Jambalaya is essentially a melting pot recipe. It has traces of many foreign influences, from African to French. It is also an assortment of ingredients – rice, meat, seafood, spices, vegetables, and more. Indeed, it’s a hearty, satisfying meal on its own.
With such bold, complete flavors, it’s challenging to come up with perfect side dishes. Well, you don’t have to fret. With this list of 14 sides, you don’t have to worry about what to serve with jambalaya anymore.
The most traditional tandem to jambalaya is perfectly moist, sweet, and golden cornbread. It is often served with other hearty dishes in the south, like BBQ, chili foods, and stews. There are boxed, ready-to-bake cornbread mixtures, but nothing beats homemade recipes that call for flour, cornmeal, white sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, oil, and an egg.
Another way to enjoy cornbread is to have them in muffin form, which looks more adorable and easier to hold as you munch on a plate of jambalaya. This recipe is similar to the one above but has honey and butter; there’s also no oil. Such alterations make the muffin fluffier, creamier, and sweeter, thus, giving it more character.
These French bread rolls are a good alternative if you want something plainer and less sweet than cornbread. They’re like any classic dinner roll – amazingly fresh, soft, light, and fluffy. They’re great for absorbing flavors from hearty dishes like jambalaya. This recipe also makes sure even beginner bakers can make the best French bread rolls.
4. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is another carb-heavy dish you can pair with jambalaya but leans more to the savory side rather than sweet. Such savoriness matches the complex flavors of jambalaya but does not overwhelm it or overthrow the balance. This recipe uses an Italian or French bread base, and you can prepare it according to your preference: crispy or soft.
5. Hush Puppies
As jambalaya is a southern American favorite, it is hardly surprising that many southern side dishes go well with it, including hush puppies. These are cornmeal-based, deep-fried balls that are perfect with boldly-flavored foods. They take only 15 minutes to prepare and cook and come out with a crisp, golden brown exterior and soft, tender interior.
These Cheddar Bay biscuits are a Thanksgiving classic and Red Lobster’s pride. They’re packed with layers of flaky and cheddar cheese goodness, just what you need to provide more complexity to your jambalaya meal. They’re amazingly moist and tender, and it takes only 25 minutes to make 18 servings of these incredible cheesy biscuits.
To avoid carb-heavy side dishes, you can opt for light, fresh salads, like this simple tossed green salad from Creme de la Crumb. It has mixed greens, sunflower seeds, bacon bits, red onions, and cucumbers tossed in a 6-ingredient dressing. It provides bright, crisp, and refreshing flavors – a welcomed diversion from the rich savoriness of jambalaya.
Another salad option for you to consider is this cucumber tomato salad. The two main components – cucumbers and tomatoes – are both packed with moisture, making this salad much juicier and more refreshing than the previous one. Besides those vegetables, there are also red onions, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Thus, you get a simple yet low-key complex of flavors.
9. Fruit Salad
A fruit salad may sound like an interesting pairing for jambalaya. Still, the two make sense together if you think about it. Fruit salad provides sweet and refreshing flavors to both contrast and compliment jambalaya’s rich, savory heat. Also, this one uses a honey lime dressing instead of a creamy, milky one, which could’ve led to an overwhelming jumble of flavors when served with jambalaya.
Another recommended Southern side dish for your jambalaya is these southern-style crowder peas. Crowder or field peas are popular in the US southern region; hence, they are also known as southern peas. They’re also related to black-eyed peas; thus, you can use the latter as a substitute in this recipe. Besides the peas, there are also onions, beef bouillon, garlic powder, bay leaf, diced ham, and black pepper.
If you’re tired of the usual kale, spinach, and other greens, try this recipe for collard greens, which is a cousin of cabbages. They’re well-loved in the southern area of the USA; hence, this recipe relays how the southerners make these greens as a side dish that’s great for food like jambalaya. Collard greens also provide a ton of nutrients, so this one’s perfect for the health-conscious.
12. Corn Maque Choux
Corn maque choux and jambalaya have the same flavor profile: sweet, savory, and spicy. With matching tastes, it makes perfect sense for the two to go together. This recipe is especially ideal for Louisiana-style jambalaya because it is flavored with Cajun spices, such as cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic, and more.
13. Corn on the Cob
If you prefer corn as a whole cob rather than kernels, this recipe is more your lane than the maque choux. You might expect it to be like any recipe that boils corn in a pot of water, but this has a twist. Instead of just water, butter and milk are added to the pot to infuse the corn with creamy, rich flavors.
Your Cajun or Louisiana-style jambalaya would be perfect with a simple side of roasted cajun okra. The okra has similar seasonings and spices to the jambalaya, thus, making it easier for it to enhance the main dish. Making this recipe is also quick and easy, which is excellent for those running against the clock. Moreover, roasting the okra reduces the sliminess that often puts off many people.