We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Shrimp Jambalaya?

By Meg Higa
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Jambalaya is a Creole dish, originating from the Mississippi River delta region of the United States. Early European colonialists, and later immigrants, brought their familiar taste flavors from France or Spain and adapted them to the area’s locally available food resources. Among them, the most prominent, particularly at the markets of the bustling port of New Orleans was seafood. This remains true today, and shrimp jambalaya is one of the city’s signature culinary traditions.

There are several theories, and some amusing folklore, about the invention of jambalaya and how it got its name. The most likely explanation is a derivative of the southern French word jambalaia for “mix and mash” and “rice pilaf.” In finished appearance, it most closely resembles the Spanish paella, a rice pilaf cooked with broth and a variety of regional vegetables and meats.

Creole jambalaya, sometimes called red jambalaya, traditionally incorporates tomato. Cajun jambalaya, also called brown jambalaya, is a variation from the rural swamplands of Louisiana state that might contain unusual ingredients such as alligator or crawfish, a tiny freshwater lobster. While most any protein or variety of meats can be used, shrimp jambalaya, whether Creole or Cajun style, is arguably the most popular.

Shrimp jambalaya is popular for many reasons. The dish is easy to cook, only needs one pot or pan, and can be prepared with ingredients and flavors to suit any taste preference. The traditional vegetables are onion, celery and green bell pepper. The addition of a spicy, smoked sausage such as andouille, a local variety, is very popular. Many of the spices typically used to flavor the dish are Caribbean in origin, and include bay leaves, oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper. A splash of bottled hot sauce is often added.

Cooking steps may differ from kitchen to kitchen, but the basic technique is to add rice to the pot when the meat and vegetables have finished cooking in its spiced broth, usually chicken stock. Any type of rice can be used, but a long grain white variety is best. Simmered and minimally stirred, the rice will cook by absorbing all the smoky, flavored liquid. The addition of shrimp to the pot should be timed so that they finish cooking at the same time as the rice.

There are several less conventional ways to cook shrimp jambalaya. The most common of these is to cook the rice separately in either water or chicken broth, and to serve by ladling a gravy of jambalaya over it. The gravy can be prepared and kept warm in an electric slow cooker with the shrimp kept and served separately.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.