I absolutely LOVE Jambalaya! What I didn't know is that I REALLY love Cajun Jambalaya in the Ninja Foodi! It's true. I was able to develop the best Cajun roux right in the Foodi! Shocked? Me too!
I've been to New Orleans and I've tasted some pretty delicious Jambalaya... I have to say this recipe has really blown me away. The flavors are so incredible because we start out by developing a dark roux.
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What is a Roux?
Learning to make a great Roux (pronounced “roo”) is key to many wonderful dishes, so let’s spend a few minutes on what it is, different types, and how to make it.
Roux is a combination of equal parts flour and fat. Butter is most commonly used in French cooking, but you can also use vegetable oil, lard, or any type of animal fat.
There are 3 types of Roux; white, blond, & brown. I should mention a 4th type of roux, the dark roux (used in gumbo). The reason this may not be considered a true roux is because once it gets to this very dark stage, it is no longer a thickening agent, so is it really a roux?
In this recipe, I took the roux to the furthest point I could while still keeping it a thickening agent and not burning it! We want our Cajun Jambalaya in the Ninja Foodi to a be wonderful blend of chicken, Andouille sausage, shrimp, and rice, with those well-developed flavors in Cajun Cooking.
THREE TYPES OF ROUX:
White: This is the base for many wonderful sauces; like a béschamel or white sauce like this recipe from The Kitchn. White roux starts out the same, equal parts fat and flour. Add your fat to a skillet and allow it to melt, add the flour and whisk constantly. You have to be very careful that you do not burn the roux. If you see dark specks, it is burnt and you will have to start over or your sauce will taste unpleasant. White Roux is only cooked 2-5 minutes so it keeps it’s white/beige color.
By cooking the roux 2-5 minutes, you cook out the flour taste which is super important or your sauce will taste like a sack of flour. Ask me how I know! Yep, been there & done that! When the flour/butter mixture starts to bubble and become fragrant, you are done. Remove from heat and congrats on making a white roux!
Blond: This roux starts off exactly the same way as a white roux, it just cooks longer and develops a darker more flavorful thickener. After you have a white roux, turn down the heat and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, whisking constantly to avoid burning. You will end up with a golden roux that is perfect for making stock-based soups and creamy chicken or pork dishes.
Brown: You are probably starting to see where this is going. Yep, a brown roux starts off as a white roux, becomes a blond roux and once you take it a step further and continue cooking, you guessed it… you have made a brown roux. It will take about 5 more minutes on low heat and you really need to watch it so it doesn’t burn. Brown roux works great to make a flavorful beef gravy from pan drippings and, of course, it’s used a lot in Louisiana-style cooking. This is the roux we are making in this recipe for Cajun Jambalaya in the Ninja Foodi.
Two Different Types of Jambalaya
Cajun Jambalaya: traditionally is made by cooking the meat (usually chicken & sausage) first, then a few vegetables, followed by the rice and the stock. This style of jambalaya is found in the rural swamp lands of Louisiana and I'll bet you can find alligator and other game instead of chicken in many of them! This is the kind we will be making in the Ninja Foodi.
Creole Jambalaya: you typically cook the vegetables (onions, celery, green pepper) first, followed by the meat, then rice & stock. Creole Jambalaya also usually contains tomatoes. This style of Jambalya, often referred to as “red jambalaya” and can be found in the French Quarter and areas surrounding New Orleans.
I love Jambalaya so much that I have two other recipes on The Salted Pepper.
Lower Carb Option: While this recipe for Cajun Jambalya with Cauliflower Rice is not made in the Ninja Foodi, it is super easy to do and you could make it on the sauté function in the Ninja Foodi!
Make a soup instead: This recipe for Jambalaya Soup was made in my Instant Pot, but you can easily make it in the Ninja Foodi by following the exact instructions. You can also watch me make this soup right here: Jambalaya Soup Video.
Okay, Let's get to making Cajun Jambalaya in the Ninja Foodi!
Would you rather watch me make it? You can do that right here on YouTube: Cajun Jambalaya in the Ninja Foodi
The first important part of making any recipe is to get your ingredients prepped and ready to go. This will take so much stress off of you if you are prepared ahead of time. I love to use these prep bowls from Pampered Chef as containers for my prepped ingredients.
I use the 2 cup prep bowls for larger quantities and the 1 cup prep bowls for smaller amounts. They are dishwasher safe and very sturdy. The best thing is they come with lids, so you can even prep the day before and pop the lid on and store them in the fridge until you are ready to make this delicious Cajun Jambalaya in the Ninja Foodi!
Let's get our mise en place done. That's just a fancy French term for everything in its place and is used to describe the organization of ingredients when making a recipe.
The first thing you want to do is get the Cajun seasoning blend ready. Simply mix all the dry spices together in a small bowl.
Now, prep those vegetables. Dice up your celery, green pepper, onion, and carrot. You can also cut the white parts off of the bunch of green onions and slice them into ¼" slices.
Trim and Slice your chicken breasts into ¼"-½" slices. Season them with 1 Tblsp of the Cajun seasoning blend.
Set the Ninja Foodi to the high saute setting and add in both oils and ¼ cup of
salted butter. Allow to heat until very hot, but be sure not to burn the butter.
Add chicken slices just a few at a time and brown on both sides which should only take a minute or so on each side. Remove and place in bowl.
Let's make the roux! Don't be scared, it is easy. It will take a little time, so be patient and stay right there with it. If you have to walk away, just take the heat all the way down to low and give it a good stir. Don't be gone too long because if your roux burns, you have to start over.
Add ½ cup flour to the oil in the Ninja Foodi to make the roux. Stir frequently and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the roux to cook and darken until it goes past the color of peanut butter. You can add more flour if your roux is too thin. The end consistency should be just a bit thinner than tomato paste. This can take 20-25 minutes. You may have to adjust the heat up and then back down again. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Remove as much of the roux as you can from the inner pot and reserve for later use.
It's easy sailing from here on, I promise! Add the 2 Tbsp of butter to the inner pot and set the Ninja Foodi to high saute. Add in the onion, green pepper, celery, carrots and cook for a few minutes. Add in the garlic. Add 1 Tbsp of Cajun Seasoning. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Cut the Andouille sausage on the bias. You certainly could do this when you are prepping the ingredients in the beginning too. Add the sausage to the inner pot and sauté just a minute or so.
Now, let's deglaze the inner pot. Add in 4 cups of chicken broth or stock. Scrape the pan to remove any brown bits that might be on the bottom. I find that using a large scraper like the Mix N Scraper from Pampered Chef does a great job of this and will not scratch your inner pot.
Add in white rice and stir. Add Chicken slices. Stir. Add in the green onion bottoms.
Finally, place the reserved roux on top and DO NOT STIR. Put the pressure lid on and set to high pressure for 1 minute.
Drain and season the peeled shrimp with the remaining Cajun seasoning blend. After the 1 minute is up, immediately release the pressure. Stir. Add in the shrimp by folding them in to the rice mixture. Close Tender Crisp Lid and let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and this will cook the shrimp.
Slice the green onions on the bias and use for garnish. Serve & Enjoy!
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Cajun Jambalaya in the Ninja Foodi
- 1 tsp oil hot chili infused oil
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup butter salted
- 1 ½ lbs chicken breast
- ½ cup flour may need a little more to thicken the roux
- 2 Tbsp butter salted
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 carrots medium
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 bell pepper green
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 12 ounces Andouille Sausage
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cup white rice rinsed
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1 lb shrimp large, 31-40/lb
- Make up seasoning blend. Slice chicken breasts into ¼-1/2" slices. Dice up celery, carrots, onion, and green pepper. Cut the bottom white part up to the bright green stalk of the green onion and slice. Reserve the green tops for garnish.
- Set the Ninja Foodi to the high saute setting and add in both oils and butter, Allow to heat until very hot, but be sure not to burn the butter. Season Chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp of seasoning mix. Add chicken slices just a few at a time and brown on both sides which should only take a minute or so on each side. Remove and place in bowl.
- Add ½ cup flour to the oil in the Ninja Foodi to make the roux. Stir frequently and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the roux to cook and darken until it goes past the color of peanut butter. You can add more flour if you roux is too thin. The end consistency should be just a bit thinner than tomato paste. This can take 20-25 minutes. You may have to adjust the heat up and then back down again. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Remove as much of the roux as you can from the inner pot and reserve for later use.
- Add the 2 Tbsp of butter to the inner pot and set the Ninja Foodi to high saute. Add in the onion, green pepper, celery, carrots and cook for a few minutes. Add in the garlic. Add 1 Tbsp of Cajun Seasoning. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Cut the Andouille sausage on the bias. See post for more information. Add the sausage to the inner pot and saute just a minute or so.
- Add in 4 cups of chicken broth or stock. Scrape the pan to remove any brown bits that might be on the bottom.
- Add in white rice and stir. Add Chicken slices. Stir. Add in the green onion bottoms. Finally, place the reserved roux on top and DO NOT STIR. Put the pressure lid on and set to high pressure for 1 minute.
- Drain and season the peeled shrimp with the remaining Cajun seasoning blend. After the 1 minute is up, immediately release the pressure. Stir. Add in the shrimp fold them in to the rice mixture. Close Tender Crisp Lid and let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and this will cook the shrimp.
- Slice the green onions on the bias and use for garnish.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR MORE EASY MEAL IDEAS LIKE THIS ONE? TAKE A LOOK AT THESE!
I’m allergic to seafood. Is it possible to make this jambalaya without the shrimp or some other meat substitute?
You can just omit the shrimp and add more chicken or sausage.
I am from southern Louisiana and this is not Jambalaya. If you want authentic, look elsewhere.
Also I know you will not allow this to be posted and that’s okay. I just hope this reaches you well for education. I’m happy you know what a roux is and want to let you know that you can go much darker with it. But I honestly have no idea why you put that in jambalaya.... I can recommend you look up the Cajun ninjas videos on YouTube or purchase a book by Donald Link, preferably his “Real Cajun”. This is NOT a hate comment and I hope you don’t take it that way and hope you educate yourself of some real good food :). You are more than welcome to email me back!
I don't take this as hate at all! I always like to learn from people. This was one of my very first recipes and to be honest, I had a hard time finding good information on the internet, so I just made it the way I always do. I've made plenty of mistakes and upset many people who think I am misrepresenting their culture in a reckless way. I assure you and them that that is never my intent. I do research recipes and gather information on various dishes, but I create them from my heart. From all the things I've read, that's how it's done in the kitchens all across Louisiana. I remember watching one story about Chef Leah Chase who is known as the Queen of Creole Cooking and she is so inspiring. If you want to check it out, here is the video: https://youtu.be/dPakK2wuhcg The great thing about food and recipes is we can interpret them and add our own love and personality to them. That's how food has always been and always will be. I don't label my recipes authentic and I certainly don't claim they are. I'm not from Louisiana, but I've had many Louisiana natives make and rave about this recipe and also my very non traditional gumbo recipe.
I never claimed it to be authentic, but it is very good and so easy to make at home even if you have never cooked a day in your life. That's what my passion is. I want to simplify some dishes that are just too intimidating for some. My passion is food and sharing and helping people cook at home. I may not get everything right, but I stand behind my recipes. While this might not be your interpretation of jambalaya, that doesn't mean it isn't jambalaya. Instead of making this kind of comment, why not share what jambalaya is to you so we all can learn different perspectives and share in our love of food. It's hard enough to put a recipe up on the internet, please don't tear food bloggers down even when you think the dish isn't made correctly. Share your knowledge, be a source of kindness and understanding that we all don't have the same life experiences. That's what makes cooking and recipes and life in general interesting. All My Best, Louise ~ The Salted Pepper
I meant can I use another meat as a substitute instead of the shrimp.
I can't really think of a substitute for the shrimp that isn't seafood, I would just use more chicken and sausage.
Would it be possible to make the roux ahead of time
Yep! Just make it and refrigerate it until you want to use it. It will last several days at least. I bet you could even make it up and freeze it.
Girl. Where are you getting 20 minutes for brown roux? I had to call my Mom in the middle of this recipe because my roux was still super creamy light blonde after 20 minutes. I had to stir this sucker for like an hour and 40 minutes! It may have been tough because I was using gluten free flour. Mine took a lot longer to achieve the peanut butter brown and heavenly taste. I added red kidney beans to the end of this when it was warming and soaking up the juice in the instant pot. I ended up using air fried chicken drumstick meat in this from the other night and it was amazing. I still warmed the chicken in butter to get that roux flavor going.
This was, hands down, the most flavorful meal I've ever made. I would probably buy a premade thing of roux to make this next time. Overall, this took me 3 hours. My fiance went crazy for it but agreed with me that it was a tad bit too creamy, I probably made too much roux. But, this was bangin'
I've never made a roux with gluten free flour, but that must be it because it has never taken me an 1 hour and 40 minutes to make a dark roux. They take time, but 20-40 minutes in my experience. Yes, you can buy them already made, but I have never seen one with gluten free flour. I'm thrilled you enjoyed it, but I do hope you can cut the time down!
Delicious but no, not a 20-40 minute roux. Wish I would have read the comments bc it’s very late here (I started late ha). This roux took me almost two hours in my Foodi. Yum, thanks for sharing!
That is really strange that it took that long! I'm glad you enjoyed it though!
Can you use your hack for making the fast roux like you do in your gumbo recipe for this recipe too?
I don't see why not!