Even though we’re several hundred miles north of New Orleans, we love Mardi Gras season at Lake Geneva Country Meats. Why is that? Because of our Mardi Gras Jambalaya, of course!
This dish is the perfect way to enjoy a hearty meal with bold flavors in the colder months as we’re not quite to spring, and definitely not in summer. Many years ago, we developed a super delicious Mardi Gras Jambalaya recipe that we sampled out in store to showcase our award winning Smoked Andouille Sausage.
The recipe was so popular, we had many customers asking how to make it at home, so we wrote up this recipe and made a kit containing the basic dry goods you need to get the recipe started. In addition to our Mardi Gars Jambalaya kit, you need fresh produce (the Holy Trinity, of course), your favorite protein, and some butter.
This is a super easy recipe to make and by following our directions, you’ll end up with a HUGE pot of Jambalaya that will feed your family and friends in true Mardi Gras style. With all of the stirring and dumping involved, it’s a great recipe to make with kids and involve them in the celebration of the season.
Making a batch of Mardi Gras Jambalaya is a tradition in our household that we look forward to every year, we hope it becomes a tradition in your house as well. Keep reading to get answers to some frequently asked questions, or keep scrolling to get to the recipe.
What’s all included in your Mardi Gras Jambalaya kit?
Our Mardi Gras Jambalaya kit is available in our store year round. We have them out on display during the Mardi Gras season, but almost always have a few hiding in back, so if you want to make this recipe in August, just ask, and we should be able to grab you a bag.
This kit includes the following items to get you started:
- Brown Rice
- Stewed Tomatoes
- Tomato Juice
- LGCM’s super special Cajun seasoning
What do I add to the Mardi Gras Jambalaya that’s not included in the kit?
We make these kits to be kept on the shelf – not refrigerated, so there are no perishable items in the kit. Along with our kit, you need to take home these items:
- Protein – at a minimum Andouille Sausage, and more if you like (keep reading to get ideas.)
- The Cajun “Holy Trinity” of yellow onion, green pepper, and celery to chop and sauté as your mirepoix or flavor base!
- Garlic, what some Cajuns call “The Pope” to add a little oomph to that Holy Trinity.
- Butter, to cook in, although you can use vegetable oil if you prefer.
What proteins can I use in this Jambalaya?
We made this recipe to show off our Smoked Andouille Sausage, and we highly recommend that you use this sausage as one of the main stars of the show. It is fully cooked (don’t use raw proteins in this recipe), full of Cajun flavor, and perfect with the flavors in this recipe. You can add these other proteins at the same time as you add the Andouille Sausage so it warms through and adds its flavor to the dish.
If you want to add more proteins, here are some suggestions:
- Shrimp! Cooked shrimp is a great addition to Jambalaya and super easy to toss in to the dish.
- Pork. Chopped up pork adds a little fat and flavor to the dish. We recommend using pork tenderloin or pork chops. You can use our bourbon marinated pork to easily add flavor to the pork, or season the pork with your favorite Cajun seasoning before cooking.
- Chicken. Our bourbon marinated chicken breasts are a huge hit during Mardi Gras season and a fantastic addition to the dish. Just like the pork, if you don’t have our pre-marinated products, you can season or marinated the chicken with your favorite Cajun seasoning.
In terms of total weight of additional protein beyond the Andouille sausage, we recommend using between 1 – 2 pounds to keep the proper rice, veggie, and sauce to protein ratio in the dish.
Can you tell me more about your Smoked Andouille Sausage?
Our Smoked Andouille Sausage is made from a combination of pork and beef and then seasoned with an authentic Cajun seasoning. We stuff this sausage into 1.25# ropes and then smoke them with our hardwood smoke blend. They’re fully cooked and ready for you to heat and serve however you like.
They have a moderately spicy (3.5 / 5 heat) flavor with a good flavor base from the combination of pork and beef that we use. In addition to the heat from the peppers that we use in the sausage, you also gets notes of onion and garlic. There is just a touch of smokiness from the gentle smoking process we use – a lovely addition to the flavor, not a bomb of artificial smoke taste!
We have won numerous awards for our Smoked Andouille Sausage, including a Silver Medal at the 2019 International Quality Competition for Sausages hosted by the German Butchers’ Association in Frankfurt, Germany!
Is this a spicy Jambalaya?
If you use all of the seasoning we provide in the kit, it will be a spicy jambalaya. If you don’t like your jambalaya, we recommend using 1/3 of the seasoning packet to start, tasting, and then adding more spice to your taste.
If I’m not using your kit, what ingredients do I need to add to this recipe?
If you’re not using our kit, here are the ingredients you’ll need to replace what’s in the bag:
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 14.5 oz. stewed tomatoes
- 11.5 oz. tomato juice
- 2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
If you need a Cajun seasoning, we have a variety in store, such as the Urban Accents Cajun Street spice blend, or we recommend Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning or Tony Chachere Creole seasoning available for purchase online.
Is this Mardi Gras Jambalaya good leftover?
This recipe yields A LOT of food. So unless you have a huge crowd over for your a Mardi Gras jambalaya party, you’ll have leftovers, and fortunately, this recipe is good for up to five days in the refrigerator after you cook it. The flavors will get more intense as the food sits together, and this meal reheats easily in the microwave.
We hope you enjoy our Mardi Gras Jambalaya recipe – it’s a great way to let the good times roll. Whether you use or kit or not, we strongly recommend you start with our Smoked Andouille Sausage. It really is the star of this show. If you’re looking for even more Cajun recipe ideas for your Mardi Gras celebration, just check out all of these Cajun recipes on our site. Let us know if you have feedback, made any tweaks, or have any questions by leaving a comment below. Cheers!
- 1 package Leahy’s Andouille Sausage (1.25# package – sliced into 1″ pieces)
- 1 LGCM Jambalaya Kit (contains 2 cups brown rice, stewed tomatoes, tomato juice, and Cajun seasoning)
- 1 Yellow Onion (chopped)
- 1 Green Pepper (chopped)
- 2 Celery Stalks (chopped)
- 3 Garlic Clove (minced)
- 4 Tbsp Butter
Cook rice from jambalaya packet in a rice cooker, or by adding 4 cups of water to a large pot and bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, add the rice, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover the pot. Let simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
Heat a large pot, such as a Dutch oven, to medium high heat. Once the pot is hot, add the butter, and when the butter is melted, add all of the vegetables and contents of the seasoning packet. For a less spicy version of this dish, start with about 1/3 of the seasoning packet, and add more seasoning at the end to your taste if you desire.
Stir the vegetables until they are covered in the seasoning and cook over medium-high heat until they are soft, about 6 – 7 minutes.
Once the vegetables are soft, stir in the stewed tomatoes, tomato juice and cooked rice. Add slices of the Andouille Sausage, or any other cooked protein you desire, as discussed in the notes above. Stir the mixture until thoroughly combined.
Turn the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes, until the meat is heated and entire mixture is warm. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching and encourage even heating.
Remove from heat and enjoy!