cajun · dinner · seafood

Shrimp & Lentil Jambalaya

The skies opened up this morning and dumped gallons and gallons of rain on OKC.

The dreary and cold Spring morning was just what the doctor ordered. We’re still recovering from devastating wildfires out west, and our rain this “storm season” has been anywhere close to where it needs to be for this time of year.

I’m busy cozying up on the couch right now, while my cat, Bolo, watches the gigantic raindrops fall to the ground from the living room window. This is some good weather to snuggle up under a blanket and fall fast asleep.

While we enjoy the rain, I’m planning on eating this jambalaya I made for lunch. Jambalaya and I go way back—and I mean way back. My mom makes the best jambalaya I’ve ever tasted. She found it in the newspaper many moons ago and it became a staple in our meal rotation while I was in high school and college. The original recipe called for shrimp, ham and chicken, but my mom makes it with just about any protein she has on hand. A favorite is with pork chops, sometimes sausage, always delicious.

I posted our beloved jambalaya recipe a few years ago. I wanted to make some jambalaya over the weekend, but wanted something different. We’ve been trying to stay a low-carb house (although we did eat some real pasta last Friday), and I’ve been experimenting with meals with no heavy starch whatsoever. That means no quinoa, no brown rice—although those are good healthy substitutes.

Spaghetti squash, bell peppers, and zucchini have all been my anti-carb go to’s, but none would work in a good jambalaya. Could you imagine cauliflower rice in this Cajun dish? Ew. No thank you.

Don’t get me wrong, cauliflower rice is great—but there’s a time and a place for that. This was neither the time nor the place.

Looking in my cabinets and pantry, I found a half-used bag of red lentils. Perfection! Lentils are heavy on the protein and low on the carb front. Plus, when mixed with a Cajun mirepoix (green bell pepper, celery, and onion) they become the most flavorful legumes on the planet.

My celery went bad in the fridge so I had to compromise and use two carrots instead. As long as you pulse the veggies in a food processor real fine, you still will get all the flavor without the noticability of the big chunks of vegetables. Carrots in this Louisiana staple may sound like heresay, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do with what you have on hand.

All in all, this jambalaya was fit for a queen. I didn’t miss the rice one stinkin’ bit. Don’t tell my mom, but I may keep this one on the rotation instead of the one we usually make…

Shrimp & Lentil Jambalaya

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A protein packed Cajun stew with shrimp, andouille sausage, and flavorful lentils.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Roughly chop onion, pepper and carrots and then place in food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Meanwhile, in a pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add veggies and saute for 3-4 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  2. Add sausage to pot and stir. Continue cooking for 3 more minutes. Season shrimp with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and set aside.
  3. Add lentils, chicken broth, Cajun seasoning and diced tomatoes to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender and a lot of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add shrimp to pot and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until shrimp is pink.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Roughly chop onion, pepper and carrots and then place in food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Meanwhile, in a pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add veggies and saute for 3-4 minutes until soft and fragrant.

Add sausage to pot and stir. Continue cooking for 3 more minutes. Season shrimp with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and set aside.

Add lentils, chicken broth, Cajun seasoning and diced tomatoes to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender and a lot of the liquid is absorbed.

Add shrimp to pot and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until shrimp is pink.

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