Vegan Jollof Rice

This hearty and flavourful West African dish is a crowd-pleaser and perfect for entertaining. 

Jollof rice is a household staple throughout West Africa. The country of origin is not well known; it has many countries claiming it as their own. However, It is mostly common in Nigeria, Ghana and senegal. It is a tomato-based rice dish seasoned with flavours that marry beautifully. They are many versions of jollof rice, but they all hold to the same principle of cooking the rice in a rich tomato sauce,  with different herbs and spices. The rice absorbs all the beautiful flavours as it cooks. I think it’s the most delicious way to cook rice. I love it served with bean stew and a side of salad.

This is my own vegan version of jollof rice. It’s so incredibly divine and once you try it will quickly become one of your new family favourites. Don’t be afraid to add your own spin on jollof rice, tap into your creative side and experiment with different vegetables, herbs, and spices, For me, that’s the beauty of cooking.

Vegan Jollof Rice


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Water as needed
  • 2 cups white jasmine rice, rinsed


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add the bell pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/4 cup water. Reduce the heat to low and slowly cook, stirring frequently, about 15 - 20 minutes or until the oil rises to the surface.
  3. Add the broth, water, paprika, thyme, cumin and curry powder. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add the rice to the pot and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice fully cooked. Fluffy up the rice with a fork and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.


If you want more vegetables to this dish, you can add carrots and peas. Make sure you don't open the pot too often during cooking, keeping the lid on helps the rice cook perfectly.