What Goes With Dirty Rice? A Favorite Louisiana Dish

If you’ve never eaten dirty rice before, you’re in for a treat. This dish is a favorite in Louisiana and has been enjoyed by locals for years. But what should we prepare to eat with this dish?

Here are what goes with dirty rice:

  • Beef brisket
  • Side Salad
  • Cajun-style blackened red snapper
  • Baked beans
  • Fried Chicken
  • And many more.
dirty rice
Cajun Dirty Rice. Credit: canva

This dish is incredibly versatile, and there are endless possibilities. This post will show you how to make the dish and what to eat with them.

What is Dirty Rice?

Dirty rice, also known as Cajun rice or rice dressing, is a traditional Cajun dish that is made with white long-grain rice, chicken livers, and pork sausage.

What Goes With Dirty Rice? A Favorite Louisiana Dish
Dirty rice in a wooden bowl. Credit: canva

It gets its name from being “dirty” from being cooked with small pieces of pork, beef, or chicken, green bell pepper, celery, and onion, and spiced with cayenne and black pepper.[

The History

It has been around for years and was created in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s a popular dish used to celebrate Mardi Gras and other holidays throughout the year.

How would you describe it?

Dirty rice is a spicy and meaty dish that may become your favorite rice dish.

It is a popular side dish in many parts of the world, but with all that meaty, rich flavors added, it’s hard not to eat it as a main meal.

The flavor is fairly easy to describe. Let’s start with the name. It is a dish with meat and doesn’t look very pretty when you see all of those meats mixed into your white rice (that may be why they call it “dirty”).

The meats that are used give it a smoky, spicy flavor, and the rice is cooked with vegetables like bell pepper and onion, so it has a slight sweetness.

The rice dish is usually served with sauce on the side, which can be either gravy or hot sauce.

Why do they call it dirty rice?

cajun dirty rice
Cajun dirty rice with ground beef, red bell pepper, and onions. Credit: canva

The dish gets its name because it’s “dirty” from being cooked with small pieces of pork, beef, or chicken and spiced with cayenne and black pepper.

This dish is a favorite in Louisiana with an explosion of flavor. Locals have enjoyed it for years.

What’s the difference between rice and dirty rice?

The difference is that, while rice is just plain white rice, it has meat and vegetables. It doesn’t look very pretty when you see all those meats mixed into your white rice.

What’s the difference between dirty rice and jambalaya?

The difference is that it doesn’t have any seafood in it. Jambalaya usually has shrimp, crawfish, or crab meat in it.

What to Serve With Dirty Rice?

There are a variety of things that goes well with it. Some local favorites include meat and vegetables.

Meat

dirty rice blackened red snapper
Cajun-style Blackened Red Snapper & Dirty Rice. Credit: canva

Beef Brisket 

What meat goes with dirty rice? Beef Brisket is an excellent option as it pairs nicely and adds flavor to the dish. It’s also easy to make!

Chicken

What Goes With Dirty Rice? A Favorite Louisiana Dish
Chicken dirty rice. Credit: canva

As we mentioned above, you have a lot of options when it comes to chicken. Try cooking the rice with different chicken breasts and see which you like best! The most popular ones for this is chicken thighs or chicken wings.

Cajun-style Blackened Red Snapper

What to eat with dirty rice? The blackened seasoning gives the fish a nice flavor and is healthy and light.

Fried Chicken

Another great thing is fried chicken. It’s quick and easy to make in the kitchen, and it pairs perfectly with this dish!

Classic Southern She-Crab Soup

This soup is a delicious option to go with. It’s easy to make, and the ingredients are readily available in most grocery stores!  

You can add crab meat if you’d like, but it will significantly increase the cost of making this dish.  

Vegetable

cajun spicy coleslaw
Cajun spicy coleslaw. Credit: canva

Beans

Another great option is beans, especially if you have a few leftovers from another meal or dinner.

Side Salad

A side salad would be an excellent addition as well. Add some lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and other veggies to your side salad.

Baked Potato

A baked potato is a great option, and it can be made in the oven or microwave depending on what you have and how much time you have!

Slaw

Another thing that goes well is coleslaw. Slaw may be a classic side dish for southern food, but it also pairs nicely and adds flavor to the dish!

Steamed Veggies

If you’re not a fan of coleslaw or baked potatoes, try adding some steamed veggies as your side dish.  This is an excellent option!

Okra

What Goes With Dirty Rice? A Favorite Louisiana Dish
Fried Okra. Credit: canva

What vegetable goes with dirty rice? Okra is an excellent option if you’re looking for a vegetable with your dish. It’s also easy to cook and has a nice flavor that goes well with the dish’s spiciness!

Cajun Beans

Cajun beans are another traditional side dish for Louisiana food. It’s made with kidney and black beans, sausage or ham hocks, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions.

For Dinner

Here are what to serve with the Cajun rice and the side dish.

Gumbo

dirty rice gumbo
Chicken Gumbo & Dirty Rice. Credit: canva

Gumbo is another classic southern food that pairs nicely. It is a stew-like soup, and some people prefer it over jambalaya because you get more of the meat flavor, as opposed to tasting like seafood!

Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies are a popular southern side dish made with cornmeal, buttermilk, and flour. They’re delicious and perfect for dipping!

For extra flavor, toss the hot puppies in Cajun seasoning before serving. 

Jambalaya

jambalaya spicy
Spicy Jambalaya. Credit: canva

Jambalaya is an excellent option as well! You can add shrimp or crawfish (or both) if you’d like, or just keep it simple with chicken.

Gravy

And, of course, we can’t forget the gravy! Gravy is a popular sauce, and it goes well with the smoky and spicy flavors in the dish.

Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is a great option if you want something a little spicier. It adds heat and flavor to the dish and can be customized to your liking!

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a classic side dish that goes well with almost any Louisiana food. It’s easy to make. Just add some butter and salt!

dirty rice salad
Salad & Dirty Rice. Credit: canva

Fruit Salad

A fruit salad is a great dessert option or a side dish. It’s light and refreshing, and it goes well with the spiciness!

Fried Apples

Fried apples are a delicious dessert or side dish with a sweet flavor. It’s easy to make, just peel some apples and fry them in butter!

How to Make Dirty Rice

Cajun One-Pot Recipe

The dish only needs simple ingredients. You can serve it as a stand-alone, as an entree, or even as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground sausage (ground pork sausage)
  • 4-5 C cooked rice, prepared with chicken broth
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 3/4 C green bell pepper (green pepper), diced
  • 3/4 C yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 C celery, diced
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1 Tbsp bacon grease or cooking oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or you can also use pepper flakes)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper)

Instructions

  1. Heat up some bacon grease or cooking oil in a large pan to hold the meat. Brown the ground beef and sausage in the skillet.
  2. Add vegetables and spices to the skillet when the meat begins to brown.
  3. To the pan, add onion and pepper. Stir in garlic and herbs/spices, except parsley, as soon as the meat is thoroughly browned. Season with salt, and combine well once more. Flour should be added at this time.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the broth, bay leaves, and rice. Remove any browned bits from the pan using a spoon. Allow cooking for 5-8 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Fold in rice and parsley. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve.

Blackened Chicken Recipe

This blackened chicken with rice recipe is a Louisiana-inspired dish made from a trinity of veggies, spices, and chicken. 

Ingredients

Rice:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped celery
  • ⅓ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (you can also use Basmati rice or Brown rice)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 ounces chicken livers, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Chicken:

  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth Avocado-Butter Lettuce Salad

Instructions:

Prepare the rice:

  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through thyme); sauté with a wooden spoon for 4 minutes.
  2. Add rice, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper, and garlic; sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.
  5. Add livers; sauté for 4 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked.
  6. Stir in green onions. Using a slotted spoon, transfer liver mixture and hot pepper sauce to rice; fluff with a fork.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°.

Prepare the chicken:

  1. Combine cumin and the next 5 ingredients (1/4 teaspoon red pepper); rub evenly over the chicken.
  2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
  3. Add chicken to pan; cook for 3 minutes. Turn chicken; place pan in the oven.
  4. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan.
  5. Add broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup (about 2 minutes). Spoon sauce over chicken; serve with rice.

How to Make Brisket Dirty Rice

It is one of my favorite recipes because I love smoked meat and spicy rice flavors.

  1. To make this recipe, start by preparing your brisket. Slice it thinly against the grain and season it well with salt and pepper.
  2. Then, sear the slices in hot oil until they’re browned. Remove them from the skillet and set them aside.
  3. Add about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and sauté onions in the same pan until translucent. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the briskets) and stir to combine.
  4. Once everything is combined, return the briskets to the pan and cover.
  5. Cook the mixture for 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates. The rice should now be cooked.
  6. When the brisket is done, remove it from the pan and slice it into bite-size pieces.
  7. Return the sliced brisket to the pan and toss it together with the rice.
  8. Serve immediately.

Tips

Serving and Meal Ideas:

  • The rice dish can be served as a stand-alone dish or as an entree with blackened chicken or shrimp.
  • If you want to make it into more of the main course, add some chopped chicken livers and green onions.
  • You can also mix in some avocado for extra creaminess and amazing flavors.
  • Serve it with a simple side salad for a complete meal.

Storing and Freezing: How Long Does Dirty Rice Last in the Fridge?

  • Once the dish has cooled, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • If you want to freeze it, place it in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to two months.
  • When you’re ready to eat the frozen rice, thaw it in the fridge overnight or microwave it on defrost.

FAQs

Is dirty rice bad for you?

No, the delicious meal is not bad for you. It’s a pretty healthy meal!

Is Cajun rice the same as dirty rice?

It is frequently referred to as Cajun Rice in Louisiana and other parts of the South due to the dish’s history with the Acadian immigrants of Louisiana.

How long is dirty rice good in the fridge?

It will last three to four days in the fridge. It can also be frozen if you want leftovers later!

Does dirty rice have MSG in it?

No, there is no MSG in the dish. However, some premade versions of the dish may have added MSG ingredients.

How do you heat dirty rice?

You can heat it in the microwave or on the stove. If microwaving, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for two to three minutes. If cooking on the stove, place it in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until heated.

What to serve with Zatarain’s dirty rice?

It is a rice mix, a premium blend of long grain rice, dehydrated vegetables, and spices such as red and green bell pepper, onion, and garlic. 

You can serve the rice with any number of dishes, including fried catfish, shrimp, crawfish, chicken, pork chops, beef brisket, ham hocks, sausage andouille, gumbo, jambalaya, boudin balls, po’boys, seafood gumbo, and even pizza.

What to cook with dirty rice?

The possibilities are endless regarding what to cook. You can mix the rice with ground beef, ham, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, corn, peas, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, collard greens, okra, lima beans, eggplant, squash, zucchini, and many other veggies.

What goes with Cajun rice?

There are so many things you can serve with Cajun rice. The most popular ones include crawfish etouffee, chicken gumbo, shrimp creole, blackened fish, and fried catfish.

How To Make Dirty Rice and Beans

To make it, combine one cup of uncooked white rice with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large pot.

  • Add enough cold water to cover the rice by at least 2 inches.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and let stand covered for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

For Dirty Beans, add 1 tablespoon of oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.

  • When hot, add 1 pound of dried black beans and cook, occasionally stirring, until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, frequently stirring, until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes more.
  • Drain the beans in a colander set in the sink.
  • Rinse under running water until cool enough to handle, drain again, and transfer to a bowl.
  • Stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper.
  • Serve immediately.

Related Topics

What is the Best Rice for Fried Rice?

There are a lot of different types of rice out there, and it can be tough to decide which one is best for fried rice. Basmati rice is a good option because it’s long and slender, so it doesn’t get mushy when cooked.

Jasmine or sushi rice are also good choices. Brown rice can be used, but it will take longer to cook and won’t be as fluffy. Whatever type of rice you use, make sure to rinse it before cooking to remove any excess starch.

Where Did Red Beans and Rice Originate?

Red beans and rice is a dish that originated in Louisiana. It is typically made with red beans, rice, sausage, and vegetables. The dish is often served as a side dish or main course.

What is in the Cajun Rice from Popeyes?

Popeyes Cajun Rice features a combination of pork, bell pepper, onion, garlic, celery, and cayenne with other Cajun and creole seasonings.

What Sides to Serve with Alligator?

That all depends on what kind of alligator dish you’re serving! If it’s a traditional Louisiana-style stew or gumbo, then you’ll want to serve it with rice.

A more sophisticated presentation might include mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables. And of course, no matter what you’re serving, hot sauce is always a welcome addition!