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20 March 2019

This dirty rice recipe is classic Cajun cuisine, essentially white rice that gets “dirty” from bits of chicken, beef or pork cooked into it. It’s nice and spicy and huge on flavor. Let me show you how to make it.

Cajun Dirty Rice is going to be a new favorite recipe on your go-to side dish menu. It’s easy to make and it goes with practically anything. It is basically a big bowl of rice and meat with plenty of seasonings.

There is definitely a secret to making authentic dirty rice, and that is “chicken livers”. Chicken livers is a traditional ingredient, but don’t let that turn you off. The combination of flavors layered in with the Cajun Holy Trinity, chicken livers, ground pork, and lots of Cajun seasonings will make you a fan.

You really don’t notice the taste of chicken livers. It’s more of a cohesive dish in terms of taste.

Below I’ll show you how to make the recipe, along with ways you can vary it up, but first…

Dirty Rice in a bowl

What is Dirty Rice?

“Dirty Rice” is the name for the popular Cajun-Creole dish of white rice that gets “dirty” from bits of chicken or pork cooked into it. It is common in Louisiana, though you’ll find it all over the southern United States.

The addition of chicken livers is its most defining distinction. There is a variation called “Rice Dressing” that is made with ground beef or pork, where “Dirty Rice” includes chicken livers and pork.

Both variations are delicious. It also sometimes referred to as “Cajun Rice”. To me, it’s one of the best recipes with rice out there.

Let’s talk about how to make classic dirty rice.

Dirty Rice Recipe

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (or use jalapenos for a spicier version, or serranos for even spicier)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 ounces ground pork (or ground beef)
  • ½ cup chicken livers, finely chopped (or more as desired)
  • 1.5 cups white rice, uncooked (12 ounces)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped herbs for garnish

Once you’ve gathered up your ingredients, it’s time to get cooking.

How to Make Dirty Rice – the Recipe Method

First, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan (or a pot) to medium heat.

Add the peppers, onion and celery. Cook them down about 5 minutes to soften.

Add the ground pork and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook about 5 minutes to brown, stirring here and there.

Add the chicken livers and stir them in. Cook them down for 5 minutes.

Cook down the ground beef and chicken livers with peppers, onion and celery

Add the rice, chicken broth, Cajun seasonings, bay leaf and dried thyme. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.

Dirty Rice simmering in a pan

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through. All that flavorful liquid will be absorbed.

Remove the bay leaf.

Garnish with fresh chopped herbs and serve.

Dirty Rice in a pan

Recipe Notes

  • Even though chicken livers and pork are traditional, you can easily vary it up with different meats. Try it with ground beef, ground chicken or ground sausage.
  • Feel free to omit the chicken livers entirely, though I hope you’ll keep them.
  • I’ve enjoyed a variation with andouille sausage and loved it. Boudin would be a nice touch as well. I’ve also seen variations with shrimp. I’d certainly love a seafood dirty rice.
  • I cooked the meats in the pan with the Cajun Holy Trinity of veggies (onion, bell peppers and celery), then cooked the rice with it. However, you can cook the rice separately from the meats and veggies and mix them together before serving. The choice is yours.
  • I feel you’ll achieve more flavor cooking them together.

Dirty Rice in a pan, with garnish

For the Cajun seasonings, use your favorite store bought blend if you’d like. Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning {affiliate link} is popular. Or, try my Homemade Cajun Seasoning Blend. It’s my favorite!

Serve it up as a side dish for your next meal or gathering. Honestly, I think it works nicely as the main course.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Dirty Rice in a pan, ready to serve

Try Some of My Popular Cajun Side Dish Recipes

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Such a great recipe. Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! — Mike H.

Dirty Rice Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
This dirty rice recipe is classic Cajun cuisine, essentially white rice that gets "dirty" from bits of chicken, beef or pork.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cajun, recipe, rice, spicy
Servings: 6
Calories: 344 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped (or use jalapenos for a spicier version, or serranos for even spicier)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 rib celery chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 10 ounces ground pork or ground beef
  • ½ cup chicken livers finely chopped (or more as desired)
  • 1.5 cups white rice uncooked (12 ounces)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped herbs for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan (or a pot) to medium heat.
  2. Add the peppers, onion and celery. Cook them down about 5 minutes to soften.
  3. Add the ground pork and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook about 5 minutes to brown, stirring here and there.
  4. Add the chicken livers and stir them in. Cook them down for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rice, chicken broth, Cajun seasonings, bay leaf and dried thyme. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf.
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Dirty Rice Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 344 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 465mg 19%
Potassium 411mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 42g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 1g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 32.6%
Vitamin C 32.7%
Calcium 4.4%
Iron 12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Dirty Rice - This dirty rice recipe is classic Cajun cuisine, essentially white rice that gets

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