Happy Fat Tuesday! In New Orleans, this is the culmination of the annual Mardi Gras celebration. Twenty years ago I was celebrating on Bourbon Street. Back then I thought traditional Mardi Gras fare consisted mainly of Hurricanes and Hand Grenades. Today, my life is more Sesame Street than Bourbon Street, but at least I can now appreciate a real Creole feast. Luckily, most Cajun food is easy to make Paleo, and this Paleo Jambalaya is a delicious “classy” way to earn your Mardi Gras beads!

I love jambalaya with lots of different flavors, so this has chicken, sausage, and shrimp. You can omit any of those if you want (but it is so good with all three). I really wanted make a jambalaya without tomatoes (if you are a regular reader, you know that my son can’t eat tomatoes) but still tasted amazing and like real jambalaya. The peppers and the spices really make this work. But, of course you can always add tomatoes (either diced or a paste) and it will still be Paleo. If you are AIP you can just eliminate the peppers. And if you are making this for little kids, you can eliminate the cayenne and use sweet Italian sausage instead of Andoille to make it less spicy.

Mardi Gras with the girls

Me and my pals on Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras 1997

Paleo Jambalaya


  • 1 lb chicken tenders (or breasts or thighs), cubed
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb wild-caught large raw shrimp (I bought them already peeled and deveined)
  • 3 peppers (I used red, orange, and yellow), chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Riced cauliflower (I use Trader Joe’s organic frozen cauliflower but you can just rice a head of cauliflower if you don’t have a TJ’s near you or you like doing things the long way)
  • 1 TBS + 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper

paleo Jambalaya


  1. Put chicken, onion, peppers, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and all seasonings in a crockpot and add chicken stock. Stir.
  2. Cook on low for about 6 hours.
  3. Add sausage and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. At this point, defrost the shrimp if it is frozen (by placing loose in a strainer in a bowl in the sink and covering with cold water) and rice the cauliflower if you aren’t using pre-riced.
  5. Add in shrimp and cauliflower and cook another 30 minutes.
  6. Turn off and let sit for 30 minutes to thicken. Enjoy!

Mardi Gras Mask

Laissez les bons temps rouler – Let the Good Times Roll

Happy Mardi Gras XO

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