One night I was craving some spicy gumbo or jambalaya I wasn’t sure. But I knew I wanted something with some Cajun flare. That is when Cajun Seafood and Rice happened a cross between the two dishes!
My craving wasn’t my only issue that I had to fix. I also had this thing called time working against me. It was already 5 at night and we still had homework, bath, story time, clean up along with dinner to accomplish.
Yes, this was one of those days. You know mom day; the days were nothing goes as planned and time gets away from you. One of those days you wish you put something in the crock pot, or took something out for the instant pot, or had good restaurants around so you could just order to go and not be disappointed.
So, what to do? Gumbo would take too long same with Jambalaya. So, I did what I know to do. Took, all my ingredients I wanted to use and just got to work whipping something up. That is how Cajun Seafood and Rice came to be. Since then it is one of our spicy go-to weeknight dishes.
When it comes to cooking with seafood I prefer raw over precooked. I find that using recooked seafood turns out rubbery because it gets over cooked super easy.
With shrimp raw is usually gray once it is cooked it turns pink and the white looks a little translucent.
With mussels just rinse them off and toss them into the pot and cover to allow them to steam. Once they open up they are good to go. If the majority of the mussels are open then they are done. If some remain closed trash those ones they are no good you can get sick if you eat them!
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Cajun Seafood and Rice
- 1 cup leftover chicken shredded
- 1/2 lb spicy sausage sliced in 1/4 inch slices
- 1 lb large raw shells on shrimp cleaned
- 1 lb mussels
- 1/2 lb frozen okra cut
- 2 corn on the cobs cooked and quartered
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 poblano pepper finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups veggie stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme dried
- 1 tsp basil dried
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper more or less depending on how spicy you want it
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
Saffron Rice (optional)
- 1 cup Jasmine rice
- 2 cups veggie stock
- 1 tbsp saffron
- In a large deep skillet fry up the sausage slices about 2-3 minutes per side. Until they are cooked through and start to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same large deep skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Saute onions, celery, garlic, and poblano in the butter until the veggies are soft and the onion is slightly transparent.
- Stir in flour and allow to cook a few minutes stirring constantly.
- Stir in tomato paste and seasoning (bay leaf, thyme, basil, chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt)
- Once tomato paste has coated everything, stir in veggie stock and bring to boil.
- Add in okra, sausage, and chicken. Allow ingredients to cook together for 15 minutes.
- Add the corn shrimp and mussels to the top of the pot cover with a lid and allow to cook over medium-low heat until shrimp have cooked through and pink and mussels have opened. (this takes 5-7 minutes)
Saffron Rice (optional)
- Place the rice, veggie stock, and saffron in the instant pot close the lid, turn vent to the off position, and turn on rice mode and let cook.
- Once done place a hearty scoop at the bottom of a bowl then scoop some Cajun Seafood on top and enjoy!