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The Best Way To Reheat Jambalaya [I Test 5 Methods]

Jambalaya is flavorful comfort food that just keeps giving – even when it’s 3 days old! In this article, I tested several different reheating methods to find one that didn’t dry out my jambalaya or make it mushy.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best way to reheat jambalaya is on the stove. Add a thin layer of water or stock to a pan and heat it on a medium heat. Add the jambalaya and cover it with a lid. The lid will trap the steam and keep the dish moist. You can also use the microwave if you’re in a hurry, but the rice will get a little sticky.

How I tested reheating jambalaya

I prepared jambalaya for dinner (here’s the recipe I use if you’re interested) and then stored my leftovers overnight in the fridge. 

The following day, as my jambalaya craving kicked in again, I set about testing various reheating methods including:

  • The stove: Excellent method all-around, quick, and easy.
  • The oven: Can become a little dry.
  • The microwave: Quick but not great for retaining flavor and texture.
  • In a steamer: Good for adding moisture to dried out jambalayas.
  • Slower cooker: Not recommended.

Quick tip

Reheating seafood often gives it a rubbery texture, so opt for a veggie or chicken-based jambalaya if you’re preparing it in advance.

Or take the seafood out before you heat the jambalaya, and add it back in just before serving. The hot rice will heat the seafood.

How to reheat jambalaya on the stove

Time: 5-10 minutes

  1. Select a heavy-bottom pan and cover its base with water or stock, heating it on medium heat.
  2. Add your jambalaya and seal the pan with a lid.
  3. Allow the jambalaya to reheat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The steaminess of the pan ensures that the rice warms up but doesn’t become mushy, and the added moisture at the beginning of the process prevents the dish from drying out.

There is a risk of your jambalaya sticking or burning when you heat it on the stove, but to prevent this, just make sure you don’t leave it unattended and stir it every so often.

If you want to add a little bit of crunch to your rice, use olive oil instead of water or stock and turn the heat up slightly to fry the rice. And of course, you can fry extras in the pan too!

Results: I found this the best way to warm my jambalaya. Heating it on the stove reignited its signature flavors and kept the texture true to its original state. A little fry at the end bought out the natural smokiness of the sausage.

How to reheat jambalaya in the oven

Time: 15-25 minutes

  1. Set your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Place jambalaya in an oven-safe dish, preferably a thick-walled one like a casserole dish.
  3. Add 2-3 tablespoons of stock (or water) to the dish.
  4. Cover the dish with foil (or a lid) and seal tight to retain moisture while heating.
  5. Place in the oven to heat up for 15-25 minutes, depending on portion size.
  6. Stir and serve.

Fifteen minutes will be enough to reheat one healthy portion of jambalaya, but larger quantities will need more time in the oven.

I recommend not stirring your jambalaya while you’re reheating it. You want to keep the foil sealed and the moisture locked in. Opening the foil to stir your dish too often will let all the moisture escape. 

You can stir the dish just before serving to ensure it’s all evenly heated.

Results: This method isn’t the fastest, but it produces good results. My jambalaya kept its texture and flavor, although it was slightly dryer than the day before. If you’re not in a hurry, this is an easy and consistent way of successfully heating jambalaya of any portion size.

How to reheat jambalaya in the microwave

Time: 60 seconds
Rating: 4/10

  1. Place your jambalaya in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Cover the dish with a damp piece of paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is touching the rice, not resting on the top of a bowl.
  3. Zap the jambalaya for 30 to 60 seconds or until the dish is steaming.
  4. Remove from the microwave and allow to stand, covered, for an additional minute.
  5. Remove the paper towel, serve, and enjoy.

I would proceed with caution when it comes to timing and heat for 30 seconds first, then check and see if this dish needs any more heating. Going slowly means there’s less chance of the dish overheating.

If you don’t have any paper towels handy, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of water into the dish and cover it with pierced plastic wrap. The water adds moisture, and the plastic wrap will trap it.

Results: The microwave is undoubtedly the most convenient reheating method, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a different option. My jambalaya came out okay, but it was a lot more stodgy and gummy than the previous day, and the tastes were muted.

How to reheat jambalaya in a steamer

Time: 3-4 minutes

  1. Fill you steamer with water or stock and place it on the stove on medium to high heat.
  2. Line the steamer basket with parchment paper and place the jambalaya on top. If the rice won’t fall through the holes in the steamer, you can skip the parchment paper.
  3. Cover the steamer with a lid and heat the jambalaya for 3-4 minutes.

The steamer is a good way to moisten up dry jambalaya. It’s also suitable for reheating seafood jambalaya because it’s less harsh than the other methods I’ve mentioned.

If you don’t have a steamer you can make one (like I did) with a saucepan and a sieve. The sieve acts as the steamer basket.

I highly recommend using stock instead of plain water to help with flavor. And if you don’t have stock, you can also flavor the water with lemon or herbs.

Results: The jambalaya that came out of the steamer was moist and fluffy. If you like your jambalaya a little on the wetter side, I recommend this method. I was surprised by how tasty it was!

A note on reheating jambalaya in a slow cooker

I initially included this in my tests because I saw it recommended in other places, but while I was researching I learnt that it’s not considered safe to reheat foods in a slow cooker.

Because the slow cooked takes so long to get up to temperature, there’s a risk your jambalaya would be left in the ‘danger zone’ for bacteria for too long. And I don’t want anyone getting food poisoning!

Bonus method: make a frittata

If you feel like mixing things up with your jambalaya, turn it into frittata. Whisk some eggs and add the jambalaya, then fry it for 2 minutes before flipping it over to fry the other side. I also like mixing in fresh herbs. A healthy, filling, and tasty snack!

How to store jambalaya

To store leftover jambalaya, keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. If you have any seafood in the dish, the storage time goes down to 2 days. And I recommend removing and discarding any shells.

With rice dishes, it’s really important to store them within 2 hours of cooking them. If you have a massive pot of jambalaya, it can take a long time to cool. To speed it up, I recommend spreading it out into smaller containers.

How to freeze jambalaya

You can freeze leftover jambalaya in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Wait for the jambalaya to cool to room temperature before freezing it, and freeze it in portion-sized chunks.

I like using a freezer bag because they take up less room in the freezer, but you’ll need to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. You can squeeze the air out, but I like using a straw to suck it out.

If you’re using a container, cover the rice with a layer of plastic wrap. Less exposure to air = less chance of freezer burn.

The best way to thaw jambalaya is to take it out the night before you want to use it let it thaw naturally in the fridge. If the jambalaya is in a freezer bag, you can also submerge the bag in cold water for 30-60 minutes.

Related: How To Reheat Paella

BEST Way To Reheat Jambalaya [Tested Methods]

I’ve tried several different reheating methods to see which one delivered moist and flavorful jambalaya. Whether Cajun or Creole, the last thing you want is to jeopardize jambalaya’s signature textures.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: jambalaya, reheat jambalaya
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 161kcal



  • 1 portion jambalaya
  • 1 portion water or stock


  • Select a heavy-bottom pan and cover its base with water or stock.
  • Add your jambalaya and seal the pan with a lid.
  • Turn the stove to medium heat.
  • Allow the jambalaya to reheat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve, and enjoy.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 161kcal

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