Tin Foil Jambalaya

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Tin Foil Jambalaya combines Cajun andouille sausage, veggies, uncooked rice, and a delicious spice mixture. Mix it all together on some aluminum foil and throw it on the grill or in the oven. Easy prep, loads of flavor!

Try some other foil favorites like these Baked Potato Foil Packs, Hobo Foil Packets, or this tin foil Pesto and Sausage meal.

Tin Foil Jambalaya ready to eat

Tin Foil Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a favorite of mine, but first, let me start with this disclaimer: I am making NO claims to authenticity with this recipe! I mean, for starters it’s made in tin foil, ha! 

This isn’t meant to be an authentic, spend-all-day-on-it kind of dinner. So why call it jambalaya? It’s inspired by the flavors and typical ingredients you’ll find in an authentic jambalaya (similar to this One-Pan Jambalaya!)

The whole concept behind this recipe is to create a super-simple meal, limit the clean-up (like a lot), and still have a tasty, hearty dinner. And Tin Foil Jambalaya delivers on all counts. You will not believe how easy this is to make and there is so much flavor!

One final disclaimer before we continue on: This is spicy! There are certainly ways to decrease the spice, but like most jambalayas, you’ll get a good hit of spice from this recipe. 

Scaling down (or up) the spice levels

When scaling down the spice, note that there will be some loss of flavor. When removing or reducing spicy seasonings, you may want to increase other spices such as salt, pepper, and the dried herbs.

To make Tin Foil Jambalaya packets milder, reduce the cayenne pepper (try 1/4 teaspoon or omit it entirely), don’t add a jalapeño, and reduce the Cajun seasoning to 1/2 teaspoon.

To make these jambalaya packets spicier, add the optional jalapeño pepper and increase the Cajun seasoning to taste.

Process shots: adding instant rice to a bowl with chicken stock, prepping veggies and sausage, and adding that all in a bowl with tomatoes, tomato paste, and olive oil

Uncooked rice…are you sure it will cook in time?

Yes! The whole point of Tin Foil Jambalaya is minimal prep and a quick dinner! I promise the rice cooks to a nice tender (never mushy) consistency.

In order for this to work, we do need Minute® (instant) rice. These foil packs do not work with regular white rice or any other variety of rice; it must be instant.

While you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients for these foil packs, soak the instant rice in chicken broth or stock–this softens it and infuses it with loads of flavor. I highly recommend Swanson’s® chicken stock (not sponsored) which I’ve found to have the most robust flavor for a store-bought stock.

Other Tin Foil Jambalaya Ingredients

Beyond the rice, here are a few other ingredient notes:

  • Sausage. I use a Cajun-style andouille smoked sausage which has a great complementary flavor to the seasonings in these packets. Additionally, since it’s smoked, you don’t need to worry about cooking it to a certain temperature before serving.
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes. This type of tomato is charred over a flame before being crushed and canned. Contact with the flame brings out the tomato’s sweetness and gives a distinct, smoky flavor. You get more flavor without any extra work.
  • Zucchini. If you don’t love zucchini or they aren’t in season, feel free to use a different veggie in its place. You could also dice up an extra green bell pepper.

Tin Foil Jambalaya Tips

  • Fully seal the foil packets, but leave room for steam to circulate.
  • Generously spray the foil with a nonstick coating to keep the rice from sticking.
  • Season to taste; after pulling the jambalaya packets from the oven or grill, let them cool for a few minutes and then taste for seasoning — the packets might need a pinch more of salt and/or pepper to make the flavors come alive.
  • Dice aromatics evenly. The more evenly (and small) the onion, pepper, and celery are cut, the more evenly they’ll cook and incorporate into the final dish.

Process shots: combing the remaining ingredients and sealing in foil

Tin Foil Jambalaya Alternative Cooking Methods

The actual heat on stovetops, ovens, grills, and campfires varies greatly, but I have tested this recipe using all four methods and am sharing the timing I found to be perfect. Time can also vary depending on the actual size of veggies, so my best advice would be to check just one packet at a time. Remember, every time you open a packet to check, it releases all the steam and will take an extra couple of minutes to recover the heat, in comparison to the other packets cooking.

  • Stovetop (no foil): Place the entire mixture into a large Dutch oven (or half of the mixture into a large skillet) over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the veggies are crisp-tender (about 12-15 minutes), adding in additional olive oil as needed. Lower the heat if anything is burning or browning too much. 
  • Oven (foil packs): Divide the mixture evenly onto four sheets of heavy-duty foil and wrap them so the foil is completely sealed. Place the foil-wrapped packets on a sheet pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. The time really depends on your preference — at 30-35 minutes everything should be crisp-tender and cooked through. For very soft veggies, leave them in 38-40 minutes. 
  • Grill (foil packs): Divide the mixture evenly onto four sheets of heavy-duty foil and wrap them so the foil is completely sealed. Place on a preheated grill (medium-high heat; ~450 degrees) and grill for 20-25 minutes. Flip once halfway through the grilling process. 
  • Campfire (in foil packs): Divide the mixture evenly onto four sheets of heavy-duty foil and wrap them so the foil is completely sealed. Cook foil packs in the hot coals of a campfire until the veggies are tender, around 20-40 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes, depending on the heat of the coals. We found these cooked in about 20 minutes with hot coals. 

Overhead image of the Tin Foil Jambalaya Packets

QUICK TIP

How To Seal Foil Packs

  1. Tear off four strips of heavy-duty aluminum foil, each one about 2 feet long. 
  2. Divide the jambalaya mixture equally into the center of each foil piece.
  3. To seal the foil packet, bring the short sides together in the middle and gently fold down to completely seal (leaving a bit of space for steam). Then, roll up the ends
  4. The foil packs are ready to cook!

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Tin Foil Jambalaya

5 from 6 votes
Tin Foil Jambalaya combines Cajun andouille sausage, veggies, uncooked rice, and a delicious spice mixture -- mix it all together on some foil and throw it on the grill or in the oven. Easy prep, loads of flavor!
Print Recipe

Tin Foil Jambalaya

5 from 6 votes
Tin Foil Jambalaya combines Cajun andouille sausage, veggies, uncooked rice, and a delicious spice mixture -- mix it all together on some foil and throw it on the grill or in the oven. Easy prep, loads of flavor!
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Healthy
Keyword Tin Foil Jambalaya
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 749kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $7.62

Equipment

  • Heavy Duty Foil
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (102g) Instant (Minute) Rice
  • 1 cup (232g) Swanson's chicken stock or broth (water works in a pinch)

Seasonings

  • 5 tablespoons (58g) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage, optional

Veggies + Meat

  • 1/2 cup (55g) thinly sliced celery (~2 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup (70g) yellow onion (~1/2 large onion)
  • 1 (~1 cup; 135g) small green pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 oz; 411g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 package (13 oz; 368g) andouille sausage (I use this cajun style andouille smoked sausage)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Optional: 1-1/4 cup (205g) zucchini (1 small zucchini), salt, pepper, fresh parsley, jalapeño

Instructions

  • SOAK INSTANT RICE: In a small bowl mix together the uncooked instant rice and chicken stock or broth and let stand for about 10 minutes. You do not need to pre-cook the rice. Don't drain either.
  • OVEN/GRILL PREP: Preheat the oven or grill to 400 degrees F. Tear off four sheets of heavy-duty foil (about 2 feet long each) and generously spray with cooking spray.
  • INGREDIENT PREP: Very thinly slice the celery, finely chop the onion, dice the pepper, and coin the zucchini into thick (3/4-inch) coins. Slice the sausage into 1/2-inch thick coins. Drain the diced tomatoes.
  • COMBINE: Add the celery, onion, pepper, zucchini, and sausage to a very large bowl. Add the tomato paste and drained diced tomatoes. Add all the seasonings as well as salt and pepper to taste (I add a heaping 1/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). (See Note 1) If you'd like, add in a diced jalapeño for additional heat. Gently stir until all ingredients are well combined. Add in the soaked rice along with any liquid. Again, gently stir until ingredients are incorporated.
  • ASSEMBLE FOIL PACKS: Divide the mixture evenly among the four prepared sheets of foil. (This comes out to a heaping 1 and 1/2 cups (330g) per packet.) Seal the foil packs tightly so no air escapes, but there is still room for steam to circulate. (See Note 2) To seal the foil packet, bring the short sides together in the middle and gently fold down to completely seal. Then, roll up the ends. 
  • COOK: Place in the oven (right on the oven racks) and bake for 30-40 minutes (we like them best at 35 minutes) or on the grill for 25-30 minutes, until rice is cooked through and veggies are tender. (Test only 1 packet at a time; every time the packets are opened, the steam is released so it will take longer to cook.) When grilling, flip packets halfway through cook time.
  • GARNISH: Carefully open the foil pack, expecting steam to be released. If desired, top with fresh parsley. Let slightly cool, taste, and add additional seasoning as needed. Enjoy hot.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: These foil packs are spicy! To make these tin foil jambalaya packets milder: reduce the cayenne pepper (try 1/4 teaspoon or omit entirely), don't add a jalapeño, and reduce the Cajun seasoning (to 1/2 teaspoon). To make these tin foil jambalaya packets spicier: add the optional jalapeño pepper and increase the Cajun seasoning to taste.
Note 2: Foil: Do not double wrap the foil. Use only one sheet of foil per pack or the cooking time will be off. However, If you don't have heavy-duty foil, you will need 2 sheets of regular foil. Add a few minutes to cooking time, and check for doneness.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 749kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 1007mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 666IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 6mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Such a great idea, Chelsea!! I grew up eating a lot of Cajun food so this quick and easy dinner idea is a must. Can’t wait to try it. 🙂 Best of luck with that first day!!

  2. Looks so delicious and so easy! I’m not good with spicy food so thanks for putting the milder option 🙂 🙂

  3. Step 9 says to put ~1.5 cups of the mixture onto the foil and seal. Do I put another ~1.5 cups of the mixture onto another piece of foil?? What do you do with the rest of the mixture?

    Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    Quite liked this recipe, but was disappointed with how much waste there was with the tin foil. Seems like a huge waste in resources and rubbish going to landfill. For this reason would not make again.

  5. 5 stars
    We made this last night and LOVED IT. Both my husband and I were scraping our plates. We did the full on spicy version 😉 I also forgot to buy minute rice at the store so I just made some brown rice in a pot and added it into the foil packs in the last 10 min of oven time. I think it still worked well – just a little extra work! We will be making this again very soon.

    1. I love the full on spice! I’m so glad to hear this, and i’m glad you were able to work it out with the brown rice! Hope you guys enjoy! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Sorry but I have to say that the point of your delish dish is quick & easy. your readers Can recycle ♻ the foil LOVE your recipes

  7. We will be sailing next week! This looks like a wonderful recipe to try. How many servings to your recipe?

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