Easy Homemade Dirty Rice

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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. Serve with BBQ Chicken Breast in OvenSouthern Fried Chicken Recipe (Fuss-Free), Simple Southern Fried Catfish and you will have the perfect meal.

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. So sorry about your weekend. But, grateful that nobody was hurt driving in the storm. I’m originally from Denver, Colorado so I’m very familiar with bad storms.
    Hope your next try is successful!
    Can’t wait to try this Dirty Rice. Sounds wonderful.

  2. Hi Christy,

    Love your recipes. I can relate to your attempt to stay in the Smokies last weekend. I rented a cabin for the first week of January, as my family was coming to AL to visit. Our cabin was beatiful and perched way up on the mt. We prayed everymorning as we slowly drove down, there was a dusting of snow which never melted. We stayed at Amazing Grace rented by Timbercreek rentals.


  3. I can’t wait to try this. I normally use the Zatarain’s version but this looks great. Thank you also for the story, we all need a jolt like that from time to time. Hope you had a wonderful birthday and Valentine’s day!

  4. I love dirty rice! When my husband goes to Popeye’s for chicken, I prefer the red beans and rice or dirty rice!

    Sorry you didn’t get to have your fun birthday weekend! I hope you enjoy your makeup trip better. All of us in North Florida kept anxiously waiting for the promised snow to come, but it didn’t quite make it this far. Just cold, cold rain! Some people drove up to Alabama to see it!

  5. Good grief! I probably passed you somewhere out there in Birmingham!

    We spent the day there Saturday doing that shopping we just can’t do close to home!

    Did you happen to see a woman walking through Target pretending she wasn’t with the crazy people surrounding her? Hee hee!

    The traffic was at a stand still all day, so we shopped and went to a movie to wait it out. Hope you made it out of town and missed the traffic jam!

  6. Ahh, Dirty Rice! My daddy was a Louisiana native. I do believe different regions create foods differently in LA. This is one of those dishes. We always had dirty rice as a staple side on Thanksgiving. But, our dirty rice was a bit different. It had a base of chicken gizards rathern than sausage 🙂 I do believe your version would appeal to more folks, but I do love the dirtier version 🙂 Take Care

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