Vegan Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

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Vegan jambalaya has long been our family’s favorite Cajun-inspired dish. Today I’m sharing my recipe for making it in the Instant Pot (or whatever brand of electric pressure cooker you may have).

Instant Pot vegan jambalaya recipe, made with chipotle Field Roast sausage and long grain white rice

I’ve never made jambalaya myself before going vegan, but after our family switched to a plant-based diet, I’ve tried at least 3 or 4 vegan jambalaya recipes from various blogs and cookbooks.

From my experience, I found out that jambalaya can be easy to cook, but also quite easy to ruin.

Forget to check how spicy your brand of Cajun seasoning is, and your jambalaya can turn out hotter than fire.

Forget to stir the rice as it’s cooking, and it can stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

This last part recently got me thinking that if I made my jambalaya in the Instant Pot, the need for stirring would be eliminated.

Plus, who doesn’t like the convenience of putting everything in the pot, setting the timer, and walking away to do whatever you want while the dinner is cooking?

Vegan jambalaya recipe made in the Instant Pot

So this is how my Instant Pot vegan jambalaya recipe was born. It’s really easy and quick to make: saute some veggies, add the rest of the ingredients, set the pressure cooker timer for 4 minutes, and let the magic happen on its own!

As in many (most?) Cajun-inspired dishes, this vegan jambalaya recipe uses the Holy Trinity – a mixture of chopped onions, celery and green bell peppers – as its base.

You realize where this name comes from when just a few minutes into cooking your house fills up with a truly divine aroma.

By the way, this is one of the 15 kid friendly vegan recipes from the blog that have been approved by my 2 year-old toddler.

I like that I can make the whole dish in my Instant Pot start to finish thanks to the saute function that lets me cook the onions, celery and bell peppers.

If you have a different pressure cooker brand that doesn’t come with a saute function, you can pre-cook the vegetables separately on the stovetop, then transfer them to your pressure cooker along with the rest of the ingredients.

Are you an Instant Pot newbie? See my easy-to-follow guide to using an Instant Pot that will get any beginner up to speed on pressure cooking.

Below I’d like to answer a few common questions about cooking vegan jambalaya.

What brand of Cajun seasoning is used in vegan jambalaya?

There are a lot of brands of Cajun seasoning (also known as Creole seasoning) on the market. Some of them are spicier than others.

Some contain salt while others don’t. Some seasonings with salt also contain MSG, but be aware that it isn’t always disclosed on the package.

I recommend using salt-free Cajun seasoning blend to avoid MSG. A big plus if the ingredients are organic. However, organic spice brands tend to run more expensive.

Vegan jambalaya in the Instant Pot

What kind of rice is used in vegan jambalaya?

I’ve made jambalaya recipes that called for short grain and long grain white rice, as well as brown rice.

From my experience, long grain white rice like basmati makes the best jambalaya, especially in this Instant Pot recipe. Short grain rice often turns into mush, and brown rice tends to take too long to cook.

How do I replace the traditionally used shrimp, sausage, or chicken in vegan jambalaya?

My favorite vegan way to add a meaty component to my jambalaya is using the chipotle-flavored Field Roast sausage.

Before the jambalaya purists shake their heads and tell me that chipotle flavor is an abomination in the classic jambalaya, I’ll say that it mellows out quite a bit during cooking, and enhances the final dish with a delicious spicy and smoky flavor.

If you aren’t a fan of fake vegan meats, or would rather keep your jambalaya entirely whole food, plant-based, skip the Field Roast sausage completely or add some cooked chickpeas or kidney beans instead.

Is vegan jambalaya gluten-free?

All of the ingredients of this jambalaya recipe are gluten-free except for the Field Roast sausage. To make this jambalaya gluten-free, omit the sausage completely, or add cooked chickpeas or kidney beans.

If you’re using store-bought Cajun seasoning, make sure that it’s also gluten-free.

Instant Pot Vegan Jambalaya Recipe

How do I make this jambalaya without an Instant Pot?

This vegan jambalaya can easily be made on stovetop too.

To do that, saute the Holy Trinity vegetables (onions, celery and green bell pepper), then add garlic. Add dry unrinsed rice and let it toast with the veggies for a minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients except for parsley. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the rice cooks through and the liquid is absorbed.

Stir frequently to prevent sticking. If the liquid disappears before the rice is done, add a bit more to keep things moist. After the jambalaya is done, mix in chopped parsley. That’s it!

This recipe is a part of my collection of healthy vegan recipes made with easy to find non-perishable ingredients you most likely have in your pantry right now.

Vegan Jambalaya Recipe - made in the Instant Pot

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Rate this recipe below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.

Yield: 6 servings

Vegan Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

Vegan Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

This Instant Pot vegan jambalaya is surprisingly easy to make, yet it tastes like something you've put a lot of effort into making. No oil is added during the cooking process. Chipotle Field Roast sausages make a great substitute for the traditional Andouille sausage. Make sure to scale the amount of Cajun seasoning if you don't want your jambalaya to be over the top spicy.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Press the Saute button of your Instant Pot. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water or vegetable broth. Once the liquid starts bubbling, add diced onions, bell pepper, celery, and minced garlic. Saute until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking and adding more liquid if needed.
  2. Add unrinsed white long-grain rice, mix it into the vegetables, allowing the rice to toast slightly for about 1 minute. Meanwhile, cut the Field Roast sausages lengthwise, then chop them into 1/4 inch-thick half-moons.
  3. Add drained canned tomatoes, Cajun seasoning (start with the smaller amount if your seasoning brand is very spicy), smoked paprika, chopped chipotle Field Roast sausages, vegetable broth or water, and salt and pepper.
  4. Press the Cancel button on your Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place, making sure that the vent lever is set to pressure. Press the Manual button and set the timer for 4 minutes. Once the time is up and your Instant Pot beeps, do the 10-minute natural release: let the timer reach 10 minutes, then press Cancel and carefully turn the pressure knob to release steam - be careful not to burn yourself when the steam starts coming out!
  5. Remove the lid, fluff up the rice and adjust the seasoning if needed. Mix in fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Notes

*I usually use white basmati rice with great results.

**I like the flavor and texture of the spicy chipotle Field Roast sausages in this recipe, but feel free to use a different brand of spicy vegan sausage if you'd like. However, I can't guarantee that sausages from other brands will have the right texture when cooked in the Instant Pot.

**For a fake meat-free/gluten-free version, omit the sausage completely, or add 1 can of drained and rinsed canned chickpeas or kidney beans.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1 bowl

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g
Please note that the provided nutritional information data is approximate.

Easy vegan jambalaya recipe for the Instant Pot

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About Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats

Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Eventually she embraced veganism as a way to be kinder to fellow living beings and the environment. Alina hopes that this blog helps its readers on their path to becoming vegan and making this world a better place.

22 Responses to Vegan Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

  1. Robyn says:

    When you say quick release for 10min do you mean natural release?

  2. Ashley says:

    What if you don’t have an instapot ?

  3. Jasmine says:

    Great recipe! However, I followed it exactly and mine was completely watery. Any way to fix that?

    • Hi Jasmine, sorry to hear that! Maybe it’s the rice – some types can be less absorbent than others. Did the rice cook through completely, or is it still a little al dente? Also, did you drain the canned tomatoes before adding them in? If it’s not a complete soup, it will most likely get thicker as it sits because of all that starch in the rice. If it doesn’t, please let me know!

      • Jasmine says:

        Oh my gosh, I’m such a ditz! I got so excited/nervous because this was my first instant pot recipe that I didn’t drain the tomatoes. 🙁 I also used a long grain brown rice because that’s all I had in the house. Will definitely try basmati next time and to remember to drain those toms. I did leave it to sit without the pot being on and it thickened somewhat, so I will definitely still be eating it. Thanks so much for the recipe. 🙂

        • Ok, I see! That’s definitely the brown rice – it takes much longer to cook before it’s done in the Instant Pot. When I make plain rice in my IP, I set it for 3 minutes for white rice (any length), and 22 min for brown. If you make this jambalaya with brown rice again, try cooking it longer, and it should come out fine. Good luck!

    • Chris says:

      If you followed the directions verbatim, then it may be a little watery. After the 4 minutes, do not quick release for 10. Natural realest for 10 and then quick release for the remainder of the steam( be careful, it’ll still be hot). Hope this helps.

  4. Mike (Papa) says:

    What if you wanted to add some shrimp to this recipe? My girls are Vegan but occasionally eat shrimp/fish. Should I just sauté the shrimp on the side and stir it in at the end?

    • Hi Mike! Honestly, I’ve never made non-vegan jambalaya, so I’m not sure about the best course of action here. If you saute shrimp on the side and mix it in at the end, that should work out fine. Also, check out some non-vegan jambalaya recipes – they will most likely have info on how to cook jambalaya with seafood.

  5. Jill Campbell says:

    Made this tonight, obediently followed the recipe exactly, and we are loving it! Thank you! I’ve been in a cooking slump lately, and am inspired to make stuff from your list!

  6. Deena says:

    Wow, I just made this for the first time and it was the first time I ever used my instant pot. It couldn’t have come out better! Just perfect and delicious! Also fairly easy and quick. Thanks!

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