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Jambalaya is a dish that is capable in providing a full meal on it’s own, it is a combination of West African, Spanish and French cuisines. Jambalaya contains everything you can imagine, from Andouille sausages, chicken and crawfish, to sweet tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and rice, all combined to make a dish that is simply irresistible. You can opt for something light and simple that will compliment the flavours of jambalaya, or whip up a delicious dessert to eat at the end.

Capsicum Red & Yellow

What Is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a dish popular in the South East of the US, more commonly in Louisiana. The word jambalaya comes from the French phrase “jambalaia”, which means all jumbled up, it is one of the easiest yet scrumptious rice dishes. Jambalaya is similar to other rice and meat dishes like gumbo, which is made using similar meats, vegetables, sausages, seafood and spices however gumbo often includes okra which is uncommon in jambalaya.

Cajun Side Dishes That Go With Jambalaya

Cajun is a dry spice used to season chicken, turkey, or even fish. It’s red colouring makes it recognisable in traditional foods such as jambalaya. Although traditional jambalaya is made with plenty of Cajun spices, there are ways to enjoy this strong, hearty meal that also use Cajun spices. These happen to positively complement Jambalaya’s rich flavours, which are even more desirable when paired with tangy creamy salads loaded with vegetables. The essential ingredients for this side dish include corn, bacon, green pepper, onion, Cajun seasoning and milk.

What Is Traditionally Served With Jambalaya?

  • Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins.
  • Skillet Cornbread.
  • Easy Mexican Cornbread.
  • Cheddar Sage Cornbread.
  • Crawfish Jalapeno Cornbread.
  • Savoury Cornbread Pudding with Jalapeno and White Cheddar.
  • Cornbread Salad.
  • Gluten-free Cornbread.

What Goes With Jambalaya?

Whilst many can agree that jambalaya is delicious enough on its own, with its large mix of ingredients consisting of rice, spices, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes, chicken, sausage, crawfish and more! Various side dishes can pair well with this exceptional meal from cornbread, to fruit salad, we’ll discuss the light and simple options that just make so much sense to eat with jambalaya.

What to Cook With Jambalaya

Since jambalaya is already packed with starchy rice, spicy flavours and protein, the best complimentary sides are those that are fresh, green and crunchy. It’s debatable whether serving cornbread would work but we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

What Meat Goes With Jambalaya?

Jambalaya has a variety of meats inside of the dish, commonly containing shrimp, andouille sausage, chicken, and crawfish which are perfectly combined in jambalaya. Other types of meat that could work as a side with jambalaya would be oysters, scallops, or diced ham.

Creole vs Cajun Jambalaya

Creole jambalaya or red jambalaya is made by adding meat, celery, peppers and onions to a pot. The common forms of meat used are andouille sausage or smoked sausage and chicken. Then vegetables and tomatoes are added to cook, followed by seafood. Rice and stock are added in equal proportions at the end, the mixture is then brought to a boil and left to simmer for 20 to 60 minutes with minimal stirring.

Cajun jambalaya contains no tomatoes. The meat is browned in a cast-iron pot, the bits of meat that stick to the bottom of the pot are appreciated as this is what gives the jambalaya its attractive brown colour. Now the method for this is quite specific, a little bit of vegetable oil is added to the pot (if there isn’t enough fat in the pot) then focusing on the important elements you add 50% onions, 25% celery, and 25% green or red bell peppers, this is then added to the pot and sautéed until soft.

Stock and seasonings are then added, and meats are returned to the pot, the contents of the pot are left to simmer whilst covered for at least an hour. Finally the mixture is brought to a boil and rice is added to the pot, then covered and left to simmer over very low heat for at least half an hour without stirring. The rice being cooked signals its completion.

What To Eat With Jambalaya?

I always like to eat something sweet with jambalaya as it is a savoury dish that has a terrific way of pleasantly stinging the tip of your tongue, and that’s when you know that the Cajun spices have spread their flavours wonderfully. You can choose from cakes to ice cream, unless you’re feeling quite adventurous and wish to pair some meat with your jambalaya, try grilled oysters. For the addition of vegetables to the already colourful plate of jambalaya, you can choose from creamed spinach to roasted aubergine to which you’ll find yourself satisfied.

Sides Dishes To Serve With Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a flavourful and spicy Creole rice dish that originated in the United States, it is made by filling a pot with rice, Cajun spices, peppers, sausage, chicken and seafood. Although we can agree that jambalaya is irresistibly delicious on its own, here are some examples of side dishes that you can serve alongside jambalaya.

  • Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins
  • Skillet Cornbread
  • Easy Mexican Cornbread
  • Cheddar Sage Cornbread
  • Crawfish Jalapeno Cornbread
  • Savoury Cornbread Pudding
  • Cornbread Salad
  • Paleo Cornbread
  • Vegan Cornbread
  • Gluten-free Cornbread
  • Okra
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Roasted Cajun Okra
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Corn On The Cob
  • Instant Pot Cajun Corn on The Cob
  • Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
  • Corugette
  • Jalapeno and Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits
  • Hush Puppies
  • Roasted Aubergine
  • Crab Balls
  • Grilled Oysters

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread is perfect for crumbling on top of Jambalaya or to soak up any broth from the dish, you can serve cornbread sweet or savoury depending on the flavours of your jambalaya. In Particular buttermilk cornbread muffins are exceptionally wonderful because of their tender interior, a moist and flavourful addition to your plate of jambalaya.

sliced bread on white ceramic plate

Skillet Cornbread

These are moist crumbly and perfect when served with butter and a drizzle of honey.

Easy Mexican Cornbread

This one is an element of perfection that features cheddar cheese, bell pepper, and green onions combined with creamed corn. This is the perfect side for jambalaya.

Cheddar Sage Cornbread

This is a great sweet and savoury twist from the classic cornbread, using fresh corn, sharp cheddar cheese and fresh sage is a wonderful way to create a party in your mouth.

Crawfish Jalapeno Cornbread

This type of cornbread is spicy, delicious and a great cornbread to serve with jambalaya.

Savoury Cornbread Pudding

This type of cornbread is made with jalapeno and white cheddar, as well as combining honey cornbread with jalapeno, white cheddar and buttermilk. This dish is slightly spicy and makes the perfect addition to jambalaya.

Cornbread Salad

My personal favourite, cornbread salad, which is made with crumbled or cubed cornbread in a bowl amongst beans (either red or black) corn kernels, green onion, bell pepper, tomato, sharp cheddar cheese and then dressed in ranch dressing, sour cream and mayonnaise, a delightful side to have with jambalaya.

Paleo Cornbread

For those who prefer a gluten-free diet, paleo cornbread would be perfect for you, not only does it go well with jambalaya, but it is also gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free.

Vegan Cornbread

This will taste wonderful when paired with jambalaya, as it is moist, without an overpowering sweetness to it perfect for absorbing all the delicious flavours.

Gluten-free Cornbread

These little muffin bites are, unsurprisingly a favourite amongst kids, with their buttery sweet flavours that contrast beautifully with jambalaya.

Okra

Jambalaya is already a mixture of colours and flavours which means that green vegetables are the perfect side to add some contrast to your main meal, and this is why crispy air fryer fried okra would make a side for your main meal, and is suitable for gluten-free diets.

green and black round fruits

Creamed Spinach

This is an easy low carb side dish with creamy cheese that will pair wonderfully with jambalaya.

Roasted Cajun Okra

A particularly easy way to make okra, whilst it is packed with flavour, it is also super healthy and makes a great complimentary side dish for jambalaya.

Brussels Sprouts

When popped in the air fryer, these Brussels sprouts emerge wonderfully crispy on the exterior, whilst tender and soft on the inside.

Corn On The Cob

When oven roasted and seasoned with butter, corn on the cob makes for a deliciously sweetened side dish for jambalaya, an absolute delight.

Instant Pot Cajun Corn On The Cob

Cajun corn on the cob pairs well with jambalaya, as it is beautifully buttery, spicy and delectable.

Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Pleasantly gooey with an extra nutritional dose of veggies, this cheesy goodness, paired with jambalaya will leave you completely satisfied.

Courgette

A popular favourite amongst many vegetable lovers are courgette or zucchini. With their crunchy exterior you can fry them, or eat them raw, a nice refreshing contrast to the rich plate of jambalaya.

Jalapeno and Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits

These can be made from scratch and are quite effortless to make, with no kneading or rolling needed!

Hush Puppies

These go well with fish meals, which is why having a bowl of these crispy, soft and tender balls of heaven with jambalaya will make the meal even more special. You can add a tiny bit of sugar to lightly sweeten them, and enhance the savoury flavours.

Roasted Aubergine

A very easy to make, low-carb addition to your hearty meal of jambalaya is roasted aubergine. With its caramelised and tender texture which is quite pleasant and undeniably delectable.

Crab Balls

Another type of seafood that will compliment your jambalaya is crab balls. These small balls of pleasantness are stuffed with crab meat and fried to golden perfection.

Grilled Oysters

Another delicious way to pair savoury and spicy jambalaya, is with some sweet buttery, and briny oysters served alongside your main meal, this combination will have you happily satisfied. What Goes With Jambalaya Rice?

Jambalaya is a type of stew that traditionally contains meats such as andouille sausage, shrimp, chicken and crawfish. These are placed alongside some vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes and celery. Finally, rice is added and cooked amongst the meat and vegetables, to make a pot of deliciousness ready to enjoy.

What Desserts Can Be Served with Jambalaya?

You can make a variety of desserts that will work amazingly well with jambalaya, it’s only natural to reach for something sweet after a savoury and spicy meal.

Vegan banana and apricot ice cream balls

Here are a few options that you can choose from:

  • Fruit pie (blackberry, blueberry, apple or peach will be great)
  • Pecan pie
  • Brownies or brownie cake
  • Carrot cake
  • Bread pudding
  • Kings cake
  • Praline Pecan cake or cookies
  • Bourbon vanilla ice cream
  • Beignets

Why Jambalaya?

So far I’m sure your brain is swimming with all these new suggestions of side dishes that will go perfectly with jambalaya (don’t believe me? Try it yourself!) From savoury to sweet dishes, we know that the list of choices is limitless, it depends on the type of food mood you’re in, would you rather have a plate of jambalaya with a bowl of hush puppies, or a nice cold dessert like ice cream? Don’t worry there’s no right or wrong answer. Even if you decide to eat jambalaya on it’s own, appreciate the beautiful Cajun spices that zing against your tongue with every mouthful.

What Would You Serve With Jambalaya?

It’s no secret that jambalaya can be enjoyed on it’s own, but sometimes a quick, cold and sweet end to the meal is just as perfect. Vanilla ice cream straight after a hearty meal of jambalaya would have your stomach singing.