What Sausage to Use for Jambalaya?

There is a long and significant history to jambalaya, a staple dish of New Orleans cooking. It has evolved like any other historical dish.

There are several different versions of the dish. They all have the same thing in common, which is that they need delicious sausage to make the dish.

The andouille sausage is the obvious choice for Louisiana Cajun cuisine, but what type of sausage should you use?

It’s possible to use regular beef sausage in jambalaya as well.

In this article, I’ll talk about what makes this dish unique and give you options for what sausage goes in jambalaya.

Origins of Jambalaya


It can be traced back to the 18th century in South Louisiana. You could point to a problem as the reason for the start of jambalaya.

There was no saffron in south Louisiana in those days, and the Spanish couldn’t make a risotto.

This makes more sense when you consider how similar Spanish paella and jambalaya are, with the latter’s notable absence of saffron.

A type of smoked sausage, seafood, and a holy trinity of diced onion, bell pepper, and celery are included in the dish of Jambalaya.

You also need cayenne pepper to get a touch of heat. Many southern dishes take a long time to prepare, but jambalaya is not one of them.

It won’t take more than an hour to cook, and it’s a one-pot dish. Pork or chicken can be used as a substitute for smoked sausage in some jambalaya dishes.

You can cook both sausage and seafood in the same dish, or you can only use seafood in jambalaya.

Jambalaya will be different from kitchen to kitchen, as it is easy to modify to suit anyone’s taste.

Long and short-grain white rice are excellent options for rice. If you choose to go with the brown rice, be aware that you will need more water or broth since it cooks longer.

Types of Jambalaya

It’s important to note that two primary types have been established for a long time, even though jambalaya recipes are versatile.

Creole Jambalaya

In the New Orleans area, it’s more common to find a version of jambalaya that contains tomatoes. It is also referred to as red jambalaya.

Tomatoes are added to the meat, the holy trinity, and the rice. The texture of tomatoes is gone, and the color of the tomatoes is mostly red.

Cajun Jambalaya

In rural areas of Louisiana, the version of jambalaya that doesn’t have tomatoes is more common.

It isn’t the same as the Creole version because the meat needs to be caramelized before adding rice and liquids. This is the reason why it is referred to as brown jambalaya.

Sausage Used in Jambalaya

If you’ve never cooked this delicious dish before, you might not know what kind of sausage to use.

Some type of smoked pork sausage is the go-to ingredient, but let’s look at the top competitors.

Andouille Sausage

France and Germany have rich sausage-making experiences that are connected to andouille sausage’s origins.

One of the best options for gumbo in Creole and Cajun cuisine is andouille sausage. It is made from the pig’s stomach and shoulder.

It’s put together with onion and seasoning. This sausage is large. You don’t smoke it, but rather let it cool off. They are good for grilling.

If you slice it thinly, you can add it to the holy trinity. It can be hard to find andouille sausage in some areas of the country.

Chorizo Sausage

If andouille sausage can’t be reached, then chorizo is the second-best option. If the texture is different, it’s the closest to it flavor-wise.

Chorizo is a very seasoned pork sausage. Both the Mexican and Spanish versions of chorizo are made with pork.

It is possible to use either when preparing jambalaya. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re supposed to remove the casing first when cooking chorizo.

The seasonings for the chorizo sausage are usually garlic, cloves, Coriander, chile peppers, and cumin.

There is a green variety of chorizo, which has some of the same ingredients like the green variety.

Kielbasa Sausage

In Polish, the word kielbasa means sausage. All types of smoked sausages are mentioned.

Smoking pork sausages is what people are referring to when talking about kielbasa.

If you have a Polish kielbasa sausage at home, you can use it in your cooking to make a great andouille sausage substitute.

It mixes well with other ingredients and allows for easy preparation.

Beef Sausage

If you’re not a fan of pork but still want to eat it, you can use beef sausages. Traditionally, it’s pork sausage or pork meat that goes in jambalaya, but beef works well.

It’s important to get a high-quality beef sausage, even if it’s Italian salami or Polish beef sausage.

What Do You Need to Make Homemade Jambalaya?

You don’t need a larger pot to make the dish from scratch. You have to decide on the main ingredients, including which type of sausage to use.

Are you going to add seafood or not? You need to make sure that you have onions, bell papers, and celery on hand.

Think about the rice that will complement the dish as well. For about 30 minutes, you’ll need salt and pepper, and some patience.

It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days, making it an excellent meal prep option.

Side Dishes That Go With Jambalaya

For the full experience and even more complexity of flavors, you might consider them even though you don’t have to serve any sides with jambalaya.

There is a traditional option of cornbread that goes with jambalaya. At the same time, it’s moist and sweet.

Some of the most popular options include grilled corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and cheddar biscuits.


If you don’t know what to do with your delicious sausage in the fridge, then you should consider a jambalaya.

Don’t get carried away by wondering which type of food goes in the area. If it’s smoked pork, the recipe accommodates nearly every kind of sausage, but others work as well.

Other ingredients are more important than the choice of sausage in the final flavor of the dish.

You are already on the wrong path if you don’t remember about the holy trinity. The dish that highlights the smoked sausage gumbo is very similar to the dish jambalaya.

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