Jollof Rice is a classic West African dish. It’s fragrant and has amazing depth of flavor from ingredients like ginger, garlic, curry, smoked paprika, and spicy chilies. Rich in both taste and history, it’s revered as a sacred dish within some African communities. And fortunately, it’s also quite easy to make!
One-Pot Jollof Rice that’s as Versatile as it is Easy
Because it’s layered with so many spices, Jollof Rice pairs well with most proteins, including beef, chicken, and seafood. For a vegan option, add chickpeas, edamame, or tofu.
Fried plantains, steamed vegetables, green salad, or coleslaw are often served as fresh sides with Jollof Rice. But you can also make it a simple bowl meal by tossing in peas, carrots, and your protein of choice.
Pure Pantry Option
The only non-pantry items in this recipe are onion, garlic, ginger, and the parsley garnish. You can omit any or all of these, or make dried substitutions. For the onion, use 1 teaspoon onion powder. You can substitute jarred garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder for the garlic. You only need a pinch of ground ginger to replace the fresh ginger, and I would just omit the parsley or add dried parsley flakes, as desired.
For quick protein, add 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas or cooked red lentils.
Special Diet Notes: Jollof Rice
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, optionally vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ½ to 1 habanero pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
- 1½ cups vegetable stock (for vegan) or chicken stock
- 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, ginger, and habanero pepper and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the rice and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until toasted.
- Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, seasoned salt, smoked paprika, curry powder, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and let the rice rest for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Remove the bay leaf and stir to combine. Top with the parsley, to serve.