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Alligator and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe

Lots of ingredients means lots of flavor in this Alligator and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe!

Alligator and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe
From the meats to the spices to the veggies – this jambalaya recipe made with alligator and shrimp is full of flavor! (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)
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Jambalaya is a classic southern rice and meat dish, usually combining seafood, andouille sausage, chicken and shrimp. For a wild game alternative, alligator makes a nice substitution for chicken, which after some simmering, the alligator becomes tender and the texture is a lot like pork.

Adjust the heat in this recipe to your liking, use more or less cayenne pepper. You can also add in chopped jalapeño in step 3 if you like an extra kick.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour


  • ½ pound of alligator meat
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 andouille sausages, sliced
  • 12 raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Marinade spices: dash of paprika, dash of dried basil, pinch cayenne pepper, dash garlic powder
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeds/ribs removed and diced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeds/ribs removed and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups cooked long grain white rice
  • 1 ½ cups crushed tomato
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon each dried oregano and dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • Chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, for garnish
  • Chopped green onion, for garnish
  • Kosher salt, to taste
Alligator and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe
Alligator meat is low in fat, high in protein and generally a firm, chewy texture. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of oil, marinade spices and a pinch of salt. Cut alligator meat into bite-size pieces and add to the marinade along with shrimp. Mix and set aside for about 10 minutes while you cut up the vegetables.
  2. Alligator and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe
    Marinating the meat creates a stronger flavor for when you actually cook the meat. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  3. In a large non-stick skillet with a lid, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Once oil gets hot, add the alligator meat and shrimp and sauté until just cooked through. Remove the meat and set aside. Brown the sliced andouille and sauté until browned, then remove and set aside.
  4. Alligator and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe
    Along with seafood, chicken and smoked sausage or andouille is commonly used in jambalaya. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  5. Into the same pan, add diced celery, bell peppers, onion and a pinch of salt, and cook until the vegetables soften and become slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Alligator and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe
    If you don't like your veggies as soft, cook them for a bit less time and add the garlic in sooner. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  7. Next add the uncooked rice and toast for 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in crushed tomato, paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and chicken stock. Add in the alligator meat only. Bring to a simmer and cooked covered over low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until rice becomes tender. Add more stock/water and cook longer if necessary. Season with salt to taste and mix in the cooked shrimp and sausage. Garnish with chopped parsley and green onion.
  8. Alligator and Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe
    You'll know when the dish is ready when the rice is cooked completely through. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

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