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Jambalaya Soup

Searching for a delicious and hearty soup recipe for Mardi Gras season? Look no further than our Creole-style Jambalaya Soup! This recipe is perfect for a cozy dinner at home or for serving a crowd. With homemade-in-the-pot chicken broth, tomato sauce, and paprika, this soup is sure to satisfy your cravings. Make it on Sunday and serve it on Fat Tuesday — it’ll be even better!

Jambalaya Soup in a white bowl.

Jambalaya soup is similar in flavor and ingredients to its distant cousin, Spanish paella. With a flavorful combination of chicken, seafood, and pork, it’s easy to see why this dish is a favorite.

One standout feature of this recipe is the holy trinity of aromatics, consisting of onions, bell peppers, and celery, which add a lovely depth of flavor to the soup. And don’t forget the Andouille sausage, which is a must-have and adds a zesty kick to this filling soup.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Chicken: To make the best Jambalaya Soup, we recommend using bone-in chicken to create a quick, homemade chicken broth. But if you’re short on time, no worries: rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken along with your favorite chicken stock (instead of water) will work just fine.

If you are using pre-cooked chicken, skip the long simmer and add the chicken at the same time as the shrimp to warm it through without overcooking it.

Holy Trinity: The Cajun Holy Trinity is the aromatic combination of onions, bell peppers, and celery. This tasty blend is the start of many delicious dishes in Creole cuisine, including Jambalaya and Gumbo.

A bowl of diced Holy Trinity aromatic vegetables, including onions, celery, and red and green bell peppers.

Rice: I call for cooked rice in this recipe because I always have leftover or extra frozen rice on hand. But if you need to make fresh, you have a couple of options: cook the rice separately as the soup simmers, or cook the rice right in the soup.

A separate preparation produces, I think, optimum texture. But cooking rice in the soup not only saves on cleaning an extra pot, but also thickens the soup efficiently, thanks to the starches. Either way, it’s a winner!

Creole seasoning: What is creole seasoning? It’s a tasty blend of herbs and zesty spices that you probably already have in your pantry. Here’s my go-to recipe for Creole seasoning. Check your paprika to make sure it’s still flavorful, and adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to match your heat tolerance.

Homemade Creole seasoning blend spilling out of a glass jar.

How to make Jambalaya Soup

Step 1: Sear the chicken

Heat the oil over medium and then add the chicken, skin side down, and brown for a few minutes. Flip, and repeat, and then transfer to a bowl. Note that the chicken is not cooked through at this point.

Step 2: Saute the aromatics and spices

Add the holy trinity vegetables to the pot and saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the other seasonings, plus the flour, over the top and stir until fragrant.

Step 3: Brown the andouille sausage

Scoot the vegetables to one side and add the sliced sausage to the cleared area. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges are golden. Then mix in with the vegetables.

Step 4: Simmer the chicken in the soup

Return the chicken to the pot and add water, setting the heat to maintain an active simmer. Add the bay leaf and thyme, and cover. Simmer for an hour or so.

Remove the chicken to a clean bowl or plate and allow to cool. When the chicken can be handled, cut the meat from the bones, and return the meat to the soup.

Step 5: Finish the soup

Reduce heat to low. Add the tomatoes, cooked rice, and raw shrimp. The residual heat from the soup will cook the shrimp in about 5 minutes.

When the shrimp is pink and opaque, give the soup a taste and add salt if needed.

Close up of a bowl of Jambalaya Soup.

This Jambalaya Soup is a flavorful and satisfying recipe that is perfect for any occasion. So why wait? Give it a try and see for yourself!

Karen xo

More Mardi Gras Recipes

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5 from 1 vote

Jambalaya Soup

One of the most filling soups in my soup arsenal – Creole-style Jambalaya soup is simmered in homemade-in-the-pot chicken broth, tomato sauce, and paprika. Make it on Sunday and serve on Fat Tuesday — it’ll be even better!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 20 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jambalaya
Servings: 4 generous servings
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds chicken parts, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (for color, use mixed red, green, and yellow)
  • 1/2 heaping cup diced onions (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (2-3 three ribs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into half moons
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or one fresh stem of thyme
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 15 ounce can crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a roomy, 5 or 6 qt. Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down and let sizzle for a few minutes. Flip and brown the other sides (does not have to be cooked through). Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the peppers, onions, and celery, and saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant (just 30 seconds or so). Sprinkle the Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, and flour over the vegetables. Stir to bloom the spices.
  • Move the vegetables to the side of the pot and add the sausage slices to the cleared area. Saute until the edges begin to brown, then stir into the vegetables.
  • Return the chicken to the pot, along with any juices in the bowl.
  • Add 4 cups of water to the pot, and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the bay leaf and thyme, then cover. Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl, and let cool until it can be handled. Find and remove the bay leaf and thyme stem (if using fresh thyme). Stir in the rice, tomatoes, and shrimp. Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces, and add to the pot.
  • When shrimp is cooked – pink and opaque – give the soup a good stir and taste. Add salt and/or more Creole seasoning, as desired.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
Recipe Rating


Saturday 4th of November 2017

The link to the homemade can seasoning is missing, could you share please? :-) I've got everything else to try this recipe today.

Thanks! Michele

Rocky Mountain Woman

Thursday 11th of February 2016

I was planning on Jambalaya this weekend, but this looks better!

Lovely, as always!


Friday 12th of February 2016

Thanks, Rocky! You wouldn't think it so, but so many things works as soup, too - this was one of them!


Tuesday 9th of February 2016

I love the new look and the recipes sound delicious. A recent restaurant visit in Mexico revealed the most beautiful paella, which I sadly could not sample at the time and have regretted ever since. I'll be on the prowl once I've unpacked to see what's in store here.


Tuesday 9th of February 2016

Thanks, Darlynne! I don't know if you're traveling or moving, but, lucky you! Enjoy! :)