Healthier Jumbalaya

This healthier jumbalaya is perfect for celebrating Mardi Gras without the guilt.

Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone! For those who may not know, today is Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), which marks the end of the “Carnival” season, and the beginning of Lent. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and since I am a practicing Catholic, my family and I will have to give up meat tomorrow and every Friday for the remainder of the Lent season.  Today marks sort of the “last hurrah” before the penance and sacrifice that comes with Lent.

In honor of Mardi Gras, I thought I would make a Cajun classic: jumbalaya. Jumbalaya originated in southern Louisiana and being that my father is from there, I’ve had a few classic Cajun dishes in my 23 years. This is my first time making it on my own, however, and it came out great. Additionally, I added my own touch by ‘healthifying’ it. The whole grain brown rice, chicken andouille sausage, shrimp and white kidney beans definitely cut down on the fat and calories of the traditional mixture. I am NOT a fan of spicy food so I didn’t add any spice, you can add what you like!

Healthy Jumbalaya


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup whole grain brown rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes (or you can use fresh!)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bag medium frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 15 oz can white kidney beans
  • 2 Johnsonville chicken andouille sausage links


  1. Heat oil in large dutch oven or pot on medium heat.
  2. Add onions and saute until softened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add another drizzle of oil, celery, bell pepper, rice, bay leaves, garlic powder, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Stir and combine well.
  4. Add chicken broth. Stir and cover.
  5. When it begins to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and let it sit for about twenty minutes.
  6. When rice is soft and ready, add sausage and shrimp. Cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Serve with chopped parsley as a garnish.



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Healthier Jumbalaya

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