Healthy Jollof Rice


When speaking about the healthiest rice, I am not meaning the type of rice like brown or white rice, long grain or basmati rice. I am referring to the method by which the rice is cooked, what ingredients are cooked into it and the quantity safe to consume without accumulating unwanted calories in the body. 

What exactly is the healthiest rice to eat?

Which is the healthiest cooked rice to eat? Jollof rice. The West African Jollof rice. This is the healthiest type of cooked rice because it is cooked in an extremely healthy sauce and has the lowest calorie count of all rice meals. 300g of Jollof rice = 296 calories.

What is Jollof rice?

Basically, Jollof rice is rice cooked in the stock from chicken or meat mixed with tomato sauce, not just any tomato sauce, a sauce made up of tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions and scotch bonnet all blended in the right proportion.

Where did Jollof rice originate from?

There two tribes in West Africa called the Jollofs and the Wolofs. They are ethnic groups found in Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania. They were the first set of people to cook Jollof rice and they called it Benachin. Over the years other countries in West Africa started cooking Jollof rice but with their own twist added to it.

Social importance of Jollof rice

Jollof rice is one of the special meals served in West Africa at Christmas, New Year day, Wedding receptions, Funerals, Anniversaries, family meals and whenever there is something to celebrate.

Nutrients in Jollof rice

Rice – 90% Carbohydrate. Also rich in magnesium, phosphorus, iron and folic acid

Tomato – Vitamin C, K, A and calcium

Red bell Pepper – Vitamin C, B6 and Folate

Scotch bonnet pepper – Vitamin C, A, B and iron

Onion – Vitamin C, B6, and Potassium

Chicken gravy – Potassium

Beef gravy — Sodium

Oil – Fat and Vitamin E, K

Health benefits of Jollof rice

  • Reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease
  • Ability to kill prostate cancer cells
  • Fights inflammation
  • Helps lose weight and burn fat
  • Protects the heart
  • Lowers high blood pressure

How is Jollof rice made? 

Vegetables diced to make stew
Vegetables diced

Ingredients: Rice (2 cups), Tomato paste (70g), Tomato (4 medium), Bell pepper (1 large), Scotch Bonnet (1), Onion (1 large), Stock (2 cups)






  1. Chop or grate ¼ of the onion
  2. Wash rice in boiled water to get rid of the starch and pour it in a sieve to drain. (Hint: the starchier the rice, the longer it should stay in boiled water)
  3. Fry onions in 1 tablespoon of oil till tender
  4. Add blended sauce (tomato, bell pepper, scotch bonnet, onion), tomato paste and stock, cook till it forms a thick paste stirring all the time so it does not get burnt.
  5. Pour 1 and a half litre of water into the mix and bring to the boil.
  6. Add drained rice and cook till soft enough.
  7. Mix it till evenly coloured. It should have a rich orange colour

Serving suggestion

Serve 300g Jollof rice with fried Plantain (dodo), moimoi and meat, fish, or chicken. Garnish it with salad.



What is the healthy Jollof rice?

 When Jollof rice is cooked with reduced oil or no oil at all and only fresh tomato is used without adding tomato paste. In this case the combination of ingredients to blend will be: 6 tomatoes, 2 large red bell pepper, 1 scotch bonnet and 2 medium onions. Also, the stock should be defatted. For perfectly healthy Jollof rice, cook it in the Saladmaster cookware.  

How much Jollof rice is a healthy serving?

300g of Jollof rice contains 296 calories. Other food items served alongside would increase the calorie count in the meal.

This article has 20 Comments

  1. This looks amazing.  I have diabetes and am lucky enough to be able to eat rice without bringing my sugars up too high.  The problem is eating rice can get boring after a while so I am always looking for different ways to cook rice that is going to give me different textures with different tastes.

    I really appreciate when I can fid article like this.  It makes my life as a diabetic much easier.

    Thank you very much


  2. Great recipe. This is really an excellent way to cook rice. What type of rice do you mainly use to cook this dish? The health benefits are really amazing, for me, learning new methods of preparing healthy meals is very helpful as I sometimes do eat much because i’m tired of the same bland meals. 

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I really enjoyed this article and would love to try making this Jollof rice some time.  The content of your article is very appealing and interesting to me.  I like how you provide some background and stats about the rice.

    I will check out the rest of your website for some other great ideas and recipes.

    Nice job,


  4. This really makes me hungry right now. All the Jollof, Dodo, and moimoi get’s my mouth water flowing.

    I have eaten African rice dishes before, also red ones but don’t know if these were related to Jollof rice. The recipe sounds very tasty and not too hard to make at home.

    Do you eat this rather spicy or is it not so hot? I love it hot 🙂 

  5. reading your post was really worth it. It is good to learn something everyday and this is something not only interesting, also healthy and good for our body.

    My love for food is big, I am so excited to give it a try and see how it tastes. Oh my god I’m so hungry is your fault hahaha

    Question: what type of oil should I use? What type of rice should I use?

    1. Thanks, for letting me know my post is effective enough to make you hungry! 

      Olive oil is good with basmati-easy cook rice should give good results. 

  6. Ahh I’ve never heard of jollof rice.  

    The Asian cuisine introduced fried rice to me, which I love.  But admittedly, it is oily.  So knowing there’s another rice dish I can try out instead, which will be healthier, is fantastic.  I will experiment.  Based on the ingredients you listed, I am likely to love it as much, if not more than fried rice.

    Thank you for the exposure and the history lesson!

  7. This sounds amazing! I’ve cooked rice in broth before, but never thought to add tomato sauce like this. I bet my kids would love it, too.
    Thanks for sharing the origins of the recipe. It’s so interesting to find out how different foods came about and I love to have some culture with my meals!

  8. Wow! Thanks so much for this wonderful article on Jollof rice.

    I actually have never heard of Jollof rice before. The recipe looks absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it.

    The only thing I’m concerned about is the scotch bonnet pepper. Is this one of those wickedly hot peppers? If so, I don’t know if I can handle the heat. Is there a different type of pepper you can substitute for the scotch bonnet or do you just simply use less of it?

    1. Hi Scott,

      thanks for coming by. Please dont take out the Scotch bonnet. Just use a pinch of it, you dont want to alter the delicious taste.

  9. I also like to cook. I have to follow a recipe, but every still ask me to do all the cooking over my wife. see a few items I’m going to try out. I’ll start with this rice dish.

    I will let you know how it turns out.

    thank you
    LeNard -seconds2work

  10. Wow that main picture really whet my appetite, the rice looks so fluffy and delicious.

    Do you recommend a specific type of rice to use when preparing the Jollof rice recipe? What is your favourite type of rice to use when cooking this dish?

    I was also curious as to how eating this rice helps with burning fat.

    1. Hi Nicki,

      Yes, I would recommend basmati easy cook. if you cook it the healthy way, the scotch bonnet burns fat an you will be eating enough highly nutritious food. No fat will be stored in the body.

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