My Low Carb & Keto Jambalaya recipe with Cauliflower Rice offers a great, Keto-friendly way to enjoy traditional Jambalaya without the added carbs. If you thought trying the Keto diet meant giving up Jambalaya, give my recipe a try! In this post, I tell you what this dish is and how to make it. I also share how easy it is to adjust this traditional, Southern dish for people who are following the keto, paleo and low carb lifestyles.
What is Jambalaya?
Jambalaya is a popular dish originating in New Orleans. Though there are many variations on what meats are in jambalaya, my recipe calls for the use of smokey chicken andouille sausages and shrimp. Other popular choices include chicken, crawfish, oysters, and duck.
Traditional jambalaya comes in two main forms: creole and cajun. Though they are similar, the two styles are slightly different.
Creole vs. Cajun Jambalaya
Creole jambalaya uses tomatoes as part of the recipe. You first cook the meat of choice, onions, peppers, and celery. Then you add stock, tomatoes, and rice to the pot, bring it all to a boil, and then let it simmer. The result is a red hued jambalaya because the tomatoes break down in the sauce.
Cajun jambalaya is similar, but it doesn’t call for tomatoes. Instead, you cook the meat of choice first. Once it is brown, then you would add the onions, peppers, and celery. Once the vegetables are cooked, the stock and rice are added. The result is a slightly smokier, brown hued jambalaya.
My Keto version is closer to Creole Jambalaya
My keto jambalaya is similar to creole jambalaya because I add tomatoes into the mix. But, unlike traditional jambalaya, I make my jambalaya keto-friendly.
Problems Keto Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice Solves
Traditional jambalaya is loaded with carbs. It needs rice as a filler that binds the meat and vegetables together. You can’t dig into a bowl of spicy jambalaya with rice and stay in ketosis.
Keto jambalaya with cauliflower solves the issue of adding rice. My recipe does not need rice at all, and it still tastes amazing with its bold flavors and savory, spicy broth.
How do you make Jambalaya keto-friendly?
Traditional jambalaya recipes rely heavily on rice. It is the base of the jambalaya. This not only adds extra calories, but so many extra carbs.
To fix this, my keto jambalaya uses cauliflower rice as an alternative to white or brown rice used in traditional recipes. Don’t know how to make cauliflower rice? At most major grocery stores, you should be able to find prepared bags of cauliflower rice ready to go.
This recipe has MCT Oil. Why?
MCT oil is a combination of the two fatty acids extracted from palm and coconut oil. It’s name stands for medium-chain triglycerides, but you may also see it sold as MCFAs or medium-chain fatty acids. MCT oil is an excellent energy source because the body does not require enzymes to absorb the oil.
- added energy
- supports ketosis
- helps with weight loss
- Lower blood sugar
Another added benefit to cooking with MCT oil is that it is virtually odor and tasteless. You can add it to just about anything and not notice it is there, but you will still get the benefits of using the oil. In recipes that call for oil, I often use MCT oil as a substitute.
Don’t have MCT Oil? Here’s some substitutes:
If you don’t have MCT Oil in your pantry, you can easily substitute equal amounts of:
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
Making Delicious Low Carb Jambalaya
Making my Keto Jambalaya is pretty easy. Unlike jambalayas that rely on rice to cook through, my jambalaya is done in a short amount of time. And you only need one skillet. I highly recommend the one I use, which you can get here at a discount by following the link and entering the code DRDAVINAHS at checkout.
To make my jambalaya, start by heating the MCT oil in a large skillet to medium-high heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, add the sausage and cook until browned. This usually takes about 4 minutes.
Once the sausage is browned, add the peppers, tomatoes, shallots, celery, and garlic to the skillet and cook until shallots are translucent. This should take about 3 minutes.
Next, add the vegetable stock and all spices. Give it a bit of a stir and then cook for about 5 minutes. As it cooks, the vegetables, stock, and spices will reduce some and make a thin sauce.
Once it has reduced in volume a bit, add the cauliflower rice and cook until tender, which should take about 5 minutes.
Finally, add the shrimp. The shrimp should take about 3 minutes to cook through. They will typically turn red and white and become less translucent. Once the shrimp are done, serve the jambalaya immediately.
You can top with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon if you want.
Other Keto Cauliflower Rice Recipes
If you are interested in other recipes that use cauliflower rice, check out some more of my recipes here:
These three dishes are part of more than 40 Low Carb & Keto Cauliflower Recipes that I enjoy.
Seared Scallops & Cauliflower Rice RisottoGet this recipe
- 2 tbsp MCT oil I get mine here*
- 2 Chicken andouille sausages thinly sliced. I get mine from Trader Joes, but you could also get these fresh from the meat section at the market. Just remove the casings before slicing and cooking
- 2 jalapeños thinly sliced (you could also use 1/2 of a green pepper, thinly sliced)
- 2 Tomatoes Off-the-vine, diced
- 1 stalk celery thinly sliced
- 1 shallot diced (You could also use a half of a yellow onion)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 4 tsp Just Spices Pork Rub (You can get it here here)
- 3 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 16 oz cauliflower rice
- 10 oz Shrimp
- 3-4 Fresh parsley optional
- Heat the MCT Oil in a large skillet to medium-high heat
- Add the sausage to the pan and cook until they are browned (~4 minutes)
- Add peppers, tomatoes, shallots, celery, and garlic to the sausage and cook until shallots are translucent (~3 minutes)
- Add vegetable stock and all spices, then cook for about ~5 minutes. The vegetables, stock and spices will reduce a little and make a thin gravy/sauce
- Add cauliflower rice and cook until tender (~5 minutes)
- Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes
- Serve immediately. You can top with fresh parsley if you'd like.