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5 Steps To Delicious Campfire Jambalaya

There's nothing like a warm and hearty meal to set you up for an amazing night of sleep in your tent.

By: Jeremy Pawlowski + Save to a List

With a tasty blend of rice, veggies, shrimp, and sausage, and a relatively easy cooking process, Jambalaya is the perfect meal to feed lots of hungry mouths on your next big camping trip. Because it's a one pot meal, it's very forgiving - just taste test often and add whatever you think it needs throughout cooking.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pounds sliced sausage
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup rice
  • 14.5 once can diced tomato
  • 1/4 teaspoon diced thyme
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • bay leaves

These measurements make about 6 servings. Like I said though, it's an easy meal to play with in terms of ingredients and you should feel free to get creative.

1. Start your fire well before you plan on cooking

Whether you’re using charcoal or firewood, you'll need a solid bed of hot coals to get this dish cooked. You want to work with white hot coals, whether they're bagged charcoal or from firewood. Firewood burning strong for about 20 minutes should do give you a nice bed of hot coals.

2. Prep your ingredients and your pot

While the fire heats up, use this time to start chopping the veggies and slicing the sausage. When the coals are ready, place the dutch oven on a stable portion and pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Let it heat up enough to be ready to cook...a good test is to throw a small piece of your next ingredient in the pan - if it starts sizzling, it's good to go.

3. Add your primary ingredients

Once the oil is good and hot, throw in your sliced sausage and let that cook for two minutes or so. Next up, toss in celery, onion, bell pepper and cajun seasoning. Cook until the vegetables become tender, then goes in the rice, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and chicken broth.

4. Watch the broth

Because cooking with a dutch oven is never a precise science, you’ll want to keep an eye on the broth level from here on out. Constant stirring and tasting will let you know if more liquid is needed or not. At this point, everything is cooked so all you’re really keeping an eye on is taste and if the rice has finished cooking.

5. Add the final ingredients

When the rice seems just about done (ten minutes or so) throw in the shrimp, cover and let cook for an additional two minutes. That's it! Pull that sucker off the fire, remove the bay leaves and serve!

Bonus Tip: Wash the oven immediately. I neglected to clean it right after cooking and spent a fun hour the next evening scraping caked on jambalaya off the bottom of the cast iron.

Sure is nice being on the other side of the camera sometimes. Big thanks to Lauren Simpson for the bulk of these shots.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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