Since it’s a Louisiana delicacy, Jambalaya goes well with southern staples like hush puppies, corn on the cob, fresh-made peach ice tea, and many more.
Here are our five favorite dishes to serve with it:
1. Hush Puppies
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp Cajun seasoning, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ cup buttermilk or ½ cup milk and ½ tbsp white vinegar, 1-2 tbsp sugar, 1 egg and grated onion, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and vegetable oil for frying
Tip: Any vegetable oil works but we like peanut oil the most
Hush puppies and jambalaya are a match made in heaven. Crispy on the outside and soft in the center, these golden cornmeal fritters are delicious and super easy to make.
If you don’t have buttermilk at home (you can easily get buttermilk in the grocery store), start by whisking milk and vinegar to make your own. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes so the buttermilk can develop.
Combine your dry ingredients in a separate bowl: cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and flour. Add Cajun seasoning, paprika, and garlic powder, with some salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk vegetable oil, grated onion, and an egg in a separate bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients slowly and mix until they are fully incorporated. Pour the buttermilk last and make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan. Use a spoon to scoop some dough and carefully place it in the oil. Hush puppies take about 3-5 minutes to turn golden brown. Serve while it’s hot and enjoy!
2. File Gumbo
Preparation Time: 1 hour to 5 hours depending on preference
Ingredients: 1 lb spicy smoked sausage, 2 cups of cooked and diced chicken, 15-18 shucked oysters, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 medium green bell pepper, 2 celery stalks, 2-3 carrots, 3-4 garlic cloves, hot pepper sauce to taste, 2-3 tbsp Cajun seasoning, and 2-3 tbsp of gumbo file
Tip: You can use file powder substitutes if you don’t have gumbo file.
File Gumbo and Jambalaya are a legendary pair, as the Hank Williams Jr. song goes. This delicious and satiating soup is packed with flavors and a little bit of spice. The trick is the simmering process; the longer you let it simmer, the more distinct its flavor profile will be.
Start by baking your oysters at 375°F (190°C) until you see the edges of the shells start to brown.
You can pre-cook the chicken while the oysters are getting ready. Cover the chicken slices with enough water, season with salt and pepper, and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Don’t throw the water once the chicken is cooked; you will use it as your chicken broth.
It’s time to start your vegetable stock. Put diced carrots, onions, bell peppers, and celery in half a pot of water and bring it to a boil.
They release their natural sweetness into the water, and you can add seasoning for more flavors. Salt, pepper, and chili powder are standard for gumbo, but you can also add dried thyme and bay leaves.
Lower the heat and let the vegetable stock simmer as you slowly pour chicken broth into the pot. Letting it simmer for an hour will allow the flavors to come forth. Add oysters and chicken to the soup and stir for 5-10 minutes. Serve while it’s hot.
You can add shrimp or crawfish to your file gumbo but cook before adding them to the soup.
3. Buttered Corn on the Cob
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients: 4-5 corns shucked, water for boiling, 1 cup of butter, seasoning of choice (paprika, tajin, chili powder, for example), 2 cloves of garlic
Tip: Boil your corns in milk for a creamy flavor
Everyone loves corn on the cob! It’s simple, budget-friendly, and very customizable.
Put your shucked corns in a pot with enough water to cover and let them boil for about 8 minutes.
The corn will be creamy and sweet if you boil them in milk instead of water. Observe the milk as you boil your corn because it can overflow easily.
Serve with a pinch of salt for a simple side dish. If you want a fancier side dish to complement your jambalaya, serve corn with garlic butter and cheese.
You can mix crushed garlic or garlic powder with room temperature butter, parmesan cheese, Cajun seasoning, and chili powder sauce. Slather your mixture on the cob, and top it off with chopped parsley.
You can easily make this recipe vegan by opting for vegan butter.
4. Fried Okra
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients: 1-2 cups of okra, 1 cup cornmeal, 2 to 3 tbsp flour, 1 egg, salt, and pepper
Tip: You can try air-frying the okras for a low-calorie and mess-free option.
Fresh okras are nature’s gift to humanity; they are delicious and packed with vitamins A, C, and K. This recipe is very easy to prepare and only takes 20 minutes.
Start by slicing the okras into small cubes, making sure to get rid of the caps and bottoms. Place the okra slices in a bowl and coat them with just enough flour by shaking the bowl. Avoid using excess flour to make sure your okras are crunchy without being dry.
Whisk an egg and pour it over the flour-covered okras. Grab a ziplock bag and pour the cornmeal and your seasonings into it. Add your okras to the bags, zip the bag to avoid a spillage disaster, and shake well until okras are evenly coated.
The final step is frying. Pour oil on a skillet and fry over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. The coating will be crisp and the bite tender. Put a piece of okra on a spoonful of jambalaya and thank us later.
5. Fresh Peach Iced Tea
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients: 3-4 bags of green tea (our suggestion is white tea or jasmine), 3-4 peaches sliced, ¼ cup sugar, and 8-9 cups of water
Tip: Make sure to leave a few slices of peaches for garnish
Cold and refreshing ice tea is the best way to wash your jambalaya down.
Start by bringing 6 cups of water to boil and add your tea bags. Let them steep for about 15-20 minutes. After reaching the desired brew, remove the tea bags and let the tea cool in a refrigerator.
Combine sliced peaches, sugar, and 2 cups of water in a pot and let it boil on low heat. You should let this concoction simmer for 30 minutes or until the peaches dissolve into the liquid.
Once it’s ready, grab a potato masher and puree peach chunks. Finally, run the peach mixture through a strainer and let it cool. Combine the tea brew with the cold peach juice you prepared and stir well. Et voila!
If you’d like a colder and more balanced tea, you can brew it overnight.
Jambalaya gives you a taste of what Louisiana has to offer with flavors can take you on a trip down the bayou. We recommend pairing it with other southern dishes like hush puppies, fried okras, or file gumbo!
Make sure to gulp it all down with a side of sweet peach iced tea and turn on some Hank Williams Jr. to enjoy your meal.