Slow Cooker Sausage Jambalaya

You’re going to love this slow cooker recipe from Kate! It’s perfect comfort food for fall and winter.

We’re having a beautiful fall here – cool mornings that turn into warm afternoons and so many gorgeous leaves. I’ve been spending a lot of time outside so I’ve been adapting some of my favorite stove-top dinners into slow cooker meals to make dinner easier. This is a meal I’ve been making forever but I’d never tried it in the slow cooker because I wasn’t sure how the rice would come out.


It was great! And so easy – a dump and go, my favorite kind of slow cooker recipe. It starts with the trinity of all jambalaya recipes – onion, celery and garlic – and then adds a few more simple ingredients to make a great dish. The flavors here are just a little spicy – if you like things more mild you can decrease the amount of chili powder. And if it starts to thicken up too much, you can stir in some additional chicken stock.

Ready to get started? Here’s what you’ll need:


Slow Cooker Sausage Jambalaya

Serves: 4 servings

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • ¾ cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 lb. precooked Andouille sausage, coin sliced
  1. In the slow cooker, stir together the onion, garlic, celery, red pepper and spices. Stir in tomatoes and broth. Stir in brown rice until thoroughly combined. Fold in sausage.
  2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Kate is a home cook and mom  from New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

Quick & Easy Skillet Chicken Jambalaya – 15 minute meal

Quick and Easy Skillet Chicken Jambalaya


We love jambalaya, but it takes a while if you bake it in the oven.  I’ve tried making it in the slow cooker, but that didn’t turn out very well.

Then I realized that it could be made in a skillet, using a similar method that I use for fried rice.  The rice cooks separately, in chicken broth instead of water.  Once it’s added to the ingredients in the skillet, it all comes together similar to a traditional jambalaya.

The bonus, of course, is that it’s much faster to make on the stove top.  If you use jasmine rice, it will only take 15 minutes for the rice too cook and the whole dish is done in short order.  Jasmine is my favorite rice for this reason.  With other long grain rices, I’ve found it takes closer to 30 minutes for it to get tender.

Start the rice, then beginning chopping and cooking the other ingredients in the skillet.  To keep this in the 15-20 minute range, you’ll also need to use chicken that’s already cooked.  I keep rotisserie chicken in the freezer for quick meal prep.

If you want to cook the chicken from raw, you can still have a quick meal by following the instructions on Basic Chicken Skillet.  This recipe is a take on that basic recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need for Skillet Chicken Jambalaya:   [Read more…]

7 Ways to Use Leftover Rice

How to Use Leftover Rice

Leftover rice is so versatile.  It’s one leftover you’ll be glad to have.  Here are 7 ideas for using it:

Turn it into Cheesy Rice

One of my favorite lunches growing up was cheesy rice.  We would could minute rice and add cheese, but it’s even better if you have long grain white rice or brown rice.

Heat the rice and add any kind of shredded cheese and a generous shake of black pepper.

Make Pizza Rice Casserole

Easy Pizza Rice Casserole


I used instant brown rice in this Pizza Rice Casserole, but you can also use leftover cooked rice.  This makes a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

Make Chipotle’s knock-off Cilantro Lime Rice

Reheat the rice, add a splash of lime juice and a handful of chopped cilantro.  Serve it with any Mexican dish.  Here’s the recipe I wrote on the Savings Lifestyle blog.  I used basmati rice, but you can use leftover rice.

chipotle cilantro lime rice done

Make Freezer Burritos

Vary the filling according to what you have available, but this is a great way to use up leftover rice.


Make Haystacks

Use taco meat or this slow cooker recipe for Sweet Korean Haystacks.  Either way is great!

Slow Cooker Sweet Korean BBQ Haystacks

Fry it!

Fried rice is easy and a wonderful way to clear out your fridge.  You can use up leftover rice, meats and veggies with this one.

fried rice new pic

Make a salad

Wild Rice or Brown Rice Salad is fantastic for lunches, picnics or as a side dish.

Wild Rice Salad - redeeming leftover rice

 How do you like to use leftover rice?


Wild Rice (or brown rice) Salad – redeeming leftover rice

Wild Rice Salad - redeeming leftover rice


Wild rice salad is a quick and easy way to use leftover wild rice or brown rice.

I completely bombed a meal the other day.  Multiple things went wrong, resulting in weird tasting chicken and a lot of leftover wild rice.

With no chicken to go with the rice, I decided to turn it into something else.  We had a soccer game the next night, so this worked out great for our sideline picnic.

I adapted this recipe from an old cookbook I have, Country Gourmet Cookbook.  This is one of those salads that is great for cleaning out the fridge though.  All kinds of raw veggies can be added to the rice.

The dressing is a simple vinaigrette.  This can be altered as well.  The recipe called for lemon juice, but I decided red wine vinegar would be better.  Use any type of vinegar or lemon juice you like or have on hand.

Here’s what I used.  Change it up so it suits you.

[Read more…]

32 Simple Side Dish Ideas

There are all kinds of things you can serve as side dishes, but if you’re like me you prefer simple things that don’t require a lot of prep.  Unless the main dish practically makes itself, I normally don’t like to spend time on the sides.

With that in mind, here’s a list of 32 simple side dishes that come together quick.  A few do require baking/slow cooking time, but the hands on prep is minimal.


32 Simple Side Dish Ideas

Simple Lettuce Wedge Salad

BLT Salad

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Cucumbers and Onions

Quick Cole Slaw

Ranch Veggie Salad

Here are 7 things you can add to your salad to make it more interesting


Warm Cinnamon Applesauce with Toasted Marshmallows


Warm Cinnamon Applesauce with Toasted Marshmallows

Cranberries and Oranges

Ambrosia – so easy and tastes like more than the sum of its parts

Easy Peachy Fruit Salad

Vanilla Fruit Salad


honey glazed carrots in the slow cooker done


Honey Glazed Carrots in the Slow Cooker

How to Cut Cauliflower in 1 Minutes (so you can steam it or eat it raw)

Mashed Cauliflower

Grilled Zucchini

Parmesan Zucchini and Summer Squash in the Microwave

Roasted Broccoli and Red Pepper

Slow Cooked Apples and Butternut Squash

Winter Squash in the Slow Cooker



apple cornbread dressing done

Apple Cornbread Dressing – 10 minutes to the table

Baked Potatoes with Onions

Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing

Garlic Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes

Macaroni and Cheese & Macaroni and Tomatoes

Parmesan Fettucini

Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Sweet and White Potatoes

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potatoes and Apples in the Slow Cooker

Easy Pizza Rice Casserole – Take a Real Lunch

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sargento Foods, Inc. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Getting tired of cold sandwiches and canned soup for lunch?  Sargento Cheese is encouraging us to take a real lunch.  Mid-day meals don't have to be hurried, grab-whatever-you-can-find affairs.  Slow down and plan a real lunch.

This Easy Pizza Rice Casserole uses a few quick ingredients.  If you have leftover rice, it's even quicker.  The Italian Sausage and zucchini make for a hearty lunch.  The dish gets topped with slices of Sargento provolone cheese.  Who can resist a cheese topped casserole?  

Pizza Rice Casserole can be made for lunch at home, but it also travels well if you're sharing at the office.  Or if you need to pack it up, use a soup thermos to keep it hot until lunch time.  Guaranteed to cause lunch-envy in everyone around you!

Pair this casserole with a green salad tossed with oil and vinegar dressing.  

I adapted this recipe from the More with Less Cookbook.  I used instant brown rice, to make things quicker.  Instant brown rice has all the nutrition of the long-cooking variety, but can be made in 5 or 10 minutes.  I also added chopped zucchini and swapped out the ground beef for more flavorful Italian sausage.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 cups instant brown rice

  • 1 3/4 cups water

  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce

  • 1/2 tsp oregano

  • 16 oz cottage cheese

  • 5 slices Sargento provolone cheese

  1. Cook brown rice in water according to package directions.

  2. Brown sausage, onion and garlic in skillet over medium heat until sausage is cooked fully.

  3. Add zucchini to the skillet 5 or 7 minutes before sausage is done.

  4. Drain meat and rinse with hot water to remove extra grease.

  5. Return meat to the skillet.

  6. Stir in tomato sauce and oregano.

  7. Stir cottage cheese into cooked rice.

  8. Pour rice into greased casserole dish.

  9. Top with meat mixture.

  10. Place Sargento cheese slices over top of meat.

  11. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until hot.

Sargento Natural Cheese comes in many varieties.  My cheese drawer almost always has several types.  We especially love the ultra-thin slices.

 photo 1bf050ab-3488-4cc1-ac11-a58262cac36a_zpsf75a1da0.jpg

What's your favorite kind of real lunch?

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Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken Soup – with variations to fit your pantry

This soup has a lot of things going for it.

It can be made entirely in the slow cooker.

The chicken cooks in the soup, so no need for an extra step.

Just like taco soup, there are a million variations.  Use what you’ve got available in your pantry.

Here’s what I used:  [Read more…]

Chicken and Broccoli “Stir Fry” in the Slow Cooker

Stir fry is a cooking method that can’t really be replicated in a slow cooker.

But you can make a pretty good fake!

I’ve made this recipe twice now.  It’s easy and quick to fix.  The chicken gets cooked in stir fry sauce for several hours.  The veggies are added later, so they don’t get mushy.

No ingredient photo this time.  I was in a big hurry both times I’ve made it. [Read more…]

Tropical Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice – Easy & Special!

This is one of those dinners that tastes special, like you’ve gone to extra trouble.

Good news!  This dish is quick to fix.  I had it finished in about 30 minutes and that included time to line up ingredients, take photos and jot down my recipe.  Not bad.

I did start with another recipe as inspiration.  I wasn’t sure what should go into the Pineapple Salsa, so I searched Tasty Kitchen and came up with a recipe for Tropical Chicken and Coconut Rice Bowl.  It’s from Katie at The College Culinarian.

I wanted fish instead of chicken, so I turned the marinade into a sauce for the tilapia.  And I tweaked her salsa recipe a bit too.  The result was delicious!

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

Kung Pao Chicken

Let me say, that when I decided to make this I had no idea what really goes in Kung Pao Chicken.  I just saw a bottle of the sauce in Walmart and bought it.  The rest was decided by what I had on hand.

The result turned out delicious.  The Kung Pao sauce had just enough spice to lend and interesting kick.  I used chicken that I had already grilled, sliced and frozen, so it was quick to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

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