Spicy Pepper Jambalaya

Hi friends!

Oh man, I love this dish. It’s a little spicy and a lot hearty so I love making it in the winter when all I want to do is snuggle on the couch and watch Netflix. It just feels like a warm hug to the belly!

I know the title says “spicy pepper”, but the heat isn’t actually coming from spicy peppers as we’re using red bell peppers. (Read my post about choosing peppers here, did you know peppers are gendered?! You’re going to buy MALE bell peppers for this recipe). Dat spicy heat is coming from the trusty hot Italian sausage, always bringing his A-game to every fight recipe with a one-two punch of fennel and paprika. #dontmess

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into chunks (or 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1 package of hot Italian sausage, cut on the diagonal into chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced (red or yellow)
  • 1-2 red bell peppers, cut into 1” chunks (1 large or 2 small)
  • 3 cloves of minced/crushed garlic
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (I usually use the Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce or a spicy parmesan flavoured jar from the store)
  • 1 package of penne or fusilli (I usually buy whole wheat or gluten-free)
  • green onion or fresh parmesan to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and begin to cook the pasta as directed.
    • Note: when the pasta is done, drain it, and put it back in the pot and stir in a little olive oil to keep it from sticking to itself.
  2. Meanwhile heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, when your pan is hot add your chicken chunks – taking care not to move them, you’re looking to get a sear on the outside. You can work in batches if your pan gets crowded, the chicken will release some moisture and you don’t want too much liquid in the pan or you’ll have boiled chicken! Flip chicken and continue cooking, once all the chicken is cooked through you can remove it from the pan and set aside to rest (I usually put it in a large bowl).
  3. Add the sausage to the hot pan and fry it up, (it’s nice to sear it too, if you can!) once it’s fully cooked remove it from the pan and and add it to the set aside chicken.
  4. Add the peppers and onions to the hot pan, add a small drizzle of olive oil if necessary, cook until onions are mostly translucent and peppers have softened, then add the minced/crushed garlic. Stir quickly so you don’t burn the garlic.
  5. Once fragrant you can stir in the sauce.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the cooked noodles and meat back into the pan and stir to combine.
  7. Serve immediately with garnishes of choice!

Additional notes:

  • You can add a splash of chicken broth at the end to loosen up the sauce if you need to, sometimes the Easy Roasted Tomato SauceΒ can be thick, alternatively you could add some pasta water if you reserved some.
  • You can substitute shrimp for the chicken or even zucchini for the peppers, but I wouldn’t recommend switching out the hot Italian sausage as is really is the flavour backbone of this dish.
  • I find the best gluten-free noodles are made with a blend of flours like corn flour, quinoa flour, and brown or white rice flour. I’ve had some soggy situations with single flour gluten-free noodles.