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What Can You Serve with Jambalaya?

jambalaya served elegantly in white casserole dish
What can you serve with jambalaya? Find out what side dish is best for this Cajun favorite.

If you look for a dish that has protein, carbs, veggies, and lots of flavors combined, then you must find out more about jambalaya.

Jambalaya is a rice dish consisting of meat and vegetables in rice. The meat usually includes sausage, pork, chicken, and seafood.

The vegetables follow Cajun’s “holy trinity”: onion, celery, and green pepper. However, okra, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, and chili are sometimes added for a different taste.

Jambalaya is noted as a standalone dish with minimal preparation and mess. That said, most of us want something good to complement the spicy flavors of jambalaya. We researched our recipe archives to find out what is best to serve with jambalaya for a delectable dish.


Choose the type of side dish you want to create below, or take a look at all our side dish recipes to get inspired.

Jambalaya Side Dishes: Bread

Jambalaya Side Dishes: Salads

Jambalaya Side Dishes: Greens and Other Vegetables

Jambalaya Side Dishes: Other Delicious Options


Jambalaya Side Dishes: Bread

When it comes to side dishes, bread is usually on top of everyone’s list, and it never fails with jambalaya, either.

You may think that rice with bread is too much starch, but the two actually create a perfect delightful balance that will have your family asking for seconds.

slice of cornbread on white dish

Cornbread works well with jambalaya due to its deliciously sweet taste and easy-to-make recipe. You can use staples in your pantry, making this a totally convenient side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pc egg
  • 1/4 cup oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While preheating, coat the interior part of your pie plate with non-stick spray or butter.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Then, stir until mixed evenly.
  3. Whisk the milk, egg, and oil in another bowl.
  4. Mix the flour mixture and the oil mixture and stir until it becomes moist.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie plate.
  6. Bake for at least 20 minutes or until you see the edges start to become golden brown. Then, slice and serve.

close up of garlic bread

Nothing ever goes wrong with garlic bread as a side dish, especially if you serve it with jambalaya! If you love garlic, then don’t miss this simple yet delightful garlic bread recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 crusty loaf bread
  • 3 tbsp grated cheese (Parmigiano or Romano)
  • Fresh chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Mix garlic, butter, and oil in a microwaveable dishpan. Heat the garlic mixture for 1 minute in the microwave.
  2. Toast crusty bread. Remove when the bread’s color becomes golden brown. Brush the bread with garlic oil. Then, sprinkle some cheese and parsley, if you like.
  3. Toast the bread again for 30 seconds. Then, serve.

two baguettes in a lined basket

You may think that fancy-looking French baguettes are difficult to make. But that’s actually not true. It is quite easy to make this crusty bread, and it can be a great side dish with jambalaya.

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Yeast
  • Salt
  • Flour

Directions:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water.
  2. Mix flour and salt. Leave a small space in the center and place the yeast. Then, stir.
  3. Add a bit of cold water. Stir while you add the water until you see the dough formation.
  4. Baguettes only need quick folds to achieve smoothness. There is no need for a lot of kneading.
  5. Take the dough into the greased bowl and cover it. Let it rise a room temperature until it doubles.
  6. Divide the dough into four equal parts, and shape it into long bread logs. Cover the dough on a floured kitchen towel with oil on a plastic wrap. Then, let it rise for the second time.
  7. While waiting, preheat the oven and wait for a steam formation. This helps in the formation of a crusty baguette.
  8. Once doughs have risen, remove them from the wrap and sprinkle flour on top. Then, make quick slashes using a knife. This helps the bread to expand.
  9. Take them inside the preheated oven and bake until you see it’s golden brown.

Jambalaya Side Dishes: Salads

Salads are an excellent side dish choice for jambalaya. Fresh vegetables exude a tasty and welcoming flavor that complements the ingredients used in jambalaya. The best part is that these recipes are healthy and easy to make.

bowl of cucumber tomato salad

When two of the best-tasting vegetables are combined in an easy side dish, jambalaya becomes more delicious. This salad highlights the tasty mixed flavors of the rice dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 diced seedless cucumber
  • 2 diced ripe tomatoes
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Dress the salad the way you like it, using salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil.

green salad in white bowl

If you love to integrate the Caribbean feels with your jambalaya, then this salad is a great choice. After all, much of Louisiana fare is based on Caribbean spices. Who would not like a hearty, healthy, and cheesy salad?

Ingredients:

  • 1 pc chopped cucumber
  • 1 pc chopped green pepper
  • 1 pc chopped red pepper
  • 4 pc sliced green onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 oz cubed cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 4 pcs lettuce leaves

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Add the cheese and the dressing.
  3. Toss the ingredients to ensure even coating.
  4. Place the salad on top of the lettuce leaves.

broccoli bacon salad on white plate

If you are not a huge fan of broccoli, you will surely change your mind as soon as you take your first bite of this salad. Its sour, sweet, and salty taste mixed with the spicy jambalaya will make you want more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large broccoli (cut into smaller pieces)
  • 1 pc chopped small red onion
  • 12 slices of cooked bacon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine the bacon, broccoli, onion, and seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Add mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar to dress.
  3. Stir to coat.

Jambalaya Side Dishes: Greens and Other Vegetables

If you prefer a healthy side dish with fewer ingredients than salads need, then greens are your best bet. Preparing both jambalaya and greens won’t take much of your time, plus they both taste good when paired together.

If you’re not a fan of greens, some of the best side dishes for jambalaya involve other healthy ingredients: vegetables. We may have already pointed out a few of them for the salads and greens, but there’s still more. These recipes are the simplest ones we could find in our cache that will make your next jambalaya night a success.

close up of collard greens and bacon

Collard greens may not necessarily be your first choice; however, they actually are quite savory and addicting. In fact, the cooking process is super easy, and with bacon added, this side dish will surely become one of your favorite side dishes with jambalaya.

Ingredients:

  • Collard greens
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bacon
  • Chicken Broth
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

  1. Cook the bacon on medium heat. Once done, chop it into small bites.
  2. Fry the onion with olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to stir until it becomes soft.
  3. Add the garlic, and extend 30 seconds of cooking time before taking in the collard greens.
  4. Add the chicken broth, salt, pepper, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring, then reduce heat to low.
  5. Allow it to simmer for at least 90 minutes until the collard greens become tender.

white plate of sauteed okra

Another easy to cook and prepare green that works like magic when served with Jambalaya is okra. Here is the “no sweat” Southern recipe you can follow to add another traditional Cajun ingredient to your meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chopped okra
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
  2. Saute the garlic and onion until the onion begins to soften.
  3. Add the okra. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

swiss chard

Don’t care for collard greens? Chard is the perfect substitute for them. Its health benefits will convince you to pair it with jambalaya and achieve a superfood combo.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard (discard stalks)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil on a large pan on medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes tender for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the Swiss chard and vinegar.
  4. Cook and stir until the chard becomes tender. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Season it with salt and pepper.

corn on the cob in white bowl

Corn on the cob undoubtedly increases our appetite when it’s served with delicious steaks; it’s also great with other foods, including jambalaya. Here is the simplest recipe for making the sweetest and tastiest corn cob.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 corn cobs (husks removed)

Directions:

  1. Boil 3/4 water full on a large pot.
  2. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Place the corn earns into the boiling water. Then, cover the pot.
  4. Turn off the heat and cook the corn in hot water until it becomes tender. It usually takes about 10 minutes.

corn maque choux

We promise you: you do not want to miss this popular Louisiana side dish that undoubtedly goes great with jambalaya —corn maque choux! It’s simple to make, plus healthy and flavorful.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp bacon grease or butter
  • 1 medium-sized diced onion
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 bag frozen sweet corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Melt butter or bacon grease on medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 5 minutes until they become tender.
  3. Add the garlic and stir for a minute.
  4. Add the heavy cream, tomatoes, and corn. Then, stir to mix.
  5. Add salt and reduce heat to simmer.
  6. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the corn is cooked.
  7. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes to ensure thickening of the mixture.

close up of sauteed zucchini

If you need a recipe for an uncomplicated side dish for jambalaya on a lazy, rainy night, then this particular zucchini recipe is the answer. The zucchini caramelizes when cooked, producing a satisfying and flavorful taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 large zucchini (round-sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil on a large pan. Set to medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant.
  3. Add oregano and zucchini. Then, cook for about 10 minutes until zucchini becomes tender.
  4. Season it with salt, pepper flakes, and pepper.
  5. You can add Parmesan cheese on top. Then, serve while still warm.

Jambalaya Side Dishes: Other Delicious Options

Believe it or not, there are actually even more delicious options for what to serve with jambalaya. These recipes may not necessarily be the usual side dishes, but you will be pleasantly surprised if you give these three side dishes a try.

two crepes on red plate

Crepes make it easy to experiment and unleash your creativity. This recipe really works well with jambalaya, but feel free to substitute other types of herbs and spices to shake things up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 pcs eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 ½ cups shredded chicken
  • ⅓ cup herb and garlic cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. For crepes, combine flour, salt, eggs, milk, and butter. Whisk until it becomes smooth—cover and place inside the fridge for an hour.
  3. After, pour the batter and cook for 1 minute until the bottom becomes lightly golden. Flip and cook. Then, place the cooked crepe on a plate.
  4. For chicken and garlic filling, cook the chicken with butter. Add the cream cheese until it becomes smooth. Then, place the chicken filling to the crepe and fold it after.
  5. Transfer the crepes to a dishpan. Then, place inside the oven.
  6. Wait for about 10 minutes until they become warm.

rectangular dish of grilled oysters

Another surprising side dish involves grilling oysters. This side dish may sound quite unusual with jambalaya, but its buttery, spicy, yet sweet flavor works amazingly with the tasty flavors of jambalaya.

Ingredients:

  • 10 oysters
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced parsley

Directions:

  1. Sautee oil, garlic, and butter until it becomes fragrant. Then, add the lemon juice, parsley, chili, salt, and pepper. Turn off the heat afterward.
  2. Grill oysters directly to heat.
  3. Once oysters start to slightly open, remove them away from heat. Forced it to open and add more sauce inside.
  4. Cover the oysters and grill them for 4 to 5 minutes.

sausage puff on white dish with dip

Call us weird, but our favorite go-to side dish for jambalaya is sausage puffs. If you love savory sausages and are good at the art of baking, then you should mix those in this recipe. Tip: make extra of this dish–it goes quickly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack all-butter puff pastry
  • Flour
  • 8 pcs hot-dog-size, chicken sausages
  • 1 pc large egg

Directions:

  1. Cut the pastry using a pizza wheel crosswise to achieve 1/2 inch strips. Place pastry strip around the sausages.
  2. Place the sausages evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Refrigerate at least an hour before baking.
  4. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Brush the egg mixture into the pastries.
  6. Bake until sausages are puffed and golden. It usually takes 22 to 25 minutes.
  7. Use a knife to cut the pastry.

Tips to Make Jambalaya

  1. Choosing the right pot while cooking jambalaya is essential. The chosen pot should be able to retain heat throughout the entire cooking process.
  2. Shop wisely. Choose your ingredients wisely, especially the meats. If it is not of good quality, it will sacrifice the quality of the whole dish.
  3. Learn to layer the flavors. Before cooking, ensure to know the right timing of adding and removing ingredients to achieve the desired Jambalaya taste.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What would you serve with jambalaya?

Since jambalaya is a complete meal in itself, choosing side dishes may seem challenging. Not all traditional sides work well with jambalaya; however, the ones noted to be the best side dishes are the following: bread, greens, vegetables, and salads, but don’t overlook more unusual but still delicious options.

What is traditionally served with gumbo?

The tasty side dishes that work well with gumbo to achieve an incredible meal are rice, cornbread, hush puppies, cheese bread, and potato salad. And don’t forget about okra, corn on the cob, fresh salads, and desserts, such as sweet potato pie and lemon pie.

What is the difference between a gumbo and jambalaya?

The significant difference between jambalaya and gumbo is the rice’s role, which is a highly relevant ingredient for the two dishes. Gumbo is cooked separately from the rice, while jambalaya is cooked with the rice.

What appetizer goes with jambalaya?

Among the most common appetizers that work perfectly well with jambalaya are grilled oysters, cheese balls, smoked oyster spread, cheesy hot jambalaya dip, and fried shrimp, to name just a few.

What kind of salad goes with jambalaya?

The best salad that works best with jambalaya is a green salad. Although the vegetables and seasoning entirely depend on your tastes, the freshness and crunchiness of a good old green salad balance beautifully with jambalaya’s spicy and flavorful taste.

Is jambalaya supposed to be soupy?

Jambalaya is supposed to be dry. However, since it is also noted as a versatile dish, you can allow it to be soupy. It really depends on the preferences of your family.


Additional Resources:

Kitchen Professor author

Rhonda grew up with parents who gardened, hunted, fished, canned, and preserved food. Her mother was a professional cook and Rhonda credits her teaching everything from how to make homemade biscuits and gravy to what kind of meals to serve for different occasions. In the kitchen, Rhonda uses a mix of old-fashioned country cooking and up-to-date fads in the kitchen, often experimenting with replacing higher-calorie or fat ingredients with healthier options that still retain the delicious flavors of the originals.

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