You are going to love this recipe for Healthy Jambalaya! It’s made with cauliflower rice, Creole seasonings, and smoked sausage for a hearty, flavor-packed meal that’s good for you.
Jambalaya originated in southern Louisiana and is a household staple recipe made with rice, sausage, an assortment of seafood, chicken, and seasonings. Everything is cooked in a single skillet, and there’s usually enough to feed a small army.
The traditional dish is pure soul food, and I am showing you how to turn it into a low-carb recipe with all the original New Orleans flavors.
Is Jambalaya Healthy
Jambalaya is a very wholesome, stick-to-your-ribs type of meal, but to make it lighter, we replace regular rice with cauliflower rice and swap pork sausage for smoked chicken sausage.
Cauliflower rice does a fantastic job of soaking up the flavor and spices from the sausage and tomatoes to make every bite even more delicious.
If you aren’t on the cauliflower rice bandwagon yet, get ready because this dish is gonna change your mind! It soaks up the flavor of any recipe and is a tasty, low carb swap for regular rice. I’ve used it to make Chicken Burrito Bowls, Egg Roll in Bowl, Shrimp Fried Rice, and the kids have no problem cleaning their plates or asking for seconds.
Healthy Jambalaya Ingredients
Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make low-carb jambalaya:
- Chicken breasts: you can also use chicken thighs for more flavor. Whatever cut you go with, make sure it’s boneless and skinless.
- Creole seasoning: a blend of spices and herbs popular in New Orleans cuisine.
- Coconut oil: to sauté the chicken and veggies. Olive and avocado oil will also work!
- Smoked sausage: use andouille or any of your favorite smoked varieties like Kielbasa.
- Bell peppers: green, red, yellow, or orange- it’s your choice!
- Onion: soak up all the spices as they cook and add delicious flavor to the jambalaya.
- Stewed tomatoes: have more flavor and seasoning than regular diced tomatoes.
- Cauliflower rice: use fresh or frozen; make sure to thaw and strain the frozen cauliflower before adding it to the jambalaya.
Pre-packaged cauliflower rice saves time, but I find that one head of cauliflower yields a lot more for the same price. If you’d like to make your own, I have a helpful post and a video on making cauliflower rice.
How to Make Healthy Low-Carb Jambalaya
Are you ready to make this low-carb jambalaya? It’s so easy, let me show you how:
- Prep the chicken
In a medium bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the Creole spices.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned. Add the veggies and cook until tender.
- Stir it all together
Stir in the tomatoes and cauliflower rice. Cover the skillet with the lid and cook until the cauliflower rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Remove from the heat and serve.
You can also watch the video below to see how this recipe is made.
Backstory: authentic jambalaya takes about an hour to make because the rice slow simmers in the tomato sauce, so it gets a nice coat of tomatoey, spicy flavor and everything holds together. It. Is. Amazing!
But cauliflower rice absorbs the tomato juice and other flavors MUCH quicker, so you get to eat sooner, like 40 minutes sooner. High-five!
How to Get Authentic Cajun Jambalaya Flavor
One of the main ingredients in Jambalaya is Creole seasoning. It’s a blend of spices and herbs used to season grilled meats, fish, fish tacos, pasta dishes, and all things delicious.
You can consider it the currency of Louisiana. Unfortunately, this fairy gold dust isn’t found everywhere, and while you can order it off Amazon, you will find my recipe below to make it on your own.
It will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 months IF you don’t use it all before then.
Healthy Jambalaya Variations
You could swap out the chicken breasts for chicken thighs or shrimp and still enjoy a healthy jambalaya with authentic flavors. If using shrimp, add them with the cauliflower rice and tomatoes and cook until the shrimp are opaque.
Andouille sausage or your favorite smoked sausage would also make a delicious swap for the chicken sausage. Use equal amounts of your choice of sausage and cook as the recipe directs.
Is Cauliflower Rice Jambalaya Whole30 and Paleo
This jambalaya recipe is perfect for anyone doing a whole30 or paleo lifestyle. It’s grain-free, high in protein, and a hit with both kids and adults!
You can find more tasty recipes like this one in my Family Kickstart Program, a clean eating meal plan for families. The delicious recipes, weekly prep guide, and shopping lists help parents stay organized and prepare fresh meals, so everyone eats better all week long.
Check out everything the Family Kickstart Program has to offer.
Eat Better as a Family
Have you tried eating healthy but your family won’t eat the same foods you’re making?
Learn how many parents are eating healthier meals together with the Family KickStart Program.
Healthy Jambalaya Calories
Each serving of this healthy jambalaya has 312 calories with 12 grams of fat, 30 grams of protein, and only 17 grams of net carbs. It’s a balanced dish that offers a lot of protein, veggies, and delicious New Orleans flavors.
Can Jambalaya Be Made Ahead?
This recipe can be and should be made ahead because Jambalaya tastes better the longer it sits. This gives it a chance for the flavors to meld together and everything to soak up the spices.
What To Serve with Paleo Jambalaya
Curious about what else to serve with this Jambalaya? I’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find some more New Orleans recipes as well as a few paleo-focused side dishes that would compliment the flavors of this jambalaya:
Healthy Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- 2 chicken breasts, diced
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- 1 tablespoon oil, for cooking
- 8 ounces lean sausage, sliced
- 2 medium bell peppers, sliced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cans petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 4 cups cauliflower rice
- Pat dry the chicken breasts on a cutting board and dice them into 1-inch pieces.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chicken and seasoning and gently toss to combine.
- In a large skillet, set over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the seasoned chicken and sausage. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown. Add the bell peppers and red onion. Cook for 2 additional minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the drained tomatoes, breaking up any large pieces with a spoon. Stir in the cauliflower rice.
- Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink and the cauliflower rice has absorbed all liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.