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My family is deeply Minnesotan. Like, the cast of Fargo Minnesotan.
Now don’t get me wrong, I come from a long line of excellent cooks. My mother’s Wild Rice Soup makes me sigh audibly every time I eat it.
But “spicy” in Minnesota is Salt and Pepper.
So when I married my husband, who is from Louisiana, my recipe box got a little visit from flavor town.
Yes, we sing the song at my house when it’s on the menu.
I have made this for more Yankees than I can count, and everyone is amazed:
First, that Cajun Food doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly spicy. (That’s what the bottle of Tabasco on the table is for). But this easy jambalaya is oh so flavorful.
And second, that Jambalaya is not soup. Yes, that’s how it’s often served in restaurants. (That’s Gumbo, folks)
Before I give you the recipe, let me just put something out there that may shock anyone reading from Louisiana:
This easy jambalaya is baked in the oven. (Gasp!)
Yes, I know that traditionally Jambalaya is made on the stovetop … with lots and lots of stirring. (We have a friend who has a gigantic cast iron pot that he makes Jambalaya in over an open fire. And it’s scrumptious!)
This recipe is way easier. But that’s not even why I make it.
I tried the stovetop recipes. Tons of them. I just could not get the good, deep, mouthwatering flavor that this recipes provides.
I’ve fed this recipe to many a native Louisianian and ended up sharing the recipe more than once. (And, this baked jambalaya gave me the idea to cook all my rice in the oven…easy peasy, no mess. It’s the only way I cook rice now!)
Funny story…I gave the recipe to a friend from Louisiana after I’d made if for her on a visit. Years later, my niece tried jambalaya at her house down South and asked for her recipe. “Happy to give it to you,” my friend said, “It’s your aunt’s recipe!”
When you see the recipe, you might wonder, “What is browning sauce?” I’ll tell you the truth, I had never heard of it, either, until I found this recipe. You can find it either by the condiments or gravy packets. Kitchen Bouquet is the only brand I’ve seen.
This recipe is so easy to customize, too. I often don’t have celery. Still tastes great. Allergic to green peppers? Still tastes great. I have made this for picky eaters who don’t like ‘hunks’ of vegetables in things, so I’ll puree the celery, onion and green pepper. (In fact, that’s my standard way of making it for my picky eaters) Still tastes great.
==> A note if you decide to double the recipe, which I frequently do when we have guests (we like leftovers!). When I double it, I like to bake it in the really big foil pans from the dollar store. If you do that, set the foil pan on a baking sheet for stability. Also, you will need to about double the cooking time as well..that’s a lot of rice! I didn’t do that the first time I doubled the recipe and we ended up having time for a game of Ticket to Ride before dinner. (Thankfully we had very gracious guests over that night.)
I’ve also tripled the recipe and cooked it in a large electric roaster when cooking for large groups … or graduation parties!
You need to make this easy jambalaya today!
Sing the song when you serve it … maybe even gross your kids out a little and dance with your husband!