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My husband is a big fan of Zatarain’s Jambalaya.

You just add some water and sliced up smoked sausage, and shazam! Deliciousness.

(Is it just me, or is “jambalaya” kind of a funny word? It always makes me think of a PARTY when I hear it! Maybe it’s just supposed to be a party in your mouth?)

Well, last week I bought some smoked sausage and black beans with the intention of using them in another recipe that included a package of jalepeno-jack pasta mix. I have never tasted such pasta mix, but it sounds great. Too bad they don’t sell it in our small-town grocery store.

I ended up getting the jambalaya mix instead and we ate the sausage with that. However, it got me thinking about what else I could do with the sausage, without buying a packaged mix. This week I bought some more sausage and decided to experiment, with excellent results. So, for your enjoyment, I give you…a recipe invented by me!

Homemade Jambalaya
1 lb smoked sausage (I used Johnsonville Andouille sausage), sliced in 1/4 pieces
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 c. water
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
Assorted spices–dried onion flakes, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, cumin, hot sauce

In a large skillet or saucepan, combine everything. I wasn’t real precise about the quantities of the spices–I put in a generous amount of onion and garlic, a dash of cayenne and hot sauce, several shakes of cumin, and a little thyme. Feel free to modify the seasonings if you like certain flavors more, or if you want it more or less spicy. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.


It’s not exactly like Zatarain’s but it tasted pretty darn good. I liked the addition of the black beans.