Homemade Cajun Dirty Rice is an easy hearty meal loaded with lots of flavors that you can make in your Instant Dutch Oven. This traditional Louisiana Creole dish is very versatile, and you can change it depending on what you have in your pantry!
Why this works
- Hearty and delicious - this New Orleans-style Cajun dirty rice is a real stick-to-your-ribs meal, just like my red beans and rice or Italian sausages and peppers. You're sure to have lots of delicious leftovers for lunches!
- Make it your way - you can change up the meat in this dish with what you have in your pantry, like my Instant Pot Ground Beef and Rice recipe. You can even make this vegan!
- One-pot pantry meal - if you hate doing dishes, you'll love this meal! Made with pantry staple ingredients, this Cajun dirty rice cooks up in one pot like my Sausage, Green Beans, and Potatoes meal with what you typically have on hand.
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need. Scroll down to the recipe card, where you'll find exact measurements.
- Ground beef - I like to use ground beef or a combination of ground beef plus sausage. Of course, there are lots of variations and combinations you can check out in the post below.
- Rice - uncooked and rinsed. I normally use long-grain rice for this Cajun dirty rice like jasmine or basmati.
- Beef broth - other broth can be used, like chicken or vegetable.
How to make dirty rice
Dice the green pepper and onions. Slice the celery. Preheat the Instant Dutch Oven to sear/saute. Once preheated, add olive oil for cooking. Use the saute/sear function with the lid off. Add in the vegetables and saute until softened.
Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the ground beef to the Instant Dutch oven. Season with half of the black pepper, salt, and Creole seasonings (Tony Chacheri's). Cook until no longer pink. Drain the meat of the grease in a colander, then return to the pot if needed.
Combine with the meat mixture in the Instant Dutch Oven the uncooked/rinsed rice, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, ground thyme, oregano, and parsley. Add the remainder of the salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning (Tony Chacheri's).
Pour in the beef broth and water. Stir all the ingredients together. Cover the pot with the lid.
Cook on manual mode 2 at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Be sure to stir often, and check to see if additional liquid is needed.
This is a one-pot meal that incorporates rice, so depending on the rice you use, you may need additional broth or water to finish the cook. Keep an eye on the one-pot dirty rice and adjust the liquid accordingly.
This recipe can be halved, but the cooking time will be about ten minutes less.
Substitutions & Variations
You can change the protein in this recipe to what you have on hand or what you like.
- Sausage - you can do half ground beef and half of your favorite sausage. Smoked beef sausage, Andouille sausage, or breakfast pork sausage all work well as substitutions.
- Chicken - you can do a combination of diced chicken with sausage. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs will work great in the same time frame. The recipe originally used chicken livers, so that can be used as well.
- Shrimp - mix and match with sausage or diced chicken by adding in the shrimp during the last few minutes of cooking until done.
Add a little more spice or do other add-ins to change up the dish.
- Hot sauce - add more low-key spice by adding a couple of tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce to the dish. Crystal's or Cholula hot sauce are two of my favorites.
- Hot peppers - add diced jalapeno or habanero to the vegetable mixture during the cook for more flavor.
- Seasonings - add cayenne pepper or more Creole seasoning like Tony Chacheri's to kick it up a notch.
- Vegetables - add diced carrots, tomatoes, or maybe some peas to sneak in a serving of vegetables. Top with sliced green onions to give it a fresh burst of flavor.
You can also make this meatless or vegetarian by using vegetable broth or mushroom stock instead of beef broth. Then swap out the Worcestershire sauce with a store-bought vegan alternative or homemade Worcestershire sauce.
- Beans - swap out all the meat for beans instead. I would recommend pinto beans or small red beans. Canned or precooked will work well for this recipe, but dried beans will not even if soaked since the cooking time is not long enough.
- Mushrooms - use quartered mushrooms instead. Saute, then cook with the rice as directed.
- Plant-based vegan meat products - use your favorite plant-based sausage or meat for this recipe.
Dirty rice is a dish made with long-grain white rice that, when cooked with different meats and seasoning, will cause the rice to take on a brown color hence the name.
Dirty rice can serve as a hearty main dish or side dish to a larger meal.
Cajun Dirty Rice can be served alone or with some sides like a green salad. Serve this with corn on the cob, steamed broccoli, or roasted potatoes.
Storage & reheating
Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to one week. Reheat in the microwave. Dirty rice can be frozen for up to three months in freezer containers or bags. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat.
How to video
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One-Pot Dirty Rice
- 2 pounds ground beef can use combinations with sausage, chicken, beans, or shrimp
- 1 onion diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 1 Tablespoon garlic minced
- 2 cups long grain white rice uncooked and rinsed
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning like Tony Chacheri's
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
Equipment You Might Need
- Dice the onions and green peppers. Slice the celery. Preheat the Instant Dutch Oven to saute.
- Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan once it is preheated. Add the prepared green peppers, onions, and celery. Cook until the onions are translucent and softened.
- Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant or about 30 seconds.
- Add the ground beef. Add in half the black pepper, salt, and Creole seasoning. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Turn off the saute mode. Drain the grease and then return the mixture to the Instant Dutch Oven.
- Add the uncooked/rinsed rice, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, ground thyme, oregano, and parsley to the pot.
- Add in the remaining black pepper, salt, and Creole seasoning.
- Pour in the beef broth and water. Stir everything to combine. Cover the Instant Dutch Oven with the lid.
- Cook on manual mode 2 at 300 degrees or until the rice is cooked. Be sure to stir quite often and check to see if additional liquid is needed.
- Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to one week. Dirty rice can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw in refrigerator then reheat in microwave.
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