Vegetarian Jambalaya

previous post: Recipes with Fruits Event Roundup and Winners of Giveaway | next post: Paneer Makhani/ Butter Paneer Masala: A guest for Feeding Big and More

I love New Orleans, beautiful Jazz music is everywhere. I have been to New Orleans two times, the first time before Hurricane Katrina, and the second time after Katrina.  Yes I found lots of differences after that natural disaster. The first time when I visited it was full of hush and bush,  Jazz music was everywhere, it was really fun to walk around the river walk, French quarter etc. However after Katrina, when I went, shops on the river walk were closing at 6 PM and nobody there in the street by dusk. It was   in 2007 that I last visited, and I don’t know about now. May be one day I will visit New Orleans again, perhaps I would get a chance  to visit during the Mardi Gras festival.
Muddy Mississippi river is flowing as it was before, she doesn’t know anything that the happened to the city.  French quarter is active in the night, and both times I went for conference and stayed at the same hotel.  I had fun there. My hubby always tells me you visited New Orleans, and I didn’t, you did not take me along. I always tell, that is all for research conference, if you want we can visit now. We are still debating on it when to visit.
New Orleans has lots of history just like any other state. It has lots of influence from the French and that can be seen in its cuisine. I still miss beignets square-shaped fried pastries that could be called “French doughnuts” served with café au lait (which has blend of coffee chicory just like our south Indian filter coffee, but without milk)  and the  Po’ boy  bread  and Italian Muffuletta sandwiches.
If you are a sea food lover there are the fried oysters, boiled crawfish, and other seafood; étouffée, jambalaya, gumbo, and other Creole dishes. Don’t think that New Orleans has no dessert in it cuisine, one of the famous one is Praline a candy made with brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream, butter, and pecans. The city also has notable street food] including the Asian inspired beef Yaka mein.
As an ode to love of that city I made this Vegetarian Jambalaya. Jambalaya originated in southern Louisiana by the Cajuns around the bayou where food was scarce, as opposed to the richer part of Louisiana.  The word is a combined from Jambon from the French meaning ham, and Aya meaning rice in African, as there were many slaves in Louisiana at the time.
Other belief is that it is a variation of Spanish paella, as it incorporate, vegetables, meat and sea food. City of Gonzales, Louisiana is considered to be the capital of Jambalaya and they even conduct Jambalaya Contest every year.  Read more from here
Jambalaya is of two kinds, most famous one is Creole jambalaya and other is Cajun Version. In the first version, meat is added along with trinity (combo of celery, green peppers and onion) sauteed in oil and then vegetables and tomatoes are added and cooked followed by the addition of stock and rice and Creole seasoning with infrequent stirring.
The second version, which is more characteristic of southwestern and south-central Louisiana, is Cajun jambalaya, and it doesn’t contain any tomatoes. First meat is browned in the pot, followed by the addition of trinity and sautéed until soft. Then it is cooked with rice and stock seasoning.  Cajun version is brown in color due to browning of meat, where as Creole version is red in color due to use of tomato.
 Since I didn’t use any seafood or meat, I used vegetarian sausage and add vegetables to make a vegetarian version of Jambalaya. I was not comfortable of adding rice without washing, because of Indian tradition; I washed the rice and cooked with trinity, vegetables, rice and homemade vegetable stock. Even though I am not a fan of celery, I added it in this Jambalaya to make it as traditional as possible. My recipe was from  here  and here .

 I made my version vegetarian jambalaya like this.

 Once you cut the veggies, half of your work is done.

It was a delicious one pot meal.  The entire family enjoyed it. Try it for yourself to do taste test, even though you might be far away from New Orleans.

Print recipe from here
Vegetarian Jambalaya
Recipe adapted from here  and here

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time:  40 minutes
Yield: 4 -5 serving


  • 11/2 cup  onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1  cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup carrots chopped
  • 1/2 cup  beans
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth ( I used homemade one)
  • 6 mock sausage such as Morningstar Farms
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt or to taste


In a large bowl, mix tomato paste with vegetable broth until smooth and set aside.
In a large pot, saute onion, celery and green pepper and garlic until slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
Then add mocked sausage,orange bell pepper, carrots, then add chopped tomato and  green beans.

Add uncooked rice and allow rice to toast for one minute, stirring. Add tomato and broth mixture. To this add spices and salt.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are fully cooked and rice is soft.
If you want you can serve with hot sauce, Enjoy
I am linking this to  My Favorite Recipes  Event; Mela/ Carnival food guest  hosted by Merry Tummy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

If you like this post,


  1. says

    The first half is cutting the veggies, the next half is the simmering in the pot.. you would need keep a watchful eye to ensure it turns out perfect ! As yours has. Interesting vegetarian twist.

  2. says

    This is just packed with good things Swathi making it very tasty! It would be a great comfort here – it’s still so cold. I would love to go to New Orleans too during Mardi Gras.