Primal Jambalaya

There’s nothing easier than throwing a bunch of fresh ingredients into a pot and calling it dinner! We love this cooking method which is why we put together this Primal twist on a classic Louisiana Creole dish. It includes three kinds of meat and a bunch of veggies that are all brought together in a savory tomato sauce. And of course it wouldn’t be Primal if we included the traditional rice, so we used pulverized cauliflower as a rice substitution. Give this dish a try and let us know what you think in the comment board!

2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced crushed
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1.5 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried leaf thyme
1 tbsp parsley (fresh is preferable, but dried will do in a pinch!)
1 tsp chili powder
1 large head of cauliflower
2 cups shelled, deveined and cleaned shrimp
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and lightly cook the sausage and chicken over medium heat. Once golden, add onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until onion becomes translucent. Transfer items from the frying pan into a large pot. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, parsley and chili powder and bring to a simmer. While the mixture is simmering (you’ll want to let it go for about 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally), place the cauliflower in a food processor and shred until it becomes the consistency of rice. Add the cauliflower “rice” to the mixture and simmer for another 15 minutes until tender. Add shrimp and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust other spices as needed. Serve piping hot. Serves 6.

Nutrition Analysis:
Calories: 590 calories
Fat: 36.7 grams (56% calories from fat)
Carbs: 16.1 grams (10% calories from carbs)
Protein:  48.5 grams (34% calories from protein)

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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53 thoughts on “Primal Jambalaya”

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  1. I’ve been wanting some Cajun food Mark, but had to steer clear of the rice (I’m a huge sucker for boudin), this will be a hit!

    1. Hi George,
      I know what you mean, boudin is such a cajun favorite spicy dish, but now eating Primal makes it a no-no!

      Many Thanks for this Primal Jambalaya! I wrote down this recipe and will be cooking it up. I love cajun food also, so this is awesome for someone like me who grew up eating different cajun foods but now eating Primal!

  2. I just love to make a pot with different ingredient, and be creative while doing it. These are the best dishes, pure mystery to discover.

    Yours looks good, but I find it strange to mix meat and fish, in Spain we call it “Mar y Montaña”, popular in catalunya, chicken and sea food.

    A big hug from Spain. Have a nice weekend.

    1. That is funny I remember having something in Spain one time that mixed chicken and fish, so that is what its called!

      1. Louisiana was owned by French and Spanish then the French again before it was bought by the United States plus a mix of African influence. It’s not that surprising when you consider history.

        I hadn’t considered substituting cauliflower for the rice, and I can’t wait to try it out.

  3. I just love to make a pot with different ingredient, and be creative while doing it. These are the best dishes, pure mystery to discover.

    Yours looks good, but I find it strange to mix meat and fish, in Spain we call it “Mar y Montaña”, popular in catalunya, chicken and sea food.

    A big hug from Spain. Have a nice weekend.

  4. Looks delicious! Question, when a recipe says “2 large chicken breasts”, does it mean two full chicken breasts or does it mean two chicken breast halves?

  5. This sounds delicious, Mark! I love the idea of cauliflower “rice”… I’ve used it in place of mashed potatoes before, but not as rice. What a great idea!

  6. Ewww tomatoes in my J 🙁 Brown J is tasty but involves a roux. As soon as we get a grain-free roux I’m there!

  7. It sounds awesome! I can’t wait to have it for dinner Monday night.Thanks Mark.

  8. Sounds good but rather than go from a skillet to a pot, lightly cook the chicken and sausage straight in the pot and so the flavours from the frying stay in the pot.

  9. Sounds delicious Mark. Although, I can’t tolerate spicy food all that well, I think a little less chili powder could work for me.

  10. I just finished making and eating the Jambalaya. It was really good. Interesting taste and texture with the cauliflower instead of rice. I enjoy the recipes, seeing as I am not a very good cook. This was pretty simple.

  11. Im a big fan of Jambalaya. We made this tonight for supper. I love it! Great flavor, very tasty. I thought the cauliflower would take over the dish, but not so. It was perfect. Very good!

    As far as the spiciness, it wasnt at all. My wife isnt a big spicy-fan but she loved this as well. Actually, Id like to know how to give it some extra heat.


  12. Sounds good. I make chicken fried “rice” with cauliflower, so it wil be interesting to try a different dish!

  13. Made it last night for the fam. Excellent. I never tried the “rice” like that before but it was very good. Moving this dish into the rotation!!

  14. I made this dish tonight for my husband and myself…it is fantastic!!! We are both Personal trainers in Las Vegas and we have very much enjoyed “going Primal”! Now we’re working on our clients…all the excuses that “all healthy food tastes like cardboard” are out the window. Recipies like this, prove that healthy food can actually taste great. We love the website, and we’ve been fighting over the book! Mark,the next time your in Vegas, look us up at the 24 Hour Fitness in Summerlin…even our training has gone Primal!!!

  15. I made this last night – cut the recipe in half for just the 2 of us & it came out well. Definitely discovered the power of my food processor on the cauliflower though – overdid it a bit. So the “rice” was a bit small. Still, overall, quite tasty. And not really that spicy…..

  16. I made this tonight.

    Since I subscribe to the “what’s available in my fridge” method of cooking, I substituted spicy Italian sausage for the Andouille and cilantro for the parsley.

    Verdict: Pretty good if you think of it as a “Jambalaya-inspired stew”. Not going to do it if you want the jambalaya you grew up with.

    Tips: Use the shredding attachment on your food processor to get the cauliflower down to “rice size”. Putting in the food processor directly will just give you mush. Also, IMO you should up the chilli powder and decrease the cauliflower (a generous half a head to 3/4 the head should work).

  17. This was delicious. My wife used her potato ricer to make the cauliflower “rice”.

  18. Made this the other night – Fantastic! Used more shrimp (about 3 cups),and shredded the cauliflower with a cheese grater (vs. food processor), and it was all good! My teenager is not crazy about veggies, especially cauliflower, but he gobbled up the whole plate! It’s a “keeper.”

  19. Made it after I had dinner to take to work for lunch the next day,… but ended up downing a bowl before going to bed. Tasted awesome with some splashes of tabasco… My 4 1/2 year old daughter loved it too…it was her first taste of jambalaya. It’s not the best jambalaya I’ve had before, but it’s pretty good and a real easy recipe.

  20. The jambalaya was AMAZING!!! My husband was initially skeptical of the paleo diet but has been a willing participant and good sport 🙂 I love winning recipes like these because I can then say “see how yummy eating paleo is?” to remind him it kicks butt living this way! He loved this dish and made the comment “I’d love to eat this every week.”

  21. This was my first attempt at using califlower rice, and while I made a mess in the kitchen trying to use the food processor (obviously operator error!) it worked great in this dish. I’ve been eating on it for three days nows, next time I will half the recipe! Thanks for the primal ideas Mark!

  22. This was so freaking awesome that my husband wants this meal to be a weekly thing. I don’t have a food processor, so I successfully shredded the cauliflower in my blender by pulsing it in batches with the “ice crush” setting. Also added some chopped okra and a little bit of crushed red pepper for extra kick.

  23. I made this tonight as per the instructions. Turned out great. The cauliflower rice was great as well. I will do that again with other recipes.

  24. This is great! I warmed some up the next day for myself and threw in a couple handfuls of baby spinach–gave it a nice green addition.

  25. I made this tonight, delicious! I love the cauliflower in place of rice.

  26. I made this last night and, although very skeptical, my husband agreed to try it. It was great! Not only did I love it, but got huge raves from the doubter. I wasn’t too sure about the cauliflower, but it was perfect.

  27. I recently made this dish – with minor adjustments – and it was awesome!! Instead of just green bell pepper I used yellow, red, orange, AND green. I used turkey smoked sausage instead of andouille and added crushed red peppers (liberally). IT was so good! I took it to work and my co-worker was amazed at the cauliflower “rice”. He said it tasted like rice but the texture was different. I will be making this one over and over again and sharing it with friends. BTW – I got your cookbook as a Christmas gift and have really enjoyed trying the recipes in it.

  28. Awesome! My wife hates tomatoes and onions. She always picks them out of everything I cook. Not this time! She ate 2 big bowls! I do not like really hot stuff and thought the 1 tsp of chili powder was just right. I used Italian sausage, it was great. Also, I just threw in left over cauliflower. I didn’t grind it up, just kinda chopped it slightly. This is a winner in our house!

  29. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this meal!! It is my fave primal dinner. Also great for breakfast on the run – love non-breakfast foods for breakfast 🙂

  30. Oh also I can’t eat seafood so I add a little bit of bacon instead! Yummy

  31. this is the cajun jambalaya pasta from the cheesecake factory! i work there and i know how we plate everything, and this my friend, was stolen! maybe yours is similar but that is not your pic!

  32. Made it for the fam tonight. Big hit! I went a little heavier on the chili powder to give it a little more zing.

  33. I just made this! It was awesome. I put in a jalapeno with the onion and pepper for some extra heat.

  34. Has anyone tried freezng and reheating this dish? I made it and have a TON of leftovers. I’m hoping to freeze it and have some next week. Any thoughts?

    1. I make this in batches of about 3 gallons and freeze them in Pint ziplocks for lunches. Works great and is very convenient.

  35. I tried to copy and paste your recipe and it pastes the recipe in tiny type so small that I can’t read it.
    Do you have any suggestions for me on how to copy and paste so I can read the recipe?

  36. Good lord! Just made this dish with a few changes. Instead of chicken (not my fave) I used scallops. I used rotel instead of diced tomatoes and cut the cauliflower back to 1/2 head. Used creole seasoning instead of chili powder. And BAM! It is hotter than one hundred hells, but one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

  37. Is it supposed to be like a stew? Mine turned out nothing like the picture. Definitely cutting back on the cauliflower next time.

  38. i put this into myfitnesspal and even using half the cauliflower head and no shrimp/chicken only sausage..somehow my macros came out with 43g carbs/serving!!! Is that right? Even if you do “net carbs” it’s nowhere near 16g.