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Creole Quinoa Jambalaya

The first bag of quinoa I had in the cupboard was almost up to it’s expiry before I got around to using it but once I got into the swing I was pretty well hooked. I love the texture and the nutty flavour it offers a dish, it’s perfect for warm salads and works perfectly as an alternative to rice in Jambalaya. I’d seen the recipe on a product advertisement for Ceres Quinoa and decided to try it. I have changed the method slightly and added a few more ingredients like paprika and tumeric which I associate with Paella. I found that rather than cook it all in one pot which is typical for Jambalaya the quinoa is better cooked on it’s own to help it ‘sprout’ then added to the rest of the dish for the final stages of cooking.

Creole Jambalaya originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans. It evolved by the Spanish attempting to make paella in the New World, where saffron was not readily available due to import costs and tomatoes became the substitute for saffron. As time went on, French influence became strong in New Orleans, and spices from the Caribbean changed this New World paella into a unique dish.

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 1.5 cups Quinoa (I used the red variety)
  • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drum separated)
  • 12 large prawns
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups of stock
  • Handful of fresh oregano or thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes or 1 fresh chilli, chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to season
  • Olive oil for frying


  1. Rinse quinoa in cold water, then drain. Add grain to a pan with 4 cups of water and bring to the boil then simmer for 8 minutes until the grain has ‘sprouted’. Drain in a colander and put aside.
  2. Place a little oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken, browning on all sides.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onions are opaque, stirring constantly.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan and add the tomatoes, stock, oregano, paprika, chilli and turmeric.
  5. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the prawns and the quinoa and return the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes. The dish should still have some liquid, if it doesn’t add a little water.
  7. Check the chicken and prawns are cooked, add chopped parsley and serve immediately.

It does re-heat well if you want to make it in advance, the quinoa holds better and doesn’t absorb all the liquid liek rice would.

Upcoming Classes & Events at the Gourmet Gannet – 2011

Cheese Making – Halloumi, Mozzarella & Ricotta

Cake Decorating – learn how to decorate a kids novelty 3D birthday cake

Tapas – Make and enjoy a range of Tapas

Creative Salads – How about a Moroccan Quinoa Salad? Or Mediterranean Lentil Salad?

Creole Cooking with a Twist – Quinoa Jambalaya, Pineapple & Mango Ice cream

Savoury Pie Workshop – Come and make traditional pork pies or gala pies with a hot water pastry crust.

Homemade Sausages – No additives or fillers, just great taste!

Chocolate & Plain Croissant – Ever wanted to make your own croissants?

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. mairi29 #

    That looks delicious. Like you I have some quinoa languishing in the pantry 🙂 Look forward to finally meeting you on Sunday for some tea!

    December 8, 2010
  2. I love this recipe! It contains so many ingredients I love, like quinoa, chicken and spices. Thanks for the idea 🙂

    December 9, 2010
  3. I like the use of the quinoa here!

    January 2, 2011
  4. Shilpa #

    I loved this recipe! A perfect healthy meal for dinner. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    January 19, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      I’m glad you liked it. Quinoa needs lots of flavor that’s why I thought it would go well. My other favorite with quinoa is to mix a ratatouille through it.

      January 19, 2011
  5. Lesly #

    Not a fan of Paprika but we love Cayenne Pepper so I used it instead, it gave it a bit more of a kick and it was a big hit! Love that (except for cooking the quinoa) it’s all cooked in one pan! Great recipe will make again with boneless thighs next time, just easier to eat.

    January 13, 2013

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