Dirty rice is a spicy flavorful Cajun dish that is inexpensive and down right delicious. My daughter, who doesn’t care much for rice, claimed that she now has two rice dishes that she likes.  One is this dirty rice and the other is my taco rice.  Really, I think she simply does not enjoy plain rice.  She’s a girl that enjoys big flavors like her momma.

Traditionally dirty rice is made with chicken livers, and if you have access to good pasture raised livers, I would definitely recommend the addition of them, about a pound chopped up finely.   Certainly they are a a nutritional powerhouse.  Sometimes I add them in and sometimes I do not. It depends on how my budget-friendly I need to make this. Cajun dirty rice

The seasonings I have listed below make it moderately spicy.  If you like more spice, feel free to add more cayenne and black pepper.  If you enjoy less spice, reduce a bit.  There are no hard and fast rules with cooking.  Make what you like and what you will eat.  

Here’s the step by step break down:

While rice is cooking, brown bacon and remove from pan, leaving the drippings behind.

Chop the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook in the bacon drippings.

Add ground beef and brown.

Stir in seasonings to bloom in the hot pan and add in the cooked rice, stirring thoroughly.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Dirty rice

A simple and delicious Cajun delight.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Cajun
Keyword dirty rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tara Buss


  • 1.5 cup white rice
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • 1 celery rib diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground pork
  • 1.5 tsp salt more may need to be added at the end
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano


  1. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.

  2. While rice is cooking, in a large skillet brown chopped bacon and remove from pan leaving drippings.

  3. Add diced onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until tender.  Add garlic and saute for a minute.

  4. Add ground beef and brown.  If much grease is produced, drain grease, leaving a couple of tablespoons in the skillet.

  5. Add seasonings and stir around to bloom spices.  

  6. Stir in rice until well combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Recipe Notes

To bump up nutrition, cook rice in broth.  1/2 lb of chopped chicken livers can be added as well while browning ground beef/pork.