Healthy Home-Style Jambalaya Recipe

Sweat logo

May 31, 2019

Healthy Home-Style Jambalaya Recipe - Hero image

Have you tried Jambalaya? If you haven’t, you might be about to discover a delicious new comfort food! If you don’t know what Jambalaya is, it’s basically a chunky stew made from white rice, meat, seafood, and vegetables all cooked together.

We've made this version healthier by opting for lean meat like chicken, rather than highly processed deli meats like sausage or chorizo. To create a more nutrient-dense meal we have used whole grain brown rice instead of white rice. This stew is a great one-pan-recipe because it is really filling. It’s traditionally served with cornbread but also pairs well with a fresh loaf of crusty bread. 

This recipe is a Creole-based version of Jambalaya with Spanish influence, very similar to paella. You can make this easy stew a day ahead of when you plan to use it. 

Healthy Home-Style Jambalaya Recipe - Picture Panel 2 - Desktop

Spicy Jambalaya Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 50 mins

Total time: 60 mins

Serves: 4

Dietary Preferences: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free


  • oil spray

  • 300g chicken breast, cubed

  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning

  • 1 tsp cayenne powder (optional)

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • ½ small brown onion, finely diced

  • ½ medium red capsicum (bell pepper), diced

  • ½ medium yellow capsicum (bell pepper), diced

  • 1 celery stalk, halved lengthways and sliced

  • 400g tinned crushed tomatoes,

  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

  • 100g (½ cup) brown rice

  • 250ml (1 cup) chicken or vegetable stock

  • 20 medium raw prawns (shrimp), deveined, tails intact

  • 1 small lemon, quartered, to serve

  • chopped parsley, to garnish

  • spring onions, sliced, to garnish


1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and spray lightly with oil spray. Add the chicken, 1 tsp of the Cajun seasoning and ½ tsp of cayenne powder, if using, and cook for 5 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Reheat the pot over medium-high heat and spray lightly with oil spray. Add the onion, red capsicum, yellow capsicum and celery and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, remaining Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper, if using, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently.

Healthy Home-Style Jambalaya Recipe - Picture Panel 3 - Desktop

3. Add the tinned tomatoes, cooked chicken, uncooked rice, chicken stock, and 250ml water and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 35-45 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has reduced, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the prawns and simmer, covered, for another 2-3 minutes or until the prawns change colour, stirring occasionally.

5. To serve, ladle the Jambalaya into serving bowls, squeeze quartered lemons over, to taste and garnish with parsley and spring onions. Enjoy!

Healthy Home-Style Jambalaya Recipe - Picture Panel 4 - Desktop

This recipe is very spicy! The Cajun spice and cayenne pepper are what make this dish quite hot. If you want to reduce the heat, try halving the amount of Cajun seasoning to 1 tsp and ½ tsp of cayenne pepper - or simply leave out the optional cayenne pepper. Cajun spice already has a little cayenne pepper in its mix, so if you find that the stew is still too spicy or hot, replace the Cajun with a teaspoon of paprika. 

If you love spicy food and you want to increase the spiciness, try adding Tabasco or another hot sauce for extra heat. You can make a vegetarian version of Jambalaya by substituting the chicken for tofu, or if you’re looking for a vegan option, try this Vegan Red Curry Recipe.  

What foods go well with Jambalaya?

A side dish like a green garden salad or steamed green beans, spinach or collard greens can add freshness and extra vegetables to your meal. If you are looking for a healthy dessert to have after your Jambalaya, Dreamy Peaches and Vanilla Nice Cream provides a light, fresh contrast to the heavier stew. 

Unlock hundreds of recipes in the Sweat app

And fuel yourself forward

Try this Jambalaya recipe your way!

Jambalaya is a recipe that is really adaptable and easy to make to suit any taste. It’s an ideal recipe to make when you have friends and family over or you want to have leftovers to use over the next few days. 

Is there a recipe you’d like us to make a healthy version of? Let us know in the comments! 

Sweat logo

A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


Recommended Stories

We have a feeling you’re going to love Sweat

That's why the first week is on us.