Jambalaya with Shrimp

James Beard

Author and Educator

Jambalaya is the New World’s take on Old World paella. This Louisiana Creole recipe originated in the French Quarter of New Orleans. There are many variations of jambalaya with chicken, sausage, or even duck, or alligator.


6 servings


  • 4 tablespoons butter, lard, or bacon fat
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 pound ham, cut in strips
  • 2 cups cooked or canned tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds shrimp
  • 2 cups rice
  • 3 cups liquid (water, broth, or fish stock)


Melt the fat in a large Dutch oven and blend in the flour. Add the onions, garlic, and ham and cook just until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook them down for a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Shell and clean the shrimp. Wash the rice well and add with the shrimp to the sauce. Pour over it enough boiling water or stock to cover 1 inch above. Cover and simmer until the rice is cooked. It may be necessary to add more liquid as the rice cooks.