Donny Shankle’s Authentic Jambalaya

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!

In years past, celebrating “Fat Tuesday” was something of a tradition. I’d stuff my face with paczkis (some of you know them as jelly-filled doughnuts. I always got the ones with whipped cream and fresh strawberries sitting on top of fresh doughnuts. Amazing).

Since I’m no longer living in Chicago, it’s hard to find these delicious, sugary staples. And, considering I’ll be lifting hundreds of pounds above my head today, I figured I should probably focus on something that contains a bit more protein, but still contains all the flavors of New Orleans.

Enter Donny Shankle’s jambalaya. Donny grew up in Louisiana, and having lived with him for a few months last year, I got hooked on his cooking. His recipe is completely authentic and tastes damn good. And true to his word, it feeds a lot of hungry weightlifters. A single batch of this fed my wife and I for about 3 days, lunch and dinner.

Donny Shankle’s Jambalaya

Serves 4
Website Donny Shankle


  • 5 thin slices thick cut smoked bacon
  • 2 Large chopped yellow onion
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Medium chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 Medium chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cups diced button mushroom
  • 2 cups chopped green onion
  • 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
  • 4.5 cups water
  • 2lb shrimp (washed and peeled), cooked chopped chicken (dark) , or shredded pork
  • 1lb sliced andouille sausage or smoked sausage
  • 2 cups long grain rice (washed)
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 bay leaves


Step 1
In a large skillet over medium low heat add your bacon, onion, salt, and garlic. Let this sweat for about five minutes as you stir it a few times. Now add your bell pepper, mushroom, crushed red pepper, and sausage. Stir a few times more and let all these ingredients blend together for about another five minutes. Lastly, add your meat, rice, water, bay leaves, hot sauce, and lemon. Be sure to squeeze all the lemon juice out first into the skillet then just drop the whole thing in there.
Step 2
Bring your fire to a high heat until it begins to boil. As it is boiling cover and bring your heat down to a very low heat. In order to make sure your rice comes out fluffy do not uncover it at all for at least an hour. Letting the rice steam is what you want. Also, another way to get your jambalaya rice fluffy is to wash it thoroughly before adding it to the skillet. To do this just put your rice in a bowl and run water over it. Move it around with your hand until the water becomes cloudy then drain the water. Repeat this process until the water is clear. This might take a few minutes. Add more hot sauce to taste and serve with a light beer that has a hint of lime in it. Enjoy.
  1. John-Paul says:

    great recommendation, made it today and its amazing !

  2. JA says:

    Does anyone still have this recipe? It’s been deleted off Donny’s blog….

    • The Strength Agenda says:

      We don’t, but we’re going to talk to Donny and see if he can send it over. Stay tuned.

  3. Dennis says:

    DOOD! I woke up jonesin’ for this! It is your DUTY to repost this recipe!

  4. Ryan Tyler says:

    what would be good sub for shrimp?

  5. Ryan Tyler says:

    or is it supposed to be one of the 3 of shrimp, chicken, pork?

    • The Strength Agenda says:

      One of the three — we use shrimp, but Donny also recommends cooked chicken or cooked pork.

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