10 Side Dishes That Go Perfectly with Jambalaya
Some dishes are just perfect examples of a wholesome meal, and Jambalaya is one of them. It is healthy, balanced, and packed with flavour. The dish features a hearty combination of rice, meat, vegetables, and spices. Some like to incorporate seafood in the mix too. While you can choose to serve Jambalaya as a standalone dish, it is elevated when served with a side dish.
Unfortunately, the all-inclusive nature of the Jambalaya does make it challenging to pair with other dishes. There is no reason to fret, though. We are here to provide you with ideas for 10 side dishes that go perfectly with Jambalaya.
So, if you are planning on serving this scrumptious Creole masterpiece anytime soon, scroll below to know what to serve with Jambalaya and make your dinner or birthday party an affair to remember.
What is jambalaya?
Jambalaya is believed to have originated in Louisiana, although it has some Spanish and French influence too. There are two primary varieties of the dish- red Jambalaya and brown Jambalaya. Irrespective of the type, the holy trinity of pepper, celery, and onions is always used in its preparation.
Jambalaya is pretty easy to make. You can choose any variety of rice as long as you use the correct amount of water and nail the cooking of the rice. Begin the process by first browning the meat and then sautéing the vegetables. Add the rice, pour in the water, and allow it to boil. Stir and season the mixture and place a lid over it. Reduce the flame and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. And voila! Delicious Jambalaya is ready.
What goes with jambalaya- 10 sides to jazz it up
There are different options you can explore while serving Jambalaya. However, try to choose accompaniments that match the flavors of the main dish.
Here are 10 side dishes that go well with your favourite Jambalaya recipe:
Cornbread is a popular southern food that is very simple to prepare. It just takes a couple of minutes for stirring the ingredients. As the time requires to cook, this is minimal; you can make these while the Jambalaya is simmering in the pot. The cornbread will be cooled enough and ready to serve by dinner time.
You can choose to use any color, cornmeal- yellow, white, or blue. The point to note is that ground cornmeal is available in different grind varieties. If you want a more cake-like cornbread, opt for a fine grind. On the other hand, if you want a more textured bread, use courser grind cornmeal.
If the regular cornbread seems to be a tad boring for your fiery Jambalaya, you can try a few alternatives like Hushpuppies and hot water cornbread. Both options are excellent sides for Jambalaya.
2Corn Maque Choux
This is another corn-based dish that you can along with the Jambalaya. The name may sound intimidating, but the cooking is quite basic. Cook the peppers and onions in butter. Then add garlic, tomatoes, and corn along with heavy cream. Season it and allow the broth to simmer. Once the corn has turned tender, turn off the flame. Drain the excess liquid and serve the corn maque choux.
If you want to incorporate more flavors in the dish, add a dash of vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Some people even add bacon or grilled shrimp and throw in some celery. You can adjust the seasoning to make it as spicy as you like.
A piece of Savory crepes goes very well with Jambalaya. Even though it does take a while to make them, the dish can be cooked with basic pantry ingredients. Don’t All you need to make the crepes are eggs, flour, melted butter, salt, and milk.
For the filling, you can choose mushroom, chicken, bacon, or any other ingredient that you feel will pair well with Jambalaya. To make the crepes wonderfully savory, you cannot miss flavoring it with thyme, garlic, and parsley.
To make the crepes more appealing and delicious, top it with hollandaise sauce and sprinkle some paprika over it. Serve it with a spoonful of salsa on the side.
If you are looking for a nutritious vegetable to pair with Jambalaya, Okra is the answer. This slimy veggie can be transformed into an addictive dish by dipping it in a batter, then breading it, and finally deep-frying until golden brown. Even though it may take some time to prepare the dish, it surely is a crowd-pleaser.
If you want something less time consuming, chop the okra and sauté them in a thin layer of bacon grease to make a salad. Add some onions, tomatoes, and peppers and dress it with some vinegar or sweet oil.
Salad lovers can also think about serving Jambalaya with a cucumber tomato salad. This effortless, colorful, and tangy dish checks all the right boxes. The ingredients are inexpensive and can be sourced easily from the local vegetable market. It is a refreshing dish that perfectly complements the heat of Jambalaya.
There are several versions of the dish. However, the simplest one involves a blend of finely cut iceburg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, onions, and some fresh dill. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to tie the dish together.
You can build the dish further by layering it with other tasty ingredients like feta cheese, chunks of avocado, or finely chopped fennel bulbs.
Another healthy side for Jambalaya is the Swiss chard. It serves as a great excuse to put more greens on the table. The easiest way to cook this is to sauté the dark leafy chard in a mixture of oil, sliced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add a few coriander seeds as it tastes fantastic with the dish and makes it truly special.
You can either choose to add or leave the stems out. Although if you do plan, use the stems, boil, and toss it with butter. Alternatively, chop the stems that are tender and sauté them in the pan before adding the leaves. This way the stems will get more time to cook.
There are many Zucchini recipes you can try when thinking of what sides go with jambalaya. This summer squash has become quite popular over the years and for good reasons. It is nutritious, crunchy, and easy to work with.
You can sauté, fry, or eat it raw. To make the dish look fancier, use a peeler to peel the Zucchini as ribbons before cooking. You can even try purging it just like eggplant to bring about a hint of smokiness to the dish.
The spicy and savory flavors of Jambalaya are perfectly contrasted with some buttery, sweet, and salty oysters. If raw oysters with vinegar do not tickle your taste buds, try grilling them.
While shucking a raw oyster can be challenging, it is not an impossible task. To make the sauce, heat the oil and butter in a saucepan. Next, add the garlic, chili flakes, pepper, salt, lemon juice, and parsley. Give it a quick stir for about 30 seconds and turn off the fire.
Place the shucked oysters directly on the grill plate and drizzle a spoonful of the sauce over it. Finally, chuck it in a preheated oven and let it cook for 5-6 minutes.
If you dislike Swiss chard, you can use collard greens instead. It is just as nutritious as the chard and tastes excellent after sautéing with some oil, onion, brown sugar, and vinegar. These simple ingredients, when used together, combine to make a delicious dish that is full of flavour and tastes great with Jambalaya.
The best way to make a side dish using collard greens is to sauté them with some onions, garlic, and chili flakes in olive oil until it wilts. Add water and let it simmer for a few minutes as a finishing touch, add the sweetened vinegar dressing to the salad.
Finally, on the list is Crawfish pies. If you did not include seafood in the Jambalaya, then serving crawfish pies is a great side dish option you can consider. It blends well with the flavor of the meat used in the main dish.
The double-crusted savory pie is traditionally filled with crawfish, bell pepper, celery, onions, butter, garlic, and breadcrumbs along with milk and a whole lot of seasoning.
Crawfish pies are mouth-watering, and your guests are going to thank you for it when they leave your party full and happy!
Jambalaya, by itself, is a rockstar dish. However, there is no denying that a great side dish makes it even more enjoyable. Of course, cooking up another dish for a group of people can be daunting, but the compliments and appreciation you will receive at the end of the party will make all the hard work worth it.
Enjoy the evening with some wine and dig into the perfectly cooked Jambalaya and side dishes. For dessert, try the classic bread pudding with whiskey sauce. The memories of the company and the delicious food will surely linger in everyone’s mind for a long time. Happy cooking!