Smoky Slow-Cooker Jambalaya

Mains, Recipes

This is a great dish to make on a chilly autumn weekend since it only takes only about 30 minutes to do the prep work, then you can enjoy the rest of your afternoon while your slow cooker fills your house with the aromas of this iconic Creole dish. All you need to add is a green salad and dinner is served. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a flameproof insert, cook the shrimp, brown the chicken and sauté the vegetables in a large fry pan, then start using your slow cooker in step 3.


Smoky Slow-Cooker Jambalaya




  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 12 large shrimp, about 10 oz. (315 g) total weight, peeled and deveined
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, each 4 to 6 oz. (125 to 185 g), cut into large pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 oz. (185 g) smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste



1. Put the flameproof insert of a slow cooker on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until opaque, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the fat remaining in the insert and cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another plate. Cover and refrigerate the shrimp until needed. Pour off the fat from the insert.


2. Pour off all but 2 Tbs. fat from the insert and return it to medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Add the garlic and chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.


3. Transfer the insert to the slow cooker and stir in the chicken, tomatoes, rice, broth and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. The chicken should be opaque throughout, the rice should be tender and the broth should be absorbed.


4. Add the shrimp, ham, paprika, thyme and cayenne to the rice and stir to mix well. Re-cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 30 minutes to warm through. Season with salt and black pepper.


5. Spoon into individual bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.



quick slow cooking


Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.








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Recipe Name
Smoky Slow-Cooker Jambalaya
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Preparation Time
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Average Rating
21star1stargraygraygray Based on 10 Review(s)

5 comments about “Smoky Slow-Cooker Jambalaya

  1. Mary Kilfoyle

    I think after reading this I would add some sort of smoked sausage and maybe leave out the chicken. That seems like a weird combination to me.

  2. Ellen Artopoeus

    Add smoked Turkey Wings for the chicken. And use half the ham and-add andouille.

  3. Angela

    I had to add more broth/water because the rice was undercooked. Substituted the ham for smoke sausage. Added kidney beans. It was delicious!

  4. Sharon M McCarthy

    I’ll definitely make this again with a few modifications. Substitute Andouille sausage for the ham and boneless thighs for the chicken breasts. I added the spices with about an hour left to cook because it just seemed too bland at that point, I also added 1/4 cup tomato sauce. Next time I will add a can of diced tomatoes rather than cutting up the winter-time grocery store tomatoes that added nothing the dish. I’m used to jambalaya having some red coloring to it. Finally, for my slow-cooker, I will add the rice about 45 minutes into the cook time. It was overcooked and gummy at the 3.5 hr mark. Finally – this recipe shows a 30 minute prep time – that’s AFTER you’ve chopped onion, peppers, celery, tomatoes and chicken. It’s a good hour of prep time. But worth the effort. My 17 YO loved it, it’s a great break from the wintertime routine of comfort food rut I fall into each year.


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