The Joy of Jambalaya

I've been slowly but surely trying to replicate all my omni husband's favorite recipes to vegan versions, and I finally got around to getting a veggie replacement for his beloved jambalaya.

I was surprised at how simple this dish actually is once you get past the vegetable chopping. Basically, toss it all in a pot and let it simmer. You should go from start to serving in about 45 minutes, depending on how fast you dice. I'm a slow chopper who tends to eat while I chop, so dinner takes forever when I'm cooking.

Be forewarned, this may or may not be some historical or authentically Cajun recipe for jambalaya. I have no idea. I just love the flavor so that's good enough for me. If it's not "real", feel free to leave a comment but I'm not changing it.

My lovely vegan jambalaya in a pretty blue bowl.

Vegan Jambalaya Recipe

Like my famous chili, this is another one of those recipes that you can be pretty flexible with. Feel free to adapt the specific veggies to what you have on hand.
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pkg extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 sweet green pepper, diced
  • 1 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (I used canned)
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs cumin, ground
  • 2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbs cayenne hot sauce (or to taste for heat)
  • 2 cups long grain rice

You can use vegan sausage products in place of the tofu (about 2 cups worth, cubed up), but since I can't find any gluten-free versions, I stick with tofu. Tofu makes me happy.

First, get all your veggies and stuff chopped up and ready to go.

In the bottom of a big stock pot, heat up some oil, and saute the onion and garlic until it gets tender. Add the tofu for a few minutes to brown it, then in goes all the other vegetables, tomatoes and vegetable stock. Give it a good stirring, and then mix in the spices and the rice. Bring the whole thing up to a hard boil for a minute, then drop the heat down to get it simmering.

Let it simmer until the rice is cooked (most of the liquid will be absorbed). Keep an eye on it though, if it gets dry add more stock or water. It should be cooked in about 20 minutes. Ready to go!

This makes a pretty big batch of vegan jambalaya, serving around 6 to 8 people or more. It heats up lovely for leftovers, in case you like jambalaya for breakfast like I do.

We don't like spicy food in our house (OK, I don't like spicy food and I make everyone live by my rules. Same thing), so I don't use any cayenne in our jambalaya. I can't really say if 2 tablespoons is a lot or not enough spicy. Take care when you make this so you don't over heat. Or under heat.

Oh, and if you're wondering, my omni-hub thought it was delicious. Have I converted him completely from his chicken/sausage version? Only time will tell.


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