Quick and Easy Quinoa Jambalaya

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Necessity is the mother of invention with this one. Forgotten rice makes for Quick and Easy Quinoa Jambalaya!

A Kitchen Hoors Adventures | Quick and Easy Quinoa Jambalaya

The best laid plans…


You can finish that one for me, I’m sure. Every week, I plan the meals. Every week, I make a grocery list. Sometimes this works, sometimes, not so much. This week was a “not so much” week. Actually, this is two weeks of “not so much.” You see, this recipe has been on the list for two weeks now. It was Saturday of last week, which didn’t happen. So I bumped it to Wednesday of this week. Except, I forgot one key ingredient…



Brain=sieve. You know how it goes. And, in actuality, I meant to have red beans in this dish. So, please feel free to add one 14 ounce can of rinsed and drained kidney or red beans of choice. Just sayin…

A Kitchen Hoors Adventures | Quick and Easy Quinoa Jambalaya


This was yummy. This was really yummy! And I think it was honestly on the table in less than 40? Maybe 45? Sauté veggies, add sausage, cook quinoa and shrimp. Voila! Dinner’s on the table.


It was really good for lunch the next day, too! It was spicy, but not overpoweringly so. I personally used Emeril’s Cajun seasoning. I need to work on my own Cajun spices. I have a base from EONS ago when Dad was doing all that traveling for the Cotton Council. He took a few trips to New Orleans and managed a recipe for two under his belt BEFORE the whole Cajun thing took off. We’re talking Justin Wilson time frame Cajun stuff.


Yes, I know I don’t look that old, but Dad and I seriously loved watching Justin cook up in his kitchen. Gotta love the PBS Saturday cooking show line up. MAN did I learn so much about food from them! Justin, Yan, Julia, Jacques, Sarah. All of them! Such fond memories…

A Kitchen Hoors Adventures | Quick and Easy Quinoa Jambalaya

Quinoa is not part of those fond memories, but I seriously love this grain. I’ve been eating it for – WOW – almost 15 years now? I know that’s nothing compared to the age of this grain, but still, that’s longer than most. It’s so versatile, hearty, tasty. It’s perfect for meatless meals because of high protein count. This is the tri-color blend Dad gave me. I thought, “Since it’s in the cupboard, why not? You forgot rice so you need SOMETHING!”


I seriously debated making that pitiful 3/4 cup of rice in the pantry, but decided to change this recipe up and make it different. I think this has opened a whole new world of quinoa recipes for me. You’ll just have to stay tuned to see what I come up with.


Quick and Easy Quinoa Jambalaya

Quick and Easy Quinoa Jambalaya

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 36 minutes
Total Time: 41 minutes

Necessity is the mother of invention with this one. Forgotten rice makes for Quick and Easy Quinoa Jambalaya!


  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 12 ounces turkey kielbasa, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 8 ounces large shrimp, peeled and cleaned


  1. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the celery, bell pepper and onion. Sauté until the onions begin to soften.
  2. Add the sausage and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until the sausage begins to brown.
  3. Add the quinoa and cook 2 minutes then add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Remove cover and add the shrimp, stirring to combine. Cover and continue cooking 10 more minutes or until the liquid is dissolved. Serve with a lettuce wedge and French bread.

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  1. Yay! No tomatoes! This Cajun girl believes that’s the only correct way to do jambalaya. I’ve been wanting to try making jambalaya with quinoa, but I’m new to the quinoa thing. Do you think this recipe serves about 4-6 adults? And do you see any problem with doubling the recipe? Thanks!

    1. People put tomatoes in jambalaya? Hmm… Not the way Dad was taught by his friend in New Orleans. Quinoa is nutty and different. I liked it with the jambalaya. I believe this recipe could serve 4 to 6 people and it would easily be doubled.

      1. Yes, it’s a big debate here in New Orleans–red (Creole) or brown (Cajun) jambalaya. But most non-local recipes for jambalaya always include tomatoes. Your Dad taught you right! Lol. I’m going to make this for Labor Day. Thanks!

  2. Wow! Justin Wilson is old school. I grew up watching him on our public broadcasting station.
    I've made jambalaya with couscous a few times when I *gasp* ran out of rice. Never thought to use quinoa, but it makes perfect sense. And know what? Cajuns live by the "necessity is the mother of invention" rule!

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