Jambalaya originates in Louisiana and usually has Andouille sausage, chicken, onion, bell pepper, celery, rice, and a spicy kick unique to the region. Many recipes also include shrimp. The difference between Creole jambalaya and Cajun jambalaya is that the Creole version has tomatoes and sometimes tomato sauce as well.
This Creole vegan Jambalaya features homemade vegan Andouille sausage and an excellent chicken substitute. I borrowed the okra found in gumbo to replace the seafood. A slow cooker eliminates your need to tend to the typical boiling and simmering process, freeing up your time to make the fabulous sausage.
This recipe is hot stuff! It’s not so hot that it drowns out the flavors of the food, but it has bite. If you want to tone the spiciness down a bit, reduce the Cajun spice and cayenne pepper, and skip the crushed red pepper in the vegan sausage.
I have adapted recipes for Colleen’s Slow Cooker Jambalaya and Bistro Katie’s recipe for vegan Andouille sausage. The vegan sausage preparation method that Bistro Katie used is from Julie Hasson (see her Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage recipe) and Isa Chandra Moskowitz (see her Spicy Pinto Sausage recipe).
How I Made it Vegan
- I’ve replaced the chicken with Gardein Chick’n Scallopini, which is a fabulous substitute–it’s so good that my omnivorous partner and I enjoy eating it just pan-fried by itself.
- I replaced the Andouille sausage with vegan Andouille sausage, which I prepare and then pan-fry until browned while the rest of the food is slow cooking. To cut down on the prep time you could order prepackaged vegan Andouille sausage, but I have never tried it and can’t say how good it would be.
- I’ve replaced the shrimp with okra. Okra is a major ingredient in gumbo, another dish popular in Creole cooking.
- I replaced the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
Jambalaya has the rice cooked in with the rest of the ingredients, so I took one of the Colleen’s Slow Cooker Jambalaya reviewer’s hints and added 2 cups of instant brown rice to the slow cooker 30 minutes before the end instead of cooking rice separately. Since I pan-fry the vegan sausage, I also add it in just 30 minutes before the end. I’ve added 2 Tbsp of tomato paste for extra flavor.
Bistro Katie’s recipe for vegan Andouille sausage recipe calls for chickpea flour. I’ve substituted soy flour, which is another high protein flour that is easier to find in stores; I’ve tried the recipe with both types of flour and I can’t tell the difference. To more closely imitate the seasonings traditionally used in Andouille sausage, I replaced the oregano with thyme, added more black pepper, added onion powder, added some optional crushed red pepper, and replaced the broth with red wine. The red wine also gives the vegan sausage an incredible deep brown color–these babies look just like meat sausage and taste better too! You certainly wouldn’t want to use a very sweet red wine like port in this recipe, but most red wines are dry enough to work. I had just as much luck with Shiraz as I did with Cabernet Sauvignon.