Copycat Zatarain’s Jambalaya

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I don’t cook with very many store-bought mixes any more, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss mixes such as Zatarain’s jambalaya. Not only quick and easy to make, Zatarain’s was yummy! So I had to make this copycat Zatarain’s jambalaya mix, and I found it to be just like the original! Thick, and a bit spicy, with smoked sausage and shrimp, it’ll warm your belly!

Copycat Zatarain's Jambalaya

This copycat Zatarain’s Jambalaya mix also makes a great gift. Just put the mix in a jar and attach a little note on how to make the jambalaya. I’ve uploaded a Microsoft Word Document containing the instructions here. The document is set up to print on Avery Personal Creations Textured Postcards, number 3380.

Note: The recipe below makes 3 batches of 4 servings each.

Also try my dirty rice and andouille sausage.

Copycat Zatarain's Jambalaya
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3 from 12 votes

Copycat Zatarain’s Jambalaya

I had to make this copycat Zatarain's jambalaya mix. I found it to be just like the original!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword copycat, Creole, rice, sausage
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 517kcal
Author Mike


For the spice mix (makes 3 batches!)

For the jambalaya (makes 1 batch!)

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 jar spice mix from above
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 pound smoked sausage cut into rounds
  • 1 pound 22-24 count shrimp peeled and deveined


For the spice mix

  • Combine all ingredients and divide into 3 jars.
  • Seal and add printed instructions if giving as a gift.
  • Store up to 6 months.

For the jambalya

  • Bring the water to boil in a large sauce pan.
  • Add the bell pepper and the spice mix and stir.
  • Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15-25 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  • In another saucepan,combine the tomato sauce and sausage. Stir in the shrimp and cook until they turn pink.
  • Combine both pans and mix well. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of water and stir.


This recipe makes 3 batches of 4 servings each.


Calories: 517kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 2310mg | Potassium: 770mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 695IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

31 thoughts on “Copycat Zatarain’s Jambalaya”

  1. This was very tasty. This, in my opinion, was nearly identical to the taste of Zatarain’s. I think next time I’ll cut the green bell pepper and cayenne pepper by 1/2. It was a bit too spicy for me, yet bearable. Awesome recipe, definitely a keeper. Thanks!!

  2. Just had Zatarains tonight for dinner! Thanks for the baseline! Going to try to make a small batch of your spice recipe to compare the flavors. I’m in the same boat as far as not wanting to buy any store-bought mixes anymore either. My mother-in-law also has an allergy to all rice but a certain brand, and it stinks to not be able to make this if she’s over for family dinners. The jambalaya batch I made tonight was to use the boxes up from my pantry. I prefer to use the whole ingredients so I know and control exactly what’s going into my food! 🙂

    1. Also, these are the ingredients on the Zatarain’s Original Jambalaya box:

      Enriched long grain parboiled rice (rice, iron, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid), onion, salt, red and green bell pepper, paprika, garlic, yeast extract, spices (including red pepper), soy sauce (hydrolized soy protein, corn syrup solids, salt), msg, caramel color.

  3. The spice mix makes 3 batches! THREE BATCHES!!! That note was way too small. Read carefully, or you’ll end up like me with a bunch of wasted food :,(

  4. I haven’t tried this yet but I am so grateful that you shared this recipe. My son loves when I make my Jambalaya with the Zatarans mix but I know it’s way too much sodium and other bad stuff so I’ve been looking for a homemade version. Thank you.

    I will let you know how it turned out when I finally make it.

    1. Hi Steve. Glad you love the mix. I’m a big fan of it too. I have not tried to make a copycat of the dirty rice mix, but that’s a great idea. I’m adding it to my to-do-list.


  5. Made this for the first time instead of Zatarains and it’s so good. We only used 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper instead of 3/4 and it’s still pretty spicy (to us). Is there anything I can add to the other two batches to make them less spicy?

  6. Does this divide into pint or quart size jars? How will this last without vacuum sealing? I’ve yet to invest in a vaccum sealer, but want to try this. Thanks!

    1. I would expect the spice mix to last up to 6 months without vacuum sealing. You can certainly divide it between containers, and they don’t have to be jars. Any airtight container will do.

  7. Great taste I usually make a double batch and I do zatarians alternative of a small can of tomato sauce and 3/4 cup less water. Also I cook Italian sausage then I wipe pan of grease add olive oil and cook up a chopped yellow onion. I add it after rice mix Is cooked the oil keeps rice firm and seals taste even for a couple days

    1. Well, I guess you could and just add another cup of water. I’d be tempted to use something else, like chicken broth, to add in some flavor. It won’t have the same thick consistency though as if you had added the tomato sauce but I bet it’d be ok.


    1. Hi. Can’t say I’m an expert in this field, but I would think you could substitute a low-salt beef bouillon in the spice mix for starters. When making it, perhaps use a low-salt tomato sauce. The proteins are going to be an issue, since I think both smoked sausage and shrimp are high in sodium. There does appear to be lower-sodium sausage available, so maybe try that?

      Good luck and regards,

  8. Great idea..
    I wanted lower sodium Zatarains for my father, and their low sodium has 300 milligrams in 1/4 cup prepared.. now you know that’s just a snack !
    So I will use no salt added beef bullion with your recipe..
    Thanks for sharing it..

  9. Zataran’s Jambalaya mix itself (the rice and seasonings) is actually vegan though. (And if one adds vegan meat, it stays vegan) thanks for the recipe though! I will try to modify w vegetable stock maybe in place of beef bouillon to make the flavor mix.

  10. Great recipe! I made a couple adjustments. I left out the beef bouillon, didn’t miss it. Used a couple tablespoons tomato paste in the water to cook the mix in, in place of tomato sauce and a diced hatch green chili in place of the green pepper. These changes were made only because I needed to use what I have on hand. The end result was perfect. We stopped buying packaged mixes some time ago. Thank you for sharing this perfect substitute!

  11. I know this is an old post but I just found it. I was wondering about the rice. It’s not washed? What kind of rice do you use that doesn’t need to be washed? I would love to have this on hand but I am uncomfortable using unwashed rice. Thanks any one who can answer

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