Vegan Jollof Rice – Party Rice

Vegan Jollof, a spicy and smoky rice dish that’s popular throughout West Africa. Made with a tomato and pepper-based sauce that gives the rice a wonderful rich flavour.

Vegan Jollof Rice

Serving Vegan Jollof Rice

Jollof is a popular dish that’s eaten throughout West Africa. There are many different regional varieties. It’s sometimes called Party Rice and is eaten for special occasions, especially weddings.

Traditionally cooked in a large pot over a charcoal fire. This gives it a wonderful smoky flavour. Most people won’t want to cook over charcoal in their homes so adding smoked paprika, while not authentic, does add a smokey flavour profile.

Vegan Jollof rice makes for a great addition to any West African inspired meal. This recipe is for a side dish but Jollof can be made the star of the show by adding extra vegetables to finish it off. Consider adding quick-cooking vegetables like green peas and bell peppers to make a more substantial dish.

Jollof is great served with a stew or with grilled tofu or vegetables. It’s perfect to have as a side when having a BBQ. The spiciness goes well with the smoky flavours of a BBQ.

Serve with Suya - Nigerian Siced Skewers

We have recipes for a variety of fully vegan Nigerian dishes that are perfect to serve with Jollof. It’s particularly good served with a quick crunchy salad and some Vegan Suya skewers.

Vegan Suya
Vegan Suya – Nigerian Spiced Skewers
A vegan take on a popular Nigerian street food. Grilled skewers made with homemade seitan and a delicious peanut spice rub.
Check out this recipe
Nigerian Red Stew
Vegan Nigerian Tomato Stew
A vegan take on a popular Nigerian stew. Tempeh and mushrooms in a rich and spicy tomato sauce with a deep umami flavour.
Check out this recipe

Vegan Jollof Rice

A spicy and smoky rice dish that's popular throughout West Africa. Made with a tomato and pepper-based sauce that gives the rice a wonderful rich flavour.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Nigerian
Servings 4


Jollof Sauce

  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 30 g ginger
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli*
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 medium brown onion

Jollof Rice

  • 300 g basmati rice
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium brown onion thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400 ml vegan chicken stock or vegetable


  • Roughly chop all the ingredients for the sauce and add them to a blender. You can remove the seeds from the Scotch bonnet if you want less heat.
  • Blend the sauce until smooth then set aside until later.
  • Add the oil to a pan over medium heat. Once hot add the sliced onion with a pinch of salt and sauté until the onion is starting to turn soft and translucent, around 4 minutes.
  • Add the blended sauce. Bring to a simmer then partially cover the pan. Let the sauce reduce until it's thick and the oil is starting to pool at the sides of the pan, stirring occasionally. This will take around 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, In another pot, bring around 1 litre of salted water to a boil. Wash the rice thoroughly and add to the boiling water for 5 minutes to part cook the rice. Drain the rice and run it under cold water to stop it from cooking and set it aside.
  • Once the sauce has reduced to a thick paste-like consistency add the dried thyme, smoked paprika, curry powder, bay leaves and the vegan chicken stock. Mix well to incorporate everything and bring back to a simmer.
  • Once simmering add the partially cooked rice and stir well to evenly mix the rice through the sauce. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot until the rice is fully cooked and absorbed most of the liquid. This will take around 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and taste for seasoning. We didn't need to add any salt.
  • Leave your Vegan Jollof Rice to sit for 5 minutes before fluffing up with a fork and serving.


If you don’t want your Vegan Jollof Rice to be too spicy you can swap out the Scotch bonnet for a chilli with less heat.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mikeronm or tag #theveganplanetkitchen!

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