Healthy Recipe: Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya



This year Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday the 21st.  The literal meaning of Mardi Gras is “Fat Tuesday,” and it’s the last day before Ash Wednesday, a Catholic holy day, and the first day of lent. Another way of saying Mardi Gras is PARTY!! In New Orleans and other places around the world, people are out for the last hurrah because after Fat Tuesday there won’t be (as) much partying for the next 40 days during lent. At least that’s the idea.

One Louisiana favorite dish is jambalaya, and it is consumed by tourists and New Orleans natives every year. It’s one is one of my favorite dishes to make—especially for a large crowd because it’s so easy to make. You just throw all the ingredients into a baking pan, cover with foil, and let the oven do its work. My sister, who lives in Louisiana, gave me a good recipe for jambalaya some years back, very tasty—but I thought it had too much butter and not enough rice for the amount of chicken and shrimp the recipe called for, so I made some adjustments with delicious results.

The recipe calls for Uncle Ben’s converted rice, which is the same thing as parboiled rice. I was skeptical about posting a recipe that called for this type of rice until I found out that nutritionally, it is about 80% as good as brown rice, so it is a better choice than white rice, and almost as good as brown rice. The process of parboiling rice goes back about 2000 years. You may want to read more about the process at Wikipedia. Parboiled rice doesn’t get overcooked as easily as other types of rice either, which break down, and become heavy and pasty, so it cooks up nicely when making a large amount.

Healthy Recipe: Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

!14-16 servings

Healthy Recipe: Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya


  • 3 cups Uncle Ben’s convert rice, original
  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken, cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 3/4 pound smoked sausage, sliced to 1/3 inch thickness
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped parsley
  • 3-1/2 cups beef broth,
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eight-ounce cans of tomato sauce
  • 1-1/4 onion, chopped finely
  • 14 scallions, chopped
  • 1-1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-1/3 tablespoons thyme
  • 1-1/3 teaspoons black pepper
  • *Note about salt – the amount of salt you need will depend on whether you are using homemade stock, or canned stock. Canned stock and tomato sauce already contain salt so adjust accordingly.
  • 2 lemons - cut into small wedges for garnish


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°
  2. Put all the ingredients into a roasting pan (12 x 16 x 2-1/2), stir well, cover with tin foil and place the pan in the oven.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes. After this time is up, remove the pan from the oven and stir well. Put the foil back on and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
  4. Serve with a bread and large green salad.

*Note* – the recipe was updated January 14th, 2014, to add 1/2 pound more chicken and to increase the cooking time.