Delicious and Easy Vegetarian Jambalaya Recipe

“Vegan jambalaya.” For some, those words might seem like an oxymoron. How can a dish that’s so inherently meat-heavy be completely plant-based? But let me tell you, friends: it’s possible, and it’s delicious. As a vegan chef, I’m always on the hunt for ways to make classic dishes vegan-friendly, and this vegetarian jambalaya recipe is a prime example of that.

Jambalaya is a beloved Cajun dish, typically made with meat or seafood, rice, vegetables, and a bold blend of spices. It’s rich, savory, and satisfying – everything comfort food should be. But it doesn’t have to be off-limits for vegans or vegetarians. This plant-based version is just as flavorful and hearty as the original.

And here’s the thing: even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian (or even plant-based curious), this recipe is still worth trying. It’s a great way to mix up your meal routine and add more veggies to your diet. Plus, with its spicy kick and one-pot ease of preparation, it’s perfect for cozy nights in or entertaining guests.

So let me show you how to make this vegan jambalaya. Trust me – you won’t even miss the meat.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Jambalaya
Vegetarian Jambalaya

Listen up, my vegan friends – I’ve got the perfect recipe for you if you’re looking to spice up your usual plant-based meals. This vegetarian jambalaya recipe is an absolute hit and will leave you feeling satisfied, healthy and craving for more. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for this one.

What’s not to love about a one-pot meal that is vegan, delicious and budget-friendly? This jambalaya recipe is packed with hearty ingredients, such as butter beans, long-grain rice, and various vegetables like celery, fennel seed, diced tomatoes and green bell peppers. The combination of flavors in this dish is an explosion in your mouth that will transport you straight to the south of Louisiana!

What’s even better about this recipe is that it’s not only incredibly easy to prepare but also ready in just 30 minutes! So whether you need to quickly whip up a meal mid-week or want something healthy but full of flavor when entertaining your guests- this jambalaya has got you covered.

This Vegan Jambalaya recipe makes for the perfect family dinner or a great dish for solo meals that can be easily reheated throughout the week. It’s also an ideal option for vegetarians who are looking for a wholesome meal jam-packed full of nutrition.

In short, this plant-based jambalaya recipe has everything you need for a delicious and healthy vegan meal that ticks all the boxes – time-saving, budget-friendly, flavorful and versatile! Don’t believe me? Try it out yourself – I promise it won’t disappoint.

Ingredient List

 A colorful bowl of vegetarian jambalaya that's bursting with flavor!
A colorful bowl of vegetarian jambalaya that’s bursting with flavor!

Here are the ingredients you will need to create this delicious and healthy Vegetarian Jambalaya Recipe:

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (15 oz) butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, small dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Spices and seasoning:

  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fennel seed


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Note: all cans sizes mentioned are approximate.

The Recipe How-To

 This jambalaya recipe is loaded with veggies and spices for a delicious plant-based meal.
This jambalaya recipe is loaded with veggies and spices for a delicious plant-based meal.

Step One: Vegetable Prep

First, prepare vegetables for the Jambalaya recipe. Coarsely chop 2 green bell peppers and 1 red bell pepper. Chop 3 celery stalks into small dice, then chop 1 medium onion diced. Finely mince 3 garlic cloves.

Step Two: Sauté Aromatics

Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, celery, and bell peppers, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Then add minced garlic and stir together for another 30 seconds.

Step Three: Add Rice and Liquid

Add 2 cups of long-grain rice to the pot along with the sautéed vegetables. Stir well to coat the rice evenly in the oil and vegetables.

Pour in a mixture of 1 cup of tomato sauce and 1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes with their juice, stirring everything together until well combined.

Finally, pour in 4 cups of water to the pot.

Step Four: Seasoning and Simmering

Add 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon of fennel seed, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, and salt to taste for seasoning.

Stir well to combine all ingredients.

Bring the jambalaya mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low or medium-low so that it is barely bubbling, but not boiling; simmer until the rice has absorbed nearly all of the liquid, about 20-30 minutes.

Step Five: Addition Legumes

Add drained beans such as butter beans, kidney beans, or black-eyed peas, depending on your preference. About 15 minutes before rice is cooked, add in cooked legumes to allow them to heat through as you tot up vegan jambalaya recipe ready in total time of 30 minutes.

Once finished cooking add in extra salt or Cajun seasoning if needed. Let your vegan jambalaya cool slightly then serve mixed with coriander leaves if available!

Substitutions and Variations

 A hearty and satisfying vegetarian jambalaya that's perfect for a cozy evening in.
A hearty and satisfying vegetarian jambalaya that’s perfect for a cozy evening in.

When it comes to making a vegetarian jambalaya recipe, there are a variety of substitutions and variations that you can make to customize this flavorful dish. Here are a few ideas to try out in your own kitchen:

– Swap out the vegetable oil for olive oil or coconut oil for a healthier twist.

– If you don’t have access to long-grain rice, you can use white rice or brown rice instead.

– Experiment with different beans – butter beans, black-eyed peas, or kidney beans would all add an interesting twist to the dish.

– If you’re looking to add a bit of heat, try sprinkling in some extra crushed red pepper flakes or cajun seasoning.

– If you prefer your jambalaya with a bit more crunch, try adding some sliced or diced okra.

– For a more protein-packed vegan jambalaya, try adding some meat substitutes such as soy-based sausage or tempeh.

Overall, the beauty of this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile – feel free to play around with different ingredients and seasonings until you find what flavor combination works best for you. With a little experimentation and creativity, you’ll be able to create your own unique vegetarian jambalaya masterpiece that’s sure to impress even the most discerning palate.

Serving and Pairing

 Make your taste buds sing with this vibrant and flavorful vegetarian jambalaya.
Make your taste buds sing with this vibrant and flavorful vegetarian jambalaya.

Once you’ve got your vegan jambalaya recipe ready, it’s time to plate up and enjoy the flavors bursting onto your palate. Serve this dish hot in a large bowl or on a plate with long grain rice, which is the traditional pairing for jambalaya.

This vegetable jambalaya pairs well with greens like collard greens or steamed broccoli on the side. You can also top with chopped parsley or green onions for a pop of color.

For drinks, you can’t go wrong with a cold beer or iced tea to wash it all down. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, pair with a crisp white wine or a light, fruity red.

This vegetarian jambalaya recipe is perfect for any occasion – from weeknight dinners to entertaining friends and family, and everything in between. Sharing food always brings people together, and this dish is no exception. Plus, it’s an easy way to introduce plant-based dishes into your meal repertoire without sacrificing delicious taste.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Vibrant veggies and bold spices make this vegetarian jambalaya a real showstopper.
Vibrant veggies and bold spices make this vegetarian jambalaya a real showstopper.

When it comes to jambalaya, it’s always a good idea to make a big pot of it and keep some for later. Fortunately, this vegetarian jambalaya recipe is perfect for meal-prep and saves well in the fridge or freezer.

To make the most out of your jambalaya, allow it to cool down completely before storing it in a tight-lid container. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.

When reheating, you can either do it on the stove top or in the microwave. If using the stove top, just add a splash of water or vegetable broth to loosen up the rice and vegetables as they reheat. For best results, reheat gradually and stir regularly to avoid hot spots.

If you’re planning to enjoy jambalaya on-the-go, pack it in an insulated container with some crackers or crusty bread on the side for added texture. Trust me, there’s nothing better than diving into a warm bowl of hearty jambalaya in the middle of a long workday or outdoor adventure.

I like making jambalaya ahead of time so that I don’t have to worry about what to cook for dinner on busy weeknights. It’s satisfying, effortless, and packed with nutritional value that my body craves. Plus, who wouldn’t want delicious leftovers ready at their beck and call?

Tips for Perfect Results

 A cozy bowl of vegetarian jambalaya that's packed with flavor and comfort.
A cozy bowl of vegetarian jambalaya that’s packed with flavor and comfort.

Now that you have your ingredients organized and your recipe ready, it’s time to turn those ingredients into a delicious vegetarian jambalaya. Here are some tips to help you achieve perfect results when cooking this dish:

Firstly, make sure to sauté the vegetables properly. This will enhance their flavors and create a tasty base for the dish. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the onions, celery and peppers. Stir frequently to avoid burning them, until they become tender and translucent.

Secondly, it is important to use long-grain rice for this recipe because it will hold up better against the other ingredients. Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch and prevent it from becoming too sticky.

Thirdly, don’t forget to season generously! Jambalaya is known for its spicy flavor profile, so don’t be afraid to add extra crushed red pepper flakes or cajun seasoning if you want to crank up the heat.

Fourthly, when adding liquids such as water or tomato sauce, remember that the rice will absorb most of it. Take care not to add too much liquid at once, or you may end up with a soupy consistency.

Fifthly, keep an eye on your pot while cooking. Jambalaya requires constant attention – make sure to stir occasionally and adjust the heat as needed. Be sure to follow the recipe instructions closely to ensure even cooking throughout.

Lastly, take advantage of any substitution options available. In this recipe, for instance, you can substitute butter beans or kidney beans for black-eyed peas if you prefer. You can also vary the amount of spices based on your personal preferences.

By following these tips, you’re sure to create a delicious vegan jambalaya that will be enjoyed by all!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegetarian jambalaya recipe is an exceptional choice for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious, healthy and satisfying plant-based meal. It satisfies every taste bud, and it’s sure to impress even the most devout meat-eater. Whether you follow a plant-based diet or looking to switch things up in the kitchen, this jambalaya recipe will not disappoint.

Not only is it easy and quick to prepare, but it’s also budget-friendly, requires minimal ingredients and can be stored and reheated with ease. It’s also highly customizable, allowing you to make substitutions or additions according to your taste preferences.

So why don’t you give this vegan jambalaya recipe a try? I’m confident that once you do, it’ll become one of your go-to vegetarian meals. The perfect combination of spices, rice, vegetables and beans make this the ideal comfort food option that will leave you feeling satisfied for hours.

In addition to being a tasty and filling meal, this recipe is also an excellent way to introduce more plant-based meals into your diet by swapping out meat-based ingredients for healthier alternatives. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get in a variety of vegetables that provide necessary vitamins and minerals.

Overall, this vegetarian jambalaya recipe is an excellent dish for anyone looking for an easy, healthy and flavorful meal. Don’t be afraid to play around with different ingredients or tailor it to fit your dietary needs or preferences. Trust me; once you’ve had a taste of this mouth-watering dish – nothing else will compare!

Vegetarian Jambalaya

Vegetarian Jambalaya Recipe

True jambalaya uses sausages, shrimp and chicken. This rich vegetarian recipe version uses beans to provide meaty texture and flavor - with no meat.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Louisiana Creole
Calories 314.8 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 400 g diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 250 g tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 440 g butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 440 g red beans, rinsed and drained


  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic in hot oil until tender, about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, cayenne and fennel seed.
  • Bring to a boil and add rice. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender, stirring frequently.
  • Add beans and cover. Simmer 5-10 minutes longer or until well heated, stirring frequently.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 310gCalories: 314.8kcalCarbohydrates: 59.4gProtein: 13.2gFat: 3.3gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 419.5mgFiber: 10gSugar: 5.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Vegetable
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