Dirty Rice

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Dirty Rice is a spicy and flavorful Cajun rice dish made from white rice. It gets its “dirty” color from finely chopped chicken livers and ground beef or pork.  The chicken livers give it such a deep flavor. Even if you think you don’t like chicken livers, you should try adding them. Since they are finely chopped, the overall dish doesn’t have much of a chicken liver flavor.

Dirty Rice in a bowl.


Dirty Rice is a spicy and meaty rice dish that just may become your favorite rice dish of all time.

Usually Dirty Rice is served as a side dish, but with all that meaty goodness added to it, it’s tempting to eat it as a main dish.


The flavor of Dirty Rice starts with the Holy Trinity- onion, celery, and bell pepper. Garlic, dried thyme, and a few teaspoons of Cajun seasoning round out the seasonings.

Dirty Rice in a large pot.

If you save your bacon grease when you cook bacon, use a little of it in this rice. It will add even more flavor.

For the Cajun seasoning, I love to use Tony Chachere’s. It’s by far my favorite seasoning and it is perfect for sprinkling on all kinds of foods. I love it on potato salad.  🙂

Try These Other Southern Favorites:

Rice in a red bowl.


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Watch the short video below to see how to make Dirty Rice.

Dirty Rice in a bowl.

Dirty Rice

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: cajun
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Dirty Rice is a spicy and meaty side dish with ground beef and chicken livers.
Print Recipe


  • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped chicken livers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning, I like Tony Chachere's
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


  • Set aside 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and pour remaining chicken broth in a medium saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups water and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Add rice, cover and cook 20 minutes.
  • Heat bacon grease in a cast iron Dutch oven. Add ground beef and crumble it with a wooden spoon.
  • Once you have the ground beef crumbled, add onion, celery, and green pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are softened. Add chicken livers and garlic and continue to cook 5 minutes.
  • Add salt, Cajun seasoning, and thyme.
  • Add reserved chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the brown pieces. Let simmer 1 minute.
  • Remove bay leaf from rice and add rice to Dutch oven. Stir it into the ground beef mixture. Keep the heat on while you stir. Once it is combined well, remove from heat.


Calories: 325kcal

Originally published February 29, 2016.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

59 thoughts on “Dirty Rice

  1. Can I substitute Liver with ground beef? I am a child and I don’t like liver, but I wanna start cooking more and this looked really good!

    1. I took the casings off of 2 brats,chopped up some mushrooms and added 1tbs of A1,to sub the chicken livers

  2. Wow, was this good. We loved it. Spicy without being to hot. This rice dish is memorable. It was quick and easy to make with excellent results. Thank you so much for sharing a new family favorite.

  3. I rarely leave 5 star reviews but this one deserves it!! I’ve made this at least 3 times and it has come out perfect every time. I do add a bit more garlic but that’s the only change. Thank you for a fantastic recipe that hits the spot. 😍

  4. hey christin! made dirty rice as a side dish for my mixed enchiladas at lunch and it turned out stellar! thanks a ton for the recipe!
    greets from California

  5. Just made this tonight, 9-12-2020. It is amazing in taste. Used a little breakfast sausage in place of liver. All else as recipe directed. Thank you!

  6. I enjoy all the recipes that was created for this fabulous dish, l will be using it all, thank you so much for posting it all.

  7. Oh my Lord!! I’ve never cooked or had Cajun
    Dirty Rice except Popeye’s. This was one of the most unbelievable dishes I’ve ever had! I detest people who leave reviews & tell of all the many changes they made to it. However, I had leftover rice that I simmered with the bay leaf and to kick the heat up just a tad I added a Serrano pepper with only half the seeds removed. I also used Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning as Tony was way back in the pantry. I can’t wait to make it again with the fresh long grain rice!! Just unbelievable flavors!!

  8. Didn’t know what to make for dinner but I had ground beef in the freezer and rice in cabinet. So I googled dirty rice and found this recipe. Didn’t have a green pepper, chicken stock or chicken livers so I left them out. It still turned out super tasty! Definitely will make again.

  9. I make dirty rice often. Usually add a jalapeno and/or other peppers to kick it up a notch. Always use ground turkey and sometimes leave out the chicken livers. Butter and olive oil ad a good flavor. I always make a big batch to have left overs for lunch. Be careful, it’s so good its hard to stop eating it. One of my top 10 favorite recipes.

  10. Quick, easy, and oh so good. Only change I made was to leave out the salt (I prefer to add it at the table). Phenomenal recipe. Will definitely make again.

  11. Made this as a side to ribs. My friend’s husband requested it as he knows I cook and bake in local competitions. MUST use chicken livers, so good!!

  12. As a Louisiana lady, I thoroughly enjoy dirty rice. My only difference is using Jimmy Deans mild sausage instead of liver. Just never was able to tolerate the flavor. And at the end throw in a good handful of thin sliced green onions. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you share!

  13. I used chicken. gizzards, cooked them first in seasoned chicken broth then ran them through my food processor. I make my own Cajun seasoning without cayenne, that way those who want hot can add cayenne or hot sauce as they see fit. I also add the seasoning to the pan before the vegetables are put in, giving the spices a minute or two to heat up and then put the veggies in to sautee. Just before the veggies are done I add the processed gizzards and everything is the same from there on.

    Just a different way of doing it, you go to 6 houses in New Orleans and we’ll have 7 different ways of doing dirty rice. It’s all good.

  14. I was very skeptical about this recipe but it was absolutely DELICIOUS. I used ground chicken and did not have any chicken livers. This will be one of my permanent dishes.

  15. Just completed and it came out fabulously good! I’ve made it in the past with chicken gizzards but I think I like the chicken liver better, not chewy like gizzards.

  16. I love Dirty Rice. Being I’ve been transplanted to Ohio. There are no Kolaches. But worse of all no BOUDAIN.. FRIED BOUDAIN BALLS…yum. Do You have any ideals how to make?

  17. I had no idea chicken livers went into dirty rice! This was so delish and my husband loved it. I followed the directions exactly and it turned out perfect. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

  18. i enjoyed this recipe. i made it for the kids on my job. they were hesitant, but they loved it. Thank you. will be doing this at home.

  19. I love this recipe. I substituted cauliflower rice for my portion and used regular rice for my guy. They were both amazeballs. Thank you!!!!

  20. Haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve been wanting to make my own dirty rice at home ever since my favorite fast-food place stopped serving it…. I can’t wait to try it!

  21. I don’t see chicken livers in your recipe -how much chicken livers do you use and when do you add them. Do you first gring them in good processor?

  22. I made this today. It was soooo yummy. I added shrimp and substituted Jimmy Dean Sage sausage for the chicken livers. I will be making this again!

  23. My 5 year old saw this on Top Chef and asked if we could make it. (He has ASD and is obsessed with cooking) I found your recipe and I’m glad I did. It was simple to make with plenty of easy steps for kiddo. I did all the chopping and actual cooking, he did the measuring and mixing. I was a little worried he would be grossed out by the chicken livers but he didn’t say a word. It was just another ingredient to him. Very tasty. We’re eating it as a main dish. I will make this again probably often. Thanks!

  24. Looks so very good! Am trying my hand at dirty rice for the first time in my 65 yrs of age. My late cajun mother in law made it many times. Guess it’s time I did! Thanks for the recipe!

  25. Wow! Absolutely perfect and delicious! So simple. Just followed the directions and used, for the first time, the Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning. Great recipe!

  26. Dirty Rice has been one of my favourites since the 70’s but I havent made it for years.
    So tonight I did and blew the whole family away.
    I dare say it will become a family favourite now.

  27. Dear god woman you have cracked the code. This was fantastic. I used ground Jimmy Dean HOT and 1Lb Ground Beef. Added fresh parsley as well. Over the top. Thank you so much!!!

  28. I tried this recipe for my daughter’s birthday dinner, and I prepared it without the livers. All went well.

  29. I never knew that the dirty rice phrase came from the chicken livers. I’ve never tried chicken liver, but I’m not afraid because this looks stellar. And that is the same Cajun seasoning I use. I’m totally trying it on potato salad.

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