You’ve heard the song. You know, the joyful Hank Williams Sr. rave-up that dozens of artists have recorded. But what exactly is jambalaya?
The word “jambalaya” comes from the Provençal word jambalaia, meaning a “mish mash” or “mixup.” In culinary terms, I’d say this is pretty accurate. While there are necessary ingredients—celery, onions, peppers and rice—jambalaya is a meal-in-a-pot with grain, veggies, and traditionally, meat.
Of course, this blog focuses on meatless Monday meals. So I went about looking for a good vegan jambalaya recipe to share. I found lots of different takes on the traditional dish. This tells me that outside of a few essential ingredients, there’s a lot of latitude in making jambalaya. What follows is a mish mash of a number of recipes I found online.
A few tips: I was cautious with the spicing. Neither my partner nor I like to eat food that’s excessively spicy. Feel free to add 1/2 teaspoon or more of cayenne pepper, and double the amount of sriracha.
I chopped all the veggies and Field Roast, and mixed together all the spices ahead of time. I like to do this when I know that my time in the evening is going to be short. It makes putting the meal together so much simpler. Don’t let the ingredient list scare you. This dish actually comes together pretty quickly, especially if you do some prep work in advance.
This recipe makes a LOT of jambalaya. My partner and I ate healthy portions last evening and I suspect we there are at least two more meals in what’s left. You can easily cut this in half if you don’t want a lot of leftovers.
The good news is this is a good stand-alone dish. I did serve it with roasted romanesco on the side. Despite what the song says, you need not accompany it with crawfish pie and file gumbo!
Meatless Monday: Vegan Jambalaya
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, any color, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, any color, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large or 2 small stalks celery, sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms (I used shiitakes, but you can use any type you like.)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups long-grain brown or white rice
- 1 quart veggie stock
- 1-1/2 cups kidney beans (1 15-ounce can)
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sriracha (more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons shoyu
- 1 package Field Roast or other vegan sausage (optional)
- 2-3 tablespoons oil for sautéing Field Roast (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- cilantro, green onions, parsley (optional garnishes)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the garlic from burning.
- Add the oregano, basil, thyme, paprika, smoked paprika, bay leaves, celery and bell pepper. Cook a few more minutes, until the veggies start to soften.
- Add the mushrooms and cook another few minutes, until they’ve shrunk a little.
- Add the stock, rice, tomatoes, sriracha and shoyu. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. If you’re using white rice, this will take about 20 minutes. If you’re using brown rice, it will take 40-45 minutes.
- (If you’re not going to use vegan sausage, skip this step.) While the jambalaya is simmering, cut the sausage into 1/4-inch slices. Sauté the slices oil in a wide skillet until browned. Turn them over to brown the other side. Add to the rice mixture when the rice is cooked.
- When the rice is done, taste for salt. Serve with garnishes.