No two jambalayas are built the same, but they’re always delicious. Usually, the highly seasoned Creole recipe is a hodgepodge of whatever tasty ingredients you have on hand: Think seafood mixed with some sausage, veggies, poultry, or all of the above. If you need a little motivation to get your jambalaya recipe ready, here’s a list of our favorites. They stand by their Southern roots in unique ways but have one thing in common: They’re way healthier.
Tender strands of squash are the perfect stand-in for a carb-heavy craving. For protein, the recipe calls for chicken andouille sausage and shrimp along with a slew of delicious veggies. For that Creole taste, you’ll need Cajun seasoning and Worcestershire sauce.
If you’re looking for a cheap protein to fill up on, look no further than blacked-eyed peas. The good ol’ Southern favorite is in the bean family and hearty enough that you won’t miss the meat here. The rest of your plant-based (and colorful) jambalaya is packed with veggies like sweet onion, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, and okra.
Tempeh, or fermented soy beans, is all the hype these days as a mainstay in vegan and vegetarian diets. In this recipe that calls for all the classic jambalaya vegetables (onion, celery, bell peppers, tomato), seasonings, and high-in-protein quinoa, the trendy meat replacement brings something new to the saucepan. Think: a slightly nutty flavor and dense texture. Oh yes.
This 15 minute-prep recipe is a one-stop-pot—you’ll be throwing all those delicious Southern ingredients into one place like you would a soup. Inside will be long grain brown rice, Cajun seasonings, hearty legumes to stand-in for meat, and leafy collard greens.
Get ready to fry up onions, sweet potato, parsnips, and carrots in a bit of coconut oil to kick off this jambalaya. This recipe brings its own flair by adding jalapeños and okra on top of the sweet potato and carrots. Pro tip: Okra can be a great add-in, but don’t overcook it unless you want a slimy vegetable on your hands.
Keto and Whole30 eaters can get their hands on traditional jambalaya without breaking any rules. This Creole recipe is made with sausage and shrimp all over cauliflower rice. You’ll still be adding the authentic Cajun “holy trinity” (onions, bell peppers, and celery) with broth, tomatoes, and Cajun seasoning.
We love this 30-minute jambalaya because it requires minimal tending to for a speedy weeknight meal. You’ll be throwing all ingredients—except the Worcestershire and hot sauce, that’s for the end—into a heavy skillet. Then you’ll let it cook up for 20 minutes or until your quinoa is looking nice and fluffy. Gluten-free folks can add this to their cooking rotation too.
Farro is just what we need in a dish when we are sick of quinoa and rice. To jazz up the farro in this recipe, pile on the hot Italian sausage, pinto beans, prawns, and cilantro. And get spicy with some red Thai chili peppers for ample flavoring.
Once you start cooking with butternut squash, it’s pretty tough to stop. The rich flesh is wildly easy to cook, it’s naturally sweet and goes perfectly with all the savory goodness in a typical jambalaya. Even the meat-eaters at the table will be singing your praises.