It’s Jambalaya Tiiiime!
Rice lovers everywhere… meet your favorite new rice dish — Jambalaya! Jamba what? Not to be confused with Jumanji the film about the magical board game, jambalaya is a cajun classic one-pot dish with Spanish and French influence. It has more flavor then you’ll know what to do with thanks to umami rich tomatoes, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and dried herbs. With the deep smokey flavor and bold flavor, this rice and vegetables dish make a fabulous base for adding chicken, sausage, seafood, or as in this vegetarian version, kidney beans.
An authentic jambalaya always contains rice, a mixture of spices, and vegetables like onion and celery to add more aroma; plus some kind of meat and/or seafood.
In this DELICIOUS vegetable Jambalaya, we’ve got:
- onions, carrots, celery, sweet red pepper, garlic + olive oil to kick things off
- organic canned tomatoes + wine + broth + spices to deepen the flavor
- short-grain brown rice cause what’s a jambalaya without rice? And brown rice cause its nutty, delicious and oh-so-good for you!
- Mix in a can of your favorite beans plus some fresh parsley and serve it up topped with more fresh herbs or chopped green onions — or both and dig in!
This Louisiana-style rice dish is something I have been making for years. I sometimes make it with a mix of hot and sweet paprika instead of smoked paprika, or just sweet paprika and cayenne in a seafood version with prawns, swordfish and monkfish. But in the end I tend to gravitate towards a jambalaya with the delicious woodsy, smokey flavor of smoked paprika. This is my favorite for a creating a full-flavored vegetarian dish.
Despite what looks to be a long list of ingredients, this is actually relatively quick meal to pull together–other than some chopping there is really no work to be done. Though, if you’re looking to for something speedier, use white rice. BUT trust me, you’re going to love the nutty taste of short-grain brown rice. It’s my favorite!
This recipe makes 4 meal-size servings. If serving for 6 people, then serve it with some crusty french bread, a nice crisp green salad, and…a glass of your favorite wine. :)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 small yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 x 400 g can organic diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- a few good grinds of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup short-grain brown rice (200 g)
- 550 ml chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 x 400 g can organic kidney beans (or mixed beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 small bunch chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus some reserved for garnish
- Green onion finely sliced, to garnish (optional)
Using a large deep-bottomed skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, Sauté the onion, carrot, celery and red pepper for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, diced tomatoes and spices. Cook, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the wine and, cook 1-2 minute, stirring, until reduced slightly. Stir in the rice and broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and gently simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
Taste and season with more salt, if desired.
Stir in beans, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes more, until the beans are warmed through. Add the parsley and stir in.
Ladle the jambalaya into serving bowls and garnish with chopped green onion and more parsley. Enjoy!
- I like to use chicken broth for this recipe as I find it more flavorful, of course if you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet, use vegetable broth or combination of vegetable broth and water.
- The leaves from the celery can also be added to the jambalaya or use them as a garnish before serving. The fresh parsley can also be added at the same time as the beans, but in winter I like to add it to the dish just before serving as it adds some fresh, light flavors to the dish. As you will!
Helpful in the kitchen:
I am simply in love with my “schmorpfanne” from KitchenAid, sadly it is no longer available, but this is similar to what I use for these types of recipes.
Short-grain rice can be found at organic food stores.
Smoked paprika can be found is larger supermarkets or online. I use regular mild smoked paprika, but it also comes in hot for anyone who loves spicy.
If you make this Vegetable Jambalaya recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Be sure to rate it and leave a comment below to let me know! Especially if you have tips for other readers. Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @ellerepublic and don’t foget to hashtag #ellerepublic so I don’t miss it!
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