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Vegan Jambalaya

Vegan Jambalaya – Loaded with veggies this Creole-style jambalaya is a hearty comfort food rice dish that’s easy to make using one-pot and everyday ingredients!

top down view of fresh made vegan jambalaya in a pan.

If you love flavorful rice dishes, like this Enchilada Rice or Quinoa Spanish Rice, then you’re going to love this crave-worthy vegan jambalaya recipe!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • Quick & easy. It’s an incredibly easy 1-Pot recipe that’s ready in about 45 minutes. The hardest part is waiting!
  • Healthy & hearty. Loaded with tons of plant based protein, nourishing veggies, and rib-sticking rice, it’s 100% vegan, gluten-free, and includes an oil-free option.
  • Easy to customize. Instead of white rice, you have an option to use brown rice or quinoa for even more fiber and nutrition.
  • Budget-friendly and delicious. This recipe makes enough to feed a family of four generously without breaking the bank. Plus, it’s loaded with flavor and is fully worthy of a spot in the meal rotation!

top down view of ingredients used to make vegan jambalaya recipe.
Vegan Jambalaya ingredients: rice, bell peppers, celery, onion, garlic, beans and/or vegan sausage, tomatoes, herbs (thyme, oregano, & bay leaves), spices (smoked paprika & cayenne), veggie broth, salt, and pepper.

Ingredient Notes

  • Veggies. The veggies are the bulk of the fiber and include a colorful mix of bell peppers, onion (red, white, or brown), celery, and garlic. When prepping the bell peppers, be sure to use as much of the flesh as possible (top and bottom) to be sure your jambalaya is veggie-filled bite after bite.
  • Rice. We’ve used white long-grain rice which cooks up fluffy, tender, and tends to not clump up. You can safely sub with medium grain rice if needed. Brown rice can also be used, you’ll just have to cook it longer and add a tad more water.
  • Herbs & spices. We’ll be using a Creole-inspired spice mix, which includes herbs. It’s a flavorful blend that we think you love as much as we do. Just be sure to season with salt at the end to really bring out the flavors.
  • Plant protein. This can include using all red kidney beans or a combo with vegan sausage. The type of vegan sausage we recommend is plant-based Kielbasa, beyond meat sausage, chorizo, or apple sage sausages.
  • Vegetable broth. Our favorite is Better Than Bouillon Veg Paste (affiliate link) which allows us to control sodium and strength. I used 1/2 teaspoon for this recipe. The jar can be stored in the refrigerator and lasts us a long time!
side by side photos showing prepped veggies cut and sauteed.

How To Make Vegan Jambalaya

Making vegan jambalaya is a cinch!

Here is a quick overview of the process with photos so you can see just how easy it really is!

  • Start with prepping the veggies (which will be the most labor intensive part). From here it’s just stirring and waiting.
  • Next, saute the onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic for 5 minutes. Enjoy the delicious aroma as it cooks, it’s wonderful.
side by side photos showing the process of making vegan jambalaya.
  • Add the smoked paprika, thyme, and oregano, and saute for 1 minute more (above left). This step helps to toast the herbs and spices a bit, adding more flavor at the end. Plus, it just smells so good!
  • Now we the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, pour the broth over top (above right), and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes. Give the rice mixture a good stir every 5 minutes or so to remove any pieces that stick to the bottom of the pan.
side by side photos showing the process of adding beans to vegan jambalaya.
  • Now, your jambalaya is almost ready. In fact, you can eat it as shown above left, or move to the next step.
  • Lastly, add the plant-based protein of choice (beans or vegan sausage) and cook until warmed through.

And there you have it!

So easy. So delicious. And so on repeat!

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Can I use brown rice? Yes, vegan jambalaya can be made with brown rice! You will only need to change the cooking time to 35 minutes, instead of 20, and use the full 4 cups of liquids.
  • Can I add okra? Absolutely, simply slice the okra and add it with the rice and tomatoes.
  • Can I use quinoa for a grain-free jambalaya? Yes, to make quinoa jambalaya cook as directed, replacing the rice with rinsed quinoa and using 3 cups of broth.

side angle view of fresh made vegan jambalaya in a pan.

How To Store

  • Refrigerator: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days, in a covered container.
  • Freezer: Jambalaya can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer safe containers (affiliate link). Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • Reheat: Warm on the stovetop over low heat, adding a little water as needed for moisture. Alternatively, reheat small portions in the microwave, covered, for 2 – 3 minutes, stopping to stir every 30 – 60 seconds.

What To Serve With Vegan Jambalaya

Jambalaya is filling enough to be served on its own, but we’ve included a few side options for those who just like a little extra!

top down view of fresh made vegan jambalaya in a pan.

More Easy Rice Recipes!

If you try this veggie jambalaya recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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Vegan Jambalaya

Made in 1 pot, this easy Louisiana Vegan Jambalaya is loaded with healthy veggies and plant-based protein for a delicious Creole-style rice dish that even the picky eaters will love!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 – 8 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: simmer
  • Cuisine: Creole, Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large bell peppers (green, red & yellow), seeded and diced
  • 2 large celery ribs, diced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon EACH dried thyme + oregano
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (14oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry long-grain rice (for grain-free see notes)
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 3 1/24 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 34 vegan sausages (about 14 oz), sliced and cooked (or extra can of beans)
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste

To Serve

  • sliced scallions (green onions)
  • chopped parsley
  • dash of hot sauce (Tabasco, Frank’s, or your favorite)

Instructions

Vegan sausage: If using plant-based sausage, you’ll want to cook it first. Slice it into bite-size pieces and cook in a skillet with 1 tablespoon oil, over medium heat until browned, about 3 – 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a small plate lined with a paper napkin to soak up excess oil. 

Saute: In a large pan, heat oil/water over medium-high heat, add the onion, garlic, celery, and bell peppers, saute for 5 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, and cayenne, and saute for 1 minute more.

Simmer: Add the crushed tomatoes, rice, bay leaves, and broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover askew, and simmer on low for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes or so to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. In the last 5 minutes, add the beans and/or sausage and continue to cook until warmed through. Remove bay leaves, season with salt and pepper.

Serve: Spoon into serving bowls and top with garnish of choice.

Serves 6 – 8

Store: Leftovers can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave. 

Notes

When prepping the bell peppers, be sure to use as much of the flesh as possible to get the most out of them.

If using brown rice, you will need to change the cooking time to 35 minutes, instead of 20, and use the full 4 cups of liquids (plus more as needed).

For a flavor boost, add 1 teaspoon EACH garlic powder and onion powder. This is especially helpful if using water in place of vegetable broth.

Want juicy bits of tomatoes, feel free to add 1 can (14oz) of diced tomatoes with the juices when adding the crushed tomatoes.

Want to add okra, simply slice the okra and add it with the rice and tomatoes.

Can I use quinoa for a grain-free jambalaya? Yes, to make quinoa jambalaya cook as directed replacing the rice with rinsed quinoa, and using 3 cups of broth (adding more as needed). Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes, jambalaya will thicken upon cooling.

Nutritional information is calculated using 2 cans of red kidney beans, with the no oil option. If using 14 oz of store-bought plant-based sausages, you can expect the protein to increase to 25g per serving. Also, the fat will increase to 10g per serving. To calculate your own ingredients, use this Nutrition Calculator from Very Well Fit.

Web Story: https://simple-veganista.com/web-stories/vegan-jambalaya-story/

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20 Comments

  1. Looks really enticing, but I’m a bit concerned about the amount of carbs in this recipe. Could this work with cauliflower rice (or a blend of rice/cauliflower rice)?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Marc! You could try playing with the recipe by making it without the rice (omit rice and broth) or only using half the rice (reduce the rice and broth by half). Then stirring the cooked cauliflower rice into the vegan jambalaya once finished. I hope that helps! Enjoy :)

  2. This recipe came out great! I think next time I would reduce the smoked paprika to 1 tsp. But just perfect!

  3. Delicious, will make this over and over.

  4. I cook a lot and read so many recipes but this is the first comment I’ve ever bothered to post. This was absolutely delicious and loved by the entire family, only one of whom is vegan. Used impossible hot Italian sausage, one red pepper from the store and multiple green peppers from my garden, then cooked the vegetable mix a good ten minutes after until they were right in my opinion, and that was the extent of my customization. Everyone wants it to be part of the regular rotation. Great recipe

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad everyone enjoyed the recipe and you made it your own! Thanks so much for sharing, Martin! Cheers…

  5. Love this recipe! Any advice for cooking this in an instant pot with soaked red kidney beans?

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