Shrimp Jambalaya

Savory, meaty and full of tomato and veggie flavors this Shrimp Jambalaya recipe is enhanced with bacon bits and makes an easy skillet meal.

Close up plump and juicy shrimp in rice and vegetable jambalaya

Easy Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe

With a surprisingly flavorful base this easy shrimp jambalaya recipe makes rice special and memorable.

The flavor of the Cajun trinity of celery, green pepper and onion amplifies while sautéing in bacon grease. As the vegetables simmer in the tomato sauce the flavor from the base mixture emanates throughout the entire pot.

Not as spicy as adding sausage to a One-pot Sausage Jambalaya the bacon really brings the flavor that you taste but don’t see. You can add as much heat with cayenne to this family meal as you prefer.

Wooden spoon stirring jambalaya with shrimp in a large skillet on a colorful blue napkin

Serve with a simple green salad, cornbread and glass of wine for a restaurant quality meal that is made in 30 minutes at home.

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Why This Recipe Works:

  • A few slices of bacon enhance all of the flavors in this jambalaya with shrimp to make this recipe so pleasing.
  • Kielbasa or Polish sausage, ham, chicken or your favorite type of smoked sausage can be cooked, chopped up and tossed in for a new dynamic
  • In only 30 minutes a homemade jambalaya is ready on the stove top and makes a great family meal
  • Leftovers freeze and reheat very well
Plate with whole shrimp perched atop tomatoes in rice jambalaya

Ingredients Needed:

  • Diced tomatoes – fresh, canned, petite or regular all work fine. We typically prefer two cans of petite diced tomatoes, but they will cook down a little so larger pieces work fine too.
  • Shrimp – Chopped pieces blend with all of the shrimp and tomato flavors the best, but whole shrimp look more appealing. You can cook your own shrimp or purchase cooked shrimped.
  • Rice – cooked white rice works the best. If using brown rice decrease the amount to two cups as it will absorb more of the liquid.
  • Bacon – start with 4 strips of regular bacon and chop before frying. Keep all the bacon grease in the skillet for maximum flavor in this recipe.
  • Celery – finely chopped with a mild flavor and fibrous texture
  • Green pepper – a little crunch with a grassy flavor, a green bell pepper
  • Onion – a white onion finely chopped adds a little more spice than a yellow onion, but your favorite type can work fine.
  • Flour – helps thicken and flavor the base mixture.
  • Chili powder – adds flavor. To add more heat use additional spices to suit your preference.

How to Make This Shrimp Jambalaya

Cook shrimp and rice if necessary. Set aside.

I like to cook shrimp with cajun seasoning. Just 4 – 6 minutes over medium heat and shrimp is done with translucent. You can use whole shrimp in this jambalaya recipe or chop it up so everything mixes together better.

Shrimp cooking in a skillet with cajun seasoning

In a large skillet cook bacon over medium high heat. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to separate the pieces of bacon as they fry.

Be sure to keep all of the delicious bacon fat as it is a key ingredient in making this recipe successful!

Chopped bacon frying in a skillet

Add the chopped veggies and parsley right into the skillet.

Stir often as the celery, green pepper and onion soften. The edges will gather up the beautiful bacon drippings.

Cajun trinity of celery, green pepper and onion frying in bacon fat with pieces of bacon

Add flour. Stir often until slightly brown.

Flour added to softened onion, bell pepper and celery with bacon bits

Then add diced tomatoes and the juice that they come in.

Add seasonings and stir it all together.

Chili powder and salt seasoning canned tomatoes in a skillet

Cover and stir occasionally until the mixture begins to thicken. This will take about ten minutes over medium heat.

Petite diced tomatoes added to cajun trinity base and cooking in a skillet

Finally add cooked rice and shrimp to the tomato stew mixture.

Cooked shrimp and rice poured into tomato mixture in a skillet

Stir well and serve warm. Enjoy!

Spoonful of jambalaya with shrimp made in bacon bits for more flavor

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Starting with cooked shrimp is easiest as you don’t have to worry about whether the meat gets cooked in the tomato sauce.
  • This is a great meal prep recipe to go ahead and make a big batch of rice to use throughout the week in Sausage Fried Rice, Hot Chicken Salad Casserole or with Pork Tacos.
  • Make sure your skillet is large enough to stir all of the ingredients together, if not use a large bowl or stock pot to prevent spilling.

More Easy Skillet Meal Recipes:

Sausage, Peppers & Onions Skillet Meal is another classic and savory combination.

Hamburger and Noodle Casserole can easily be finished off in the skillet for creamy combination of comfort food goodness.

Kielbasa and Noodles with Cabbage is another family favorite meal for busy weeknights.

Sauerkraut for Hot Dogs can be made quickly in a skillet anytime of the year for a budget friendly meal.

Meaty shrimp jambalaya with rice, vegetables and tomatoes

Shrimp Jambalaya

Servings 6 servings
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
Savory, meaty and full of tomato and veggie flavors this Shrimp Jambalaya recipe is enhanced with bacon bits and makes an easy skillet meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 3 tablespoons onion chopped
  • 3 tablespoons celery chopped
  • 3 tablespoons green pepper chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 29 ounces petite tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper optional
  • 3 cups rice cooked
  • 1 pound shrimp cooked


  • Fry bacon, do not drain the skillet.
    4 slices bacon
  • Add onion, celery, green bell pepper and parsley. Cook and stir until onion is translucent and tender.
    3 tablespoons onion, 3 tablespoons celery, 3 tablespoons green pepper, 2 tablespoons parsley
  • Add flour and stir until slightly brown.
    1 tablespoon flour
  • Add tomatoes, salt, cayenne and chili powder. Cook slowly until thick, about 10 minutes.
    29 ounces petite tomatoes, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, pinch cayenne pepper
  • Add cooked rice and shrimp. Stir well. Add seasonings like a few flakes of cayenne pepper if desired to suit your taste.
    3 cups rice, 1 pound shrimp


Calories: 516kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 26gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 770mgPotassium: 778mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 546IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!


  1. What can I use instead of bacon/bacon grease?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! I haven’t tested this, but I think butter could work too. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Victoria DeSantis says:

    I don’t see the Cayenne in your ingredient list. You mention a pinch when adding listed ingredients. Should there be more than the pinch at the end?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Thanks for letting me know. If you want to use cayenne pepper just add a pinch when adding the other seasonings. Hope you enjoy!

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