Chicken Jambalaya Soup is a taste of New Orleans made easy and the perfect dish for your Mardi Gras dinner.  A little spicy with loads of flavor from the classic holy trinity of Cajun cooking plus andouille sausage, this hearty soup will hit the spot! 

Overhead view of chicken Jambalaya soup

Chicken Jambalaya Soup

It’s been years since we’ve visited New Orleans, but I still have glorious memories of the beignets, étouffée, and gumbos. Then, of course, there’s jambalaya.

With a strong Spanish influence, it consists of meat, vegetables, and rice. Adding some additional broth transformed the traditional, stew-like jambalaya into a soup.

I started with the trinity of vegetables, onions, bell peppers, and celery, then layered more flavors with the addition of Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning, Andouille sausage, chicken, and rice. I could close my eyes and picture myself in the French Quarter as I was enveloped by the amazing aroma emanating from my soup pot.

What is the Difference Between Jambalaya and Gumbo?

Both are Creole dishes that are popular New Orleans cuisine. But there are a few differences that will help you discriminate between the two:

Jambalaya – A Creole dish with cooked rice, tomatoes, onion, green peppers, and any kind of meat or shellfish. The name is derived from the French word for ham, jambon.

Gumbo – Another Creole dish that’s thick and stewlike and starts with a dark roux, made of flour and fat, that adds an incomparable rich flavor. It also contains okra, tomatoes and onions plus one or more meats or shellfish. Both the okra and file powder along with the roux help thicken the stew. The word gumbo is derived from an African term for okra.

Bowl of Chicken Jambalaya Soup topped with a sprig of thymeSoup for Mardi Gras

Tuesday is the conclusion of Mardi Gras, the big celebration before Lent begins. Fat Tuesday, Shove Tuesday and even Pancake Tuesday are other names for this day before Ash Wednesday.

There are so many traditions for this day, ranging from parades to king cakes decked out in purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power) to eating a huge stack of pancakes for dinner.  I’ve made the classic New Orleans dessert, Bananas Foster, but this year, I wanted to make a spicy entree worthy of The Big Easy.

This twist on the classic jambalaya was a hit! And I’ve also used this Creole seasoning on Roasted Edamame and Sweet Potato Fries!

Chicken Jambalaya Soup with a jar of creole seasoning

Tips for Making Chicken Jambalaya Soup

Poor Bill. When I make anything spicy, I announce a disclaimer. Make that a warning. The heat in this fabulous soup was from the Andouille sausage and Creole Seasoning, which both imparted magnificent flavors.

Jambalaya can easily be customized to your palate, so feel free to dial down the amount of the spicy sausage if you have a sensitive palate. Shrimp or crawfish can be used instead of chicken.

Whatever your twist, you’ll find this Jambalaya soup hearty and comforting. A steamy bowl is perfect on any chilly evening, but consider whipping up your version of this Chicken Jambalaya Soup this Tuesday for your Mardi Gras celebration. Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

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Jambalaya Soup | Packed with terrific flavor from chicken, andouille sausage, rice and more!

Chicken Jambalaya Soup

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 4 servings

A hearty, flavorful soup based on the classic Jambalaya.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 andouille sausages, sliced (about 14 ounces)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons Zatarain's Creole Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups chicken broth (if your broth is very salty, use 4 cups chicken broth plus 2 cups water)
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes and juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen okra slices
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts, roasted and shredded (or use leftover or rotisserie chicken)
  • Kosher salt, if needed
  • Fresh thyme to garnish, optional


  1. Add olive oil to a large pot. Adjust burner to medium high heat and add sliced sausages. Cook till browned, then remove from pan and reserve.
  2. Add the onion, celery and red pepper and cook till soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add Creole seasoning, thyme and bay leaf and stir,
  3. Pour in the chicken broth, rice and tomatoes and simmer till rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved sausage, okra and shredded chicken and cook till hot. Check for seasonings and add salt if desired. Sprinkle with fresh thyme to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 574Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 2982mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 34g


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