Looking for a a great one-pot make-ahead-and-reheat meal? Whether for a weekend on the boat, heading out on a passage, or a hearty meal on a cool day, jambalaya is great. Add some friends, music and cold beer and you've got a party!!

Drew’s Jambalaya

Whether you’re looking for a great recipe to serve a crowd or a wonderful make-ahead meal for a weekend on a boat with a small galley or for a special treat on an overnight passage, jambalaya is the answer.

And our friend Drew Daugherty’s jambalaya is wonderful!  This is one of his favorite recipes when a crowd of hungry sailors gathers — and instead of making it ahead, he just passes out a bunch of cutting boards and knives and puts everyone to work chopping.  A number of times, I’ve heard people talking about making jambalaya as the highlight of a regatta!

But the great thing about jambalaya is that it’s every bit as good reheated . . . making it perfect for times when you want to make your main meals ahead of time and heat them up later.  Say if you have a small boat with a mini-galley that you use for weekends (freeze it and put it in the cooler) . . . or for a great hot meal in the middle of an overnight passage.

NOTE:  It’s very hard to say how many this will serve — it depends on the appetites!

Drew’s Jambalaya

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 6 – 8+
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt (optional)*
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 5 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • One bunch of green onions (green part only), finely sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes DRAINED (or one fresh tomato diced)
  • 1 package smoked sausage (andouille is best if you can get it), thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds uncooked boneless chicken, diced (thighs are best)
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of onion soup
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Drew’s Cajun seasoning (see notes)

*Drew uses the extra salt; with the salt in the broth, cream of onion soup and the Cajun seasoning, I find it too salty and thus omit it.

  1. In a big skillet brown the sausage on high until they have a brown crispness on them. Set aside.
  2. In a big pot, cook the onions, bell pepper and celery in the oil over medium heat until very soft – it takes a while.
  3. Add the spice mix, salt, chicken and sausage. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
  4. Add broth and rice, bring to a boil for several minutes.
  5. Add the soup and cover pot. Turn to low and simmer until moisture is absorbed (but still a little wet) – about 20 minutes if using white rice (longer for brown).
  6. Turn off heat and add the drained tomatoes and sprinkle the green onions on top.
  7. Put cover back on the pot (still with stove off) and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. ENJOY!
Drew’s Cajun seasoning mix — it’s spicy:
1 part red pepper (cayenne)
1 part black pepper
1 part white pepper
2 parts ground thyme
4 parts oregano
1 part garlic powder
1 part salt

Want more boat-friendly recipes? Check out The Boat Galley Cookbook with over 800 recipes or get a free PDF sample of it with 30 recipes:

  • Jan Irons on Facebook
    Posted at 22 February 2012 Reply

    I can vouch for this recipe – Drew makes the very best jambalaya I’ve tasted! 🙂

  • Lisa D
    Posted at 02 September 2013 Reply

    I made this jambalaya with a few tweeks over the Memorial Holiday weekend while camping. This looked super simple and tasty. I wasn’t able to find the andouille sausage so replaced it with chorizo which is a spicy Mexican sausage that works really well in jambalaya. I also didn’t have all of the spices that were listed (white pepper). I also used Hot Shots (consists of Black and Red Pepper) in approximate measurements. Also, I used bone in chicken thighs and brown rice. I wouldn’t recommend using brown rice since it is hard to get it to cook all the way. But the recipe was easy and wonderful. It was especially tasty the next day.

  • Jill G
    Posted at 17 December 2013 Reply

    Just FYI that I made this before I had read some of your other comments about your use of Lite-Salt. Therefore, using regular salt – with a tablespoon called for in addition to a portion in the spice mix – my first try of the recipe tasted (you guessed it) somewhat heavy on the salt! However, I will definitely try it again, I have had great success with your recipes in the BG cookbook !

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 17 December 2013 Reply

      Thanks for saying that — funny but I made jambalaya last night and decided that it was too salty with the salt that’s in the soup, broth and Cajun mix and just omitted it. I made a note to myself to add a comment back here on the recipe that people might not want to use the salt — Drew uses the extra salt and all I can think is that maybe the broth he uses isn’t as salty as mine?

      • Jill G
        Posted at 18 December 2013 Reply

        Must be – I made it again last night without the tbsp of salt and the result was much better! I have been on a one-pot meal kick, and this one is going into the rotation! Will also try the jambalaya recipes in the BG cookbook! Thanks again!

  • Tony Gariepy
    Posted at 05 September 2016 Reply

    This sounds lovely!!

  • Michael Poehlitz
    Posted at 05 September 2016 Reply

    Ted Wittenberger – something for our next cruise? Bringing the taste of Leesville to the Blue Heron

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