Instant Pot Jambalaya is a delicious one-pot meal with veggies sauteed in sausage drippings, tender chicken, rice, succulent shrimp, and lots of Cajun spice, seasonings, and flavor.

This is wonderful in rotation with other Instant Pot meals like Instant Pot chicken and rice, Instant Pot rice and beans and Instant Pot chicken fried rice!

Instant pot Jambalaya garnished with green onion and served on white plate with a fork.

Instant Pot Jambalaya is one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes to make. It is similar to paella but instead of expensive saffron, it contains affordable cajun seasoning.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • One pot meal: We saute vegetables, chicken and sausage in same pressure cooker we cook rice in. Only one pot to wash, perfect for busy weeknights!
  • Versatile: Make jambalaya in Instant Pot with any sausage you have on hand, white rice or brown rice, and veggies are simple as well.
  • Delicious: There are many original versions of this Louisiana dish and I am in no way saying it’s authentic. It’s just simply good!
  • Weeknight dinner or celebratory meal: We had jambalaya for a Sunday dinner with friends and everyone raved about it for days. But it is also mid-week healthy dinner friendly.

What Is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a Southern dish that has originated from Louisiana. It is made with rice, meat and vegetables seasoned with Creole and Cajun spices.

Common choices of meat are smoked sausage like andouille or chorizo and an addition of pork or chicken. Less common seafood like shrimp or crawfish is sometimes added as well.

Vegetables are sofrito like mixture of onion, celery and green bell pepper known as “holy trinity”. Other vegetables are often used.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Jambalaya

The list of ingredients for this Instant Pot jambalaya recipe might seem long but they are all simple ingredients you can find in any grocery store.

  • Sausage: Traditional jambalaya calls for andouille sausage. I used chorizo sausage. You can also use kielbasa or Polish sausage.
  • Vegetables: Onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic.
  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs work. You can also use leftover shredded Cajun chicken.
  • Seafood: Use any shrimp or prawns. Make sure they are deveined and peeled, tails can be on or off.
  • Rice: You can use either white rice or brown rice. The only difference is pressure cooking time which I indicate in the recipe card. Feel free to buy short grain rice or long grain rice.
  • Seasonings: Chicken broth, tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, cajun seasoning, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt and pepper.

How to Make Instant Pot Jambalaya

Here is a quick overview how to make jambalaya in Instant Pot. Full recipe card is located below.

Step by step process how to make Jambalaya in Instant Pot.
  • Saute the sausage: Preheat Instant Pot on Saute until display says Hot. Cook sliced sausage rounds on both sides until golden brown. Remove onto the plate to prevent it from getting rubbery.
  • Saute the veggies: To the Instant Pot, add onion, celery and bell pepper, saute for a few minutes. Stir in chicken, seasonings and broth. Cook for 2 more minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze it. Then press Cancel.
  • Cook: Add rice and diced tomatoes, and do not stir. Pressure cook jambalaya on High Pressure with white rice for 8 minutes, or with brown rice for 22 minutes. Release pressure 5 minutes after cooking is done by turning pressure release valve to Venting.
  • Add shrimp: Open the lid, add shrimp and stir jambalaya. Close the lid and let it sit for 10 minutes. Residual heat will cook the shrimps without overcooking.
Close up of pressure cooker jambalaya with sausage and shrimp.

Tips for Best Results

  • Instant Pot size: I made this Instant Pot jambalaya in 8 quart Instant Pot and it will also fit 6 quart Instant Pot. For 3 quart Instant Pot, cut recipe ingredients in half but keep same cook time.
  • Use frozen chicken if you want: You can use frozen chicken breasts or thighs without changes to the original recipe. Just make sure frozen chicken pieces are separated and not in one blob. Shred or dice them after cooking. You can also cut frozen chicken into cubes, if it is slightly thawed.
  • Don’t discard sausage drippings: Don’t transfer sauteed sausage onto paper towel to soak up the fat. Sausage drippings add a lot of flavor to pressure cooker jambalaya.
  • Rinse the rice: Don’t skip rinsing the rice. If you don’t rinse off the starch coating rice grains, your jambalaya will come out mushy.
  • If your rice comes out undercooked: It shouldn’t happen but if it did, close the lid and let jambalaya sit in Instant Pot for another 10 minutes. Rice will finish cooking with residual heat.
  • If you got the dreaded Burn: I have updated this recipe in 2023 with instructions to deglaze the pot after sauteing, so you shouldn’t get the Burn notice. Some Instant Pot models are a bit sensitive. It doesn’t mean your food is actually burning though.

What to Serve Instant Pot Jambalaya with?

Jambalaya is truly a one pot meal full of protein and complex carbs. Maybe a simple salad like lettuce salad or cucumber bell pepper salad, so it doesn’t overpower the flavors of the dish.

How to Store and Reheat

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Freeze: You can also freeze completely cooled jambalaya for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheat: Add desired amount of food to a small pot, add a splash of water or broth and simmer on low heat while covered for 5-10 minutes. You will have to stir it a few times to avoid burning.

FAQs

What consistency should Instant Pot jambalaya be?

Jambalaya in Instant Pot should be more of a thick porridge consistency. Rice will absorb most of the juices. It should neither fall apart nor be mushy.

What is the ratio of liquid to rice in jambalaya?

The ratio of liquid to rice when cooking jambalaya in Instant Pot should be 1 to 1. We use 2 cups of chicken broth and liquid from diced tomatoes with 2 cups of rice.

Can I omit shrimp?

Yes, feel free to omit shrimp when making jambalaya. Then skip the 10 minute resting time at the end of the recipe.

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

Gumbo is a stew or soup that’s served over rice. Where as jambalaya is a rice dish with meat and vegetables, where rice is the main component of it.

Can I make it on the stove top?

Yes, to make this Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe on the stove, saute sausage, veggies with spices, and chicken in stages, transferring to a plate in between each step. Then add all ingredients to a large pot along with other ingredients, increasing broth amount to 3 cups. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer jambalaya for 20-30 minutes with white rice, and 40-45 minutes with brown rice. Add shrimp and adjust any seasonings to taste. Also you might need to cook it for more or less time, just play it by ear.

More Instant Pot Rice Recipes

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Be sure to browse more of my healthy Instant Pot recipes!

Jambalaya in Instant Pot.
Instant pot Jambalaya garnished with green onion and served on white plate with a fork.

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Instant Pot Jambalaya is delicious one pot meal with veggies sauteed in sausage drippings, tender chicken, rice, succulent shrimp and lots of Cajun spice, seasonings and flavor.
4.97 from 26 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 402
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • On 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot.
  • Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Remove onto a plate and set aside.
  • Swirl oil to coat and add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken, oregano, thyme, cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and broth. Cook for 2 more minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze it, then press Cancel.
  • Add rice and tomato sauce, do not stir.
  • Close the lid and set valve to Sealing. Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual button for brown rice – 22 minutes, white rice – 8 minutes.
  • After cooking has finished, allow pressure to come down on its own for 5 minutes and then turn valve to Venting to release remaining pressure.
  • Add previously cooked sausage and shrimp. Stir, close the lid and let residual heat cook shrimp for 10 minutes.
  • Open the lid, sprinkle with green onion, give a few gentle stirs and serve hot.

Video

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat: Add desired amount to a small pot, a splash of water or broth and simmer on low covered for 5-10 mins. You will have to stir a few times.
  • Fresh or frozen chicken: Boneless and skinless chicken breast or thighs. Frozen – Same cook time, just make sure frozen chicken pieces are not one blob. You can cut frozen chicken into cubes if it is slightly thawed. But best is to add frozen chicken breasts (make sure they are separated) and shred or dice them after cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 204mg | Sodium: 710mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I halved the recipe, substituted what sausages I had on hand, chicken thighs and used brown rice. It was delicious. Gave me six servings. Thanks!

    1. Pictured is my 8 quart Instant Pot. I would recommend only to 1.5 teh recipe. Double will not cook properly. I tried that with chicken and rice and rice was mushy, bottom burning etc. However, you can have 2 Instant Pots going for more food. Or this recipe makes quite a bit – serves 7-8 generously. I hosted a family with this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Easy way to make jambalaya and delicious! Thanks for a reminder to make this yummy dish!

  3. 4 stars
    The flavour of this dish was really good. The only thing was the rice was a bit too soft for our liking. I would not cook it as long next time. Overall it was excellent!

    1. So happy to hear, Patty! Same time – just make sure frozen chicken pieces are not one blob, they won’t cook through even in 30 mins. I assume you will cut frozen chicken into cubes – shears work great. You can also add frozen chicken breasts, again the key is to make sure they are separated, and shred or dice them after.

  4. Instead of salt can a salt substitute such as Mrs Dash be used? I have high blood pressure so I try to stay away from adding salt.
    Thanks
    Kathy

  5. 5 stars
    Lovely meal and very easy to do thanks to your great recipe and clear instructions. Of course, Cajun Seasoning is almost impossible to find here in Barcelona but I found a recipe and already had all spices to make it.

  6. If I half the recipe does it work with the amount of broth and the time needed? Looks yummy. I want to try tomorrow.
    Thanks.
    Blue

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