My best friend is in New Orleans this week, and I am having major envy. Not only could I use the warmth, but I’m also missing the culture and energy of the city. To help assuage my jealousy, I’ve channeled it into this week’s dinners. On the menu tonight? Vegan jambalaya.
This zesty creole soul food is a Louisiana-staple as rich in culture and tradition as it is in spice and flavor. Fortunately, “traditional” doesn’t mean there’s only one way to do this dish. Quite the opposite, actually. There are as many ways to prepare this meal as there are people who want to try their hand at it. It’s an easy recipe to throw together with whatever you have in your pantry, and this vegan version is one of the healthiest (and tastiest) around.
Like gumbo, jambalaya is a classic southern dish that reflects the rich blend of cultures, especially Spanish and French influences, that have shaped Louisiana’s past and present.
Filling, but easy to prepare, jambalaya is a simple dish and a go-to for busy weeknights.
Because it’s the kind of meal that is often thrown together with leftovers and kitchen pantry staples, there are tons of variations on classic jambalaya.
However, there are a few staple ingredients present in just about every recipe, including this vegan jambalaya. Celery, onion, and bell pepper, the “holy trinity” of cajun and creole cooking, are a must. Rice is also a pretty much invariable staple of this dish.
Traditionally, jambalaya features some kind of meat, often sausage. Since this is a vegan recipe, we’ve nixed the meat. But don’t worry, this recipe bursts with plenty of other filling ingredients and flavors, no meat necessary.
Tradition Meets Vegan
With the exception of the meat, we’ve more or less stuck to a traditional jambalaya recipe. This healthy vegan recipe features the must-have holy trinity veggies, along with tomatoes and just about every spice in your pantry. From oregano and thyme, to paprika and cayenne, this zesty dish bursts with flavor. And if you like living on the spicy side, feel free to toss in a jalapeño pepper. We know some like it hot.
This vegan jambalaya recipe also features three different kinds of beans to keep this meatless dish filling and protein-packed.
This vegan recipe subs healthy brown rice for traditional white, but there’s no reason you need to stick to rice at all. If you feel like it, try swapping out rice altogether in favor of superfood quinoa. With such a versatile dish, it’s easy to swap ingredients out and create your own unique twist on the classic meal.
If you’re craving a little southern soul food, definitely give this simple vegan recipe a try. Filling, flavorful, and super healthy, this easy meal is a perfect midweek pick me up.
Yields: 10 cup | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 246 | Total Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 540mg | Carbohydrates: 43g | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Protein: 11g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 3
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 (15 ounce) cans no-sugar added diced tomatoes
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dried cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups brown rice, cooked
- 1 (15 ounce) can butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno, green, and red pepper. Cook until the onions and peppers are soft, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato past and cook for 1 minutes, stirring often.
- Pour in the diced tomato and vegetable broth. Add the oregano, basil, thyme, paprika, cilli powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the rice and all the beans. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro and parsley, serve hot!
More Vegan Recipes:
Can’t get enough of that spicy cajun flavor? This delicious baked tofu recipe is another meatless dish that bursts with traditional zesty cajun spices. Perfect on salads or wrapped in tortillas for a spicy, meatless taco recipe, swap in these baked tofu chunks anywhere you’d use meat.
This fusion lunch burritos recipe will change the way you look at lunch! A serving of three of these will satisfy your stomach and leave you feeling good about having a super deliciously healthy meal.