Food & Drink

Creole Jambalaya

A classic Louisiana recipe from the Brennan family of New Orleans

Photo: Courtesy of Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group

There’s perhaps no dish more representative of celebrations in Louisiana than jambalaya. Here, Ralph Brennan, who runs the restaurant group in New Orleans that includes such beloved spots as Brennan’s and Napoleon House, shares the family recipe that he serves during Mardi Gras.


  • Yield: 6–8 servings

    • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter (2 tbsp. if the pork and sausage are very lean)

    • 4 oz. Andouille sausage, sliced into ¼–inch rounds

    • 4 oz. pickled pork or ham, cut into ¼–inch cubes

    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

    • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, with white and green parts separated

    • 1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped

    • 2 10-oz cans plum tomatoes, crushed

    • ¼ cup tomato puree, canned

    • 2 cloves garlic, minced

    • 1 bay leaf

    • 1 tsp. table salt

    • ½ tsp. black pepper, ground

    • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, ground

    • ¼ tsp. thyme leaves, dry

    • 4 cups chicken stock

    • 1 tbsp. Louisiana pepper sauce

    • 2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked

    • 1 lb. medium shrimp, raw and peeled


  1. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in a heavy, nonreactive 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the sausage and pickled pork or ham and cook until all of the fat is rendered out of the meats, about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, the white part of the green onions, and the peppers. Cook the vegetables until they are translucent, about five minutes, occasionally stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.

  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, bay leaf, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and thyme. Cook and stir about two minutes. Add the chicken stock and pepper sauce and bring to a boil.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the liquid uncovered until it is reduced by one third, about one hour and 15 minutes. Skim any foam as it develops on the surface. Return the liquid to a boil and stir in the rice.

  4. Raise the heat to medium, and cook uncovered until the rice is just short of being done (it should still be a little firm in the center), about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp and cook until the rice is tender and the shrimp turn bright pink, about three minutes. Do not overcook. Stir in the green part of the green onions. Spoon the warm jambalaya onto a heated serving platter or into a wide, shallow serving bowl.

Recipe from the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group