This easy keto jambalaya recipe is quick & easy to make, full of flavour, and tastes LEGIT. Swapping cauliflower for rice brings the carb count WAY down!
Originally posted Mar 25, 2022, Updated 2/13/2023.
My traditional jambalaya recipe was always hit with family members and my blog readers, over on Celebration Generation, where I published my Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage Jambalaya Recipe back in 2009.
In 2011, it became a neighbourhood favourite when I served a giant batch - more than 200 servings - out of big kettles that I cooked in the parking lot of a funeral home.
It was a few days after a tornado had hit our area, and I was doing my part to feed people and feel... useful? In control of something? ... amidst the chaos.
Anyway, obviously, I was going to need to come up with low carb version, when I embarked on the keto lifestyle!
The classic creole dish is the ultimate one-pot meal - easy to make, has lot of flavor, and feeds a crowd. Lots of meat and vegetables, too!
The only problem?
The classic dish has a heavy base of traditional white rice.
As a rice dish, the first step in making this recipe keto-friendly was pretty obvious - swap the rice out. It instantly became a low carb jambalaya recipe by ditching the rice, and creating it as a cauliflower rice jambalaya.
Tweak the tomatoes a bit, add some cajun spices, cut the cook time significantly, and BOOM - healthy jambalaya recipe!
My recipe is not only great for those on a low carb diet in general, the net carbs are perfectly in range for those on a ketogenic diet, specifically.
This delicious low carb and hearty meal has just 7 net grams of carbs per serving, tons of flavor, and makes an easy weeknight dinner for the whole family!
A Note on this Low-carb Jambalaya
There are two main styles of jambalaya: Creole jambalaya recipes use tomatoes, while the classic Cajun dish of the same name does not.
I’ve really only ever tried jambalaya made from creole recipes, so the Cajun version wasn’t even on my mind when I developed this recipe.
Kind of silly, as the tomatoes are an easy way to get that carb count down even further!
Some day, I’ll have to lean in on Cajun cooking, and do a keto Cajun jambalaya.
Keto Jambalaya Ingredients
I like to look at the ingredients in this recipe as 4 separate groups: Vegetables, Meats, Broth, and my Cajun spice mix.
While Andouille can be difficult to find in some markets, the rest of the ingredients in this recipe should be easy to find in any grocery store.
Some information on them:
Fresh veggies make up the bulk of this recipe, starting with the holy trinity of cajun and creole cooking:
Green bell pepper
My original Jambalaya recipe also uses red bell pepper and jalapenos, I’ve left those out to save on the carb count.
Finally, I use frozen cauliflower rice in place of the regular rice in the original recipe.
Sometimes I prefer to rice a whole head of cauliflower for use in a recipe, but for this one specifically, I prefer to use frozen (and thawed!) Pre-riced cauliflower.
I like to use a blend of 3 meats when making jambalaya, whether the original version, or this low carb keto jambalaya:
Spicy Andouille Sausage
Boneless, Skinless Chicken breasts
Large Raw Shrimp (or jumbo shrimp)
If you can’t find andouille sausage in your area, any spicy smoked sausage will work.
Additionally, boneless skinless chicken thighs can be used in place of breasts, if you prefer.
By “broth”, I actually mean the non-spice flavours / liquids that permeate the cauliflower rice:
Canned Diced Tomatoes
You can use any chicken broth or chicken stock - or even seafood stock - you like, homemade or retail.
If you have the time, you can simmer it with shrimp shells ahead of time, discarding the shells once they’ve flavoured the broth. This makeshift seafood broth makes an amazing base for this dish!
When designing this recipe, I made the decision to skip the tomato paste used in the original recipe, as it’s quite high in carbs.
For the sake of ease - and time - I chose to use canned, diced tomatoes instead of a tomato sauce. It turns out perfectly this way!
While some recipes call for a premade creole seasoning - or cajun seasoning blend - I prefer using a individual herbs and spices, as kind of a homemade cajun seasoning mix.
These herbs and spices include:
Aside from that whole ingredient list, you’ll need some olive oil - for cooking the meat.
How to Make Easy Keto Jambalaya
The full recipe is at the end of this post, in a printable recipe card - this is the pictorial overview, with some additional tips and info.
In a large pot (you can use a really large pan, large Dutch oven, or a very large skillet) over medium-high heat, brown the sausage in the olive oil.
Add chicken to the sliced sausage, continue cooking over medium high heat until chicken is browned on all sides.
Add pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. Turn heat down a bit, continue cooking over medium heat until vegetables are tender.
Add tomatoes, chicken broth, herbs, spices, and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go.
Add shrimp, stir to combine. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes or so, until the shrimp is cooked through.
Season with more salt, pepper, and/or spice, to taste.
Allow leftovers to cool before transferring it to an airtight container. This will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
I’ll usually serve this with some sliced green onions or chopped fresh parsley sprinkled on top.
While this has a good amount of heat as-is, you can boost it, if desired.
If you’d like some extra kick, finely chop a jalapeno or two, and cook it with the bell peppers.
Alternatively, feel free to add some red pepper flakes with the spices, and/or serve with hot sauce on the side.
More Low Carb Fish & Seafood Recipes
Looking for more low carb or keto fish recipes? I’ve got you covered, here are a few easy keto recipes for you to try!
Ahi Tuna Crudo
Keto Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl
Tuna Poke Bowl
Low Carb Keto Chirashi Bowl
Crunchy Keto Coconut Shrimp
Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Keto Clam Chowder
Low Carb Shrimp Curry
Hot Smoked Salmon
Keto Fish Cakes & Tartar Sauce
Pesto Shrimp Palmini
Low Carb Spinach Feta Salmon Pinwheels
Seared Scallops with Dijon Wine Sauce
Baked Sesame Ginger Salmon [Keto]
Keto Crab Cakes
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- 2 lbs Frozen cauliflower rice
- 1 lb Andouille Sausage sliced or chopped
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Large boneless skinless chicken breast chopped
- 1 Green bell pepper
- 1 Medium onion chopped
- 2 Celery Ribs chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves pressed
- 1 cup Canned diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup Chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoon Cayenne
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Dried Sage
- ½ teaspoon Dried Thyme
- ¼ teaspoon Smoked Serrano powder optional
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt to taste
- 1 lb Large Raw Shrimp
- Thaw cauliflower rice, drain well.
- In a large pot over medium heat, brown the sausage in the olive oil. Add chicken, continue cooking until chicken is browned on all sides.
- Add pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender.
- Add tomatoes, chicken broth, herbs, spices, and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer.
- Add drained cauliflower rice. Turn heat up to high, bring it back to a simmer, and allow to cook until the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened up a bit.
- Add shrimp, stir to combine. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes or so, until the shrimp is cooked through.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Season with more salt, pepper, and/or spice, to taste.
- Serve hot.