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. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I’d never heard of or tried Dirty Rice until I moved to South Carolina and took my first trip to Bojangle’s… I was more enthralled with the rice (and the sweet tea, oh, boy!) than the chicken! Soon after I grabbed a box of Zatarain’s from the grocery store and made it with ground beef, and our family loved it. Now I can’t wait to try yours. Just reading it made my stomach growl, and I didn’t even read it out loud (how the stomach and the reading/comprehending part of the brain communicate is a mystery). I’d much rather make from-scratch than from-box because you don’t get all that extra salt and all those chemicals that no one can pronounce. I think I’m gonna make a special Walmart run just to grab up the ingredients and whip it up tonight. You definitely da bomb, Christy.

  2. I find it impossible to keep house without Tony’s. DD # 4 went to college in far east Texas (30 miles from Shreveport) and her cajun roomies got her hooked on it too. My dirty rice is different, it’s baked with mushroom soup, turns out “wetter.” this sure sounds good though! btw happy late birthday, you and DD# 4 share the same b-day.

  3. Christy,

    I had the same fear when my (then 16 year old) son was designated the ‘food planner’ for an 11-day canoe trip for 20 people to Biscotassing, Ontario, Canada. He took the opinions of the boys, and the leaders, and worked something up.

    Mind you, they had to canoe all of the food in, along with their gear. The closest ‘general store’ was a 10-mile canoe trip away, and it didn’t carry that much stuff. There was limited water supply (they had to purify everything they used in meals/drank), and NO refrigeration … except any coolers they would choose to take in the canoes.

    MY biggest fear was that the HUGE bags of rice and flour that they decided to take (Econo-club 20 pounds!) would be in a canoe that would upset — they decided that they didn’t want to put into tuppers. [They also took powdered milk, powdered ‘bug juice’ and similar.] They made fresh bread every single day!

    You’ll be proud to hear that they took grits (instant) to supplement breakfast. (Not bad for some Yankees from Central Pennsylvania!)

    Most of their meat was canned (spam, pre-cooked bacon, etc.), except for the fresh meat they took in a cooler that they expected to last only a few days. [So, they gradually shifted from ‘real’ food to ‘insta-food.’]

    And, in the long-term scheme of things, what’s wrong with one week of pizza? If that’s what Brady chose? 🙂


  4. I am so excited to try this recipe, I love dirty rice! It looks so easy and good. We got 4 inches of snowfall here in middle Ga and my 2 yr old son loved it, we were all excited!

  5. I feel your pain about the weather. We were pretty much stuff all weekend here at the house. Couldn’t make it to the circus. Karate Banquet was cancelled and while they have been calling for another storm to hit last night THANK GOODNESS it missed us…because I have a terrible case of Cabin Fever and we were gonna run outta toilet paper if we couldn’t get out soon.

  6. I will have to try this. As a Texan, yes, gotta have more heat. As someone who is getting older and can’t handle the spices.. It’s just fine the way it is!
    Love ya!

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