Dirty Rice is a super flavorful and hearty side dish, with just a little kick from the creole seasoning. If you didn’t want to make a big meal you could easily serve this for an easy weeknight dinner. It is so filling, so delicious and everything is cooked in one pan.
It’s about to get real southern around here because these authentic flavors are exactly what you would find if you were dining in the French Quarter. That may sound fancy but this dirty rice recipe is actually really simple to make and you probably have everything on hand already with the exception of the cajun seasoning.
I know you will probably make this as a side, but it does hit the spot as the main event when you aren’t in the mood to stand in the kitchen all night. I love one pan meals because clean up is easy and most of the time there is minimal prepwork involved like with my Chili Mac and Shrimp Pad Thai.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY THESE EASY RECIPES
WHY IS IT CALLED DIRTY RICE?
Traditionally if you followed the old Louisiana way, this classic cajun dish is made with chicken liver. After it has simmered you can imagine, because of the meat and spices, the rice will no longer be white, which makes it “dirty”. Long ago this was a dish that everyone could afford and was relatively cheap to make for those who had larger families but few resources.
Fast forward to today, dirty rice has been transformed over and over with many recipes holding that creole flavor but the meat that is used is most likely not liver.
- MEATS: ground pork sausage, ground beef – as I mentioned if you want to eat a more authentic dish, swap these for chicken liver or add in addition
- SPICES & SEASONINGS: minced garlic, salt and pepper, Tony Chacer’s creole seasoning, parsley
- VEGGIES: onion, green bell pepper, celery
- RICE: any long grain variety will work, we like jasmine rice, but you can certainly swap in brown rice for a whole grain meal
- BROTH: beef broth is the best, but you could probably swap for chicken broth if that’s all you have or if you are using just chicken livers for the meat.
HOW TO MAKE DIRTY RICE WITH GROUND BEEF AND SAUSAGE
Saute the ground beef and pork sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook until almost all of the pink is gone.
Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery to the meat mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the veggies have softened.
Season with salt and pepper (just go light when salting), creole seasoning, white rice, and beef broth. Stir well, scrap the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits, and add thyme sprigs to the top.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the thyme and fluff the rice with a fork.
Stir in chopped parsley or sprinkle on top before serving as a garnish.
TIPS FOR MAKING
- 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.
- I like to set the thyme sprig on the top of the mixture just before putting the lid on. Then, it’s super easy to find it and remove 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.
HOW TO STORE
Place the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
You can also freeze dirty rice for up to 1 month. Allow it to cool then add to a freezer safe bag or container. Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop over low to medium heat until warm (or reheat in the microwave, of course!)
VARIATIONS OF DIRTY RICE
Chicken: As mentioned you can use chicken livers. If you want to experiment with poultry and can’t find those, you can also use gizzards
Sweetness: Use red or yellow bell pepper for a slightly sweeter flavor.
Spicier: Mince some jalapenos or add a little cayenne pepper if you like more heat.
Easy Dirty Rice
- 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
- 1 ½ cups long-grain rice
- 3 cups beef broth
- Parsley for garnish
- 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- In a large skillet, saute ground beef and ground 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 4-5 minutes).
- Add garlic, onion, pepper, and celery to the skillet and saute an additional 4-5 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 skillet. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and fluff rice.
- Add chopped parsley for garnish and serve.