Healthy jambalaya? You bet! Low Carb Jambalaya with Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage is a healthful and nutritious twist on the New Orleans classic that’s made with cauliflower “rice.”
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
As with most people, my clients often want healthier alternatives to their favorite dishes. I’ve been making this jambalaya recipe with conventional rice for clients for 20 years and it’s always a hit! I recently began making this healthy jambalaya with cauliflower rice and now it’s a hit, too!
This low-carb healthy jambalaya recipe has all the flavor-packed ingredients you love about this New Orleans classic: Chicken, Shrimp, Andouille sausage and vegetables.
Cauliflower contains a lot of water and because of that, a common problem with “riced” cauliflower is that it can turn soggy quickly. In this cauliflower jambalaya, the riced cauliflower is roasted separately in the oven so that the sogginess issue is avoided. The dry heat of the oven dries out the cauliflower so that you end up with separate, flavorful “grains.”
Once prepped, the cauliflower jambalaya comes together quickly. While the chicken cooks in the oven, saute the vegetables and roast the cauliflower pearls.
You’ll be saying laissez le bon temps rouler with Low-Carb Jambalaya with Chicken Shrimp and Sausage!
Let’s make it!
How to Make Low-Carb Jambalaya:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this cauliflower rice jambalaya recipe along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.
- Chicken Breasts: Cheap chicken scares me so I always purchase good natural, antibiotic and/or organic chicken. I use breasts in this recipe but chicken thighs will also work.
- Andouille Sausage: Andouille sausage is a pork sausage that originated in France. In the United States, particularly the Cajun version, andouille sausage is highly spiced and generally undergoes two rounds of smoking. The meat to be used as the filling is smoked, and then the finished sausages are smoked again. I like Johnsonville because the casing is fairly soft or Aidell’s.
- Shrimp: I always buy wild-caught American shrimp.
- Cajun Seasoning: Cajun seasoning often has a variety of ground pepper such as white, black and cayenne along with paprika, onion, celery and garlic. Cajun seasoning should not to be confused with Creole seasoning which is milder and an herbal medley consisting of oregano, bay leaf, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and paprika.
- Riced Cauliflower: If not hand-chopping the cauliflower, opt for packaged cauliflower “rice” (also known as “pearls”) if at all possible.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a nonstick baking sheet or line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Bake until cooked through to 165 degrees.
- When cool to the touch, cut the chicken into ½-inch pieces and toss with the juices on the baking sheet.
- Place cauliflower pearls on a nonstick baking sheet (or line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, black pepper and Cajun seasoning. Toss so that seasonings are evenly distributed. Bake for 15 minutes alongside the chicken.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet, saute pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the celery and red bell pepper and continue cooking for another 7 to 8 minutes or until very soft. Keep heat at medium.
- Add the garlic, paprika, remaining Cajun seasoning and Andouille sausage. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and shrimp and cook, stirring often until the shrimp is cooked.
- Add the chicken and cauliflower to the pan and heat through.
- Adjust seasonings and add Tabasco sauce to taste.
- Add half the parsley.
- Transfer to a serving platter if desired and garnish with remaining parsley.
- That’s it! A healthy jambalaya that’s also low carb!
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- Once prepped, the cauliflower jambalaya comes together quickly. While the chicken cooks in the oven, saute the vegetables and roast the cauliflower pearls.
- To evenly distribute seasonings when roasting/baking off chicken for a recipe, drizzle some oil on the baking sheet and then add the salt, pepper and other seasonings to the oil–not directly onto the chicken. Give it a quick stir. Besides being able to evenly distribute the seasonings on the chicken this allows you an opportunity to taste the seasoning to see if it needs to be adjusted. Place the chicken top-side down first then flip with your hand or tongs and bake.
- After cutting the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, toss the pieces with the juices and spices that remain on the baking sheet. The juices add flavor and keep the chicken pieces from drying out.
Tips for making cauliflower rice:
I’ve made cauliflower “rice” and cauliflower “mashed potatoes” for clients A LOT. Here’s what I know for sure about cooking cauliflower rice for recipes like this low-carb jambalaya recipe. I’ve got more information at How to Cook Riced Cauliflower in the Oven.
- As mentioned above, if you’re not hand-chopping the cauliflower, opt for packaged cauliflower “rice” (also known as “pearls”) if at all possible.
- If you process cauliflower florets in a food processor, it’s difficult to get them uniform and you run the risk of over-processing them. Cauliflower has a lot of water in it which can turn your “rice” into a mushy mess in no time. A bag is not that much more expensive than a whole head; save heads for roasting, salads, soups, etc.
- Hand-grating the cauliflower is going to give you a better result but it’s tedious.
- Cauliflower “rice” is best cooked in the oven. This discovery was life-changing! The dry heat of the oven dries out the cauliflower so that you end up with separate “grains.”
Frequently Asked Questions:
Jambalaya is a Creole and Cajun rice dish with French, African and Spanish influences. The origin is unclear but may have evolved from an attempt by Spanish immigrants to make paella without saffron which wasn’t available in the New World. Jambalaya is traditionally made with available ingredients that may or may not include tomatoes but usually always has some type of seafood, sausage and/or poultry.
To reheat low-carb jambalaya, place in an oven-safe baking dish and reheat at 350 degrees until heated through.
Yes! Cool completely then place in an airtight container. Freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or slowly in the microwave then reheat in a 350-degree oven until heated through.
Sides to Serve with Healthy Jambalaya:
- Easy Braised Southern Greens
- Cider Vinegar Braised Cabbage Wedges
- Skillet Charred Green Beans with Goat Cheese Chipotle Butter
- Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Mustard Vinaigrette
- Massaged Kale Antipasto Salad
More cauliflower recipes for a low-carb lifestyle:
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Low Carb Jambalaya with Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil - or as needed, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning - preferably salt-free, divided
- 1 bag (16-ounce) cauliflower "pearls" (also called riced cauliflower) - or 1 large head cauliflower, grated
- 1 large onion - finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery - chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper - chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
- 1 package (14-ounce) Andouille sausage - sliced
- 1 can (15-ounce) petite diced tomatoes - undrained
- ½ pound large shrimp - peeled and deveined
- Tabasco sauce - to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley - divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season evenly with salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning. Bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until cooked through to 165 degrees.
- Place cauliflower on a nonstick baking sheet (or line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper). Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt, black pepper and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Toss so that seasonings are evenly distributed. Roast for 15 minutes alongside the chicken.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 4 – 5 minutes. Add the celery and red bell pepper and continue cooking another 7 – 8 minutes or until very soft. Keep heat at medium.
- Add the garlic, paprika, remaining Cajun seasoning Andouille sausage and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and shrimp and cook, stirring often until shrimp is cooked through and translucent.
- Cut the chicken into ½-inch pieces and toss with any juices on the baking pan. Add the chicken to the pan along with cauliflower and heat through. Adjust seasonings and add Tabasco sauce to taste.
- Add half the parsley. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with remaining parsley.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.