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jambalaya with greens in a pot

Vegan Brown Rice Jambalaya with Black Eyed Peas and Collards

This easy vegetarian version of a classic New Orleans jambalaya uses a mix of cajun seasonings and hardy whole grains and legumes to make up for the meat! Instead of sausage, pork, chicken or shrimp, this vegan recipe uses other southern favorites: US grown long grain brown rice, black-eyed peas (your New Year’s good luck charm!) and leafy collard greens. It’s gluten-free and healthy too. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list or the cook time, the prep is fairly straight forward and simple. Make sure to check out the recipe notes for how to make this low FODMAP or using canned black-eyed peas if you can't find dried or don't have time to soak them overnight. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 bunch collard greens thick stems removed and thinly sliced
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks thinly sliced
  • 1 large jalapeno seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes or one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas soaked overnight
  • 2 cups American long grain brown rice
  • 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the collard greens and stir-fry until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil along with the onions, bell pepper, and celery, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the jalapeno, garlic, smoked paprika, regular paprika, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes more, until very fragrant, then add the tomatoes, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and allow the tomato mixture to thicken slightly.
  3. Pour in the stock, black-eyed peas, and brown rice. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peas and rice have grown in size, but still have quite a bite to them. Cover the pot completely and continue cooking over low heat, undisturbed, until tender (but not mushy) and all of the liquid has been absorbed, another 20 minutes.
  4. Fold in the collard greens and half the scallions. Cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
  5. Season the vegetarian jambalaya with parsley, the remaining scallions, and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

  • Instructions for canned black-eyed peas: If you don’t have time to soak the peas in advance, you can a) cover them with boiling water for 10 minutes, or b) start with canned black-eyed peas. For the latter, simply cut the amount of stock in half, and add the rinsed beans to the pot when you fold in the collard greens in step 4.
  • To make this recipe low FODMAP: Omit the onions, garlic, and black-eyed peas. Reduce the amount of stock to 4 cups. It will be slightly more tomato-heavy without the extra legumes to dilute the flavors, but I didn’t mind!