What to eat with jambalaya! Find TONS of ideas for cajun jambalaya side dishes so you can create the perfect pairing for an amazing dinner.
Jambalaya hails from Louisiana, and is an American Cajun dish with Spanish and French influence.
The traditional creole jambalaya recipe contains chicken, shrimp, or andouille sausage, along with cajun seasoning, rice, and the holy trinity of green bell peppers, onion, and celery.
If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend you do!
(And if you don’t want to make it from scratch, the Zatarian’s boxed mix is actually super good.)
Now that you’ve decided to make it, you may be wondering what is traditionally served with jambalaya?
While it can be a standalone dish, I put together a whole list of the very best side dishes for jambalaya so you can build out a more complete dinner.
Let’s dive in!
Jambalaya Side Dishes
Since jambalaya is such a zesty and flavorful dish, cornbread is a natural pairing.
The sweetness really helps balance the somewhat spicy Cajun seasonings.
It really is the best bread to serve with jambalaya.
2. Green salad
You can never go wrong with a caesar salad or other green salad.
Jambalaya does contain celery, onion, and bell pepper, but nothing in the way of leafy greens.
A salad will help balance the richness of jambalaya in a refreshing way.
3. Cheddar biscuits
Garlic cheddar biscuits are one of the most delicious foods on earth. (Prove me wrong!)
Not only are they mouth-watering, but they add that tender bite that everyone loves.
Be sure to make extra, so no one fights over them!
4. Hush puppies
Hush puppies are a Southern side dish made of cornmeal, Cajun seasoning, and other baking ingredients and then fried.
These golden brown morsels are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and seriously addicting.
You can sometimes find them in the freezer section of your grocery store, but they are easy to make at home.
5. Roasted sweet potatoes
These roasted sweet potatoes have caramelized edges and tender centers.
They’re versatile because you can season them with different flavor profiles, and their natural sweetness helps balance jambalaya’s zesty flavor.
6. Fried okra
If you’ve wondered what vegetable goes with jambalaya, fried okra wins the prize.
It is actually far, FAR more delicious than you’d ever imagine.
It has a crispy cornmeal coating that turns basic okra into something oddly addicting.
Be sure to make plenty, because everyone will just keep popping them into their mouths.
7. Cheesy grits
Creamy, cheesy grits are the perfect side dish for jambalaya and other Southern meals.
Shredded cheddar and butter get stirred into smooth grits for an inexpensive and super easy side.
8. Corn on the cob
Sweet corn on the cob would be amazing with jambalaya.
Not only do most people consider it a special treat in general, but it has a natural sweetness that complements spicy food so well.
9. Creamed spinach
If there ever was an indulgent way to eat your leafy greens, creamed spinach is it.
Not only is it the perfect use up for that wilting spinach in your fridge, but you’ll surprise everyone with how much they love it.
10. Cornbread salad
Yep, you read that right.
Cornbread salad combines cornbread with pinto beans, salad dressing, bell peppers, corn, and bacon to make something uniquely delicious.
No one really knows why it works, but it just does.
11. Roasted jicama
Jicama, sometimes referred to as a Mexican turnip, is a crunchy vegetable that takes on the flavor of seasoning super well.
This sweet and hot roasted jicama would be an unexpected treat.
Or try jicama slaw, a fresh, light, vegan side dish loaded with shredded vegetables and tossed in a tangy vinaigrette.
12. Savory crepes
These savory crepes are tender and brimming with cheese and ham, though you can certainly adapt them with countless different fillings.
With a blender and six basic ingredients, you can whip up the batter in no time!
13. Collard greens
Collard greens are far tastier than they sound.
Whoever thought of combining bacon grease (or ham hock) and healthy dark leafy greens is a genius.
Even the most carnivorous among us will enjoy these green vegetables when prepared like this.
14. Mac and cheese
Creamy homemade macaroni and cheese is melty and rich, turning your jambalaya dinner into serious comfort food.
It’s sure to become a new family favorite recipe!
15. Roasted vegetables
To add more veggies to the meal, try roasting broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, red bell peppers, or brussels sprouts.
It’s as easy as tossing them in a bit of olive oil and seasoning, throwing them on a sheet tray, and roasting them in the oven.
16. Cucumber tomato salad
This cucumber salad has sweet tomatoes and red onions tossed in a simple, homemade tangy vinaigrette.
It’s light and cooling, making it the perfect side dish for spicy jambalaya.
17. Air fried zucchini
With just 4 ingredients, this air fryer zucchini is not only easy to make, but turns out crispy and delicious.
It’s also a gluten-free and low carb side dish, and it’s a perfect use-up for all that garden fresh summer zucchini.
18. Corn maque choux
Maque choux is a French Creole side dish pronounced “mock shoe.”
Corn, bell peppers, and onions get sauteed with garlic, tomatoes, and a splash of heavy cream.
You can customize how creamy, sweet, or spicy you’d like it, and your dinner will feel so authentic if you make it!
19. Green beans
Green beans are an easy and inexpensive side dish,
You can roast or sautee them with some garlic and olive oil, or try a green bean salad for a nice twist.
20. Crawfish pie
Authentic Louisiana crawfish pie is a decadent side dish that’s worth the effort.
Even if your guests give you the side eye when you name the dish ‘crawfish pie,’ they’ll be coming back for more after they taste it.
21. Garlic bread
Even though garlic bread might not be the first thing that comes to mind when serving jambalaya, I’d argue that it totally works!
If it goes with pasta, it can go with rice too.
And garlic butter and herb topped bread is just always a crowd favorite.
22. Swiss chard
This garlicky swiss chard has a nice little jolt of red pepper flakes, enhancing the flavor
If you’re not as keen on sauteed chard (or don’t have any on hand), feel free to swap in broccoli rabe, kale, or even Brussels sprouts.
23. Bread pudding
If you’ve wondered what is a good dessert to go with jambalaya, bread pudding is definitely the answer.
You wouldn’t think that stale bread, cream, eggs, and brown sugar would turn out this delicious, but it absolutely does.
This New Orleans dessert has bourbon-soaked raisins, making it feel extra special, despite its humble ingredients.
Ready to try these sides for jambalaya?
I hope you’ve found lots of inspiration for what’s good to serve with jambalaya.
Turn this classic recipe of spicy flavors into something even more magical by adding in a side dish, bread, or dessert.
You could throw a full-blown jambalaya dinner party!
1. Decide which side dish you'd like to serve with jambalaya
2. Gather the ingredients and prepare the meal
3. Serve and enjoy your jamabalya dinner
1. Decide which side dish you'd like to serve with jambalaya