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.

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

 
4.55 from 172 votes

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Published By Anne
Make this easy one dish family meal in the pressure cooker.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Additional Time15 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 6
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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.

  • Chop the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic. Then slice the andouille sausage and cut the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.
    8 ounces andouille sausage, 2 boneless chicken thighs, 1 onion, 1 green pepper, 3 ribs celery, 3 cloves garlic
  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute and add the olive oil. Allow it warm up for a few minutes.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 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.
    8 ounces andouille sausage
  • 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. 
    2 boneless chicken thighs
  • 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.
    1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • Add the onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, salt, Cajun seasoning, and thyme. Stir to mix the vegetables and seasoning.
    1 onion, 1 green pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 3 ribs celery
  • 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.
    1 1/2 cup rice, 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 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.
  • 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.
    8 ounces cooked shrimp
  • Serve sprinkled with scallions.
    4 scallions

Video

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.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g | Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 1604mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Instant Pot Jambalaya in a bowl with green onions scattered on top
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Followed this recipe exactly (minus the shrimp) in my 5-qt instant pot and it came out wonderfully! Thank you for a great recipe 🙂 It is quick, easy, and so delicious!

    Reply
  8. I can’t find where to add the shrimp, so I’m going to stir it in at the end and reseal and let it sit. They’re small shrimp so I’m sure they’ll cook. I lived in south Louisiana for 35 years and jambalaya is as diverse as anything else, no one gets to decide what is authentic or not. This is a good recipe and thank you for posting. I have written recipes and it’s really harder than one would think.

    Reply
  9. One of my favorite meals to make in the Instant Pot, and I’ve given this recipe to multiple people. While I like to top mine with plain Greek yogurt, my son loves to add Louisiana spicy sauce to his.

    Reply
  10. I’ve sent this recipe to multiple folks because it’s one of my favorite Instant Pot meals. For his, my son likes to add Louisiana hot sauce, and for mine, I prefer to add plain Greek yogurt.

    Reply
  11. I have made this recipe several times and I have to double it each time because my husband and son love it so much and want leftovers the next day! I find if I mix in the rice, I will get a burn notice, but if I layer it between the broth/vegetables and tomatoes it works out perfectly. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    Reply
  12. Since I can’t figure out where to put the shrimp, I’ll stir it in at the very end, close the container, and let it sit. Given their size, I’m confident they will cook. For the 25 years I lived in south Louisiana, I observed that there are many different types of jambalaya; nobody has the right to declare any of them to be real. Thank you for sharing this tasty recipe. google

    Reply

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