Skip to Content

Low Carb Jambalaya: + Cajun or Jerk Spice Blend Recipes

Low Carb Jambalaya: + Cajun or Jerk Spice Blend Recipes
Home » Low Carb Lifestyle » Low carb dinner ideas » Jambalaya with DIY jerk seasoning

Jambalaya, the popular cajun stew, lends itself perfectly to low carb or keto modifications without losing any of its deep, robust flavor. The rice is really the only ingredient in this popular dish that prevents it from being a low carb jambalaya. Using cauliflower rice solves that problem, making a stew that can be relished by any food critic, regardless of dietary lifestyle.

Jump to Recipe
Low carb jambalaya in a skillet
Low carb jambalaya in a skillet

What is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a popular Louisiana-origin dish of Spanish, West African and French influence, consisting mainly of meat (usually smoked sausage), seafood (usually shrimp), and vegetables mixed with rice. 

Jambalaya starts with a “sofrito”. Sofrito is a base made of finely diced vegetables sautéed in oil until fragrant, and is commonly used in Spanish, Italian, and Latin American cooking.

Ingredients for sofrito: onion, celery and sweet bell peppers.
Sofrito: onion, celery and sweet bell peppers

In Cajun cooking, sofrito is generally made up of finely diced onion, celery, and sweet bell peppers. The vegetables are sautéed with some olive oil until tender and aromatic, and then combined with cajun spices and perhaps herbs.

Getting Robust Flavor from Low Carb Food

When I worked as a low carb diet coach, I was constantly on a quest to offer people alternative ideas for defining “comfort food”. Jambalaya is one of those dishes that works really well as a comfort food.

The mouthwatering flavors from low carb jambalaya start with a sofrito, made of vegetables, spices and herbs. This gives the jambalaya the robust flavor profile, and it can easily be modified to individual tastes.

This sofrito melts into the the rest of the jambalaya ingredients, enhancing the flavor and also providing the creamy texture.

Cauliflower rice stands in for white rice in the low carb version, keeping the integrity of the jambalaya’s texture without losing any flavor.

Bowl of cauliflower rice with minced peppers, oil and cauliflower floret on side.
Bowl of cauliflower rice

This low carb comfort food is not your bone broth with a tin of sardines, that’s for sure.

Substitutions to fit Different Tastes or Diets

Like many stews or soups, low carb Jambalaya can be easily modifed. If you are vegetarian, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and exclude the meat.

If you hate seafood, include chicken and sausage but leave out the shrimp.

There isn’t any dairy or gluten if that is a sensitive area for you.

Just be sure to include the sofrito and the cajun spices as the base and let your creativity and tastes range from there!

DIY Cajun Spice Blend

Cajun spice blends and jerk seasoning blends are the most popular spice blends to use for jambalaya. Jerk seasoning tends to be a little spicier and sweeter than a traditional cajun seasoning blend. Whisk together the following ingredients for your own DIY Cajun spice blend:

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder.
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or oregano)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika.
  • 2 tablespoons salt.
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder.

Jerk Seasoning Blend

For making your own jerk seasoning spice blend, whisk together the following ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed chile pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

If you don’t want to make your own blend, we have a jerk seasoning blend using very fresh ingredients that you can purchase.

Jerk seasoning blend from Heathglen
Jerk seasoning blend from Heathglen

More Recipes Using Jerk Seasoning

Sheetpan Dinner (Traybake) with Jerk Rub Seasoning

Jerk Tomatillo Slaw (for Mexican or Caribbean dishes)

Low Carb Jambalaya

Low carb jambalaya in a skillet
A creamy comfort food with robust flavoring and a Caribbean jerk spice blend
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 5
Calories 388


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 12 oz cauliflower rice
  • 3 tsp Jerk seasoning divided (see notes for DIY blend)
  • 1 onion chopped or diced
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 cups bell peppers diced and different colors
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 12 oz andouille sausage sliced into coins
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes Rotel tomatoes with chile peppers
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 12 oz shrimp medium, frozen


  • Heat over to 375 degrees F. Empty bag of cauliflower rice onto a sheet pan and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp Cajun spice. Mix together with your hands and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven after 10 min. and set aside.
  • In a dutch oven or large pot, saute the chopped onion in remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil for 2-3 minutes over med-high heat (until it starts to become translucent). Add the chopped celery and peppers to the pot and saute everything together for another 5-7 minutes until soft and thoroughly mixed together (this is the sofrito).
  • Add the garlic, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp Jamaican Jerk seasoning (or seasoning of your choice) to the pot of sofrito and stir for about 1 minute.
  • Add the sausage coins to the pot for 2-4 minutes to cook through. Then add the tomatoes and the chicken broth and heat all the way through, stirring everything together as it cooks. If you want the stew to be more of a soup, add additional chicken broth.
  • Add the shrimp and cauliflower, cover the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp is no longer pink.
  • Serve in large bowls with a plate to discard the shrimp tails.


DIY jerk seasoning blend – Combine all ingredients below and whisk together:
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed chile pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder


Calories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 17gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 771mgPotassium: 962mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 2705IUVitamin C: 129mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?If you tried this recipe, please give it a 5-star rating! To do this, just click on the stars above. And don’t forget to tag me at @dorothy_stainbrook_heathglen, if you share a picture on Instagram! You can also tag me at #heathglen!

Online Diet/Health Coaching:

Although I am not currently taking clients for diet & health coaching, I have been a coach for many years with the online service called It is a great platform for all kinds of coaching – anything from specific diets, writing a blog, getting up early, or getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  

There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Contact me at [email protected] to get a referral to some of the tested, experienced online coaches on

If you’d like to start with a plan for a low carb or keto lifestyle, check out this detailed guide in ebook form. It may be all you need to lose weight on this lifestyle. Or it may be used as a supplement to one-to-one coaching.

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.