Dirty rice is a southern comfort food staple and it’s easy to see why!

Tender meat is browned and sauteed with onions, peppers, and celery then finished off with fluffy rice and flavorful cajun seasoning to give you a complete meal!

Dirty Rice in a bowl

What is Dirty Rice

I love all kinds of Cajun food from cajun chicken and shrimp to gumbo; I just can’t get enough of it! This Dirty Rice is just one more favorite among my collection!

Regardless of where you’re from, rice (especially in a rice casserole)  is truly such a comforting dish! Dirty rice is New Orleans staple and a simple dish combining beef, sausage and minced chicken liver along with peppers and onions.  It’s all seasoned with our favorite Cajun Seasoning and rice cooked to tender perfection.

Some dirty rice recipes use different things like carrots, potatoes, or mushrooms but I really prefer this dish to just be prepared simply with traditional ingredients. If you’d like, you can add whatever veggies you have handy to this recipe!

Dirty Rice in a pot with green onions

How to Make Dirty Rice

Dirty rice, filthy rice – whatever you want to call it –  is actually made with white rice, but it gets its dirty color from the spices and meat added to the dish! This dirty rice recipe uses a deliciously spiced homemade cajun seasoning. I find that homemade has so much flavor (and much less salt) but store bought will work too!

In this version of dirty rice, I use a combination of lean ground beef, sausage and minced chicken livers. If you’ve never had chicken liver before, this is the perfect time to try it.They’re minced quite small and combined with so many amazing flavors.  While they don’t stand out, they definitely add some richness to the dish (plus they’re a traditional ingredient). If you really can’t/won’t eat chicken livers, you can leave them out but it’s worth trying!

Dirty Rice in a bowl with green onion

While it’s traditional to use a smoked sausage (or ground pork) with the chicken livers, I love the flavor that ground sausage adds.  Feel free to use sliced smoked sausage if you prefer!

To make easy work of mincing the chicken livers, freeze them for about 20-30 minutes before chopping! This makes the task a breeze.

Dirty Rice in a pot with a spoon

I start by browning all of the meat together until no pink remains.  Once browned drain the fat and soften the veggies.  Finally I add raw rice and broth and allow the flavors to cook right into the rice. If you want to substitute white rice for any other type, just make sure you adjust the simmering time accordingly so it gets the chance to cook properly!

The beautiful thing about dirty rice is that it’s a one pot meal, which means less dishes on a busy weeknight!

While dirty rice is a perfect complete meal on it’s own, we sometimes serve it as a side.  If we’re eating it as a main dish, a side of greens or another freshly steamed veggie and some cornbread makes for the perfect meal!

Dirty Rice in a bowl with green onion
5 from 66 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Dirty Rice

Tender seasoned rice mixed with lean beef, pork sausage and chicken livers for the perfect easy one pan meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 8 ounces bulk sausage
  • ½ cup chicken liver minced, optional
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups white rice uncooked
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth I use low sodium
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • green onion for garnish


  • Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add beef, sausage and chicken liver (if using). Cook until no pink remains.
  • Add onion, garlic, green pepper, celery and Cajun seasoning. Stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add rice, broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered about 20-23 minutes or until rice is cooked.
  • Garnish with green onions and serve.



Freeze your chicken livers for about 20-30 minutes to allow for easy mincing.
5 from 66 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 435 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 425mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1245IU | Vitamin C: 28.8mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2.8mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


    1. Hi Carolyn, yes you can use just ground beef. And while it will slightly change the flavor it will still be delicious!

  1. Traditional family favorite on holidays with turkey or chicken dinners. “Old country “ staple. Love it with added drippings from the chicken or turkey.5 stars

  2. This is so tasty, and very easy to make. I like chicken livers so adding them was not an issue. I should have used more. Very filling i just ate it without any sides. Plenty of leftovers is a plus for me. I give this five stars.5 stars

  3. Very good. My entire family loved it, hubby, 3 year old and 9 year old. I skipped the chicken liver and used celery salt in areas of fresh celery. I also used red and yellow peppers because they were in my fridge at the time.

    I made cornbread to go with it.

    It’s a hit!!5 stars

  4. I made this for dinner today and it was delicious! A big hit. I am looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow. I know it’s going to even better when reheated.5 stars

  5. Made it last night, and the kids asked me to save the recipe. I didn’t use the chicken livers as they were out at the grocery store. I also didn’t have enough broth so I subbed in chicken bouillon cubes. Even with the substitutions, it was a great recipe.5 stars

  6. Phenomenal flavor!
    This is the perfect one pot meal! I had everything except for the celery and gizzards and it still came out perfect! Thank you so much, this was definitely a great reward for such little time used! Not even an hour!5 stars

  7. This recipe is absolutely delicious! A breath of fresh air for my weekly meal plan. Easy, amazing tastes, and I used only what I had on-hand, it was still fantastic! New favorite in my home, as a meal, since it is so filling5 stars

  8. Made this today to go with a pot of pintos and this recipe is a keeper! The family loved it! I will definitely be making this again. I didn’t use the liver because I’m a big baby when it comes to eating liver. But it was delicious without it. Thanks for the great recipe.

  9. This is absolutely amazing , I didn’t use livers though , however I added in kidney beans and it was amazing , will definitely make again , thank you5 stars

  10. Excellent recipe! I made it keto by substituting riced cauliflower and using less broth. One of the best keto dishes I’ve ever made and it got raves from folks at the church social.
    Can’t wait to make it with rice next time.

  11. Hi! I love this recipe and I have all the ingredients but I already had a big pot of al ready cooked white rice. Is there a way I can prepare this with already cooked rice and skip the broth bay leaf part?

    1. I would warm rice and add after all is cooked ,,,maybe a bit of chicken broth to make moist,, I have lots of left over rice also

  12. Delicious. Easy. A keeper! Used ground beef and chicken sausage. Made the homemade cajun spice. Used the sweet mini peppers I had on hand.5 stars

  13. Just tried this recipe. It’s very tasty!!! The chicken liver gives a certain ooomph. Thanks for this easy meal.5 stars

  14. Wonderful recipe, I’ve never cooked dirty rice before but I had leftover livers and gizzards from a dinner out. I figured dirty rice would be perfect way to use them up. Followed the recipe but subbed the chopped cooked fried livers and gizzards…it was so good. Good way to use up leftovers, yum!5 stars