In true Colorado fashion, we welcomed in Spring with 60-70 degree temperatures and sunny skies only to return to this a few days later…As I’m excitedly thinking about our garden and outdoor activities I’m reminded that March and April are often our snowiest months and it’s not quite time to unpack the spring accessories. This Slow-Cooker Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya is one of my favorites this time of year because it’s warm and hearty, but also relatively light. It will fill you up without adding on extra pounds for when swimsuit weather really does come around.
You will need:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. turkey kielbasa cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped fine or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. salt-free Cajun seasoning
2 cans diced tomatoes
( I like the ones with onion and green peppers or other veggies added for flavor.)
1 can fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbls. chopped fresh parsley
2 cups of your favorite rice
1. Although this is a slow-cooker meal, I always like to cook the chicken and veggies for a few minutes. First brown the chicken for about 5 minutes in a saute pan over medium heat. I use extra light olive oil to grease the pan, but you can use whatever you have around. When done, transfer the chicken to the slow-cooker.
2. Next add the celery, onion, garlic and bell pepper into the pan. Cook them for around 5 minutes as well, or until tender. Transfer to the slow-cooker when done.
3. Add the turkey kielbasa, Cajun seasoning, thyme, cans of diced tomatoes, and chicken broth to the slow-cooker and cook on low for around 5 hours, stirring a few times.
4. Cook your favorite rice. Add shrimp and parsley to slow cooker and cook on high for 15-20 minutes or until shrimp is done. I have added the cooked rice to the slow-cooker with the shrimp and parsley, but I find it got too soft and mushy. I like to keep them separate and serve the slow-cooker ingredients over the rice when ready.
I add my favorite hot sauce to my individual serving so that it’s not too spicy for the kids. It freezes well, especially if you leave the rice out. This slow-cooker chicken and shrimp jambalaya is delicious. It’s warm and tasty without being heavy and each serving is under 400 calories. I hope you enjoy it!