Authentic Cajun recipes are not only delicious but also rich (and often fatty). This presents a dilemma for calorie-counting foodies who want to taste the spicy, savory flavors that make Cajun cooking loved around the world. But believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to make healthy Cajun dishes without having to sacrifice the flavor!
Here’s a healthy spin on our classic Cajun Jambalaya recipe, and it only requires a few changes! Instead of using pork, you can use chicken breast. Plus, our flavorful andouille sausage is going to take your dish over the top. All of the fresh veggies will be a healthy addition, plus the brown rice is also a lower calorie choice than traditional white rice. Here’s how to make the first of our healthy Cajun dishes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breasts, cubed
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Spices (1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and oregano, then ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and 3 bay leaves. Or, make it simple and use our Best Stop Cajun Garlic Seasoning.)
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups chicken broth (Be sure it’s low sodium)
3 cups brown rice (uncooked)
¼ cups green onion, chopped
¼ cups fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot and toss the chicken, andouille, and half of the spices into the pot. Sauté until chicken is browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot along with the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent, approximately 3 minutes. Then add the celery and bell peppers and sauté for another five minutes. Then add in the tomato, tomato paste, and the remaining spices. Cook until everything is incorporated together.
- Add in the chicken stock and a dash of The Best Stop Seasoning. Bring to a boil and then add the uncooked rice as well as the proteins to the pot. Return to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
- Add the green onions and parsley, stir, then continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.
Calorie count: Approximately 300. It’s down considerably by switching to brown rice and white-meat chicken.
Stuffed vegetables are a deliciously healthy Cajun recipe that can be made in many different ways. We suggest adding our famous boudin as a stuffing inside of bell peppers, yellow squash and mirlitons. Brown rice and this pork-based protein are going to be the perfect combo for an appetizer (or even an entire meal). Avoiding the breadcrumb and butter topping that is common on the stuffed vegetables will be a healthier alternative, too (and is good advice for all of our healthy Cajun dishes)!
1 pound boudin
4 green bell peppers, yellow squash or mirliton squash
1 cups brown rice, cooked
1 clove garlic, diced
1 half onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons of The Best Stop Cajun Seasoning
- Cut off the tops and scoop out the seeds from the bell peppers or squash. For yellow squash, try using a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the soft, spongy middle. You’ll need to cut mirlitons in half long-ways and briefly boil them before scooping out their seeds.
- Saute the garlic, onion and celery in a pot with olive oil until the veggies are tender.
- Peel the casing away from the boudin. Pour the loose boudin into the pot with the cooked rice and seasoning. Stir to incorporate and cook until heated, about 10 minutes.
- Generously stuff each veggie with the mixture, topping each with cracked pepper and a dash of breadcrumbs.
- Place in a glass baking dish with half inch of water.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.
Calorie count: Approximately 300 per stuffed veggie.
Red Beans & Rice with Spicy Chicken Sausage
Red beans and rice is a Cajun staple that you don’t want to forget about. Rather than putting a heaping spoonful on the side of a dish, you can turn it into a dish of its own, especially by adding our delicious Smoked Jalapeno Chicken Sausage. This dish loves to be cooked low and slow, so we recommend cooking it on the weekend where it can simmer all day on the stove!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup brown rice
1 pound dry red beans
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons The Best Stop Cajun Garlic Seasoning
3 bay leaves
2 pounds chicken sausage, roughly chopped
8 cups water
Dash of hot sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot on high heat. Add the chopped sausage from The Best Stop to the pot and brown the meat until it starts to crisp up a bit.
- Add the chopped vegetables to the pot of browning meat and add half the seasoning. Stir until the veggies are tender.
- Add the dry beans and 8 cups of water to the pot and bring to a rolling boil. Let this boil for a few minutes and add the rest of the seasoning.
- Turn down the heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid. You’ll want to leave this pot simmering for about 5 hours.
- When the beans are plenty tender, use a wooden spoon to mash the beans against the bottom of the pot. Be sure to scrape up all the flavorful bits and stir them in as well.
- About 30 minutes before dinner, put the rice on to cook.
- Serve with a scoop of rice and a dash of hot sauce on top!
Calorie count: Approximately 600 calories for a big bowl of beans. It’s way fewer thanks to the chicken sausage as well as the use of brown rice!
We hope these recipes help you enjoy that Cajun flavor we hold so dear – without the guilt!
At The Best Stop Supermarket, we have some amazing meats, sausages, and spices to ensure you have everything needed to serve up tasty dishes to your family and friends. Plus, if you’re not in Louisiana, we have an online store that ships our award-winning products to all 50 U.S. states!