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Paleo Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice

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Paleo Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice – Classic flavors with a grain free twist! This paleo jambalaya uses cauliflower rice in place of regular rice for a veggie-licious spin on our old favorite. (Gluten free, paleo & Whole30 approved!)

Two bowls of paleo jambalaya made with cauliflower rice from One Lovely Life.

I LOVE big flavors, whether it’s punchy berries and lemon in a gorgeous cake, the rich, hearty flavors of a good slow-cooker meal, or bold pasta sauces that keep me coming back for another taste. I was poking through my freezer recently and spotted a few bags of cauliflower rice I needed to use. It’s a little bland on its own, so I started daydreaming about big flavors I could pair with it.

This paleo jambalaya is just that sort of big-flavor recipe I love. It’s got the classic flavors from jambalaya that I love, made with cauliflower rice instead of white rice for a veggie-licious, extra delicious paleo spin on dinner. Make it with just sausage, or add sausage and shrimp. It’s up to you! Here’s what I put in mine…

White Dutch oven filled with paleo jambalaya made with cauliflower rice from One Lovely Life

What’s Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a Louisiana classic. It’s typically made from rice mixed with meat and vegetables. The meat in jambalaya almost always includes sausage of some kind, along with pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp.

After browning and cooking the meat, you add the veggies. The veggie mixture always includes the “holy trinity” in Cajun cooking (onion, celery, bell pepper), and can also include other veggies like tomatoes, spicy chilis, garlic, and even occasionally okra.

Once the veggies have been cooked, you add rice, seasonings, and then broth and cook until the rice is cooked through. We’re breaking with tradition a bit today because we’re making paleo jambalaya, which is grain (therefore, rice) free.

Ingredients for Paleo Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice - Cauliflower rice, Fire roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, celery, green onion, fresh herbs, Cajun seasoning, and garlic.

What’s in Paleo Jambalaya?

ANDOUILLE OR KIELBASA SAUSAGE. Andouille is more traditional than kielbasa, but it *is* pretty spicy. If you have a low spice tolerance or are serving kids who do, I recommend going the kielbasa route.

SHRIMP. Technically optional, but I love to add it when I can. I only use half a pound of shrimp (thawed from frozen is fine!), but it feels a little more like traditional jambalaya when I include them.

THE TRINITY. The Cajun “holy trinity” is a mixture of onion, celery, and bell peppers. They provide an amazing base of flavor that’s different from the mirepoix in other cuisines.

DICED TOMATOES. I use canned tomatoes for ease, and prefer fire-roasted tomatoes, if you can find them. There’s no spice to them, they’ve simply been roasted first, so the flavor feels a bit more developed and less “tinny” than other canned tomatoes.

CAJUN SEASONING. I go the easy route by choosing a store-bought blend (like this or this), but you can absolutely make your own. Cajun seasoning tends to include chili powder, cayenne, paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper and salt.

CAULIFLOWER RICE. Here’s our grain free substitute! I most often use frozen cauliflower rice (sometimes labeled “riced cauliflower”). It’s easy to keep on hand and works great! Need to make your own? Here’s how.

BROTH. You can use whatever you like–veggie and chicken are my two favorites. You won’t need as much for paleo jambalaya as you do for traditional jambalaya, since cauliflower rice won’t absorb it like regular rice does.

GARNISHES. Optional, but I love ’em! I finish my paleo jambalaya with a sprinkle of sliced green onions and chopped herbs, like parsley, or (non-traditional) cilantro. The pretty pop of green looks great, and I love the light, fresh flavor they bring to the deeper, more rich flavors of jambalaya.

Close up view of Paleo Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice.

FAQ + Tips for Perfect Paleo Jambalaya

I’m not paleo. Can I make it with regular rice? Unfortunately, the ratios won’t be the same. Rice will absorb liquid, where cauliflower rice really won’t. I’d recommend another recipe if you want a traditional jambalaya with rice.

Feel free to use frozen! I love using frozen cauliflower rice. It’s super convenient to have a bag in my freezer at all times, and it saves me a step of prep. Plus, the pre-grated ones seem to have a more consistent texture than when I’ve made it myself. If it fits your budget, I recommend buying pre-made. Otherwise, you can make it yourself.

Make it more or less spicy. You can control the heat a bit by monitoring your ingredients. For less heat, use kielbasa instead of Andouille sausage, and start with 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning instead of 3-4. For more heat, use Andouille, 3-4 tsp Cajun seasoning, and consider using diced tomatoes with green chiles for even more kick!

Whole30 notes. If you’re making this for Whole30, double check your sausage, tomatoes, broth, and seasoning for compliant ingredients.

More One Pan Cauliflower Rice Meals to Love:

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Two bowls of paleo jambalaya made with cauliflower rice from One Lovely Life.

Paleo Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Emily from One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


Paleo Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice is a a grain free spin on our old favorite. We love the big, bold flavors! (Gluten free, paleo & whole30 approved!) 


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12oz kielbasa or andouille sausage, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (about 1 heaping cup
  • 23 stalks celery, diced
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes (I like fire-roasted), undrained (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup-3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (12oz) package cauliflower rice (frozen or fresh)
  • 8 oz. shrimp
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 23 Tbsp minced cilantro or parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste.


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add sausage and cook 5-7 minutes, or until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook 10-12 minutes to soften. (Onion will look translucent and celery will be tender)
  4. Add garlic, Cajun seasoning, tomatoes, and broth. Stir to combine.
  5. Add cauliflower rice, browned sausage, and uncooked shrimp to the Dutch oven.
  6. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque and cooked through.
  7. Taste and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro, and serve warm!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Paleo, American, Cajun
Two bowls of paleo jambalaya with cauliflower rice with text that reads "Gluten free & whole30 Paleo Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice" Collage of images of Paleo Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice from One Lovely Life


    1. You can–the texture won’t be quite as spot on as fresh since the shrimp will continue cooking when you reheat it, but the flavors will hold up great!

  1. Hi there! When making this with frozen cauliflower rice, would I cook it per the bags instructions beforehand, or just throw it in frozen and let it cook that way? Thanks!

  2. I’ve made this twice now and absolutely love it. Both times I did add a 1/4 cup of a grain. I used a quinoa mix once and a farro this second time. Simple, easy, great recipe! Thank you!

  3. This was delicious!! I used turkey Italian sausage, fresh cherry tomatoes and frozen cauliflower rice. Lite but filling and delicious. Will definitely add this to my go to recipes!! Thanks!!

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