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Dirty Rice

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close up overhead shot of a plate of Dirty Rice with a fork
This easy dirty rice is bursting with incredible flavor! For a tasty side dish or a one-pot meal, whip up this tasty dish for a busy weekngiht dinner.
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Table of Contents
  1. Dirty Rice Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Dirty Rice Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Dirty rice is southern comfort food at its best. It’s made from white rice which gets the dirty color from being cooked with pork, beef, chicken, or shrimp combined with fresh vegetables and spices resulting in a fantastic side dish or one-pot main dish.

Love rice dishes? You’ll want to check out our fried rice recipe as well as our cauliflower fried rice, too.

close up overhead shot of a plate of Dirty Rice with a fork

Dirty Rice Ingredients

Dirty Rice raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • ½ pound ground pork sausage
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper (1 pepper)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 ribs)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chacer’s creole seasoning
  • 1½ cups long-grain rice
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme
  • Parsley for garnish

PRO TIP:

Be careful about adding too much salt. If you are using a seasoned ground sausage, regular-sodium beef broth, and a cajun/creole seasoning that includes salt, you probably will not need to add any salt.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

SPICE: I love that for this dish you can make this simple recipe spicier if that’s your thing. Just add a little more seasoning and a few more onions if that’s how you like it. 

MEAT: This dish has plenty of flexibility for the meat you use in this cajun rice recipe. Ground meat such as ground pork, ground turkey, ground chicken, or shrimp all make delicious alternatives. Traditional dirty rice is made with chicken liver. You can use liver instead of or in addition to the other meats.

VEGETARIAN: A great way to make this dish vegetarian is to replace the meat with canned beans and switch the beef broth for an equal amount of vegetable broth.

How To Make This Dirty Rice Recipe

STEP ONE: In a large skillet, sauté ground beef and ground pork sausage over medium-high heat. Use a spatula to break apart the meat and cook until most of the meat is no longer pink (about 4 to 5 minutes).

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Use a skillet that is at least 2 inches deep and has a lid.

ground pork and sausage cooked in a skillet

STEP TWO: Add garlic, onion, pepper, and celery to the skillet and sauté an additional 4 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened. 

vegetable added to the skillet of cooked meat

STEP THREE: Add salt and pepper (be cautious you do not oversalt), creole seasoning, rice, and beef broth. Stir and add thyme sprigs to the top of the mixture.

PRO TIP:

I like to set the thyme sprig on the top of the mixture so it is easy to find it and remove it once the rice is cooked. You can also strip the leaves off of the thyme sprigs and simply stir them into the rice mixture. Leaves do not need to be removed after cooking.

ingredients added to the pot of meat mixture

STEP FOUR: Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover the skillet. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

PRO TIP:

Make sure to cook rice to al dente and don’t overcook it, which can lead to mushy rice.

STEP FIVE: Remove the thyme sprigs and fluff rice.

thyme springs removed from the skillet and rice fluffed

STEP SIX: Add chopped parsley for garnish and serve.

rice topped with parsley in a skillet

How To Serve

This classic Cajun dish would be a great side dish or a simple meal to whip up on a busy weeknight. Add a Caesar salad or cucumber salad for a little bit of greenery on the side. Serve up garlic bread and you’ll have a hearty meal.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: You can store dirty rice in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3 to 4 days.

IN THE FREEZER: Store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to one month.

close up shot of a skillet of Dirty Rice with a large wooden spoon

The incredible, rich flavor of this perfect recipe works for any occasion. No matter how you serve it, the delicious Cajun flavor will be a favorite with your whole family.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze dirty rice?

This easy recipe can be frozen in an airtight container for up to one month.

Can I make this dish vegetarian?

This creole dish can be made vegetarian by replacing the meat with beans and extra veggies and replacing the beef broth with vegetable broth.

What is the difference between Creole and Cajun seasoning?

Cajun seasoning is a pepper-based spice mix that tends to be spicier than Creole seasoning which is on the more savory side.

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close up overhead shot of a plate of Dirty Rice with a fork

Dirty Rice

5 from 5 votes
This easy dirty rice is bursting with incredible flavor! For a tasty side dish or a one-pot meal, whip up this tasty dish for a busy weekngiht dinner.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • ½ pound ground pork sausage
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper (1 pepper)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 ribs)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chacer’s creole seasoning
  • cups long-grain rice
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 to 2 sprigs thyme
  • parsley, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, sauté ground beef and ground pork sausage over medium-high heat. Use a spatula to break apart the meat and cook until most of the meat is no longer pink (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  • Add garlic, onion, pepper, and celery to the skillet and sauté an additional 4 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
  • Add salt and pepper (be cautious you do not oversalt), creole seasoning, rice, and beef broth. Stir and add thyme sprigs to the top of the mixture.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover the skillet. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the thyme sprigs and fluff rice.
  • Add chopped parsley for garnish and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Be careful about adding too much salt.  If you are using a seasoned ground sausage, regular-sodium beef broth, and a cajun/creole seasoning that includes salt, you probably will not need to add any salt.  
  • Use a skillet that is at least 2 inches deep and has a lid.
  • Make sure to cook rice to al dente and don’t overcook it, which can lead to mushy rice.
  • I like to set the thyme sprig on the top of the mixture so it is easy to find it and remove it once the rice is cooked. You can also strip the leaves off of the thyme sprigs and simply stir them into the rice mixture. Leaves do not need to be removed after cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Treena says

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! I have to admit we usually buy dirty rice in a package but after making this NEVER AGAIN!

  2. MB says

    This is calling for 4 cups of cooked rice per comment above but recipe reads as if it is calling for 4 cups of raw rice, to be cooked in step 1. Please clarify. Thanks so much.

  3. Amanda S says

    5 stars
    Tasty recipe! I added a pepper flakes to spice it up a bit but great flavor, easy recipe and directions. It was a hit with the Fam!