Gluten Free Jambalaya is a classic one-pot dish filled with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and rice! You can make this delicious slow cooker Jambalaya recipe in your crockpot. Bring a little taste of New Orleans to your dinner table!
Gluten Free Jambalaya
Try making this gluten free one pot meal for an easy dinner filled with flavor! This jambalaya is made gluten free because it doesn’t include the classic roux which has flour as the base. Don’t worry this dish is bursting with the cajun spices you love and you won’t even miss the roux.
This is a great recipe because you can customize it to what you prefer which is always a bonus! I made mine with chicken, sausage, and shrimp but switch up the protein to whichever works for you.
Plus, if you don’t want a ton of cajun spices you tone it down and just use less. If you are looking for another delicious Cajun dinner try my creamy cajun chicken alfredo. This makes a festive Mardi Gras meal to serve for a party too!
What is Jambalaya?
Jambalaya is a popular dish that originated in New Orleans. The dish has its roots in French, Spanish, and African influence. It is most closely related to paella and pilaf! Just like all incredible dishes, jambalaya is a melting pot of cultures and flavors that were available in the region of New Orleans at the time.
Each culture brought its own unique styles and combined them to create the legendary jambalaya. There are many different types of jambalaya as with any dish that is as wildly popular as it is. There is really no wrong way to make it. Here are the basics of what is typically included-
Most dishes include chicken and sausage, usually andouille sausage. Shrimp is added at the end in some versions of jambalaya. I have included all three in this dish but again use whatever you like best.
The “holy trinity” of vegetables is one of the key ingredients in this dish which include onion, celery, and green pepper. I would consider the holy trinity to be the most important ingredients to make this jambalaya along with the Cajun/Creole seasoning.
I like to just make this recipe using Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. I keep this seasoning in my pantry to jazz up all kinds of dishes like chicken and soups. However, if you want to make your own version these are what are commonly used when making a creole seasoning.
- Cayenne pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Dried oregano
- Dried basil
- Dried thyme
Is Jambalaya Gluten Free?
The traditional Jambalaya is not gluten free since it includes a roux of flour and fat. However, this version is gluten free since I do not use a roux. The rest of the typical ingredients are gluten free. However, I always make sure to use gluten free spices and sausages when cooking any meal.
As an added bonus jambalaya is also dairy-free!
Slow Cooker Jambalaya
This crockpot jambalaya is so easy to make and is made for the slow cooker. All the Cajun flavors infuse together with this meal when you cook it low and slow. I always imagine that the slow cooker is just modern-day dutch oven which is how people use to cook meals all day.
This family favorite meal takes a few minutes of prep with cutting everything but the effort is worth it at dinnertime. Once you get everything in the crockpot you can cook it all day and come home to a filling dinner. A few of my other favorite one pot slow cooker recipes like this are Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken and Lazy Enchiladas.
This southern favorite will become a perfect slow cooker dinner for your meal rotation. I always make it for busy nights with sports and activities. Coming home to a big pot of this slow cooker jambalaya ready to eat is a great way to end the day.
I use my favorite rice cooker for dinners like this. This rice cooker has a timer just like the crockpot so it turns on and cooks on its own. The rice always comes out fluffy and warm so it’s worth the investment. I have owned mine for 8 years and it’s still working great. You just toss the rice in the rice cooker when you are making the jambalaya and then it’s ready to go for dinner.
If you don’t have a rice cooker you could just use microwave rice instead. Toss the rice into the crockpot and give it a stir. My two kids don’t eat shrimp so I just serve them first and then add in the shrimp for my husband and me.
What’s the Difference Between Cajun and Creole Jambalaya?
As I mentioned before there are so many different variations to this dish. The two most popular versions are Cajun and Creole Jambalaya.
Cajun Style – This version is also called the “red version” because it includes crushed tomatoes. Since we are using tomatoes in this gluten-free jambalaya my version is considered Cajun style.
Creole Style – Creole-style doesn’t include tomatoes and you brown the meat prior to cooking it all together. Creole-style also uses chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Once the meat is browned you use the meat drippings to create the base of the jambalaya. This process gives the classic brown color of creole style jambalaya.
Ingredients for Gluten-Free Jambalaya
- boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs
- andouille sausage
- tomato paste
- white onion
- green bell pepper
- chicken broth
- diced tomatoes
- dried oregano
- bay leaves
- Creole seasoning (I like Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning)
- shrimp (optional)
- white rice or brown rice
- green onions (optional)
Gumbo vs Jambalaya
Another dish that is closely related to Jambalaya is gumbo! Many people get these two dishes confused. I know I did when I first started to make this dish. They both have the same basic ingredients like meat, the holy trinity, and cajun seasoning.
However, gumbo includes okra which you don’t typically find in jambalaya. Also, you serve gumbo over rice instead of including it in the jambalaya. It’s all in the details!
How to Make Gluten-Free Jambalaya
My favorite slow cooker to use to make this recipe is the Crockpot Cook and Carry. Plus, they just came out with a new version of the Crockpot Cook and Carry that has an easy clean feature added to it. It has a ceramic coating which makes it so nothing sticks to it and it’s a breeze to clean up. It’s the best when cooking!
Step 1. Add sausage and chicken to the slow cooker.
Step 2. Pour chopped bell pepper, celery, garlic, and onion into the slow cooker.
Step 3. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
Step 4. Add seasoning, bay leaves, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Step 5. Pour in chicken stock and stir to combine all ingredients.
Step 6. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Step 7. Add the shrimp 30 minutes before finished cooking or until shrimp are cooked through.
Step 8. While shrimp is cooking prepare rice and add to slow cooker 10 minutes before serving. Stir in rice until combined.
Step 9. Remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 10. Serve with chopped parsley or green onions.
Leftovers Slow Cooker Jambalaya
Gluten Free Jambalaya can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge. However, I would not include the shrimp in the leftovers. Shrimp doesn’t reheat well and becomes chewy so I never save the shrimp. I would recommend preparing new shrimp if using for leftovers.
Use whatever protein works best for your tastes! You could even make it vegetarian and add more veggies.
Want it spicier? Add some cayenne pepper to the spices before cooking.
Swap the andouille sausage for regular sausage for a milder heat.
Crockpot rice can be a little difficult so I recommend cooking the rice separately. I like to use microwave rice or my rice cooker to cook the rice so it’s quick at dinnertime.
Stretch this dish by adding another can of chicken stock to turn it into jambalaya soup!
All of the ingredients I use are gluten-free. My husband has celiac disease, which means you are allergic to gluten.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free. The only items that could include gluten would be if you use a different seasoning. Always check the ingredients to keep it gluten-free.
Gluten Free Jambalaya (Slow Cooker + Cajun Style)
- 1 pound chicken breast boneless, skinless, cubed
- 1 pound smoked sausage andouille, cut into coins
- 1 pound shrimp (optional) shell on, thawed
- 1 white onion diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 28 oz diced tomatoes canned
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1-2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning Tony Chachere is what I use
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup white rice cooked
- Add chicken and sausage to slow cooker.
- Pour chopped bell pepper, celery, onion, and garlic into the slow cooker.
- Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Add seasoning, bay leaves, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Add the shrimp 30 minutes before finishing cooking or until shrimp are cooked through.
- While shrimp is cooking prepare rice and add to slow cooker 10 minutes before serving. Stir in rice until combined.
- Remove bay leaves and season to taste.