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This easy Cajun Dirty Rice Recipe with Sausage is sure to start a party whether it's Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday...or a run of the mill weeknight. It's a hearty side or it can be a one-dish meal.
Are you in a party mood? You will be once you see how easy it is to make this festive dish with healthy ingredient swaps. It's presented as side dish. But, double up on the protein or add Baked Blackened Chicken and you have a complete meal.
Just like Cajun Cauliflower Rice with Andouille Sausage, it's fast, flavorful and it meant to be eaten year round!
What is dirty rice?
Classic Cajun dirty rice starts with white rice that gets "dirty" from finely chopped chicken livers and ground pork. Sauteed onions, celery and red pepper give it flavor. The spice comes from Cajun or Creole seasonings.
It's often served as a side dish for Mardi Gras celebrations that occur before Lent begins. It definitely should be eaten year round!
Although I'm sure that the traditional version of this Mardi Gras staple is very delicious, let me tempt you with an easier, healthier recipe.
Use a food processor to crumble fully cooked sausage! It doesn't get any easier than that. I'm partial to chicken sausage. But, Andouille sausage is perfect for this recipe. Be sure to use a nitrite-free product. We use the same trick to make Stuffed Tomatoes with Rice.
Use brown rice instead of white!
While the rice is cooking, saute onions, celery, peppers and garlic in olive and butter.
Stir the cooked rice and sausage into the sauteed vegetables and season everything with Cajun spices.
Garnish with green onions and, to quote my favorite Louisiana chef, BAM! You're done!
How to Store, Reheat and Freeze
- Store - Place leftover dirty rice in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Tip: Store in single serve containers for make ahead lunches during the week.
- Reheat - Warm leftovers in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave until warmed through. Add a little broth or water to moisten it before you heat it up. For a single serving, add about a teaspoon of liquid.
- Freeze - Leftovers may be frozen in an airtight storage container. Store up to 3 months. May be microwaved from frozen or defrosted overnight in the refrigerator and then warmed.
More Mardi Gras Dinner Ideas
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Cajun Dirty Rice Recipe
- 1 cup long grain brown rice jasmine or basmati
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth low sodium
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 cup red pepper diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Cajun spice mix or try this homemade spice blend
- 12 ounces cooked sausage nitrite free
- 1 bunch green onion sliced, optional garnish
- Cook rice according to instructions using broth instead of water. Rice should be light and fluffy and all the broth should be absorbed when finished.
- Finely cut and mash sausage until it is a crumbly consistency. Chop in a food processor if desired. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan.
- Add onion, celery, pepper and garlic to pan and saute until soft, about 5 minutes
- Add sausage to pan and mix to combine.
- When rice is finished cooking add it to the pan with the sausage and vegetables and mix to combine.
- Stir in Cajun spice.
- Top with green onions.
This recipe was originally published 3/2/2014. It was updated to improve the reader experience.