A simply, yet mouthwatering 30-minute healthy jambalaya recipe with minimal ingredients including shrimp, pre-cooked sausage and rice, and spicy Cajun spices. It's got deep southern flavors and is comfort food at its best!
Why make this jambalaya recipe
This healthy jambalaya recipe is a delicious "jumbled" or "mixed up" stew that is so easy to make and is bursting with fantastic flavors! It is one of our family favorite recipes and tops the charts just as much as this healthy turkey sweet potato chili and Indian coconut curry chicken rice soup.
All of the ingredients in this Louisiana cuisine are simple to find, yet if you run out of Cajun spice you can easily make it at home with common ingredients using this Cajun shrimp seasoning recipe. Guess what else, it gets better since it is free of dairy and gluten, low fat and super simple to make!
Jambalaya: Healthy Ingredients
Authentic jambalaya consists of meat and vegetables mixed with rice and Cajun spices (you can also learn more here). Typically the meat is chicken or pork and always sausage. In some cases crayfish and shrimp are incorporated. Jambalaya vegetables are green bell peppers, onion, celery, chili and sometimes carrots, okra, tomatoes, and garlic are used then seasoned with Cajun seasoning, which makes this dish spicy!
Here is what you need for this healthy jambalaya:
- Shrimp – frozen that is already deveined and with shells and tails removed to keep the recipe easy.
- Sausage links – either lean, and natural with not nitrates added or use chicken sausage. To keep this simple, use sausage that is already cooked.
- Olive oil – for sautéing the vegetables
- White onion
- Green and red bell peppers
- 1 (14 ounce) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice or crushed tomatoes
- 1 dry bay leaf
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Cajun seasoning mix
- Optional to add an 8 ounce chicken breast that is cooked and shredded (although it is not used in this recipe in the images
- Cooked white or brown rice
- Salt and pepper
- Optional to garnish at the end with green onion or fresh chopped cilantro for a pop of color!
To keep this healthy jambalaya simple I suggest making the rice in advance and adding it in before serving. That way this popular French dish is on the table in as little as 20 minutes! But if you have the time, you can also add the rice without cooking it first. Directions for both are included in the printable recipe below.
How to make this healthy and easy jambalaya recipe
Follow along by the numbered pictures.
- First on medium-high heat the olive oil on the stove and add the vegetables.
- Sauté the vegetables for 6 minutes until soft, mixing frequently.
- Add to the pot the fire roasted tomatoes, broth, Cajun seasoning, pepper, salt, broth, bay leaf, sausage slices, and cooked rice.
- Stir together and heat for 4 minutes.
- Add the prepared uncooked shrimp and stir them in.
- Cover and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked and pink in color. Serve right away or continue to heat uncovered to release more juices and thicken the sauce, or stir in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken the jambalaya sauce.
A common question I have come across over the internet is how many calories does jambalaya have? My easy jambalaya uses minimal rice and no chicken, which cuts out some of the calories. This recipe makes about 16 cups, serving 8 people with 2 cups each with under 400 calories per serving (391 calories to be exact).
Frequently asked question
Bread is so good to eat dipped in any stew and you can use your favorite roll or loaf or search here to try some of my gluten-free breads to serve with it.
Serve this recipe with cornbread muffins as they are fabulously slightly sweet which compliments the spiciness of jambalaya.
Serve a refreshing side salad with it for a lighter flare.
A mango cocktail is sweet to tame down some of the heat.
For a dish lower in carbohydrates (and Paleo-friendly), substitute 4 cups of cooked rice for 6 cups of cauliflower rice. You do not need to cook the cauliflower rice first, just add it and simmer for 10 minutes before serving to allow the cauliflower to soften and absorb the flavors.
If you want to use uncooked rice add 1 ¼ cup of uncooked rice grains while you add the broth and other ingredients. Increase the broth from 2 cups to 3 cups. Heat on medium heat covered for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Then add the shrimp and heat for an additional 10 minutes.
Shrimp and sausage jambalaya will last in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
More healthy shrimp and sausage recipes
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Healthy Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers stem and seeds removed, diced
- 1 green bell pepper stem and seeds removed, diced
- 1 white onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups broth chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 bay leaf dry
- 4 cups cooked long grain rice white or brown
- 1 lb. shrimp de-veined with shells and tail taken off (I use frozen and thawed)
- 1 lb. sausage cut into thinly sliced coins (can use chicken sausage)
- pink salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot, on medium-high heat the oil and add the red peppers, green peppers, onion, garlic and celery. Saute the vegetables for 6 minutes until soft, mixing frequently.
- Add to the pot the fire roasted tomatoes, broth, Cajun seasoning, pepper, salt, broth, bay leaf, sausage slices, and cooked rice. Stir together and heat for 4 minutes.
- Add the prepared uncooked shrimp and stir them in. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked and pink in color. Serve right away or continue to heat uncovered to release more juices and thicken the sauce (see notes below on thickening the sauce). Season with salt to taste.