Cajun Sausage Dirty Rice recipe has bold and flavorful ingredients. This is a budget-friendly recipe that can be served as a side dish or main entree. It’s savory, slightly spicy, and 100% satisfying!
CAJUN SAUSAGE DIRTY RICE
Dirty Rice originated in Louisiana during a time when resources were limited but large families and workers needed to be fed. As in other parts of the South, they used what was available and didn’t waste. They stretched their resources. A variety of spices along with what vegetables were readily available, celery, onions, garlic, and pork sausage or chicken livers and gizzards were used to flavor rice.
Dirty rice has both Creole and Cajun influences as well as variations from region to region and even from one family to another. Going back to using what was available, even the recipe that one family used changed from time to time depending on the season and what they could afford.
If you’re looking for the original Dirty Rice recipe, you will likely find hundreds albeit with slight variations.
WHAT IS CAJUN SAUSAGE ‘DIRTY RICE’?
Dirty rice is an original Louisiana Creole recipe made of rice, protein, bell pepper, celery, onion, and spices. The protein can be pork, beef, or chicken. The meat and spices discolor the rice making it look muddy or dirty thus the name.
RECIPES NOTES AND HELPFUL TIPS
- My big tip for making this recipe is when you’re cooking rice for another dish cook extra for this recipe. You’ll be one step ahead in your dinner prep if you do. You can cook rice 1 to 2 days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- You can use any kind of cooked rice for Dirty Rice. If you are in a pinch try minute rice cooked in chicken broth. It cooks correctly every time and is quick and easy.
- Try cooking rice in chicken broth to give it a little more flavor.
- I like to dice (small cut) the onion, celery, and pepper, aka the ‘Holy Trinity, for Cajun Sausage Dirty Rice instead of chop (large cut) the vegetables.
- Cajun seasoning features an array of ground peppers while Creole seasoning is more herbal, with oregano, thyme, rosemary, and paprika. You can use either Cajun or Creole seasoning. However, be careful adding the seasoning, you may not need to use any salt at all here. I recommend using no salt Cajun seasoning. and add salt and pepper after the rice has cooked as needed. Furthermore, depending on which meat using, it has plenty of seasonings and spices already.
- Although chicken livers are traditional in dirty rice, I do not like them in the least. So add some if you want to. I refuse.
HOW TO STORE DIRTY RICE
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the skillet over medium-low heat.
To freeze fully cool first then store in freezer-proof containers or freezer zip-top bags for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
If you like Cajun, Creole, and New Orleans flavors, here are more recipes that you’ll enjoy.
- Shrimp Pasta in Spicy New Orleans Tomato Cream Sauce
- New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp Pasta
- New Orleans Sausage Shrimp Crawfish Pasta
- Whipped Goat Cheese with NOLA Savory Praline Sauce
- NOLA style Red Beans and Rice
- Classic New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich
For more rice recipes, consider these
- Green Chile Cheese Rice Casserole
- No Peek Chicken Rice
- Extreme Rice
- One Pan Stick of Butter Rice
- Easy Mexican Rice
CAJUN SAUSAGE DIRTY RICE
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- 11 ounces pork breakfast sausage (I used Cumberland) or similar, the skins removed
- 1 cup brown onion finely diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper medium small dice, not very fine it will wilt during cooking
- ¾ cup celery about 2-3 stalks, diced
- 4 cloves garlic about 1 heaping teaspoon
- 2 teaspoon cajun spice
- 1 cup long grain rice such as basmati, uncooked
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt to taste, see note
- 2 large bay leaves
- Green opinion, scallions or cilantro for garnish
- Black pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, cook the sausage meat, breaking it down into small pieces with a wooden spatula. Cook until no longer pink. Drain the fat and remove it to a side plate.
- In the same skillet, saute onion, bell pepper, and celery. When the onion is becoming translucent add garlic, cajun, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 30 seconds.
- Stir in uncooked rice (I washed and rinsed it prior), pour in the broth, add bay leaves, and thyme, and return the meat to the skillet.
- Bring to a boil, cover with the lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 18 minutes until all the water has evaporated and rice is cooked.
- Fluff the rice with a fork, remove the thyme, and bay leaves and serve with green onions.
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