Jambalaya is not your ordinary rice dish. This scrumptious Creole masterpiece is all about rich and spicy flavors that will give your palate eternal bliss.
It’s got everything – from Andouille sausages, chicken, and crawfish to sweet tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, and of course, the star of it all, the rice. It’s a combination of West African, Spanish, and French cuisines, and it is terrific.
Since it’s loaded with starch, protein, and vegetables, technically you can eat it on its own. But you can also make it even more interesting by pairing it with another dish.
If you’re having trouble thinking of dishes that will go with the complex flavors of jambalaya, then you’ve come to the right place.
Today I’ll share with you some of my favorite dishes to serve with jambalaya. Ready? Let’s dig in!
Corn is a staple in Louisiana creole cuisine, so expect tons of corn-based sides in this list. Let’s start things off with cornbread.
This buttery southern favorite can be prepared either sweet or savory, depending on your taste preference.
I prefer sweet cornbread with my jambalaya, but if you want a savory bread, just go easy on the sugar and you’re all set.
2. Corn On The Cob
Aside from making cornbread, you know what else you can do with corn? Grill it! It’s a simple summer side that goes well with anything. It’s sweet, crunchy, and smells fantastic – everything your hearty jambalaya needs!
And it’s super easy to prepare. Just grill the cobs for 15-20 minutes, slather them with butter, sprinkle them with a bit of cajun seasoning, and they’re done.
3. Cheddar Biscuits
Sure, jambalaya is already so hearty, but if you’re feeding a huge crowd, make sure they’ll leave full and happy by serving them some fluffy cheddar biscuits.
The mild savoriness of the cheddar plus the garlicky flavor of the biscuit complement your Cajun entrée oh so well.
4. Hush Puppies
Here’s another classic Southern staple that features corn: hush puppies. And yes, these fluffy deep-fried fritters taste amazing with jambalaya.
Again, there’s just something about the combination of garlicy Andouille sausage and sweet corn that is completely irresistible.
5. Green Salad
For those who find jambalaya a bit too heavy, this side is for you. Give your main entrée a light partner with a simple green salad.
Green salad is crunchy and refreshing, and super nutritious, and it balances out the heartiness of the jambalaya. Serve this on the side of your entrée and you won’t feel as guilty eating such a high-calorie dish.
Just combine your favorite greens, nuts, proteins, veggies, cheese, and dressing, and you’re good to go!
I suggest adding avocado slices and goat cheese, though, as their creamy and tangy flavors complement jambalaya well.
6. Cucumber Tomato Salad
Here’s another light and refreshing dish to round out your jambalaya meal. It’s a bright and beautiful plate, bursting with summer flavors that pair wonderfully well with the hearty dish.
And it’s easy to prepare, too! Just slice up some tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh dill, mix them up and coat in an apple cider vinaigrette, and you’ve got yourself a cool and refreshing salad.
7. Grilled Oysters
What better way to pair your savory and spicy jambalaya than with some sweet, buttery, and briny oysters?
I like eating my oysters raw with some vinegar, but if you’ve got a sensitive tummy, grilled oysters also make a fabulous jambalaya side.
And of course, if you’re serving grilled oysters, you better prepare some remoulade sauce to go with!
8. Chard or Collard Greens
Your jambalaya is already loaded with tons of flavor, so you’ll want something mild and subtle to go with it. And sometimes something as simple as sauteed chard is all it needs.
This leafy veggie is packed with vitamins and minerals and balances out the heaviness of the jambalaya.
To make, just saute the leaves with oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and onions. These simple ingredients, when combined, make such a flavorful dish.
If you’re not a fan of chard, though, you can make the same recipe using collard greens! The veggie is just as nutritious as chard and also tastes great when sauteed.
If you want another nutritious side but want to stick to a Southern theme, then okra is the way to go. This slimy veggie transforms into an addictive dish when coated in batter and deep-fried until golden brown.
Alternatively, you can sautee it in bacon grease and make a salad. Mix them with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and bacon, and drench them in a sweet vinegar dressing.
10. Savory Crepes
Surprised? Yup, savory crepes make an appetizing side dish to jambalaya too! While it takes a while to prepare them, they only require basic pantry ingredients.
If you’ve got flour, eggs, butter, milk, and sugar, you’re all set. But don’t forget to flavor your crepes with garlic, thyme, and parsley so they’re wonderfully savory.
Zucchini has gotten popular over the recent years, and for good reason. It’s crunchy, nutritious, versatile, and easy to work with! You can fry them, saute them, or eat them raw.
This veggie is so refreshing, it gives a delightful contrast to the uber-rich jambalaya.
12. Corn Maque Choux
We end this list with yet another corn-based dish because, as you know, corn and jambalaya truly make an excellent pair.
Corn Maque Choux is a vegetable dish made with corn, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The Louisiana classic may be simple, but it’s packed with so much flavor!
And despite the fancy name, it’s easy to make, too. Just saute the veggies, flavor with broth and seasonings, and let it simmer. Drain any excess liquid, and you’re all set!
If you want to add a depth of flavor to the dish, you can add some sugar, vinegar, and Dijon mustard to the dish. Yum!