Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

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Instant pot Jambalaya is made with chicken, shrimp, sausages, tomatoes, vegetables, and white rice, to create a flavorful, Creole favorite that’s ready in a flash.

» You might also like How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot and Instant Pot Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo.

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a dish that is inspired by many cuisines. It is packed with great ingredients that make a rich and hearty meal that everyone loves.

Although Jambalaya is a one-pot dish, it can take a long time to cook when made on the stovetop, so it’s often saved for weekends or holidays. However, by using an Instant Pot, you can make this dish whenever you like. It is quick and offers the same rich and indulgent flavors.

The reason I love this Instant Pot jambalaya recipe is that it is very straightforward to make, but it’s loaded with different types of meat, vegetables, and delicious Cajun seasoning.

A bowl of Instant Pot Jambalaya

What is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a Cajun recipe that originated in Louisiana. Typically, jambalaya consists of rice, sausages, and shrimp or other meat. Other ingredients are sometimes added such as okra, celery, bell peppers, green onions, garlic, tomatoes, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

People often mix up the two popular dishes from Louisiana: gumbo and jambalaya. They are similar, but also quite different.

Jambalaya is a rice dish that is usually served with sauted protein and vegetables in one pot. Gumbo is often described as a stew-like dish that may contain seafood, poultry, and/or sausage. Gumbo doesn’t necessarily have rice in it.

An important difference between jambalaya and gumbo is that jambalaya is typically cooked in one pot while gumbo is typically cooked in two pots, starting with a flour roux that thickens the stew.

Ingredient breakdown

Ingredients for jambalaya

Get ready. The list of ingredients is long, but it’s worth it! Most of the ingredients are easy pantry staples, like canned tomatoes, but there are a few things you’ll likely have to source, like Andouille sausage and Cajun seasoning.

Here is a list of all the ingredients you need to cook Instant Pot jambalaya:

  • Cooking oil: You can use any cooking oil for this recipe. Olive oil or canola oil works well.
  • Chicken: I use chicken thigh meat in this recipe, because it is juicy and cooks fast.
  • Shrimp: You can use either fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. Make sure they are peeled and deveined.
  • Andouille sausage: This is a French sausage made from pork. It has a smoky and spicy flavor.
  • Bell pepper: You can use either green or red bell pepper.
  • Onion: Onion adds a slightly sweet yet savory flavor.
  • Celery: Celery offers a salty and earthy flavor to this recipe.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds an intense savory flavor.
  • Chicken broth: Use low-sodium chicken broth to keep from adding too much salt.
  • Crushed tomatoes: I have used canned crushed tomatoes for this recipe, but you can use fresh chopped tomatoes as well.
  • Tomato paste: Tomato paste is loaded with tomato flavor and gives this dish a bright color.
  • Cajun seasoning: You can use either store-bought or homemade Cajun seasoning.
  • Long-grain white rice: Use premium quality long-grain white rice. White basmati or jasmine rice is a good choice.
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Equipment Needed

Instant Pot – I use a 6-quart Instant Pot Plus to make all of my recipes. If you’re using an 8-quart pot, you will need to adjust the amount of liquid accordingly, as it requires more than the 6 quart to build steam.

How to Make Instant Pot Jambalaya

Step One: Turn on sauté mode on the Instant Pot. When it’s hot, add half the oil and the shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.

Sauted shrimp in the Instant Pot

Step Two: Add the sausage and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the sausage to the plate. I like to blog the sausage lightly with a paper towel to remove the excess oil. It’s not always necessary, depending on the sausage.

Sauted sausage in the Instant Pot

Step Three: Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the remaining oil to the inner pot and pour in the chicken, bell pepper, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Turn off sauté mode. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Sauted veggies and sausage in the Instant Pot

Step Four: Pour the chicken broth into the pot and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, and rice. Stir it all together.

NOTE: If you are using an 8-quart Instant Pot, you will need to add additional water because this size requires more water to build steam. Not adding more water can lead to burning. Make sure the liquid amount matches what it looks like below. If there isn’t as much liquid in yours, add 1/2 to 1 cup more broth.

Uncooked jambalaya in the Instant Pot

Step Five: Lock the lid. Press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and cook on high for 8 minutes. Allow for a natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure. 

Cooked Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

Step Six: Stir the rice mixture to fluff up the rice. Then stir in the shrimp and sausage. Replace the Instant Pot lid and allow the ingredients to heat through for 5 minutes on Keep Warm mode.

Possible Substitutions

Here are a few alternatives and substitutes you can make in this dish:

  • I have used chicken thigh meat, but you can use chicken breast meat as well. Or you can also use leftover rotisserie chicken. The best option is thigh because it has more flavor and doesn’t overcook easily.
  • If you can’t find Andouille sausage, you can use smoked sausage or cooking chorizo instead. Andouille sausage can be difficult to find. I sometimes replace it with Vienna sausages if I can’t find it.
  • Shrimp is most widely used for making jambalaya, but you can use crawfish if you like. I use medium shrimp rather than large, so you can fit a whole one in a bite.
  • You can use brown rice instead of white rice for this recipe as well. However, when using brown rice, you will have to add more liquid, and it takes more time to cook.
  • You can add more vegetables like okra or peas to this dish, if you like.
Instant Pot Jambalaya

Why Use An Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.

If you don’t have one yet, check out our guide on which one to buy. Also see our guide to How to Use an Instant Pot for more information.

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Can I make vegetarian jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a dish that draws a lot of it’s flavor and texture from the meat that is added. That being said, you can make a vegetarian jambalaya without any of the meat. You would probably want to add additional vegetables, like okra and peas, to add texture to the dish. The cooking time remains the same.

Can I double the recipe?

This recipe is already rather large. I wouldn’t attempt to double the recipe in a 6-quart Instant Pot. The rice expands quite a bit and could exceed the max fill line if doubled. However, if you are using an 8 or 10-quart Instant Pot, you can absolutely double the recipe.

What if I don’t have an Instant Pot?

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still make this rice in a large stock pot on the stove top. You would cook the initial ingredients the same, by sautéing them in the pot, then add all of the ingredients to the pot in the same way described. Cook on the stove top for roughly 30-40 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all of the water and is tender.

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Instant Pot Jambalaya

Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

Instant pot Jambalaya is made with chicken, shrimp, sausages, tomatoes, vegetables, and white rice, to create a flavorful, Creole favorite that's ready in a flash.

Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot

4.85 from 39 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Pressurize Time 10 mins
Total Time 28 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 525 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh meat diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound uncooked shrimp peeled and de-veined
  • 1 pound andouille sausage
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (+1 cup more for 8-quart)
  • 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, mild store-bought or homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice

Instructions
 

  • Turn on saute mode. When hot, add half the oil and the shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the sausage and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to the plate and blot with a paper towel to remove oil, if necessary.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the remaining oil to the inner pot and pour in the chicken, bell pepper, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Turn off saute mode. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the chicken broth to the pot and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, and rice. Stir all together.
  • Lock the lid. Press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and cook on high for 8 minutes. Allow for a natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
  • Stir the rice mixture, then stir in the shrimp and sausage. Replace the Instant Pot lid and allow the ingredients to heat through for 5 minutes on Keep Warm mode.

Notes

  • This recipe is for a 6-quart Instant Pot. If using an 8-quart, you will need to add 1 cup more chicken broth to keep it from burning.

Nutrition

Calories: 525kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 26gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 1224mgPotassium: 692mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 912IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chicken, Rice, Sausage, Shrimp
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Instant Pot Jambalaya

3 thoughts on “Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

  1. Jim says:

    1 star
    I tried this today and it started burning even though I had deglazed the pot.I started reviewing the recipe and noticed that you have way less liquid than a regular rice recipe calls for after adding much more liquid , i am awaiting results. After the third burn warning, I tried the taste and found the rice was usable. I placed the pot on warm and will await the test after the meat gets warm. I hope the taste is good but someone needs to relook at the quantities of ingredients

    • Laura says:

      Hi Jim, I’m sorry to hear that it burned. Are you using a 6 or 8 quart pot? The 8 quart pot needs 2x the water as the 6-quart. The 2 cups of broth and the water from the chopped tomatoes is more than enough for this recipe. I have made it as is at least a dozen times and never had it burn. If you were to make it again, I’d suggest adding another cup of liquid.

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