisture as it warms. As it reheats, make sure you stir it to avoid burning the bottom.
I do not recommend freezing this dish. If you freeze it, the rice loses its texture as it is thawed and reheated. You’ll often end up with a mushy mess of rice.
Looking for More Easy Instant Pot Recipes?
- Instant Pot Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy
- Instant Pot Chicken with Mushrooms
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- More Instant Pot Recipes…
Instant Pot Jambalaya
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 12 ounces Andouille Sausage, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 12 ounces Chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 6 ounces Onion, diced
- 1 Green bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks Celery, chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon Dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1.5 cups Chicken broth
- 14.5 ounces Diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1.5 cups Long grain white rice
- Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- When the oil gets hot add the sausage and chicken breast and cook until browned on all sides, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Add the diced onions, green peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onions soften and turn translucent. Make sure to use your spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the vegetables cook.
- Press CANCEL to end the saute mode.
- Add the dried thyme, creole seasoning, and salt to the vegetables and stir together.
- Pour in the chicken broth and diced tomatoes and green chiles. If there are any browned bits left on the bottom of the pan use the liquid to help you scrape them up.
- Add the meat back to the pot and stir in. Nestle the bay leaves into the liquid as well.
- Add the rice on top. Do NOT stir the rice in but do press it down gently to make sure it is all in the liquid.
- Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Set to HIGH pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the timer goes off press CANCEL and let the pot do a natural release for 5 minutes.
- After a 5 minute natural release carefully flip the valve to VENTING and let the remaining steam escape.
- When the pin drops down the lid is safe to open. Remove the lid and stir everything together. Remove the bay leaves and let the jambalaya sit for approximately 5 minutes to absorb the excess moisture.
- Serve with hot sauce on the side for a little added kick.