15-Minute Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Oats

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Hearty, Creole-spiced jambalaya is the perfect stew to serve up on Mardi Gras – and this flavorful version takes only 15 minutes to prepare – thanks to the secret ingredient: Oatmeal!

Now before the yuck-factor takes over, let me assure you, no one in my family could tell that they weren’t eating brown rice in this dish

Oatmeal for dinner! Yup, savory oatmeal: I was totally intrigued by the idea in this recent St. Louis Post Dispatch article. I’m willing to try almost any new food – but I wasn’t sure I could get used to the idea of chicken with my oatmeal instead of blueberries. Around our house, oatmeal is standard breakfast fare.

Chicken Sausage Jambalaya3

But The Secret Savory Side of Oatmeal article got my creative juices going. Plus the dietitian mom in me is always interested in another whole grain family meal option – especially a quick one. Our go-to grain with dinner is generally brown rice, but it takes 45 minutes to cook. (Yes the ‘instant’ version is available, but it’s a bit pricier and still takes a good 10-15 minutes to cook.) Oatmeal cooks in only 1 minute for quick oats and 5 minutes for old fashioned oats.

Well, let me just say, after tasting this Creole spiced dish with thick slices of sausages, chicken, peppers and a rich tomato sauce, I’m a BIG savory oatmeal convert!  Plus, because the oats are tossed in with the spices and sautéing vegetables, the bold flavors of New Orleans are infused throughout the dish from the whole grain base to veggies.

My kids (who have experienced fewer years of oatmeal for breakfast) had no trouble diving into a bowl…after I divulged the secret ingredient. Even my husband who was an extremely tentative savory oatmeal eater was blown away by the rich-tasting creaminess of the oats (my words, not his, but he did REALLY like it!)

15-Minute Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

Makes 4-5 servings


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 13 oz package turkey (or chicken) smoked sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red (or green) bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (I used this recipe from @HealthyAperature for slow cooker Roasted Chicken)
  • 2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce


  1. Heat oil in large soup pot or dutch oven; add sausage, onion, bell pepper and cook undisturbed until a few pieces of sausage turn golden. Then stir occasionally until onion are translucent, about 6-7 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute; then add chicken, oats, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, paprika, salt & pepper and cook another minute.
  3. Stir in broth and tomato sauce. Cook 7-8 minutes until oats are tender.

Would you ever try savory oatmeal?

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    • says

      Diane, you totally have to let me know what you think of savory oatmeal. I’m really curious to hear what others think…especially you as a foodie RD! (:

    • says

      Thanks so much for stopping by Tanya! You will love the flavors of this version…and please let me know what you think of oatmeal for dinner (or lunch!)

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