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Instant Pot Jambalaya – Easy One Dish Recipe

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This Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe is a Cajun inspired one dish recipe with shrimp, andouille sausage, chicken and rice that will make a spicy dinner for your family. Using a pressure cooker makes it a quick and easy weeknight dinner the whole family will enjoy.

One of my favorite things about the Instant Pot is that it makes cooking a one dish meal quick and easy. I am always looking for ways to simplify meal planning and reduce the amount of dishes that I need to wash, and the Instant Pot lets me saute meat and vegetables and then bring it to pressure and let it all cook together.

Instant Pot Jambalaya in a bowl photographed from the top.

Looking for an Instant Pot for your family? Here are few that might be a good fit, whether you are looking for budget options or one for a big family.

What is Jambalaya?

Pressure cooker jambalaya with shrimp, andouille sausage and chicken in front of an Instant Pot

I enjoy making recipes from different parts of the country, and Jambalaya is one that my family and I enjoy. It is a traditional Cajun recipe from Louisiana that is made with rice, peppers, onions, celery and more.

Peppers, onions and celery are considered the trinity of Cajun cooking, so they will be included in almost any jambalaya recipe. The meat included in the dish can vary, but I used traditional smoked andouille sausage along with chicken and shrimp.

In jambalaya most of the liquid used to cook the rice is absorbed by the rice, so it is not soupy like a gumbo would be.

Jambalaya made in the Instant Pot with sausage, shrimp and chicken and green onions scatter on top

How to make Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

The first step in making the Instant Pot jambalaya is to saute the andouille sausage. This is where the Saute function of the Instant Pot comes in very handy, since you can brown the sausage in the same pot the jambalaya will cook in.

The sausage is already fully cooked, so it doesn’t really need to be browned, but doing this will add the sausage flavor to the rice and make the final dish tastier. After the sausage is browned remove it from the Instant Pot and keep it for later.

Rice on top of the other jambalaya ingredients in the Instant Pot

Then the chicken thighs are browned in the Instant Pot. The chicken will cook along with the rice, so this step is just to give it a nice appearance and the chicken does not need to be cooked through.

After the chicken the vegetable “trinity” of peppers, onions and celery are added, along with a bunch of garlic and the rice. These are stirred to get a little coating of oil on the grains of rice.

The ingredients that go into a pressure cooker jambalaya - tomatoes, onions, peppers and celery

Then salt, Cajun seasoning and thyme are added to season the dish, along with diced tomatoes and chicken broth which provide the liquid to cook the rice.

It is important to NOT add the shrimp or sausage at this point. Some meats do not do well under pressure, and both shrimp and sausage fall into this category, so do not add them or their texture in the final dish will be unappetizing and rubbery!

Find More Instant Pot Recipes!

The pressure cooker is then brought to pressure and the rice and chicken cook along with the vegetables. It only takes 8 minutes of high pressure to cook the dish through.

After the Instant Pot has finished let it rest for 5 minutes, and then manually release the pressure. Letting the rice rest for five minutes helps keep it fluffy and not mushy.

The instant pot jambalaya after pressure is released and the shrimp is added to the dish

Now it is finally time to add the shrimp and sausage, stir the Instant Pot jambalaya and replace the pressure cooker lid.

Since both the shrimp and sausage are already cooked this warms them up and infuses the dish with their flavor. The resulting jambalaya is a spicy one dish meal that is perfect for feeding the family on a busy weeknight.

Instant Pot Burn Message

A number of readers have let me know they get a Burn message when they make the recipe. This error occurs when a high temperature is detected on the bottom of the inner pot, which triggers a temperature sensor.

I recently updated the instructions to make them more specific in a few areas to try and help with this issue. Here are the most likely reasons for seeing this error on this recipe.

  • Food is stuck on the bottom of the inner pot after the Saute function is used. This recipe uses the Saute setting to cook both sausage and chicken, and this can leave little pieces of meat stuck to the bottom of the pot. The fix for this is to deglaze the pot with the chicken broth after the meat is browned. Make sure you use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape any little bits of browned meat left after the chicken broth is added. Alternately you can also just brown the meat in a frying pan on the stove if you know your Instant Pot is prone to this error.
  • If you let the Instant Pot cool down for a few minutes after using the Saute function before bringing the Instant Pot up to pressure it is less likely to give the Burn message.
  • Recipes using tomatoes are more likely to burn as the Instant Pot comes to pressure. I modified the recipe to specify that the tomatoes should be added last, and not stirred into the other ingredients. 
  • Another modification that could help is to not stir the rice into liquid, just push it down so it is covered by the liquid but not stirred in. Basically the idea is to keep the rice off the bottom of the Instant Pot. I didn’t add that to the instructions, because I haven’t actually tried it, but other people have told me this technique is helpful. 

I’ve never actually gotten the Burn message on my Instant Pot, so these suggestions are based on what others have report works. It seems that some models of Instant Pot are more likely to see this error message than others.

If you have seen this error message more than once or twice I’d suggest checking out this helpful article on the Burn Message from Paint the Kitchen Red which has a comprehensive list of causes and ways to fix the issue.

Recipe Tips

  • The grocery store I usually use, Wegmans, always has andouille sausage, but not all stores do. If you can’t find andouille sausage Mexican chorizo or kielbasa make the best substitutes. They aren’t spiced quite the same, but they will make sure your jambalaya is tasty, even if it isn’t quite as traditionally Cajun.
  • Check the salt content in your Cajun seasoning. Some brands have lots of salt and some don’t, so you might need to adjust the amount of salt in this recipe depending on your personal tastes.
  • I strongly prefer to use chicken thighs in Instant Pot dishes instead of chicken breasts. Breast meat is more likely to dry out and doesn’t take high pressure well.
  • Of course you don’t need to use all three meats in this Instant Pot jambalaya. I frequently make chicken and sausage jambalaya just because shrimp is so expensive. Leaving out the shrimp is a good way to make this a more affordable meal for your family.

Find More Instant Pot Recipes

 
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Make this easy one dish family meal in the pressure cooker.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces andouille sausage
  • 2 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth (use 21/4 cups for 8 quart Instant Pot)
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 4 scallions, sliced

Instructions

Note - Some readers have reported getting a Burn message when they make this recipe. I made the recipe instructions more specific in a couple areas to try and prevent this error. But some Instant Pots are more likely to get this error than others, so if you have seen this error before on any recipe I'd suggest reading the more detailed discussion right below the recipe card for ways to prevent it.

  1. Chop the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic. Then slice the andouille sausage and cut the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to Saute and add the olive oil. Allow it warm up for a few minutes.
  3. Brown the andouille sausage for about 5 minutes, until it is nicely browned. Then remove the sausage and set it aside for now. Stir so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the chopped chicken thighs to the Instant Pot to brown. Brown for 3 minutes. Stir so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. 
  5. Turn the Instant Pot off. Add the chicken broth to the instant pot to deglaze. Scrape the bottom of the container with a wooden spoon to make sure there aren't browned bits of sausage or chicken stuck to the bottom. Bits of food stuck to the bottom might cause the BURN error once the pot is brought up to pressure, so scrape it well.
  6. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, salt, Cajun seasoning, and thyme. Stir to mix the vegetables and seasoning.
  7. Add the rice and mix. Add the can of tomatoes on top of the rice, but don't stir it in, just spread it out on top. This will reduce the chance of a BURN error. DO NOT add the browned sausage.
  8. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set it for Manual High Pressure for 8 minutes. Once the pressure cooker has finished cooking let it rest for 5 minutes, then manually release the pressure.
  9. Take the lid off and stir the cooked shrimp and reserved andouille sausage into the Instant Pot. Replace the lid and let it rest for another 5 minutes to warm the sausage and shrimp.
  10. Serve sprinkled with scallions.

Notes

Nutrition facts are estimates.

I made this recipe in a 6 quart Instant Pot. For an 8 quart Instant Pot I'd suggest  increasing the chicken broth to 2 1/4 cups, but I haven't actually tested this, so use your own judgement.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 1604mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Instant Pot Jambalaya in a bowl with green onions scattered on top
By on November 5th, 2018

44 thoughts on “Instant Pot Jambalaya – Easy One Dish Recipe”

  1. I love my InstaPot and also Cajun dishes! I have a question about the setting you use for cooking, you don’t mention that. In the past I tried to cook a dish that had rice in it and it ended up leaking foamy liquid out of the pressure release. I don’t want this to happen again.

    Reply
    • I’ve never tried to double it. It seems to me that it should work fine doubling it if you have an 8 quart Instant Pot. I think it would be too much for a 6 quart one.

      Reply
  2. Wow…i was impressed by this recipe. I was skeptical as i have only had my pot a few weeks and never cooked rice in it. Everything turned out great. The only thing was it said a can of diced tomatoes…i was not sure what size of can. I used a small can. I will be going back to this recipe for sure. Thank you!!

    Reply
  3. I hate being the mean one here, but there are NO tomatoes in a Cajun style jambalaya!!! They are more common in a Creole jambalaya. We also don’t add scallions, trust me, I’m a Louisiana native and lifelong resident. Cajun jambalaya is typically brown in color, most commonly using chicken and sausage. This the terms a red jambalaya or a brown jambalaya. White beans are a traditional side dish, (a.k.a. navy beans).
    We typically use local seafood (shrimp and crabs) This is just another rice dish. P. S., Cajun does NOT always mean spicy, it means flavor.

    Reply
  4. I have no point of reference as to the authenticity of the dish, but we loved the flavors! Did mine a little differently to avoid any burn issues, and had to make slight substitutions to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand. I had andouille like to so I removed the casings and browned it. I added the chicken thighs and all the veg and seasonings and cooked til veg was slightly softened. I added broth (used about 3 cups total) and 1 1/2 cup regular brown rice. Added a can of Rotel tomatoes, as that is what I had. I did not stir after adding rice and tomatoes. Pressure cooked for 8 mins and let it release for about 5 min before doing a quick release. I added the raw shrimp and let residual heat cook it. I put the lid back on and let it set until the liquid was absorbed. Thank you so much for the recipe…kids have asked to have it again soon.

    Reply
  5. Can you use quinoa or brown rice instead? And would that warrant making it outside of the instant pot then adding it later?

    Reply
  6. My rice did not cook and there is no specifications that it needs to be cooked rice. A bit disappointed and currently trying to salvage what I’ve made to cook the rice.

    Reply
    • Don’t quick release the pressure… if you do the rice won’t cook properly… after the 8 minutes on high pressure just let it sit for longer than 5 minutes until all the pressure naturally releases then your rice should be cooked…

      Reply
    • It depends on the kind of rice you use. Refer to your instant pot manual for cook times on the various kinds of rice. I’m using brown rice so my cook time is 20 minutes.

      Reply
  7. This is a great recipe but you don’t say when to cook the shrimp. I cooked it separately and then added to the pot. Just wondering why it is not in the recipe as I read it.

    Reply
  8. I just noticed your note on using chorizo – good idea but for some reason all the chorizo I can find says it includes some odd stuff including pituitary gland (I live in Seattle so we are pretty far from real Mexican food.)

    Reply
  9. My rice turned out mushy, but otherwise a great recipe! I have an 8qt Instantpot, so I did use the increased amount of the broth. Next time I will use less liquid and slightly less cooking time. I followed the steps and no burn messages! . I recommend the salt. And if you like spicy, increase the amount of Cajun seasoning ( I used a heaping tablespoon). Really delicious recipe!

    Reply
  10. First time I got the burn notice and I’ve been using the instant pot frequently for the last year. I used white rice… could it be the type of rice used? What type do you use?
    Ended up having to switch the recipe over from the instant pot to the Dutch oven to finish.

    Reply
    • I solved the burn notice issue by using an instant pot safe bowl/pan covered with a trivet. Put 2 cups water in the bottom. No burn notice and everything is cooked. Depending on the rice used you may have to increase cook time by 3 to 4 minutes.

      Reply
  11. My only issue with the recipe was that the cooked shrimp was bland… Next time I will use uncooked shrimp sautéed in olive oil, salt and Cajun seasoning.

    Reply
  12. I used jasmine rice and I would cook for a minute less next time. I also will throw in a bay leave for the extra flavor.

    I also agree with others that the shrimp doesn’t end up with a whole lot of flavor. I think I will toss them in with the andouille sausage while the rice cook in hopes they absorb some of that flavor.

    Reply
  13. This recipe was a nightmare of burn notices. I could not get to finish cooking in my instant pot. I followed all the the new instructions to avoid this but nothing worked. I never even got to full pressure. I don’t think I will be trying this recipe again.

    Reply
    • I think the no stirring is key.
      I got burn message and then just started all over again. Dump and cook is best option. Brown chicken in another pan.
      Tnx friends. It is delicious

      Reply
    • I solved the burn notice issue by using an instant pot safe bowl/pan covered with a trivet. Put 2 cups water in the bottom. No burn notice and everything is cooked. Depending on the rice used you may have to increase cook time by 3 to 4 minutes.

      Reply
  14. This recipe was so good! I did not get a burn notice. I also used raw shrimp and added it in with the rest of the ingredients (except sausage). This recipe is a keeper!!

    Reply
  15. Followed this recipe word for word and am disappointed….my rice did not get fully cooked and there was way too much liquid still in the pot after cooking and resting.

    Reply
  16. Followed your recipe..left out the thyme.. used 3 chicken thighs and 1 lb andouille sausage.also used 1 lb shrimp…instead of plain chicken broth for the liquid, I used chicken flavored tomato broth for the liquid…ended up with a nice background flavor..I have an 8 qt and used 1 cup rice to 2-1/4 cups of broth..turned out perfect and very tasty..all in all a great recipe..gave copies of it to family and neighbors..

    Reply
  17. Can someone please answer all the questions about what type of rice to use? I followed the recipe and did not quick release but the rice was still too hard. I want to try it again. Did you use Brown Minute Rice? Or bagged rice?

    Reply
  18. What a great recipe thanks for sharing. My wife and I really enjoyed the flavor profile. I had to add 2 minutes to the cooking time because I used short grain rice. It could have used another 2 probably. I also added 1/2 tsp of Cayenne for just a little kick. Thanks again

    Reply
  19. I have made this recipe at least 6 times now and every time it turns out amazing. All six of my children (6 years to 14 years old) love it! Thank you so much. Also I have never had a problem burning my chicken.

    Reply
  20. Love this recipe! I’ve made it several times and family loves it. I usually use ground beef in place of chicken and I add 28oz of tomatoes. Left overs are even better the next day! Granddaughter loves taking it to school for lunch.

    Reply

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