Shrimp and Crawfish Jambalaya

Shrimp and Crawfish Jambalaya

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
274 Calories
12g Fat
23g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 274
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 120mg 40%
Sodium 694mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 22mg 112%
Calcium 103mg 8%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 550mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Jambalaya is a quintessential New Orleans dish that reflects the diversity of the city's cultural influences. The dish is a cousin of the Spanish rice dish paella, with which it shares many ingredients. The main difference is that a traditional paella includes saffron, which was mostly unavailable in the New World. Tomatoes, however, were readily available and were used to color and flavor the dish that ultimately became known as Creole-style jambalaya.

The name, though, is most likely derived from the Provençal French word jambalaya, meaning a mishmash. Taken together, the combination of Spanish and French culinary input—along with the skills of the local cooks and the bounty of wonderful local ingredients—can all rightly be said to have creatively influenced this beloved New Orleans classic.

This version features tasty shrimp and succulent crawfish tails (available precooked, shelled, and ready for use in the freezer section) and makes enough delicious jambalaya to feed a crowd. It's perfect for holiday parties, special events, buffet suppers, etc. It's specially seasoned with a touch of smoked paprika to give it a hint of the cooked-over-an-open-fire flavor of traditional Spanish paella. If smoked paprika is unavailable, just use additional sweet paprika.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, or bacon fat

  • 8 ounces spicy sausage, such as andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped yellow onions

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • 2 teaspoons dried basil

  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (28-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 3 cups converted rice

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 12 ounces cooked crawfish

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion, green parts only, optional

Steps to Make It

  1.  In a very large skillet or pot, lightly brown the sausage in the oil over medium heat.

  2. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, thyme, basil, and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.

  3. Stir in both cans of tomatoes (with their juice), chicken stock, water, and both paprikas. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  4. Stir in the rice and transfer the contents of the pot to a large roasting pan lightly coated with cooking spray (a disposable foil roasting pan is fine; be sure to support the underside with a baking sheet when lifting.) Cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

  5. Saute the shrimp in the butter until the shrimp are just barely opaque. Stir in the crawfish tails (and any fat) and sauté until the tails are just heated through.

  6. Stir the shrimp, crawfish tails, and parsley into the jambalaya. Taste and add salt if needed (celery salt is a good choice.) Re-cover with foil and return the pan to the oven for an additional 7 to 10 minutes if serving immediately. If the jambalaya will be reheated and served at a later time, skip this step.

  7. Sprinkle with the scallion tops, if desired, and serve.


  • Spanish smoked paprika, known as pimentón de La Vera, can be found in specialty food shops or it can be ordered online. It comes in three types: sweet, bittersweet, and hot. "Bittersweet" isn't actually bitter; it's a blend of sweet and hot. Generally speaking, use the sweet style in seafood dishes. If you can't obtain smoked paprika, use additional regular paprika instead
  • Ready-to-use (i.e., precooked and peeled) crawfish tails can be found in the frozen seafood section of many supermarkets, or it can be ordered online. Genuine Louisiana crawfish are preferable when available.

Recipe Variations

  • Jambalaya is a dish that welcomes creativity. You can add what you like or what you have on hand to produce your own unique version. Chicken, shrimp, and sausage are standards, but you can also use duck, bacon, turkey and other meats; shellfish such as clams and oysters; and yes, even alligator (though shrimp and shellfish are easier to catch!).

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