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.
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!
- Cooked rice (to decrease carbs you can use cauliflower rice)
- Creole seasoning
- Dried or fresh parsley
- Bell pepper
- Turkey sausage
- Chopped or minced garlic
How to Make The Best Dirty Rice Recipe at Home
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 the sausage is cooked through and the veggies are tender.
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!
Toss in cooked rice.
Stir that up well and make sure your rice is heated through.
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.
- 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.
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 catfish, blackened chicken, or fried chicken, Popeye’s style.
You may also like these rice recipes:
Crockpot Fiesta Chicken and Rice
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
- 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*
I’ve always wanted to try dirty rice, but the ones I’ve had have been tooooo spicy to enjoy the taste of it! I’ll have to give this a try.
Sorry to hear your birthday/valentine cabin plans didn’t work out. My family thought I needed “Wii Sports Resort” for MY birthday . . . what a line! LOL! I just asked for the snow to stay . . . and it did.
Thanks for the Tennessee Pride Commercial! I had tears in my eyes. Then I had to go and find the Purity Milk commercials with Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) on youtube. “Hey Vern!”
You are so wise! Those are true words and sometimes we all need a little nudge in the right direction…thank you kindly!
I cried. I’m pretty sure they were tears of joy for the newfound realizations that you had about each day being “non-refundable”, but like an idiot, I just sat here crying.
I love you and your family and your site and the wonderful stories and recipes that you bring us!
Thanks for sharing your cabin “no refund” story! What a beautiful reminder to make each day count. You showed a good example to the kids and the rest of us how to handle set backs in life with grace and dignity! Hooray to Brady for getting a new Boy Scout badge and for being smart and picking this wonderful recipe that I can’t wait to try out! Cheers to you and your wonderful family! Hugs, Deanie
I’m originally from south Louisiana, but I don’t make dirty rice to often, but I do make jambalaya and gumbo. And your welcome anytime, Just drive north about 30 miles!
Oh my goodness! That Tennessee Pride commercial brought back memories of my childhood here in Nashville! I was singing along with it–even in the exagerated Southern accent! Thanks for a blast from the past and a great new recipe to try!
I wish I could hug you!! You are so sweet and thoughtful. I love the disclaimer you addressed to Texans and Cajuns. Too cute. How could anyone chastise you based on authenticity with that kind of disclaimer?