This Healthy Jambalaya Casserole is packed with New Orleans flavor yet is nutritious and easy to make. Shortcuts like precooked ingredients and baking rather than simmering make this recipe easy enough for a weeknight dinner.
First Encounter with Cajun Cuisine
I still remember the first time I tried Cajun food. The year was 2012, and I was in New Orleans for a business trip. After a long (and I mean long––probably 10 to 12 hours long) day working at a conference, my coworker and I were absolutely starving. We popped by our hotel rooms to exchange our skirts and heels for jeans and sandals and then commenced our search for dinner.
After consulting Yelp, we set off toward a nearby restaurant serving up New Orleans classics like fresh gumbo and crawfish. Since this decision involved so little forethought, my expectations were pretty low for whatever reason. Like I said, at this point I likely would have settled for stale bread (kidding but not really).
As we neared our destination, I detected the most delicious combination of spices wafting through the air. Turns out the fare tasted even better than it smelled, and I practically inhaled my bowl of steaming gumbo and jambalaya. When in New Orleans, right? I boarded my plane still daydreaming about the food and was determined to recreate the dishes at home.
Recreating a Healthy Take on Jambalaya
Well, I’m happy to report my efforts were successful, and today I thought I’d share my take on Healthy Jambalaya Casserole. This version substitutes brown rice for white rice for more nutritional value, and it’s packed with vegetables including red bell pepper, green bell pepper, tomato sauce, and scallions.
It also features both chicken breast and andouille chicken sausage for lean protein with lots of flavor. Perhaps the best part is that it’s incredibly easy to make because it calls for quick-cooking, microwaveable brown rice, and it’s baked in the oven instead of simmering for hours. I’m coming for you next, gumbo.
- 3 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
- 4 cups pre-cooked andouille chicken sausage, sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 4 cups frozen, microwaveable brown rice
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup scallions, diced
- Fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- Cook brown rice in microwave according to package instructions.
- Combine all ingredients in a 13x9" casserole dish and mix well to combine.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until warmed throughout. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and a dash of hot sauce if desired.
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