Vegan Jambalaya in the Instant Pot (White or Brown Rice)

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

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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: sauté some veggies, add the rest of the ingredients, set the pressure cooker timer for 4 minutes, and let the magic happen on its own!

See the vegan Instant Pot jambalaya web story over here.

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. I got great results from using extra-long white basmati rice that I’ve only been able to find in one store (the bulk section of WinCo here in the Pacific Northwest).

Cooking time for jambalaya with WHITE rice: 4 minutes at pressure, then 10 minutes natural release.

Cooking time for jambalaya with BROWN rice: 23 minutes at pressure, then 10 minutes natural release.

(Big thanks to blog reader Shonta who tested this recipe with brown rice and shared her results in the comments!)

How do I replace shrimp, sausage, or chicken to make my jambalaya vegan?

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

Yield: 6 servings

Vegan Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Vegan Jambalaya

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



  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 or brown 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: 4 minutes for white rice, 23 minutes for brown rice. Once the time is up and your Instant Pot beeps, follow 10-minute natural release opening method: 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!


*I usually use long grain white or brown 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.

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Nutrition Information:



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.

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55 thoughts on “Vegan Jambalaya in the Instant Pot (White or Brown Rice)”

  1. Made this several times-very easy. Love the flavor of this recipe but wish it was a little less mushy. I used 2 1/2 c broth instead of 3c and drained the tomatoes, used basmati rice-any suggestions on how to fix this?

    1. Hi Cindy, glad to hear that you like this jambalaya recipe! From my experience (and lots of feedback from blog readers) I made a conclusion that things will widely depend on the rice. E.g. two batches of basmati rice can “behave” differently if one batch was grown in state A, and the other – in state B.

      One trick that could help get rid of the extra moisture: once the jambalaya is done, turn off the pressure cooker, open the lid, mix lightly, and cover with a cloth kitchen towel folded in half. Then put the lid back on – obviously it won’t cover the pot as tightly as it did without the towel, so just try to cover the best you can. Leave the pot covered for 10-15 min with the lid on. The towel will absorb the extra moisture. This is an old-timey trick my mom taught me years ago. (I know I need to update the recipe post with this info too!).

      Hope this helps!

  2. Burn notice twice on the IP. Ended up putting it in a pot on stovetop, added more liquid hoping to salvage it. It’s simmering now. It was an IP fail. ?

    1. Sorry that happened, Sharon! I’ve heard people say this before, but I’ve never had that happen to me when I make this recipe. In fact, sometimes the rice comes out too “wet”, so it’s like the opposite of burning 🙂 I’m starting to think that the results will depend on the type of rice used. There are so many varieties of white rice – even Basmati rice can look different from brand to brand. If you ever make this recipe again with a different brand of rice, and it comes out OK – please let me know!

  3. Jessi Mascarenas

    Hey there! I absolutely love this recipe, so kudos! I’ll be making it for a larger group and I want to double the recipe. With doubling the recipe do I need to change the cook time?

    1. Hi Jessi, happy to hear that you love my jambalaya recipe! You don’t need to increase timing if you’re doubling this recipe. By the way, there’s a comment below from blog reader Karishma who shares what she did to double this recipe successfully – see it over here. Hope it turns out great!

  4. Shonta Rosborough

    If I want to use brown rice, how much longer should I cook it for? And how much extra broth do you think I should add?

    1. Hi Shonta! I haven’t made this recipe with brown rice, but when I cook plain brown rice in my IP, I set the pressure timer for 23 minutes (+10-minute natural release). Also, I use the same amount of water for plain brown and plain white rice, so you shouldn’t need to add more water. If you make this jambalaya with brown rice, please come back and tell me how it came out!

    2. Hey, did you end up using a longer time for the brown rice? Super interested in your method since I’d also prefer with brown rice. Thank you!

        1. The recipe was tasty but it had too much moisture -I use brown cal rose rice and three cups broth at 23 minutes plus the ten release time. I had to strain to serve.

          1. Sorry to hear that, Michelle, and thank you for letting me know! Since publishing this recipe I’ve had comments from people who said that there was too much moisture as well as people who said that they got a burn notice because there wasn’t enough moisture. I’m not sure what was happening in each instance, but it seems to me that different rice varieties may be producing different results. If you try this recipe with a different type of rice and still get the same result, please let me know!

  5. Made this tonight, and after a bit of kerfluffle between my husband and me as to how to translate the recipe instructions into our late-model InstaPot’s settings (which don’t quite match after several new IP versions), the meal came out excellent! I followed the recipe exactly except I added a can of tri-bean blend (black, red kidney, and pinto) at the very end after release while the rice was still piping hot so my toddler would get more protein, and I served it with some quick vegan sweet corn bread. We’re watching our budget here in Covid-land (Seattle), so I subbed much cheaper Mexican long-grain white rice for Basmati, and it still worked like a charm. In the rotation and will definitely be making again. Toddler gives two very messy thumbs up. 🙂

    1. I got the same message! I had to cook longer than what the original recipe had since I added more water in order for the rice to cook thoroughly. It was a pain though because i had to take all the food out and wash the pot and add the food in again.

  6. This looks delicious! What could I substitute the vegan sausage with? I’m keen on cooking with vegetables. Will mushroom make sense? Please let me know! Thanks!

      1. Oh thank you so much! I’ve got cooked chickpeas handy and I’m looking at making this for meal prep!
        Would you reckon I add the chickpeas before pressure cooking or after the pressure is released?
        Also, would you say that this can be easily doubled in a 6 quart insta pot? Looking at 12 servings and curious if it could work. Thanks! 🙂

        1. Hi Karishma! I think if you’re using cooked chickpeas, it might be best to add them at the end of cooking because otherwise they could get too mushy from getting cooked twice. Honestly, I’ve never doubled this recipe, but the info I found online suggests that that the Instant Pot shouldn’t be filled more than halfway when cooking grains because they will expand. So if you’re using a 6-quart IP (I do too), you might want to increase the ingredient amounts by 1.5 times instead of doubling. Cooking time and liquid proportions are supposed to stay the same.

          If you try this, please come back and let me know how it came out!

          1. I doubled the recipe in my 6 quart insta pot and it came out amazingly well! I managed to just about keep it on the max line in the insert and added cooked chickpeas after natural pressure release, mixed them in and put the lid back on to let the flavours infuse. Result – Delicious jambalaya that’s enough in quantity to be lunch for two people for the next 6 days (huge win in my head) and it’s basically super delicious along with being satisfying! Thank you SO much! I’m advocating this recipe like crazy!
            Hope you’re staying safe and doing well!

  7. What do you mean by pressing “manual” on the instant pot? I chose the “pressure cook” Option and I’m hoping it comes out okay. Also, I’m assuming that it’s on “high pressure”. I looked at the instant pot you have on the website, but nowhere on it shows a “manual” button. Can you clarify?

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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?

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. 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. 🙂

        1. 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!

    2. 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.

    1. Hey Alina, this recipe is awesome we are making it now! So simple to throw together.

      I actually had the same question Robin did so I’m glad i scrolled down. I didn’t know the keep warm kept time as well! Thanks for clarifying!

    2. He means natural release, but the directions are confusing. Slow release implies that I’m manually releasing steam. In this case I followed the directions and my rice was not cooked.

      1. Agreed! I highly recommend that you change the directions to reflect this. My meal was ruined because it’s said incorrectly in the recipe and I rarely read the comments. 🙁

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