Healthy Jambalaya Recipe

This healthy jambalaya recipe is a wonderfully cleaned-up version of this southern favorite.

I looked at many, many Jambalaya recipes before I finally formulated this one. What I found was that everyone and their mother has their own version of this dish. There really is no “typical” way of making Jambalaya. It’s one of those “one-pot wonders” that seems to turn out great no matter what you throw into it.

A close up shot of this Clean Eating Jambalaya in a white bowl. You see a bit of the meat and a lot of the rice.

What I also found out, was that most people who eat Jambalaya or grew up with it, have a very strong opinion about how it should be prepared. If it’s not made the way they are used to, then it’s just not good Jambalaya.

So I think you can understand the pressure I was under with this recipe and why I did so much research! One of the things I was concerned about was substituting brown rice for the typical white.  White rice imparts a much different flavor from brown rice. So I knew this dish had to be packed with some hefty flavor in order to compete.

Now I’m not claiming that this Jambalaya is better tasting than your mother’s, your sisters, or your second cousin on your father’s uncle’s side. But I am going to say that it’s a recipe I’m rather proud to share with you.

It’s the first time I’ve ever made Jambalaya (or eaten it for that matter – California girl, remember?), and I can now understand what all the fuss is about.

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Healthy Jambalaya Recipe Card

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry

Adapted from a recipe from AllRecipes which is no longer on their site.

Clean Eating Jambalaya Recipe

Healthy Jambalaya

This delicious southern classic gets a whole-food upgrade!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 14 servings
Calories: 488kcal


  • 2 lb. clean sausage (sliced – you can sub with shrimp or extra chicken if you can’t find clean sausage)
  • 2 lb. chicken breast (raw – cut into small pieces about 1/2 inch cubed)
  • 4 cups red onions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (chopped)
  • 3 cups green bell peppers (chopped)
  • 3 cups red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 3 cups celery stalks (sliced thin)
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3 cups brown rice (dry)
  • 3 cups chicken broth ( low sodium is best – keep some extra on reserve just in case you need extra during cooking.)


  • In a large pot, sauté the onions, bell peppers and celery in the olive oil.
  • Add the chicken and sausage to the pot and cook for about 3-5 minutes, just to give it a head start.
  • Add everything else, and cook over medium heat until the rice is cooked through (about an hour, give or take). Watch the post as time goes on. You may need to add some extra broth if things get too dry. Stir often to avoid burning on the bottom of the pot.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 856mg | Potassium: 937mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1480IU | Vitamin C: 78mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3.5mg

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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  1. Desiree Drake says:

    This was a really good recipe! I’m not sure why, but I used 6 cups of broth because it kept getting too dry.
    The flavors are spot on though, I added quite a bit of hot sauce and some oregano and Worcestershire, While I cooked the rice in the veggies, I added all the spices to the raw chicken and shrimp and marinated it a bit. Once there was about 30 minutes left of cooking, I added the chicken and shrimp and it was perfectly cooked.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:


  2. Jackie Smith says:

    thinking of making this for a family reunion this weekend…so I will have somthing I will eat, but will used diced tomato instead of the sauce..I have had it that way a few times but prefer it with a less tomato-y taste…and that’s the way most of the jambalaya in So. Louisiana is made…other than that I am anxious to try it have been looking for a clean recipe,,,we have some great tasting packaged jambalaya here in Louisiana, almost good as homemade…but of course it is not clean and so I haven’t made any in a few years

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jackie – Let me know how you like it!

  3. Speaking as someone who grew up part of her life in Baton Rouge Louisiana and is one of those indeed very critical people on cajun food this was a WONDERFUL clean receipe for it! My sister and I really enjoyed it and were very nervous about it at first but it turned out amazing for it not being tradtional. Thanks so much!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rana – Yay!!!! So glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜€ (No really, I’m very excited about that…)

  4. I made this last night and it was EXCELLENT! I wish I could’ve used clean sausage, but unfortunately, we don’t have a butcher in my town that can supply with fresh meat, so I’m at the mercy of what is available at our local grocery store. I used Andouille sausage and instead of 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, I got an additional 8 oz. can (no salt added…because I can’t ever find no sugar added). I also added in 1 TBSP of Luzianne Cajun seasoning. Instead of using extra chicken broth, I just supplemented as needed with water. It was incredible! I think the hubs likes this more than the other jambalaya recipe I usually make! It had a great spice and heat to it! We were also able to get 16 servings out of it (although the 16th serving was kind of burnt at the bottom). I just love your website and so far, all the recipes I’ve made from it have turned out absolutely delicious!! Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Katy L. – My pleasure! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Jennie James says:

    I LOVE this recipe! It is a household favorite & leftovers fly out of the fridge!

    I have never been able to successfully fully cook the brown rice in the jambalaya(even after 2+hours simmering). I have always had to cook it in a rice cooker first. However, that isn’t a big deal at all for us.

    I have used the recipe to cook it in the crock pot as well. Turns out great both ways. I have only used sausage as my meet, but I’m sure any other meat could work too.

    Thanks for all of your hard work!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennie – I’m so happy you like it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. My husband and I LOVE this recipe! I use Shadybrook Farms turkey sausage and it’s so good. We had a heaping bowl out on the patio tonight. Perfect comfort food in fall weather without the guilt!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jessica – Yay!!! I’m so happy you both enjoyed it! A dinner outside sounds lovely. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. This is one of our household favorites! Thank you for all your delicious recipes! Gracious Pantry is a staple in my recipe book ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jessie – Thank you so much! So happy you liked it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. 5 stars
    I have been making this recipe for close to 10 years! I am long overdue for a review! It is an absolute hit with everyone who eats it, friends, family, and even the picky toddlers I now have! Thank you so much for this yummy clean recipe!