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Slow Cooker + Instant Pot Jambalaya

Everyone needs a healthy dinner to turn to on busy evenings, and this Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Jambalaya is just the answer!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Southern
Keyword healthy instant pot recipe, instant pot jambalaya, slow cooker jambalaya
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 162kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

  • 1 - 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup (about 2 stalks) sliced celery
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 3 ounces (about ⅓ cup) tomato paste
  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined medium shrimp I use frozen shrimp that I thaw in the refrigerator overnight
  • For serving: cooked rice
  • Optional garnish: fresh parsley and sliced green onion

Instructions

INSTANT POT METHOD:

  • Select “sauté” on the Instant Pot and adjust to “normal.” Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pot. When hot, add the chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a bowl (leave oil in the pot).
  • Add celery, onion, bell pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic, and salt to the pot. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Press “cancel.”
  • Add chicken, tomatoes in their juices, 1 cup of broth, and tomato paste to the pot. Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve.
  • Select “manual” and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. When cooking is complete, use a quick release to depressurize. Press “cancel.”
  • Select “sauté” and adjust to “normal.” Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through (they will turn pink and you’ll know they’re done). Press “cancel.”
  • Ladle the jambalaya over the rice and garnish with parsley or green onion.
  • Optional: If you’d like to add sausage to your jambalaya, you can do so by browning sliced kielbasa in the Instant Pot at the same time as you brown the chicken. Remove the chicken and sausage as instructed above, and proceed with the rest of the cooking instructions above.

SLOW COOKER METHOD:

  • In slow cooker, stir together chicken, celery, onions, bell pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic, salt, diced tomatoes (in their juices), broth and tomato paste.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours (or on high for 2 hours).
  • Stir in shrimp, cover, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes (or just until shrimp turn pink), stirring once. Serve over rice and garnish with parsley or green onion.
  • Optional: If you’d like to add sausage to your jambalaya, you can do so by browning sliced kielbasa in a skillet. Add the browned kielbasa to the slow cooker along with the chicken and other ingredients. Proceed with the rest of the cooking instructions.

Notes

COOK'S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:
  • To add sausage to your slow cooker jambalaya: brown sliced kielbasa in a skillet. Add the browned kielbasa to the slow cooker along with the chicken and other ingredients. Proceed with the rest of the cooking instructions.
  • To add sausage to your Instant Pot Jambalaya: brown sliced kielbasa in the Instant Pot at the same time as you brown the chicken. Remove the chicken and sausage as instructed, and proceed with the rest of the cooking instructions above.
  • Make your Instant Pot Jambalaya with any combination of protein that you prefer: use only shrimp (increasing the amount by 1 lb.), or use only chicken (increasing the amount by 1 lb.). You can also make Instant Pot Jambalaya with no shrimp by substituting about 1 lb. of sausage for the shrimp. Make an Instant Pot Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage by omitting the chicken and adding about 1 lb. of sausage instead.
  • For a lighter, healthy, grain-free option, try serving your Instant Pot Jambalaya with cauliflower rice!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup of Jambalaya (not including rice for serving) | Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 859mg | Potassium: 514mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 965IU | Vitamin C: 32.5mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 2.7mg