As the weather heats up, so can your palate with a steaming bowl of Southern comfort food.

Spicy and as sultry as a Southern day, any jambalaya is packed with flavor. But sometimes they are also filled with saturated fat, salt and too many calories.

Jambalaya doesn’t have to be. With just a couple of easy swaps, both Cajun and Creole food can be satisfying and heart-healthy.

The first change to make is to heavily lean in on the traditional spices – a “wonderful way to add flavor without calories and salt,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition professor at Penn State University and volunteer for the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee.

The second change is to trade in traditional Andouille sausage for lean chicken breast.

Both small substitutions, but these two changes can improve the health impact of the dish without disrupting the complex flavor profile. Your jambalaya will still be as hot and satisfying as an August day on the porch.

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