Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice Tutorial + Video {Gluten-Free, Vegan}

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This Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice recipe is just the thing to spice up your holiday table this year. Jollof Rice, a traditional West African spiced tomato rice dish, is served at celebrations such as Christmas, weddings and birthdays. No special occasion is complete without it! Suitable for Gluten-free and vegan diets. Post includes Weight Watchers Points.


Delighted to have teamed up with Schwartz to bring you this recipe. Although it is a sponsored partnership, all opinions are my own.

top-down view of Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice in a white pot

Growing up in Sierra Leone, one of the highlights of Christmas day was making Jollof Rice. Dozens of cups were cooked in anticipation of it being the main dish at our festivities. Four dozen cups of rice to be precise.

Why so much? Because during the celebrations, everyone visits everyone else’s houses. And when they leave, they’re always given some food to take back with them. So throughout the day, there are take-away containers being filled to the brim with the jollof, along with fried plantains, coleslaw and more.

Sierra Leone Jollof Rice

Each region in West Africa has their version of Jollof Rice. Some are more like a stew and some incorporate meats. A traditional Sierra Leone Jollof rice includes onions, garlic, ginger tomato purée, coconut milk and stock.

This holiday season I am putting a little twist on tradition. I am making my Jollof Rice with generous portions of cinnamon and nutmeg, which to me tastes just like Christmas.

Herbs and spices are such an integral part of all my dishes. So it is important that I find products that provide deep, rich and bold flavour. And I know that cooking with Schwartz spices gives me just that. Yeap, it is a good thing I have an entire pantry filled with their products.

top-down view of Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice in a white pot

The complex woody notes from Schwartz’s nutmeg combine with cinnamon’s deep warm sweetness and zesty ginger so that this Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice will pair beautifully with many traditional holiday main courses. I happen to think it is the perfect accompaniment to both turkey and roast beef.

I would looooove for you to experience my hometown tradition this Christmas. Instead of the usual side dishes of roast potatoes or stuffing, why not include Jollof Rice as part of your holiday meal?

Ready to learn how to make this Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice? Gather up your ingredients and let me show you.…

How to Make Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice Step by Step

  1. Mix together vegetable stock, tomato purée, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and black pepper till combined.
  2. Next, add the rice, carrots, peppers and spring onion into the pot and stir in the spiced tomato mixture.
  3. Bring to a boil, stir, and then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25-30 until the rice grains are cooked through.
  4. Mix when done, then serve and enjoy!

Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice in a white pot set next to a jar of cinnamon and a jar of nutmeg

Tips for Making Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice

  • If you like a little heat, add in some scotch bonnet or red chilli flakes.
  • Peas and sweetcorn are also great vegetables to add to Jollof Rice.
  • Try topping with a sprinkle of toasted nuts for a delicious flavour and texture.

What to Serve with Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice

Here are just a few main course suggestions to serve with Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice:

Instant Pot Turkey Breast.

Chocolate Roast Beef.

Air Fryer Pork Chops.

Weight Watchers Points in Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice

There are 5 Freestyle Points in one serving of Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice.

How to Customise Jollof Rice

I loooooove the combination of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, but you can easily change up the flavour by using different spices.

You can also add curry powder and coriander, which are commonly used to make Jollof rice in different regions of West Africa.Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice in a large white pot next to a jar of cinnamon, a jar of nutmeg, pinecones and white christmas ornaments

Each variation is equally delicious, so have some fun experimenting and try them all! Why not share a photo of your amazing Jollof Rice dish? Use the hashtags #schwartz #schwartzchristmas when you post.

Why I Use Schwartz Spices

As I mentioned before, I keep my pantry fully stocked with Schwartz herbs and spices and reach for them daily. I add their cumin and coriander to pretty much everything, from my Instant Pot Moroccan Split Pea soup to Spicy Roasted Cashew Nuts. And I rely on their range of lovely curry powders when I want to make Pumpkin and Plantain Curry or prepare a pot of Slow Cooker Lentil Curry a chilly afternoon.

The fact that they offer three varieties of paprika (hot, smoked, regular) is sooooo great. I can easily customise the flavour profile of my go-to recipes to suit my current preferences, or to accommodate the different tastes of my family. Just last week I whipped up a batch of Air Fryer Salmon seasoned with hot paprika for me (since I always want  a little extra heat) and another batch for the kiddoes using the regular paprika.

Schwartz spices are so flavourful because they carefully select the best locations to grow their various herbs and spices. And their farmers harvest at just the right time so they capture their peak flavour, colour and aroma.

For example, Schwartz ground cinnamon, which I use in this Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice recipe, comes from Indonesian cinnamon trees that are matured for up to 20 years. And their nutmeg is freshly ground directly into the bottles for the freshest possible flavour. Which exactly why I use Schwartz nutmeg in my family’s favourite Nutmeg Plantain Cake with Coconut Caramel Popcorn Topping.

Schwartz (McCormick & Company, Inc.) is a global leader in flavour and one of the world’s largest producer of herbs, spices, seasonings and flavourings. Their products can be found on grocery shelves throughout the UK and can be purchased online at nutmeg and cinnamon jars next to White Christmas ornaments and two pinecones

Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice Recipe Video

Thank you for reading my Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, UK food blog.

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top-down view of Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice in a white pot
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4.67 from 3 votes

Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice

This Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice recipe is a delicious twist on a traditional West African Christmas dish.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: African, Sierra Leone
Servings: 12
Calories: 293kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy


  • 1.1 Liter (4.6 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp garlic purée
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 600 grams (1.3lb) basmati rice rinsed and drained
  • 1 large carrot peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 red pepper deseeded and chopped
  • 2 large spring onions (scallions) sliced


  • Mix together vegetables stock, tomato purée, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and black pepper till combined.
  • Add the rice, carrot, pepper and spring onions into the pot, and stir in the spiced tomato mixture.
  • Bring to a boil, mix, and then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25-30 until the rice grains are cooked through.
  • Mix when done, serve and enjoy!
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  • If you like a little heat, add in some scotch bonnet or red chilli flakes.
  • Peas and sweetcorn are also great vegetables to add to Jollof Rice.
  • Try topping with a sprinkle of toasted nuts for a delicious flavour and texture.
Weight Watchers Points:
There are 5 Freestyle Points in a serving of Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice.


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 5g | Sodium: 562mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2075IU | Vitamin C: 20.5mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.9mg


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Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you for your amazing recipe. I will try to make it for my wedding. Today I bought an amazing dress that I really like. Their variety of customization options gave me the ability to personalize every aspect of my dress, including the fabric and the buttons, all of which felt like my own. The capacity to collaborate in developing a gown that concurred with my philosophy was an exciting and fulfilling experience.

  2. I’ve had Jollof in Ghana, but theirs is quite different. No cinnamon, or nutmeg, and super spicy. Great with spicy goat soup.

  3. I love the versatility of a spiced rice dish – so many vegetables and seafood can be added. Nutmeg doesn’t get nearly enough attention in my book – We love adding it to seafood pie too.

  4. I have to be honest and say I went off rice a little while ago. This sounds really tasty, though. Maybe one to try over the festive period!!

    Louise x

  5. 5 stars
    Goodness me this sounds good! I’ve never yet tried jollof rice, but I’ve heard so many good things about your recipe in particular (I have friends who have tried it!). I’ll have to give this a go, soon!

  6. 4 stars
    It sounds and looks very yummy.I love that one dish that brings everyone together, especially for Christmas. Ginger and Nutmeg are actually two ingredients I love together.