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Pasta Jambalaya

The classic Mardi Gras dish gets a change-up with pasta instead of rice, for a savory, hearty winter meal. Pasta Jambalaya is loaded with shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage, plus the onions-celery-peppers holy trinity, and seasoned with Creole spices.

Pasta Jambalaya from

Fat Tuesday jambalaya has become a tradition in my house. Even though I live up north, I’m not Catholic, and I don’t give stuff up for Lent. So, whaddupwiddat?

I’ll tell you whassup: Jambajambajambalaya. Holy-aromatic-trinity smokes, Carnival revelers. Jambalaya.

Because Mardi Gras and Easter lead us directly into spring and spring’s lighter foods, jambalaya usually slips quickly to the back of my mind, but this year, I’m going to make it my personal mission to enjoy the jambs all year round. It’s the perfect vehicle for leftover bits of chicken or seafood, so that nothing goes to waste.

Plus, the holy trinity of vegetables pop right out of my garden every year, so jambalaya will be the answer to, “drat, I didn’t plan dinner tonight!” all summer long.

Pasta Jambalaya from

If you’ve never cooked with the Cajun holy trinity — although you probably have without even realizing it has a name — you need to add this to your recipe to-do list. All of the classic Cajun/Creole dishes we know and love — étouffée, gumbo, and, of course, jambalaya — begin with the magic combination of onions, bell peppers, and celery.

Simmered with andouille sausage and Creole spices … mmmmhmmmm, if the interwebs had a smell-o-vision option, y’all’d be running to the nearest grocery store to load up on pasta jambalaya supplies.

Even though American recipes typically borrow the French’s mirepoix — onions, celery, carrots — as our aromatic base, if you browse my recipes (especially soup recipes), you’ll see that I lean Cajun, and go with the peppers and celery (and onions … always onions). Carrots are often too sweet for what I’m going for, but the combination of peppers and celery add just the right earthy astringency to super-power the flavor of many dishes.

Pasta Jambalaya from

Mardi Gras is just once a year, so enjoy some pasta jambalaya, a big slice of King Cake, and a sazerac or two. If it’s extra chilly where you are, try my thick and hearty Fat Tuesday Jambalaya Soup. And if you’re a total home-cookin’ DIYer like I am, check out my homemade Creole seasoning, which is the irresistible cat’s meow of spice blends, and makes any jambalaya positively crave-worthy.

Karen xo



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Pasta Jambalaya

Pasta Jambalaya is deeply flavorful with just the right amount of cajun spicy goodness, and is even better when prepared ahead and stashed in the fridge for a day or two, without the pasta (prepare the pasta fresh as the jambalaya reheats).
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 8 ounces pasta penne rigata is nice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces Andouille sausage sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning up to 1 tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 heaping cup chopped cooked chicken
  • Minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain, and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or sauteuse, heat the oil over medium until shimmering. Add the sausage, and cook until the edges begin to brown.
  • Stir in the onions, peppers, and celery and saute until softened. Pour the wine over the veggies and continue sauteing until the wine has reduced.
  • Add the butter to the pan, and then sprinkle the flour, Creole seasoning, paprika, and salt over everything, and stir until thickened. Add the tomatoes with their liquid. Stir until completely mixed. The liquid should thicken up again.
  • Pour in about 1/2 cup of the broth, along with the shrimp. Stir until the shrimp is cooked through, opaque, pink, and plump, and then add the chicken.
  • Add more broth in small amounts, until the jambalaya is saucy (but not soupy). Taste, and add salt as needed.
  • Gently stir in the pasta until coated with the sauce.
  • Garnish with the parsley, and serve immediately.
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.

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Pasta Jambalaya - the cajun classic with pasta instead of rice. Shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage, plus the onions-celery-peppers holy trinity, seasoned with creole spices. Recipe at | mardi gras | fat tuesday | jambalaya | andouille sausage | pasta | creole food | food in bowlsPasta Jambalaya - the cajun classic with pasta instead of rice. Shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage, plus the onions-celery-peppers holy trinity, seasoned with creole spices. Recipe at | mardi gras | fat tuesday | jambalaya | andouille sausage | pasta | creole food | food in bowls

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