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
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  1. All of these 2010 comments! I’m apparently posting “from the future” lol in 2020. Love dirty rice- make mine with just hot sausage like Bob Evans, Tennessee Pride, whatever brand. Hamburger makes it good but different. Turkey “sausage” just doesn’t float my boat. This is good with sliced summer tomatoes, corn, zucchini/summer squash, carrots, beets, any vegetable with color looks pretty on the plate with this. What would you do for a low carb dirty rice? The cauliflower rice stuff is disgusting to me, though I like cauliflower as itself. Maybe just everything except the rice? Is it your birthday? If so, happy birthday! I love your blog and your recipes very much!

    1. Yes Jenny, this recipe was originally posted years ago and I just updated it with new pictures :-). I am afraid there isn’t a good option for making this dish low-card other than using a vegetable rice and I appreciate the birthday wishes!!!

  2. Hey Christy,
    I’m recently retired and did most of the cooking at our house, my wife doesn’t get home from work until later, i plan on doing more cooking and broadening our menu. I don’t remember how I came across your website but when I saw water pie I knew I had to see more. Well I made the pie, and it was a big hit. The more I look the more I want to make. Just wanted to say thanks.
    Brian Walton

    1. Thank you so much Brian and welcome to Southern Plate!! I am so glad you happened upon my site and look forward to seeing you more often. I hope you find many new favorites here and can’t wait to see what all you make!

    1. Hey Becky! While I really don’t like butterball sausage, we do love butterball bacon. Their sausage just doesn’t have any seasoning in it. The one time I used it, I kept getting the wrapper out of the trash to make sure I wasn’t just using ground turkey. The bacon is excellent though. Also, we have some friends who swear by the costco brand turkey bacon. I have never had bad turkey bacon but Katy loves butterball the most so that is what we get.

  3. Living in LA and married to a Cajun boy, I make dirty rice – or rice dressing as some people call it – all the time. I’ll also make a batch to take to work for lunches and since it’s for me only, I use riced cauliflower for a low-carb version and it’s just as good as the one I make with rice for The Husband.

  4. We call those Mystery Trips… destination was not revealed until arrival. While it was fun with he kids, my favorite was one my husband planned and executed for ME… a weekend at an old victorian B&B in Thomasville GA !

  5. I am so glad I found this post. My fiance absolutely loves this dish. While it might not be ‘true’ dirty rice it is darn well good enough for us!! I can live without the chicken livers lol. Thank you for the quick and easy dinner 🙂 . I always have to double the batch because he loves it so much he will eat it for several days!! Then inevitably asks for it again the next week.

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