This Dirty Rice recipe is a popular Cajun dish made with white rice that becomes “dirty” in color when cooked with beef, sausage, chicken, veggies and spices. It’s made in just one pot and is a hearty, flavorful meal everyone will love!

If you love Cajun and Creole recipes be sure to try my New Orleans Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, and Jambalaya.

A serving bowl with Dirty Rice in it, garnished with parsley and green onion.

Don’t let the term “dirty” in its name fool you, because this dish is Southern comfort food at its finest! It’s called Dirty Rice because the rice turns a “dirty” brown color while cooking with the diced meats and spices. You’ll also hear Dirty Rice called “Cajun Rice” or “Rice Dressing”, but they’re all variations of the same rice dish (they may use different types of meat or add more or less veggies, or spices). Dirty rice is a great recipe to adapt and season to your preferred taste.

How to make Dirty Rice:

  • Add ground beef, sausage and liver (or chopped chicken thighs) to a large saucepan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned.
  • Add flour and stir.Add onion, bell pepper, celery and saute. Add garlic, Cajun seasoning, cayenne, oregano, thyme and bay leaves and stir to combine.

Two process photos or meat and veggies sautéing in a pan, then rice and broth added.

  • Add rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat all allow to rest for 5 minutes. Remove lid, gently fluff rice with a fork, reapply lid and rest for 5 more minutes.
  • Garnish with green onion and parsley before serving.

A large pot with cooked Dirty Rice in it, ready to serve.

Instant Pot Dirty Rice:

Turn to Saute setting and brown meat. Add and saute veggies and spices. Add rice and 2 cups of chicken broth. Cook on manual/high pressure, for 4 minutes with a 10-minute natural release. Remove lid, gently fluff rice with a fork, reapply lid and rest for 5 more minutes. Garnish with green onion and parsley before serving.

Serve Dirty Rice with:

Dirty Rice is a heart meal-on-one, but you could also serve it with a green salad, okra, Swiss chard, tomato cucumber salad, artisan bread or skillet cornbread.

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Recipe

A serving bowl with Dirty Rice in it, garnished with parsley and green onion.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 40 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

  • ½ lb ground beef , 80/20
  • ½ lb ground sausage (I use Jimmy Dean pork sausage)
  • ½ cup minced chicken livers or gizzards*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 onion , diced
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 green bell pepper , diced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry long grain white or basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions
 

  • Add ground beef, sausage and liver to a large saucepan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned.
  • Add flour and stir. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic, Cajun seasoning, cayenne, oregano, thyme and bay leaves and stir to combine.
  • Add rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat all allow to rest for 5 minutes. Remove lid, gently fluff rice with a fork, reapply lid and rest for 5 more minutes.
  • Garnish with green onion and parsley before serving.

Notes

Chicken Livers: If you don't like chicken livers you can leave them out, or substitute small uncooked, chopped pieces of chicken thighs, or stir in chopped cooked chicken at the end. 
For the Instant Pot:
Turn to Saute setting and brown meat. Add and saute veggies and spices. Add rice and 2 cups of chicken broth. Cook on manual/high pressure, for 4 minutes with a 10-minute natural release. Remove lid, gently fluff rice with a fork, reapply lid and rest for 5 more minutes. Garnish with green onion and parsley before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 556kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 28gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 1506mgPotassium: 729mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 3576IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 6mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    My wife was busy bussing the kids around tonight so I had dinner duty. I made the instapot version and it was so good! I’m no whiz in the kitchen, so I appreciate how easy this was easy to throw together. It was a big hit, thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I used rice in a bag and boiled it in chicken broth. Put about 1/2 cup broth in with rice and meat and simmered for 5 minutes. Sped up my cool time and my daughter thanked me twice, so it was a hit! Served cheesey cauliflower as the side.

  3. While I appreciate that many people enjoy traditional food from Louisiana, but as one who was born and raised in Southeast Louisiana, I ask that people please stop calling everything Cajun. This is a rice based dish, it is Creole or to be blunt it is a dish brought over from Africa. If you are ever confused always remember, rice does not grow in France or Nova Scotia, and Cajun food is typically game meat based dishes. Rice was incorporated into Acadian (Cajun)diets via proximity to enslaved and free Blacks. While or food traditions are beautiful mosaic of many cultures, this is a sore spot for many as the labeling of Creole dishes as Cajun, for-profit is infuriating as it negates the horrors that brought these wonderful dishes to America.