Recipe: One-Pot Vegetable Jambalaya

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This vegetable-heavy jambalaya is faster and just as good, in my opinion, as the Southern original. Stick to the list of vegetables I suggest or add the extra summer veggies you have on hand, like summer squash or even corn. To get closer to the original, add seafood or fried sausage to the pot towards the end of the cooking time.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Even if you don’t have six people to serve, make the whole pot and use the leftovers in burritos the next day or warm it up with a fried egg on top. If you’re really ambitious, you can even form the leftovers into little cakes and pan-fry them on the stovetop to make jambalaya patties.

Meal Cost: $3.90 total, or $0.65 per person (with additions, will come to closer to $8 total)

Check out more great recipes in this meal plan: A Week of Budget-Friendly Summer Meals from Leanne Brown

Tester’s Notes

I love classic Southern dishes and was drawn to this lightened-up, vegetable-heavy version of jambalaya. Even though this jambalaya doesn’t have a long cooking time, it had a lot of delicious, slow-cooked flavor. I liked the added flexibility of bulking it up with sausage, shrimp, or beans. I added half a can of black beans and thought it was quite tasty!

Christine, August 2015

109 Ratings

Vegetable Jambalaya



  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

  • 1

    medium onion, chopped

  • 1

    medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

  • 3 stalks

    celery, chopped

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2

    small green chile, like a jalapeño, finely chopped

  • 2

    large tomatoes, chopped

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon


  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon

    Worcestershire sauce, tamari, or soy sauce

  • 3/4 cup

    long-grain white rice

  • 3 cups

    low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional additions:

  • Slices of fried sausage

  • Shrimp

  • Cooked meat, tofu, or beans


  1. Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. After it gets hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until they become translucent but not brown.

  2. Add the garlic, chile, tomatoes, bay leaves, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne if using, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Let everything cook until some of the tomato juice releases, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the rice and slowly pour in the broth. Lower the heat to medium and let the dish cook until the rice absorbs all the liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. If you’re using any of the additions, throw them in to cook with the rice after 15 minutes have passed.

  4. Taste and adjust the salt, and pepper, and any other spices.

Recipe Notes

Cayenne level: If you're not quite as in love with chilies as I am, cut back on the cayenne powder or lose the green chile.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Reprinted with permission from Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Workman Publishing Company.