This dirty rice recipe is full of Cajun flavor, hearty meat, and lots of aromatic veggies to make a super quick and delicious dinner! Whether you eat it on its own or serve it with sides, it is the perfect weeknight recipe! So, whip up an easy batch of dirty rice and let the good times roll!
Louisiana Dirty Rice Recipe
If you’re anything like me, you’re a sucker for rich, amazingly delicious Louisiana Cajun dishes. This incredible dirty rice is no exception!
This recipe is even more amazing because it’s so easy to whip up! It takes just 35 minutes from start to finish to get this wholesome meal on the table!
Dirty rice is a centuries-old dish that originated in Louisiana! It gets its unique name from the golden-brown color of sautéed meat and veggies that “dirty” the white rice.
There are many variations on this dish, including those that use different meats like chicken livers or gizzards, because traditionally, people used whatever meat they had access to!
🥘 Dirty Rice Ingredients, Notes, & Substitutions
Flavorful dirty rice uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients to make an amazing dish! You might even have most of these ingredients in your kitchen already!
- Ground Beef – ½ pound of ground beef. I prefer a leaner ground beef here, like 85/15. You can also use 80/20 ground chuck if you prefer it!
- Ground Pork – ½ pound of ground pork. You’ll love the richness that ground pork adds to the dirty rice. Be sure not to use pork sausage – it might make the rice too salty!
- Onion – ½ cup of diced onion. I like to use a large white or yellow onion.
- Celery – 1 cup of celery. You can slice or dice the celery here, depending on your preference! Not everyone is a fan of celery, but it’s a must in any Cajun or Creole dish!
- Green Bell Pepper – 1 green bell pepper. I like to dice the green bell pepper for this recipe! I don’t recommend any other bell pepper for the green bell pepper because the flavor is totally unique.
- Minced Garlic – One tablespoon of minced garlic is about 6 cloves. You can use pre-minced garlic or mince your own!
- Cajun Seasoning – 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning. I love how rich and flavorful Cajun seasoning is! Try my easy-to-make homemade spice blend, or use a store-bought brand!
- Salt & Pepper – ¼ teaspoon of both salt and pepper. This classic seasoning base will make sure our rice is perfectly seasoned! You can add according to taste here.
- Long Grain White Rice – 1½ cups of long grain white rice. You can’t have dirty rice without the rice! I like to rinse rice before cooking to remove excess starch.
- Beef Broth – 3½ cups of beef broth. If you have your own beef broth, that’s awesome! If not, you can use store-bought broth or bouillon paste dissolved in hot water.
- Parsley – Beautifully green chopped parsley is the perfect garnish for this dish! If using it, make sure you’re using it fresh!
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🔪 How To Make Dirty Rice
I love how easy this flavor-packed dirty rice recipe is! Prep the veggies ahead of time to make cooking even easier.
You will need a cutting board, knife, measuring utensils, a wooden spoon, and a Dutch oven.
This recipe will make 6 servings of rice.
Step 1: Prep. Start the dirty rice by prepping your veggies: dice ½ cup (80 grams) of onion, 1 cup (101 grams) of celery, and 1 green bell pepper. This is called the “holy trinity” in Cajun/Creole cooking and is the flavor base of the dish. Then, mince 1 tablespoon (8 grams) of garlic if using fresh. Set aside.
Step 2: Brown the meat. Next, brown ½ pound (227 grams) each of ground beef and pork in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, frying pan, or Dutch oven over medium heat. Then cook for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking apart the meat until crumbled and brown.
Step 3: Sauté veggies. Once the meat is browned, add the prepared diced onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, and seasoning (1 teaspoon (2 grams) of Cajun seasoning, ¼ teaspoon (1.5 grams) of each salt & pepper). Stir these into the browned meat and sauté the vegetables until slightly softened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 4: Add the rice. To the seasoned meat and veggies, add 1½ cups (278 grams) of long-grain white rice and stir into the meat mixture. Then, pour in 3½ cups (828 milliliters) of beef broth and stir. Bring the rice mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 5: Finish and serve. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the dirty rice covered. Let the rice sit covered for an additional 5 minutes. After the rice sits for 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork. If desired, you can garnish the rice with fresh chopped parsley before serving.
🍽️ What To Serve With Dirty Rice
My fluffy, flavorful, dirty rice is such an amazing dish! I love to serve this easy dinner on its own or with a simple green veggie like my simple microwave-steamed broccoli for some extra nutrition.
💭 Tips & Notes
- If you like the flavor of the veggies in your rice but don’t want the pieces, try grating the veggies! Grate the onion, celery, and bell pepper using the large hole side of a box grater. The veggies are super fine and will blend into the rice perfectly.
- Rinse the rice before adding to the meat to make sure it cooks up fluffy! Add the rice to a fine-mesh strainer and run under cool water until the water is mostly clear. Shake out excess water, then it’s ready to add to the meat!
- Use Cajun seasoning on everything. Try making my easy Cajun seasoning recipe! You’ll have plenty for this dish and anything else you want to add Cajun flavor to!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
My flavorful dirty rice makes an amazing leftover lunch! You can store the rice in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 or 6 days.
Freezing Dirty Rice
If desired, you can also freeze leftover dirty rice to extend its shelf life! Simply store in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 3 months!
Reheating Dirty Rice
You can easily reheat dirty rice in the microwave! Scoop portions into bowls and cover with a paper towel. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between, until fully reheated.
To make sure the rice stays moist, try putting an ice cube on top! It sounds weird, but it will give the perfect amount of moisture to your rice! The ice cube won’t fully melt—so you can just toss it when done.
Check out my post on how to freeze and reheat rice for more information.
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Onion, celery, and green bell pepper make up this “holy trinity!” It’s an aromatic veggie base that’s in almost all Cajun or Creole dishes: like gumbo, jambalaya, and this dirty rice! It has its origins in French cuisine, but the flavor combination is uniquely Louisianan!
I highly recommend using long-grain white rice for dirty rice! It is what is traditionally used for this recipe. It’ll remain perfectly fluffy in the dish when cooked with the meats and veggies!
Dirty rice typically features liver, Cajun seasoning, and rice. Jambalaya, on the other hand, usually incorporates more meat such as sausage or seafood.
🍚More Easy Rice Recipes
- Turmeric Rice - White rice is cooked with broth, turmeric, and tons of other seasonings for loads of flavor.
- Vermicelli Rice - Toasted vermicelli pasta and Basmati rice make up this easy and delicious side dish.
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice - Grab your Instant Pot for some cilantro lime rice that pairs well with so many things!
- Creamy Coconut Rice - Jasmine rice is cooked in coconut milk for an ultra-creamy rice dish.
- Restaurant Style Mexican Rice - Traditional restaurant rice that tastes great along with your favorite Mexican dishes.
- Instant Pot Long Grain White Rice - Use your Instant Pot to easily prepare white rice for any occasion.
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📖 Recipe Card
- ½ lb ground beef (leaner is best, up to 80/20 ground chuck)
- ½ lb ground pork
- ½ cup onion (1 large white or yellow onion, diced)
- 1 cup celery (sliced or diced)
- 1 green bell pepper (diced)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (see recipe or use your favorite brand)
- ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice (uncooked)
- 3 ½ cups beef broth
- parsley (fresh, chopped, optional for garnish)
- Brown the ground beef and ground pork in a large heavy-bottomed skillet, frying pan, or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes, breaking apart the meat until crumbled and browned.½ lb ground beef, ½ lb ground pork
- Once the meat is browned, add the diced onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, and seasoning (Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper). Stir into the browned meat and saute the vegetables until slightly softened or about 4-5 minutes.½ cup onion, 1 cup celery, 1 green bell pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper
- Add the uncooked long-grain white rice and stir it into the meat mixture, then pour in the beef broth. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.1 ½ cups long grain white rice, 3 ½ cups beef broth
- Turn off the heat and leave the dirty rice covered. Allow the rice to sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. When done, fluff with a fork and serve. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.parsley
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!