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Dirty Rice

Dirty Rice – What!!? You have to try this flavor-packed Cajun classic with ground beef or sausage, incredible spices (including the holy trinity), and soul-satisfying rice. Dirty rice is downright delicious and super easy for those busy weeknights.

Easy Dirty Rice fresh from the stove

I love to see the look on people’s faces when I serve Dirty Rice. No, there’s no dirt in it. 😉 The spices and ground meat turn the rice an interesting color, but the flavor more than makes up for the name.

Why Do People Call It Dirty Rice?

This classic soul food is traditionally made with organ meat and white rice, then spiced up with Cajun spices and the holy trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery). First, you cook the meat down and chop it real fine. Then add your rice. The gravy from the meat makes the rice look dirty, but it’s oh so good.

Dirty Rice Ingredients

What you need to make the easy recipe
What you need to make this incredibly easy recipe
  • White Rice – Long-grain rice works best for dirty rice. My go-to rice is basmati.
  • Chicken Broth – Liquid is a must to cook rice, but it doesn’t have to be water. Ramp up the flavor factor with broth. Beef or vegetable broth also works, and don’t forget the bay leaf.
  • Ground Beef and Chicken Liver – Make your rice dish an almost one-pot meal with these delicious proteins. They also make your rice look dirty. Of course, you can use ground pork or sausage for even more deliciousness.
  • Holy Trinity – Onion diced, bell pepper, and celery are the three most-used vegetables in Cajun cooking.
  • Seasoning – Garlic and Cajun seasoning make this dish lip-smacking good. 

How to Make Dirty Rice

Cook the rice, then brown the meat

Make the Rice

  1. Heat Broth – Add chicken broth, water, bay leaf, olive oil, and washed rice into a medium or large pot. Stir to combine, then place the pot over medium-low heat, cover it, and let it come to a boil.
  2. Simmer – Lower the heat and cook until the rice is tender, 18-20 minutes.
  3. Fluff – Once the rice has finished cooking, remove it from the heat, let it cool for about 5 minutes, and remove the bay leaf. Fluff the rice with a fork and set it aside.
Saute veggies and assemble for the final stretch

Make It Dirty

  1. Brown the Meat – Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy cast-iron pot. Add minced chicken liver and brown, occasionally stirring for about 3 minutes. Add ground beef and pork and continue browning for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Holy Trinity – When the browning process is about done, add the onions, celery, red pepper, garlic, Creole seasoning, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Assembly – Add the cooked rice and another half cup of chicken broth to the pot. Thoroughly combine, then add green onions, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss once more, garnish with parsley, and serve hot.
A delicious bowl of easy dirty rice

Recipe Tips

  • Not everyone loves liver. So you can leave the chicken livers out if you prefer.
  • You can use leftover rice, especially if you made it added broth to the water instead of just water. 
  • If you’d like brown rice for a healthier version, add 30 minutes to the cooking time (or use parboiled brown rice).
  • You can use up leftovers in the fridge for Cajun-style fried rice. Leftover meat and veggies diced up go great with this recipe.

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

You can cook this a day in advance. However, the rice may dry out, so keep it in the fridge in an airtight container. Then add a splash of broth if needed before reheating.

Leftovers will last three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Alternatively, you can let it cool, then freeze it in a freezer-safe container for two months.

Serving deliciously spicy dirty rice

More Satisfying Rice Recipes

Easy Dirty Rice fresh from the stove
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4 from 1 vote

Dirty Rice

You have to try this flavor-packed Cajun classic with ground beef or sausage, incredible spices (including the holy trinity), and soul-satisfying rice. Dirty rice is downright delicious and super easy for those busy weeknights.
Servings 4
Calories 220kcal

Ingredients

The Rice

  • cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups uncooked long grain white rice (basmati, jasmine, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf

The Base

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chicken livers, finely minced
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

Rice

  • To boil the rice, add chicken broth, water, bay leaf, olive oil, and washed rice into a medium or large pot. Stir to combine, then place the pot over medium-low heat, cover it, and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until the rice is tender, 18-20 minutes.
  • Once the rice has finished cooking, remove it from the heat, let it cool for about 5 minutes, and remove the bay leaf. Fluff the rice with a fork and set it aside.

The Base

  • Melt the butter in a large cast-iron pot over medium heat. Add minced chicken liver and brown, occasionally stirring for about 3 minutes. Add ground beef and pork and continue browning for 3-5 minutes.
  • When the browning process is about done, add the onion, celery, red pepper, garlic, Creole seasoning, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add cooked rice and a half cup of chicken broth. Thoroughly combine, then add green onions, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss once more, garnish with parsley, and serve hot.

Notes

  • Not everyone loves liver. So you can leave the chicken livers out if you prefer.
  • You can use leftover rice, especially if you made it added broth to the water instead of just water. 
  • If you’d like brown rice for a healthier version, add 30 minutes to the cooking time (or use parboiled brown rice).
  • You can use up leftovers in the fridge for Cajun-style fried rice. Leftover meat and veggies diced up go great with this recipe.
  • Please remember that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 200g | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1.5g
Recipe Rating