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Dirty Rice


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

Dirty Rice is a spicy and meaty side dish with ground beef and chicken livers.
PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 20 mins
TOTAL: 30 mins
SERVINGS: 6 servings


  • 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
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: cajun

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Originally published February 29, 2016.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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61 thoughts on “Dirty Rice”

  1. Excellent except it does not need that extra spoonful of salt. I will omit that next time. My grand didn’t even fuss about the onions and she really liked the flavors. I doubled the recipe for leftovers except I only used 3 tbs of Creole seasoning due to salt & I added a good shake of red pepper flakes. Can’t wait to make it w the chicken livers, too since I only had ground beef this time. It was still delicious! Thanks.

  2. 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

  3. This turned out great!! So tasty and the liver blends in really well. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 😍

  6. 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

  7. Julie Lynch

    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!

  8. 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.

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