Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #201: Jambalaya

by Nicole Kirkvold, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota Medical Center – Fairview]

Photo credit: Stu Spivak/Flickr

In the wintertime I love to eat hearty jambalaya, with chicken, sausage and enough Cajun seasoning to add a little kick!

I have a soft spot for a particular canned version from Campbell’s, but knowing that canned soups are often high in sodium and preservatives, I decided to try to make my own jambalaya a few months ago.

By pumping up the veggies, swapping in brown rice, and cutting back on the sodium content, this version is just as comforting with a healthy boost. The combination of lean chicken, brown rice, and vegetables provides the basis for a balanced, well-rounded meal. All of these components work together to supply the body with necessary nutrients like protein, whole grain fiber, and vitamins and minerals to promote overall health and well-being.

Because I usually double this recipe when I make it, I have also found that this recipe works great when frozen and reheated!

Better-than-Campbell’s Jambalaya

(Serves: 6–8)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (may need an additional ½- 1 cup)
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup red and green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 15 oz. cans no salt added tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
  • ½ cup smoked turkey sausage, sliced

Directions:

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil and add brown rice. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic powder in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add bell pepper, carrots, and celery.
  3. In a large pot, mix tomatoes with seasoning and chili powder. Add sautéed onions, chicken, turkey sausage, and rice. Simmer for 30- 45 minutes. Add additional chicken broth as necessary.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving: 340 calories, 9 gm total fat, 45 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fiber, 18 gm protein, and 680 mg sodium.

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