Catfish Jambalaya Recipe - Authentic Cajun Dish from USA

Catfish Jambalaya

Catfish Jambalaya Recipe - Authentic Cajun Dish from USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour and 35 minutes | Servings: 6-8


Catfish Jambalaya
Catfish Jambalaya

Catfish Jambalaya is a classic Southern dish that combines the flavors of sausage, ham, vegetables, and catfish in a delicious and hearty one-pot meal. This recipe is perfect for a family dinner or a gathering with friends, as it is easy to make and full of flavor.


Jambalaya is a dish that originated in Louisiana, where it was influenced by Spanish, French, and African cuisines. The name "jambalaya" is thought to come from the Spanish word "jambalaia," which means a mishmash or mix-up of ingredients. Over the years, different variations of jambalaya have emerged, with each region adding its own twist to the dish.


How to prepare

  1. Place a Dutch oven or a large, cast-iron pot over medium heat.
  2. Add sausage and sauté until lightly browned.
  3. Add ham and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in onions, celery, green peppers, and garlic and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, thyme, oregano, black pepper, and basil.
  6. Cook, stirring, for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Add chicken stock and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add rice and cook for 10 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
  9. Add catfish fillet pieces and cook for another 10 minutes or until they easily flake when tested with a fork.
  10. The jambalaya should have a thick consistency but not be soupy.
  11. Add salt to taste and adjust the other seasonings if desired.
  12. Serve on large, rimmed dinner plates or in soup bowls.


  • Substitute shrimp or chicken for the catfish for a different flavor.
  • Add diced tomatoes, okra, or bell peppers for extra vegetables.
  • Use Cajun seasoning or hot sauce for a spicier version of the dish.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to brown the sausage and ham before adding the vegetables to enhance the flavor of the dish.

- Use a large, heavy-bottomed pot to cook the jambalaya to ensure even heat distribution.

- Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences, adding more or less of the herbs and spices as needed.

- Be careful not to overcook the catfish, as it can become tough and dry if cooked for too long.

Serving Suggestions

Catfish Jambalaya can be served with a side of cornbread, steamed vegetables, or a fresh green salad.

Cooking Techniques

Sauté the sausage and ham before adding the vegetables to build flavor.

- Simmer the jambalaya slowly to allow the flavors to meld together.

- Cook the rice separately and add it to the pot at the end to prevent it from becoming mushy.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use turkey sausage or turkey ham for a lighter version of the dish.

- Substitute brown rice or quinoa for the white rice for a healthier option.

- Use any firm white fish, such as tilapia or cod, in place of the catfish.

Make Ahead Tips

Catfish Jambalaya can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Catfish Jambalaya in a large serving bowl garnished with fresh parsley or green onions for a pop of color.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Catfish Jambalaya with a glass of sweet tea, a cold beer, or a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers of Catfish Jambalaya in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Catfish Jambalaya contains approximately 400 calories.


Each serving of Catfish Jambalaya contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Catfish Jambalaya contains approximately 15 grams of fats.


Each serving of Catfish Jambalaya contains approximately 25 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Catfish Jambalaya is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.


This recipe contains pork (sausage and ham) and fish (catfish), which may be allergens for some individuals.


Catfish Jambalaya is a balanced meal that provides a good mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals.


Catfish Jambalaya is a flavorful and satisfying dish that is perfect for a cozy night in or a casual gathering with friends. With a mix of sausage, ham, vegetables, and catfish, this dish is sure to become a new favorite in your recipe rotation. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of anticipation I felt when I first saw this recipe for Catfish Jambalaya. It was a hot summer day, and I had just finished helping my mother harvest vegetables from the garden. As I wiped the sweat from my brow, my grandmother handed me a faded and stained recipe card.

"Here, dear," she said with a twinkle in her eye. "I think you'll enjoy making this one."

I eagerly took the card from her hands and scanned the ingredients and instructions. Catfish Jambalaya. The name alone was enough to make my mouth water. I had always loved the bold flavors of Cajun cuisine, and the thought of combining tender catfish with spicy sausage and savory rice was enough to make my stomach growl.

My grandmother must have noticed my excitement, because she chuckled softly and patted my hand. "That recipe has been in our family for generations," she said. "I learned it from my own grandmother, who learned it from her mother before her. It's a special dish, one that brings us all together around the table."

With those words, she shooed me out of the kitchen and told me to gather the necessary ingredients. I eagerly set to work, chopping vegetables, slicing sausage, and marinating the catfish in a blend of spices and herbs. The scent of garlic and onions filled the air, mingling with the rich aroma of cayenne pepper and thyme.

As the jambalaya simmered on the stove, I could hardly contain my excitement. I knew that this dish would be a hit with my family, just as it had been for generations before us. And as I took my first bite of the spicy, flavorful stew, I knew that I had stumbled upon a recipe that would become a staple in my own kitchen.

Over the years, I have made Catfish Jambalaya countless times, each batch slightly different from the last. Sometimes I add extra vegetables or swap out the catfish for shrimp or chicken. But no matter how I tweak the recipe, the flavors always remind me of my grandmother and the generations of women who came before her.

I like to imagine my great-great-grandmother stirring a pot of jambalaya over an open flame, her face glowing in the firelight as she adds a pinch of this and a dash of that. I can almost hear the laughter of children playing in the background and the sound of a fiddle playing a lively tune.

As I cook, I feel a connection to those women who came before me, who passed down their knowledge and love of food from one generation to the next. I think of the stories they must have shared as they cooked together, the secrets and tips that were whispered from mother to daughter in the heat of the kitchen.

And as I sit down at the table with my own family, sharing a steaming bowl of Catfish Jambalaya, I can't help but feel grateful for the traditions that have shaped me and the recipes that have nourished me. I know that one day, I will pass this recipe on to my own children, along with the stories and memories that make it so special.

But for now, I will savor each bite of this delicious dish, knowing that it connects me to my past and fills me with a sense of joy and gratitude. And as I take a second helping, I can't help but smile and think to myself, "This is how memories are made."


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