Disclosure: Today’s deep-fried jambalaya recipe is sponsored by Tony Chachere’s. All opinions about their delicious products are mine alone. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this website possible.
Cajun shrimp, andouille sausage, and flavorful rice inside a crispy crunchy batter. If you like jambalaya, you’re going to love it deep-fried!
We’ve all got that “one who got away.” For some, it’s a relationship. For others, it’s a job opportunity.
For me, it’s food. Isn’t it always food?! When attending a festival down South, I walked past a sign that said Deep Fried Jambalaya Balls.
Y’all, I didn’t stop. I kept going. I’ve been turning this recipe over in my head for a few years. When I decided to partner with Tony Chachere’s this spring, I knew it was time to finally bring it to fruition.
I only wish I made them sooner. They are everything you love about jambalaya inside a crispy crunchy coating. Flavorful meat, seafood, and perfectly cooked rice come together in the perfect bite. Dunk them in some cajun dipping sauce for a true creole flavor explosion.
These would be perfect for Mardi Gras, watching sports, or Sunday supper with the family. They’re also a wonderful way to use up leftover jambalaya.
Why This Recipe Is a Must Try
- Seasoning: I grew up with Tony’s Original Creole seasoning. We use it on anything that needs a little extra “oomph” (a highly technical cooking term) such as eggs, pasta salad, and french fries. It is made with a unique blend of spices and no MSG. It makes everything taste smoky, spicy, and full of authentic flavor. In this recipe, we’ll use it to season our shrimp and our batter.
- Sausage and Shrimp: I prefer my jambalaya with meat and seafood. This hearty dish includes both of those.
- Crispy Crunchy: No bland batter here. Each step is seasoned with creole seasoning. Panko leads to a crispy, crunchy batter anytime.
Ingredient Notes and Shopping Tips:
- Look for Tony Chachere’s in the ethnic aisle of your supermarket.
- Tony Chachere’s Seasoning: I used Tony’s Original Creole seasoning blend in this recipe. If you’re craving more heat, go for the Bold or More Spice seasoning blends.
- Andouille Sausage: Andouille is a spicy pork sausage typically used in cajun cooking. If you don’t have it on hand, smoked sausage would be yummy too. Or, if you don’t eat pork, you could even use cooked chicken.
- Tony Chachere’s Pepper Sauce: This adds just the right amount of heat. Feel free to add more or less depending on your preferences.
- Creole mustard is zestier than your typical yellow mustard. If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute spicy brown mustard.
How To Make Deep Fried Jambalaya
- Cook Rice: Cook jambalaya according to the package directions.
- Cook Shrimp: Combine shrimp and seasoning. Cook in butter for 3-4 minutes, or until pink.
- Cook Vegetables: Cook onion, pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in sausage and cook until browned and heated through.
- Mix It All Together: Combine rice, shrimp, and sausage mixture. Refrigerate for around 1 hour.
- Make Balls: Form into balls using about 2 tablespoons of your jambalaya mixture. Refrigerate for around 30 minutes.
- Make Batter: Make a dipping station of flour, eggs, and Panko. Add a teaspoon of creole seasoning to each.
- Coat balls in flour, egg, and then Panko. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Deep Fry: Heat oil to 350 degrees F. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Make the Dipping Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t skip the refrigeration steps. The mixture needs to be slightly cold so it will not fall apart when frying.
- Don’t overcrowd your pan when frying, or the oil temperature may drop. I suggest frying no more than 4-6 at a time depending on the size of your pan.
- To save time: the jambalaya, and sausage can be prepared a day or so beforehand.
- Season each layer: My grandma taught me truly flavorful food begins by seasoning each component. This recipe uses Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning every step of the way. Season each ingredient in your dish, and it will turn out lip-smacking good every time. In this recipe, we season our shrimp, flour, egg wash, and bread crumbs.
- Dredging: Keep a wet hand and a dry hand when dipping into batter. I.e. Use one hand for flour and bread crumbs, and the other for egg wash. This will help you keep your hands from sticking together.
- Always use a deep-fry thermometer and drop food into the oil away from you to avoid splashing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can You Make Them Ahead? I would suggest making the rice and sausage ahead. For best results, cook the shrimp and fry just before serving.
- Can You Freeze Them? Yes! Once cooked, cool completely. Freeze in a freezer bag or air tight container.
- How To Reheat: Reheat in the oven at 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes.
- How Long Do They Last? Keep leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Deep Fried Jambalaya
For the Shrimp
- 1 Pound Shrimp Deveined
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 3 Teaspoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
For the Sausage
- 2 Ropes Smoked Andouille Sausage Diced
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Sweet Onion Diced
- 1 Bell Pepper Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
For the Rice:
- 1 Box Tony Chachere's Jambalaya Dinner Mix
- 2 ¼ Cups Water
For the Batter:
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 3 Teaspoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning Divided
- 3 Eggs Beaten
- 2 Cups Unseasoned Panko Bread Crumbs
- Vegetable Oil For Frying
For the Cajun Dipping Sauce:
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
- 1 Teaspoon Creole Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice Freshly Squeezed
- 1 Tablespoon Tony Chachere's Pepper Sauce
- 2 Teaspoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
For the Rice Mixture:
- In a large saucepan, combine jambalaya mix and water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- For the Shrimp:
- In a medium bowl, toss shrimp with Creole seasoning.
- In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add shrimp, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until pink. Set aside.
- Once cooled slightly, roughly chop shrimp.
For the Sausage:
- In the same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add bell pepper, onion, and sausage. Cook until sausage is browned and vegetables are tender.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Putting It All Together:
- Combine shrimp and sausage mixture with cooked jambalaya. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Scoop out around 2 tablespoons of jambalaya mixture, and roll into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for around 30 minutes.
For the Batter
- Set up a breading station with:
- Bowl 1: Flour mixed with 1 teaspoon of creole seasoning.
- Bowl 2: Beaten eggs mixed with 1 teaspoon of creole seasoning
- Bowl 3: Panko Bread Crumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon of creole seasoning
- Dip jambalaya balls into flour, then egg, and finally bread crumbs. Line up on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for around 30 minutes.
- In a deep skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees F. Fry in batches for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Drain on paper towels.
For the Dipping Sauce:
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with jambalaya balls and enjoy!