It’s a favorite in the South and something you might have eaten for dinner on Thanksgiving Day.
Jambalaya is one dish that people make different, but it always has rice, sausage, shrimp, and other seafood or meat.
It is a traditional Louisiana dish that is served alongside many different dishes, such as gumbo and red beans and rice.
When deciding what to serve with Jambalaya, there are many delicious dishes you can choose from.
In this blog post, we will explore nine side dishes that go well with Jambalaya, but feel free to mix and match your favorite dishes.
What to Serve with Jambalaya – 12 BEST Side Dishes
Jambalaya, a hearty dish typically served at parties, often includes dozens of ingredients and takes hours to make.
It’s a perfect dish for a large crowd and typically includes rice, sausage or bacon, poultry (chicken), tomatoes, peppers, celery.
There are many delicious sides to serve at any jambalaya feast. When considering what dishes might pair well with this spicy main course—and complement its flavors—reach for your Southern cookbooks.
The options range from sweet potatoes to corn on the cob, collard greens to yams stewed in brown sugar, biscuits, and fried okra sticks.
You’ll have plenty of flavor combinations to choose from when it comes time to decide which dishes will best accompany your Jambalaya.
Here are 12 side dishes that pair well with this traditional Southern dish:
1 – Black Beans
These beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron, folate (folic acid), vitamin B complex vitamins (B12) as well as calcium and potassium – all nutrients your body needs after being on the go or working hard during the day.
Plus, they’re healthy grains free which mean they’re perfect for any low-carb dieter looking for new options in their diet.
It doesn’t take much to make black beans as a side dish either. Either make them in a slow cooker or the microwave.
2 – Garlic Bread
If you have bread for each person at the table, this is perfect as an appetizer or with dinner. Serve it warm out of the oven.
You can also make garlic bread by spreading softened butter over pieces of French bread before topping them with minced garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
This dish goes well with all types of jambalaya dishes because it means there will be no fighting about who eats their food first.
3 – Green Beans
Green beans are another green vegetable that provides additional nutrients like vitamin C (antioxidants), folate, protein, and manganese, along with potassium from their bright-green color.
They also pair perfectly alongside this spicy dish as they balance out the heat level without losing any of their flavors.
Grill or sautee these in olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, or any other seasonings of your choice.
This dish is low carb and gluten-free, so you’ll have plenty of room left over on your plate after stuffing yourself with some Jambalaya.
4 – Collard Greens
This leafy green is often served in Southern cooking because they’re hearty enough to stand up well against heavy sauces like those used in Cajun dishes like gumbo and etouffee.
They also add color and texture that can’t be found in many other vegetable options.
Trying them with your jambalaya recipe could bring some needed variety into your usual dinner routine.
5 – Baked Macaroni and Cheese
There’s no denying the comfort you feel when sitting down to a bowl of warm mac and cheese.
It just so happens that this dish is also great to serve with Jambalaya, the casserole-style consistency stands up well against such a hearty meal, all while delivering on flavor by providing something cheesy for your taste buds.
You can make the dish to your liking by adding ingredients like bacon, chicken, or tomatoes.
6 – Cajun Dirty Rice
This side dish is an excellent option for those who have some leftover white rice in the fridge.
It’s also effortless to make, you need cooked ground beef and seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper.
You may be tempted not to leave it alone at the table with guests because of its name.
But don’t forget that you can call this dish “dirty” because of all the nutrients it contains from vegetables such as carrots and celery.
It’s an excellent option for those who still want the rice as a side but don’t like how plain it can be.
7 – Creamed Spinach
The cream of mushroom soup is an excellent addition to this dish because it can help make the creamed spinach creamier and more flavorful.
You’ll need some butter or olive oil, onion, garlic cloves, mushrooms, salt, pepper and you might want to add in heavy cream if that’s your style.
Use frozen chopped spinach (or even fresh) for convenience instead of chopping up many raw leaves.
It would be great with any meat on tops like chicken breast pieces or sausage links. This side dish is a winner.
8 – Garlic Mashed Potatoes
This dish is easy to make and will go great with any meat.
You’ll need some Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, butter, or you can use olive oil if that’s your preference, salt & pepper, garlic cloves (peeled), milk, or cream.
Use whatever herbs you like for seasoning the best. These are perfect as scoops on top of rice dishes, which would be fantastic served alongside Jambalaya.
It tastes even better if you make the mashed potatoes in a crockpot.
9 – Cauliflower Rice
It is a perfect side for Jambalaya. It’s just cauliflower that has been chopped up into rice-sized pieces and roasted until browned.
And then it tastes like regular white or brown rice too. Cauliflower can be an expensive item to buy, so if you’re looking to save money on this one, try substituting broccoli instead.
There are tons of recipes online and different spices added in, which will give the dish diverse flavor profiles.
Just remember that if you want this vegetable rice substitute to stand out in terms of texture, try adding different spices like cumin or smoked paprika so they’ll have more than just salt as their only seasoning.
10 – Eggplant
This is another vegetable that works well as a side dish for Jambalaya.
Although, like cauliflower rice, it isn’t going to be the best pairing if you’re looking for something hearty and filling with this dish.
It’s more of an option to serve alongside your meal to give it some variety.
Roasting eggplants can also help reduce their size so they’ll cook faster, which may be helpful when preparing dinner on busy nights or days where time is limited.
You can either leave them whole or cut them into slices–whichever will work better with your recipe.
11 – Corn on the Cob
Corn, in general, is a popular side dish that can be served alongside Jambalaya.
If you’re using it as an accompaniment, opt for boiled corn on the cob to give your meal some extra texture and crunch.
It’s also a good option if you’re looking for something that will help break up the monotony of more creamy and soft dishes.
Grilling corn, on the other hand, will add a smoky flavor to your meal.
12 – Vegetable Sides
For vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, these options are perfect for rounding out a dish that’s heavy in rice or meat-based dishes.
It can be tempting to include vegetables as an afterthought, but they’ll provide color and help make it more delicious.
Plus, you won’t feel guilty about eating them.
A good option is roasted veggies like broccoli (succotash), green beans, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, etc., which often come with low-fat content, too, making this side great for weight loss seekers.
These can be made in larger quantities to make it a whole meal or as appetizers.
Although Jambalaya is a rice dish, it is also hearty and rich. It’s the perfect meal to serve with side dishes like salad, vegetables, or even dessert.
If you’re looking for a side dish to serve with your Jambalaya, these are some great ideas.
You should try adding vegetables like broccoli or carrots to not just carbohydrates and protein on the plate.
If you want variety in flavors while still being simple, go ahead and add one of the many vegetable sides mentioned above.