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Cajun Cabbage and Rice Skillet

Cajun Cabbage and Rice

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 12 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 Minutes
  • Total Time: 62 Minutes (+Rest Time)
  • Yield: 4-5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cajun
  • Diet: Vegan


Incredibly delicious, comforting, and low-fat, this oil-free Cajun Cabbage and Rice is bursting with amazing goodness and nourishing veggies.



Base Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup uncooked brown rice (or rice of choice)
  • 1 cup yellow onions, fine dice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, fine dice
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups shredded green cabbage *
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
  • 1 cup water (or broth)
  • 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari *
  • 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke *
  • 2 – [ 15 oz. cans ] kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Herb/Spice Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed thyme leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt (+/-) *
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (+/-)

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Optional Toppings:

  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • Hot sauce *


  1. Rinse the dry uncooked brown rice really well with hot tap water for several minutes, then place the rinsed rice in a bowl and cover with hot tap water and allow to soak until ready to use in Step 6.
  2. Place all the Herb/Spice Ingredients into a small bowl, mix well.  Set aside.
  3. In a large ceramic/enamel lined skillet, Dutch oven, or non-stick skillet, add the diced onions, jalapeno pepper, red and green bell peppers and celery ribs, sauté over medium-high heat for 7 to 9 minutes to soften, then add the finely minced garlic and sauté over medium heat for one minute.
  4. Next add the shredded cabbage and ¼ cup of water to the skillet, sauté over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and most (if not all the water is gone).
  5. Drain the rice, shake off any excess water, add the rice and the Herb/Spice Mix to the skillet, stir to coat the cabbage/rice mixture, sauté over medium heat for several minutes to allow the spices to become fragrant.
  6. Next add all the remaining Base Ingredients, stir well, increase the heat to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer. Then pressed down everything to create a flattened surface. Simmer (with a very low boil – see notes). Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20 minutes undisturbed.
  7. After 20 minutes, stir in the apple cider vinegar, stir everything around once, then flatten down the ingredients again to create an even surface.  Continue to cook uncovered for an additional 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. The cooking time is largely dependent on the rice selected.  To check if the rice is tender, pull up a few rice kernels from the top and test for tenderness. Resist the temptation to stir the rice. If the rice is not tender and there is no liquid left, add a Tablespoon of water and check every 10 minutes or so, repeat the same process until the rice is tender. Brown rice takes longer than most other rice.
  8. Remove from the stove, allow to set for 10 minutes to marry the flavors, remove and discard the bay leaf, then serve!


*Tips for Success: 

  • Rice: The cooking time is largely dependent on the rice and brand  Some rice types, as well as some brands, take longer to cook. Soaking the rice in hot tap water speeds up the cooking time; however, some brands of rice take quite a bit of time.  Read rice package directions for estimated cooking times.  Resist the urge to stir rice while it is cooking as it causes the rice to release too much starch into the dish and the dish become murky and creamy.
  • Shredded Cabbage: You can use a bagged coleslaw mix from the grocery store. If shredding the cabbage, make sure you use a sharp-bladed knife and cut it very thinly.  It’s important to shred the cabbage thinly in order to allow the cabbage to get tender. We used about ½ of a small head of cabbage.
  • Flatten the Ingredients in the Skillet: The key is to press all the ingredients down into the liquids so everything is submerged or partially submerged so the rice and cabbage can cook in the liquids until tender.
  • Viewing the Skillet while Cooking: You do not want to create a hot rolling boil, you want to gently simmer the rice and cabbage in the liquid.  After you flatten the ingredients as directed in the bullet above, you should see little bubble holes that gently percolate up through the mixture when you check on it about 10 minutes in. Just gently lift the lid to take a quick peak. Evaluate and increase or decrease the heat accordingly.
  • Sea Salt: Our family was totally divided over the amount of sea salt to use in this dish.  We suggest using 1 teaspoon if you plan to drizzle with some Frank’s Hot Sauce.  If not, consider 1 ¼ teaspoon or simply season with additional salt (if needed) on individual servings.

*Notes Continued:

*Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium.  You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.

*Vegetable Stock:   We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.

*Liquid Smoke:  We used Colgin Natural Hickory Liquid Smoke.  Please feel free to use your favorite liquid smoke.  You can leave it out if you wish with the understanding that the flavor will change accordingly.

*Brown Rice:  We used Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Brown Rice.  Feel free to use your favorite rice.

*Hot Sauce:  We used Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary restrictions.

*Serving: 4 to 5

*Storage:  Refrigerate for up to 7 days.