This post is sponsored by my friends at Improved Nature. I only recommend products that I use and love myself. All opinions are my own.
Packed with plant based protein, lots of veggies, and smoky flavor, this Vegan Jambalaya is hearty and comforting!
This smoky tomato rice dish with vegan chicken and vegan sausage is hearty and comforting. My husband particularly loved this vegan jambalaya recipe and quickly ate up all of our leftovers.
With lots of veggies, seasonings, and different textures, it’s sure to become a family favorite in your house, too!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
These little chunks are the perfect bite size pieces for this vegan jambalaya to replace the chicken you would find in traditional recipes. They are made from just one ingredient – non-GMO soy – and can be seasoned however you like.
More reasons to love Improved Nature products:
- High in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and potassium
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- Gluten free
- Low sodium and Zero cholesterol
- No additives or preservatives
- Shelf stable for 4 years!
- Sustainably sourced
- Comes in a variety of shapes like: tenders, chunks, shreds, nuggets, filets, slices, poppers, bits, and more!
- Convenient and versatile!
Vegan sausage ~ There are many varieties on the market today. Some are spicy, some are mild. Some are gluten free, some are not. Use your favorite.
Rice ~ Long grain white rice is traditional. I like to use Jasmine rice, which is a variety of long grain white rice, in this vegan jambalaya because it cooks in just 15 to 20 minutes.
Tomatoes ~ Canned crushed tomatoes add liquid and flavor. You can use diced if you prefer.
Broth ~ I use a low-sodium vegetable broth in order to control the amount of sodium added to this vegan jambalaya. Vegan chicken broth would bring added flavor if you prefer to use that.
Vegetables ~ Onion, garlic, bell peppers and celery are classic jambalaya veggies. I use one red bell pepper and one green bell pepper, but you can use 2 of the same color if that’s what you have.
If you like spicy heat, feel free to add a jalapeño or two.
Spices and herbs ~ There are quite a few spices and herbs in this dish, most of which you probably already have in your pantry.
Extras ~ Coconut aminos and nutritional yeast bring savory depth of flavor. Along with the spices and herbs, they mimic the flavors of chicken.
How to make the recipe
There are several steps involved in making this vegan jambalaya, but they are all easy and simple to follow.
First, you’ll need to rehydrate the Improved Nature Nature’s PRIME chunks. Place them in a pot of boiling broth or water (1) for about 20 minutes, until plump and tender (2).
Place a strainer in a large bowl and pour the rehydrated chunks into the strainer, reserving the liquid in the bowl (3). Press down on the chunks (4) to release as much liquid as possible.
While the Nature’s PRIME chunks are draining, pan fry the vegan sausage in a skillet with a drizzle of oil until browned on both sides (5). Transfer to a plate or bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, drizzle a little more oil and sauté the vegan chicken chunks with coconut aminos, poultry seasoning, and nutritional yeast until browned (6). Transfer to the bowl with the vegan sausage.
In the same skillet, sauté the onion until soft and translucent, add the spices (7) and stir to combine (8). Add the garlic and the rest of the veggies and sauté another minute or two until fragrant (9). Add the rice (10) and stir to combine.
Add the crushed tomatoes and broth and stir well to cover the rice (11). Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is tender (12), stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the vegan sausage and Nature’s PRIME chunks that you set aside earlier (13) and stir to combine (14).
How to serve
I like to garnish this vegan jambalaya with sliced green onions, chopped fresh parsley, and several dashes of hot sauce.
This hearty dish is a complete meal all on its own. However, if you like to serve a little something extra on the side, I suggest a simple green salad, corn on the cob, or vegan jalapeño cornbread.
Store leftover vegan jambalaya in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
You can also freeze it. Transfer it to a freezer safe container or plastic zip-top bag. It should keep well in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Pro tips for success
~ Rehydrate the Improved Nature Nature’s PRIME Chunks in vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor.
~ Press as much liquid out of the chunks as possible, but reserve the broth to add back into the dish.
~ To save prep time, chop the vegetables while the Nature’s PRIME chunks are boiling.
~ Using a bit of oil to sauté the dried herbs and spices will bring out the most flavor. However, if you follow an oil-free diet, you can sauté in water or broth instead. You can also dry sauté the vegan sausages and Nature’s PRIME chunks in a non-stick skillet.
~ Add 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, along with the bell peppers, if you like your food spicy.
~ Use long grain white Jasmine rice, which cooks in just 15 to 20 minutes.
~ Stir occasionally while the vegan jambalaya is simmering so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
~ Serve with green onions, chopped fresh parsley, and several dashes of hot sauce, if you like.
~ This vegan jambalaya is nut free and, depending on what kind of vegan sausage you use, can be gluten free, too.
Jambalaya is a Cajun or Creole dish consisting of a variety of meats, rice, and vegetables. Creole versions typically have tomatoes whereas Cajun versions do not.
The ingredients and flavors are very similar in both dishes. Generally, gumbo is served with rice that is cooked separately, while jambalaya is made by cooking the rice with the other ingredients in one pot.
Typically, long grain white rice is used, just like in this vegan jambalaya. I like to use Jasmine rice because its floral flavor contributes to the dish and it cooks in less than 20 minutes.
That depends. Creole versions of the dish contain tomatoes, while Cajun versions generally do not.
More vegan “chicken” recipes
- Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Vegan Chicken Cutlets
- Vegan Chicken Salad
- Chinese “Chicken” Salad
- Vegan Orange “Chicken”
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Don’t forget to check out all of the Improved Nature products and get cooking today!
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth divided (or 4 cups water and 2 cups broth)
- 4 ounces Improved Nature Nature's PRIME Chunks
- 3 tablespoons oil divided
- 2 vegan sausages sliced into bite size rounds
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper seeded
- 1 red bell pepper seeded
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups Jasmine rice or other long grain white rice
- 2 green onions sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup hot sauce optional
- Bring 4 cups of vegetable broth (or water) to a boil and pour in the Improved Nature Nature's PRIME chunks. Cook on a low boil for 20 minutes until the chunks are rehydrated and tender. Place a strainer in a large bowl and drain the chunks, reserving the broth (you should have about ¾ cup)! Using the back of a spoon or spatula, press down on the chunks to release as much liquid as possible. Set aside to continue draining.
- While the Nature's PRIME chunks are draining, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet. Add the vegan sausage slices and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, turning them over half way, until browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate or bowl and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat another 1 tablespoon of oil and add the drained Nature's PRIME chunks, poultry seasoning, nutritional yeast, and coconut aminos. Stir well to combine. Sauté over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the vegan sausages and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and sauté the onion over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Add the bell peppers, celery, garlic, thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, celery salt, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Stir well to combine.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, reserved broth (you should have about ¾ cup – see note*), 2 more cups of broth, and the rice. Stir well to ensure all of the rice is covered in liquid. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the skillet.
- Add the vegan sausage and Nature's PRIME chunks back into the skillet with the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Garnish with green onions and chopped parsley.
- Serve with a few dashes of hot sauce over individual servings, if desired.
Storage/Freezing Store leftover vegan jambalaya in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze it. Transfer it to a freezer safe container or plastic zip-top bag. It should keep well in the freezer for up to 4 months.