Easy Homemade Dirty Rice

With Creole seasoning, turkey sausage, vegetables, and rice, my Cajun-style easy homemade recipe for dirty rice is the perfect flavorful weeknight supper to make for your family.

Spoonful of Dirty Rice

Some of the best food comes out of Louisiana, like this recipe for dirty rice, which is a Cajun classic. Now, it’s called “dirty rice” (also known as Cajun rice and rice dressing) because traditionally, it was cooked with minced chicken livers, spices, and vegetables, which turned the white rice “dirty”. Over the years, many versions of this filling Creole supper have sprouted up, so this is my take.

This dirty rice recipe is a great go-to meal for busy weekdays. It also happens to be one of my favorite make-ahead meals to take on camping trips. I always make up a double batch of this recipe for dirty rice ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze it, and have instant comfort food whenever we need it. Since it is so easy to reheat, this is one of those recipes that I suggest always doubling. By simply doubling a few meals from time to time, you can build up a bank of convenience meals and shop your freezer rather than stopping by a drive-through.

Now, I’m bypassing chicken livers in favor of turkey sausage. What else do you need? Rice, Creole seasoning, dried or fresh parsley, onion, bell pepper, celery (a.k.a the Holy Trinity in Cajun cooking), and minced garlic. Weeknight meals don’t get much easier than this. We just have to chop up our vegetables, cook our rice, and slowly add all of the ingredients to a skillet. I can never resist a one-pan meal, how about you? Better yet, it’s ready to serve in 30 minutes.

The Creole seasoning adds so much flavor to this simple Cajun dirty rice recipe. It’s hearty, filling, and a must-make, so let’s go!

ingredients for dirty rice

Recipe Ingredients

  • Cooked rice (to decrease carbs you can use cauliflower rice)
  • Creole seasoning
  • Dried or fresh parsley
  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Turkey sausage
  • Celery
  • Chopped or minced garlic

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make The Best Dirty Rice Recipe at Home

Add sausage, veggies, herbs, and garlic to skillet.

Chop all your herbs and veggies: bell pepper, celery, parsley, and onion. You can use dried parsley if you prefer. 

Place these in a large skillet along with your sausage and minced garlic. 

Chop up your sausage a bit and cook that over medium to medium-high heat.

Cook this until sausage is cooked and veggies are tender.

Cook this until the sausage is cooked through and the veggies are tender.

Stir in Creole seasoning.

Stir in your Creole seasoning.

I use two and a half tablespoons and it is perfect for us. You may want to start with a little less and taste it. You may end up using a lot more!

Meat mixture in skillet.

Lookin’ good!

Add cooked rice to skillet.

Toss in cooked rice.

Stir ingredients together.

Stir that up well and make sure your rice is heated through.

Bowl of dirty rice.

Sit down with a glass of iced tea and a fine meal!


Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. This dish tastes just like it was freshly made when you reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Recipe Notes

  • I LOVE Jennie-O turkey sausage. The mild and hot are both really good. That is the main brand I recommend if you can find it. I get it at Publix. If you can only find Butterball sausage, I’d just use ground beef or ground pork instead.
  • While long grain white rice is the most popular, you can also use brown rice or wild rice.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use Cajun seasoning instead?

You can! Cajun seasoning is more pepper-heavy and thus spicier than Creole seasoning, which features various herbs like oregano, basil, and thyme. If you want to use Creole seasoning but add a little bit more heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or more to taste).

What is in Zatarain’s Dirty Rice?

Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Dinner Mix is made with long grain rice, onion, garlic, red and green bell pepper, and spices like red pepper flakes and paprika. So our recipe for dirty rice is very similar and a bit of a Zatarain copycat version.

How do you make Popeye’s Cajun Rice?

Popeye’s Cajun Rice side dish is also very similar to our recipe. However, Popeye’s uses ground beef and minced chicken gizzards. They also use more spices than just Creole seasoning, like garlic powder, celery seed, cayenne pepper, and coarse ground black pepper.

What do you serve with dirty rice?

This dirty rice is the perfect main dish as it is. But if you’d prefer to serve it as a side, serve it with some fried catfishblackened chicken, or fried chicken, Popeye’s style. 

You may also like these rice recipes:

Crockpot Fiesta Chicken and Rice

Hot Buttered Sweet Rice

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Chicken Fried Brown Rice

Dirty Rice

Homemade Dirty Rice

With Creole seasoning, turkey sausage, vegetables, and rice, my Cajun-style easy homemade recipe for dirty rice is a flavorful weeknight supper idea.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: rice
Servings: 4
Calories: 325kcal


  • 4-5 cups cooked rice
  • 1 pound uncooked turkey sausage or ground beef
  • 1-3 tablespoons Creole seasoning* I use Tony Chachere's
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped or minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, place celery, bell pepper, garlic, onion, parsley, and sausage. Break up the sausage and cook all, stirring regularly, until sausage is fully cooked and vegetables are tender.
    1 pound uncooked turkey sausage, 1 celery stalk, chopped, 1 small onion, chopped, 1/2 bell pepper, chopped, 2 tablespoons chopped or minced garlic, 4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Add the Creole seasoning and stir. Then stir in the rice and continue cooking over medium heat until rice is heated through, stirring well the whole time.
    4-5 cups cooked rice, 1-3 tablespoons Creole seasoning*


*For the Creole seasoning: Start on the low end and add more after the rice has been stirred in if you like more seasoning. This adds the spiciness so you want to do it to your personal taste.


Calories: 325kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


Dirty Rice Pinterest image

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  1. I was born and raised in South Louisiana–my mom’s maiden name is Benoit. I make this often–it is so easy and good. One year my daughter had to make a potluck dish for the Christmas lunch in her classroom and it had to be a dish about her heritage. I used red and green peppers to make it look more festive. She is 20 now and still talks about how her dish was the first one emptied–she said everyone wanted it.

  2. Yum! Bein’ a Texan and a Cajun I just want to say that your dirty rice looks just like my Meemaw’s from Crowley (Acadia Parish), Louisiana!
    And you can’t beat old Tony Chachere’s seasoning either!

  3. Sorry about your weekend, but glad you can reschedule. Soometimes you just cant compete with mother nature. We got 11 inches of snow in dallas and that has never happened. It was the most snowfall in one single day in 30 years crazy!!! Dirty rice is my fave so i will be making this soon.

  4. When you live in SD, like I do, you get used to canceling events of any kind in the winter. We didn’t have Christmas until New Year’s Day and everybody lives right here in town. However, there were people that couldn’t get out of their driveways because of the Christmas storm, and this year we have had one winter storm after another. I’m beginning to think I should have moved South about 35 years ago. lol

  5. Being from Cajun country (south of New Orleans) I’d have to say you make one mean dirty rice recipe! The only thing I do differently is that I add ground beef along with the sausage…mmm mmmm ces’t se bon!

    1. My husband was from Lafayette. He cooked Cajun style and made wonderful dirty rice. He used chicken livers in his and made his own seasoning mixture. I enjoyed all of the comments regarding the dirty rice.

  6. A woman after my own heart!! Personally I would have used about four times the amount of creole seasoning but that’s because I like spicy hot foods. hehe Good choice on the brand IMO…Tony Chachere’s has never disappointed me. I can add a little and get full flavor without the heat or I can add a lot and get the heat without the flavor being overbearing.

    What I think I admire most about this choice is that considering a young boy chose it, it still follows your SP principles…easy, cheap and quick to make. And it’s darn good too!! hehe

    Thanks for another great post and an enlightening story on how valuable our days really are. I hope the rest of your weekend went well and that you made the most of it.


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