This simple vegan jambalaya recipe is easy to make in one pot for a healthy, flavourful and satisfying vegetarian twist of the classic Southern dish.

Overhead view of a bowl of jambalaya topped with a bit of fresh parsley.

About this Recipe

This recipe is a plant-based twist on classic jambalaya and is easy to make in one pot for the ultimate (meatless) family-friendly comfort food!

This jambalaya is made with simple pantry ingredients like rice, broth and canned tomatoes so it’s easy to whip up when you’re low on groceries. It’s also nutritious, budget-friendly and filling!

The recipe calls for starting the jambalaya on the stovetop and finishing it baked in the oven, though if you don’t have an oven-safe pot, you can cook the entire dish on the stovetop.

You’ll love this recipe for a low-fuss weeknight meal or healthy meal prep option. It stores and reheats well, makes a great base for additional veggies or beans and is full of delicious flavours.

Recipe Highlights

  • Vegetarian and vegan (dairy-free, no egg).
  • Soy-free (choose a soy-free sausage).
  • Can be gluten-free and oil-free.
  • High in protein and low in fat.
  • Great for meal prep.
  • One pot recipe.
  • Ready in 50 minutes.
  • Minimal prep time.
  • Simple ingredients.
A large pot skillet of jambalaya topped with a sprinkle of parsley.

What is jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a popular dish from Louisiana that’s influenced by French, Spanish and West African cuisines. Traditionally it consists of meat, typically sausage alongside pork and or chicken and seafood, mixed with vegetables and tomato rice.

It features classic Cajun and Creole flavours like onion, celery, bell peppers, garlic, herbs and Cajun spices and is made in one pot for a wonderfully flavourful dish. This meat-free version is made with vegan sausage but still features plenty of vegetables, spices and of course, rice.

Ingredient Notes

Please note the complete ingredient list with amounts is located in the recipe card below. This section covers any specific notes and substitution options.

Visual of all ingredients needed to make a vegan jambalaya recipe.
  • Olive Oil: You can use olive oil, avocado oil, another neutral cooking oil or substitute water or broth for oil-free.
  • Sausage: I like Field Roast sausage but any kind works. You could even use Beyond sausages .If you need the recipe to be gluten-free you may need to go with a homemade vegan sausage or do beans instead.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is best.
  • Onion: You can use white or yellow onion.
  • Celery: Use fresh celery.
  • Spices: You’ll need dried oregano, dried basil, ground thyme, ground cumin, paprika and bay leaf. Use them all for the best flavour profile but don’t worry too much if you’re missing one. If you don’t have all of these spices, you can substitute 2 tsp of cajun seasoning blend.
  • Tomato: You’ll need a can of crushed tomatoes. Diced tomatoes would also work but I prefer crushed tomato in this recipe for a smoother consistency.
  • Serrano Pepper: You can substitute jalapeno if needed.
  • Bell Peppers: The recipe calls for red pepper but you can substitute other colours if needed.
  • Rice: You’ll need a long or short-grain white rice.
  • Stock: Any homemade or store-bought vegetable broth you like works

Step by Step Instructions

Before you Start: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Note that you’ll need an oven safe pot for this method. If you don’t have one, see recipe notes below for making the jambalaya stovetop.

Step 1. Heat a large oven-safe pot or skillet that has a lid over medium heat and add the olive oil, onions, celery and garlic.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until they’re fragrant and softened.

Onion, garlic and celery cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Step 2. Add the sausage and bell peppers and cook for 6-7 minutes to brown the sausage.

Give the pan a shake or stir every 1-2 minutes.

Sausage and bell peppers added to a skillet with onions, garlic and celery.

Step 3. Add all of the spices and rice and cook for another 2 minutes until the rice is lightly toasted.

Rice, bell peppers and various spices cooking in a skillet.

Step 4. Add the crushed tomato, vegetable broth and bay leaf. If you’d like to add beans to your jambalaya, add those now as well.

Bring the pot to a rapid boil then turn off the heat and cover.

Tomato sauce, rice and vegetables in a skillet.

Step 5. Remove from the heat and place the pan in the oven, covered, until the rice is cooked, about 20-25 minutes.

Once the rice is tender, enjoy your jambalaya topped with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Love spice? Serve with your favourite hot sauce.

Overhead view of jambalaya in a skillet.

Notes & Tips

  • Serve jambalaya with cornbread, green salad, corn on the cob, cooked collard greens, garlic bread, cauliflower potato salad or fresh carrot and celery with dip.
  • If you prefer, you can use 2 tsp of Cajun or Creole seasoning instead of the listed spice blend.
  • For extra umami flavour, add 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce along with the tomato and broth.

FAQs

Can I add red kidney beans?

Sure. If you’d like to add beans to this recipe, drain and rinse a 15-19 oz can of beans and add them when you add the broth and tomato. Black beans, pinto beans or black-eyed peas also work!

What kind of sausage should I use?

I used Field Roast sausage but you can use any vegan sausage you like such as Beyond Sausage or Yves. Note that most store-bought vegan sausages contain gluten so you’ll have to watch for that if gluten is a concern.

If you don’t want to use vegan sausage, substitute 1 can of kidney beans, adding them at the very end to heat through.

You could also add this crumbled tempeh at the end instead of sausage.

What kind of rice is used in jambalaya?

Usually a long-grain white rice such as basmati or jasmine is used as it produces distinct grains that stay separate after cooking.

What if I don’t have an oven-safe pot for jambalaya?

If you don’t have a pot or skillet that can go in the oven, no need to preheat the oven. Instead of transferring to the oven in step 4, continue simmering lightly on the stovetop until the rice is tender, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Can I use brown rice for jambalaya?

Yes. You can use brown rice but will need to increase the cooking time to 40-45 minutes. You may also need to add a bit more broth.

Overhead view of a bowl of jambalaya topped with a bit of fresh parsley.

Storing

  • Fridge: Let cool then store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Let cool then store in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Reheating: Reheat in a pan or in the microwave until heated to your preference. Leftovers can also enjoyed cold or served wrapped up in your favourite tortilla.
Forkful of jambalaya with a piece of sausage in it.

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Overhead view of a bowl of jambalaya topped with a bit of fresh parsley.

Vegan Jambalaya

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Amererican
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

This healthy and delicious vegan jambalaya recipe makes a satisfying and nutritious version of the classic Southern dish. Feel free to add kidney beans or black beans for an added twist!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup, 150 g) 
  • 2 stalks celery, washed and diced (1 cup, 130 g) 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (2 tbsp, 15 g)  
  • ½ lb. vegan sausage of choice, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced (2 tbsp, 10 g) 
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped (2 cups, 300 g) 
  • 1 yellow bell pepper chopped (1 cup, 150 g) 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp black pepper 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil 
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili flakes, optional
  • 2 cups uncooked long or short-grain white rice (400 g) 
  • 1 28 oz crushed tomatoes (796 ml) 
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (250 ml) 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • fresh chopped parsley, optional garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Saute Aromatics: Heat the oil in a large oven-safe sauce pot or skillet that has a lid over medium heat (see notes if you don’t have an oven-safe pan). Add the onions, celery and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and soft.
  3. Add Sausage and Peppers: Add sausage, serrano pepper and bell peppers and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes stirring frequently. 
  4. Toast Spices and Rice: Add spices, rice, salt and pepper and cook until rice is lightly toasted, stirring often for about 2 minutes. For more heat, add up to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili flakes with the other spices.
  5. Add Liquid & Bay Leaf: Add crushed tomato, vegetable stock and bay leaf. 
  6. Boil: Bring to a rapid boil then remove from heat and cover.
  7. Bake: Carefully place the entire pan in the oven, covered, and cook until the rice is tender, approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, remove lid and let sit for 5 minutes.
  8. Serve: Serve right away, garnished with parsley and hot sauce, if desired, and enjoy! 

Notes

If you’d like to add kidney beans, black beans or pinto beans, drain and rinse a 15-19 oz can and add them when you add the broth and tomato.

Oil-Free Option: Replace olive oil with 2 tbsp vegetable broth or water.

Storing: Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 5-6 days or freezer for up to 3 months.

Stovetop Instructions: If you don’t have a pot or skillet that can go in the oven, no need to preheat the oven. Instead of transferring to the oven in step 4, continue simmering lightly on the stovetop until the rice is tender, approximately 15-20 minutes.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 440
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60 g
  • Protein: 24 g

Keywords: vegan jambalaya, vegetarian jambalaya