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Dirty Rice {From a New Orleans Local}

A classic Cajun Dirty Rice recipe from a New Orleans Local. This authentic dirty rice dressing is a real Louisiana staple served as a main dish or side dish appetizer in New Orleans. A seasoned Cajun rice recipe made with traditional ingredients that features a trinity of vegetables, herbs and spices, rice, and andouille sausage made famous in the French Quarter.

Dirty Rice served in a black skillet on a wooden board. The skillet features simmered rice brown in color with pieces of pork sausage, chunks of bell peppers, and celery on top. A wooden spoon sits in the top right corner with a scoop of the dirty rice in the center. Text on top reads New Orleans (Authentic recipe from a NOLA local) Dirty Rice. Green onions sprinkled as garnish over skillet.

Dirty rice, commonly referred to as “Cajun rice” or “dirty rice dressing” is a regionally famous rice recipe from Cajun country, Louisiana. The classic rice dish is golden brown in color from browning meat and simmering the rice in a well seasoned and flavorful stockpot full of herbs, and vegetables.

Louisiana cuisine is famous for its deeply rich flavors that develop from using classic herbs, vegetables, and spices paired with its long and slow cooking methods used to lock-in that classic deep taste. Today, New Orleans remains a top tourist hot spot thanks to its one of a kind flavorful food dishes and Mardi Gras festival season you’ll only find here.

If you’ve ever visited the French Quarter then you know that the food scene is trendy with hundreds of highly recommended top of the line restaurants. The warm aroma of good food wafting through the air with a hurricane in hand and a bag of beignets is hard to match. It’s easy to fall in love with New Orleans. From the local food scene to its rich southern history, and Bourbon Street fun, tourists never get sick of the city. One thing that my friends always mutter when leaving the city is that they wish they had some food to bring back home. Over the years, I have been sharing authentic NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) recipes left and right. Many of them come from my fiancés family who has long deep roots in his home state like this authentic Red Beans and Rice recipe and this famous Jambalaya dish.

Dirty rice styled in a black skillet on a wooden board with a deep pink napkin below the skillet. The rice is brown with pieces of fried red pork sausage, green onions, green bell peppers, and celery garnished on top. Sprinkled with dried parsley flakes and a scoop of dirty rice sits as a ball in the center of the skillet.

HOW TO MAKE DIRTY RICE

  1. Dice andouille sausage and brown it in pan.
  2. Saute onions, celery, bell peppers.
  3. Stir in seasonings and herbs.
  4. Add stock and water to pot.
  5. Bring to boil, stir in rice.
  6. Cook on stovetop until rice is tender.
  7. Serve with green onions and hot sauce.

Jambalaya vs. Dirty Rice

Are jambalaya and dirty rice the same thing? No, they are not. Jambalaya is a traditional Creole dish that has deep roots among the Creoles in Louisiana. My Jambalaya recipe features the use of tomatoes, while real dirty rice does not. Creole cuisine uses other vegetables and seasoning that cajun cuisine does not use, most notable is the use of tomatoes in a recipe.

Dirty Rice - Golden brown rice from simmering in a stockpot with meat and vegetables. Served in a skillet with a flatbed of cajun rice with pieces of red andouille sausage, green bell peppers, celery, and green onions throughout. Text in middle in blue border reads Classic Cajun Dirty Rice. Second photo is same as first but a close up with a scoop of the rice on top of the flatbed of rice.

INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIRTY RICE

ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE: Smoked and seasoned cajun or creole pork sausage. The pork sausage gets cooked in butter. The fat from the pork adds deep flavor to this dish.

RICE: Use Zatarain’s long grain white rice. Rinse the starch off in the sink using a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Then, simmer the rice in chicken stock and water with traditional cajun seasoning.

VEGETABLES: Cajun and Creole cooking use a variety of classic vegetables to season dishes. In Louisiana, and especially New Orleans, nearly every dish features the use of a trinity of vegetables that include bell peppers, celery, and onions. In addition, garlic adds a lot of taste. Green onions add crunch and a mild onion flavor to the finished dish.

SEASONING: Use a good quality seasoning like Tony Chachere Seasoning. Then, add bay leaves, paprika, salt, pepper, dried parsley, and hot pepper sauce to the stock pot.

STOCK: Chicken stock is added to the dirty rice to give the rice extra flavor while it cooks. I use part chicken stock and part water.

Dirty Rice - Far image of black skillet with a spread of cooked yellow brown rice, green peppers, onions, celery, and pork sausage on top. Served on a wooden board with a pink napkin.

HOW TO SERVE DIRTY RICE

Cajun Dirty Rice dressing is typically served as an appetizer, side dish or main dish in New Orleans. In NOLA, it’s served with fried chicken, fried fish, shrimp po’boys, crawfish etouffee, charbroiled oysters, seafood gumbo, roast beef debris, boudin, and other classics. If cooking at home, serve with seasoned chicken and vegetables or try it with these other NOLA recipes you’ll only find in the city.

■ JAMBALAYA: If you like flavorful rice dishes, try this Creole Jambalaya recipe next. It’s flavored in Creole spices and herbs with pieces of chicken and andouille sausage with a classic spicy tomato flavor.

■ RED BEANS AND RICE: This classic Creole rice and bean dish is typically served on Mondays. The dish uses dried red kidney beans simmered in creole spices and herbs with ham and andouille sausage. It is served with steamed rice, green onions, and hot sauce.

GUMBO: One of my favorite New Orleans recipes. I make my Chicken Gumbo Recipe on the regular during soup season. Gumbo starts with a dark brown roux that we call “gravy” in Louisiana. It is then simmered on the stovetop with a trinity of vegetables and spices. I like to dip saltine crackers in this classic southern soup recipe.

■ CREOLE KOLACHES: Bite-size Buttery Creole Kolaches start with a flaky puff pastry filled with seasoned cream cheese, and buttery creole spiced sausage rolled in the pastry, baked until golden brown, and served with creole mustard.

■ CORNBREAD: If you are not eating cornbread with your meal, you’re doing it wrong. Cornbread is the butter and bread of the south. Do yourself a favor and try this classic Cornbread recipe with all your NOLA meals.

Dirty Rice {From a New Orleans Local}

A classic Cajun Dirty Rice recipe from a New Orleans Local. This authentic dirty rice dressing is a real Louisiana staple served as a main dish or side dish appetizer in New Orleans. A seasoned Cajun rice recipe made with traditional ingredients that features a trinity of vegetables, herbs and spices, rice, and andouille sausage.
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, cajun, Southern
Keyword: cajun rice, dirty rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Calories: 434kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb andouille sausage, finely diced (see notes for alternatives)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • ½ tbsp Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (or ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • cups water
  • 2 cups white rice (rinsed well)
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced

Instructions

  • Melt 1 tbsp butter in stockpot. Saute onions, green pepper, celery, and garlic until translucent in color and fragrant; about 7 minutes.
  • Finely dice andouille sausage. Saute in stock pot over medium-high heat until deeply golden brown in color.
  • Stir in sauteed vegetables, bay leaves, Tony Chachere's seasoning, pepper, salt, pepper sauce, paprika, and dried parsley flakes. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Turn heat to high and bring stock and water to boil.
  • Rinse rice well under cold water until water runs clear to remove extra starches.
  • Stir in rice. Cover with lid. Reduce heat to a slow simmer.
  • Cook for 25-35 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. TIP: If rice is not done but liquid is gone, add ¼ cup of water at a time and continue to cook covered until done.
  • Serve with diced green onions and hot sauce.

Notes

ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE: Andouille sausage is seasoned and heavily smoked sausage. It is often called Cajun sausage. A good substitute for Andouille sausage is Kielbasa sausage. I do not recommend breakfast sausage for jambalaya.
HOW TO RINSE RICE: Pour rice into a fine mesh strainer or kitchen tea towel. Rinse under cold water until rice runs clear.
PEPPER SAUCE: Pepper sauce can be found near hot sauce. Pepper sauce is hot peppers in vinegar. It is not the same as hot sauce. Use red pepper flakes in place of pepper sauce if needed.
OTHER CLASSIC MEATS: Chicken livers, ground beef, ground pork, chicken.

Nutrition

Calories:434kcal | Carbohydrates:44g | Protein:17g | Fat:21g | Saturated Fat:7g | Cholesterol:58mg | Sodium:831mg | Potassium:398mg | Fiber:2g | Sugar:3g | Vitamin A:580IU | Vitamin C:15mg | Calcium:38mg | Iron:2mg

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