This Brown Rice Shrimp Jambalaya is a creole classic with a healthy twist including whole grains, protein, and colorful vegetables!
Creole vs Cajun
Mardi Gras season is upon us and that means it’s time for some creole cookin’. I decided to develop this healthy-twist on traditional Jambalaya, a dish consisting of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. This would be considered a creole jambalaya, since it has the addition of tomatoes whereas cajun jambalaya does not.
Is brown rice jambalaya healthy?
This healthy jambalaya is packed with protein from the shrimp and beans. One serving of this dish contains about 10 grams of protein from the shrimp and about 5 grams of plant-based protein from the cannellini beans. The spices used help to pack in major flavor without adding any calories or sodium. Plus, the brown rice used in this recipe is filled with important B vitamins and fiber.
Can I use another grain besides brown rice?
If you have another grain like white rice or farro on hand, you can use that too. Just note the varying cook times on these grains:
- Brown rice will take about 50 minutes
- Farro will take about 30 minutes
- White rice will take about 20 minutes
One pot meals for the win
Another reason I love this recipe is because it is a one-pot meal. This means less dishes and throw-it-all-in style cooking. Win and win.
Time to throw on some beads and turn your kitchen into a southern festival with this delicious and nutritious creole-style Brown Rice Shrimp Jambalaya. What are some of your favorite dishes to make in celebration of Mardi Gras?
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 5 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bell pepper of your choice, diced (green, red, orange, or yellow)
- 1 cup long grain brown rice, uncooked (or grains of your choice*)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 15- oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth, or water
- 1 15- oz can cannellini beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed
- 1 lb uncooked tail-off shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Cilantro, optional for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a large, deep sauté pan (5 qt. or larger) over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add brown rice or grains of your choice*, bay leaves, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and tomatoes. Stir until well combined, and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in the vegetable broth, stir until combined, and bring to a boil. It will look soupy here but don’t worry– this will all be absorbed by the grains. Reduce boil to a simmer, cover, and cook until grains are tender, stirring often to avoid grains sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once grains are cooked, stir in the beans and shrimp and heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.
*If you don't have brown rice, you can also use another grain of your choice. This process will take different amounts of times depending on the grain you use. White rice= ~20 minutes, Farro= ~30 minutes, Brown rice= ~50 minutes
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 330mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 18g
This is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Nutrition may vary depending on ingredients used. For more nutrition information, seek a professional registered dietitian's advice.