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Dirty Rice

Dirty Rice is a spicy and flavorful Cajun rice dish made from white rice. You won’t find a more flavorful rice.

Dirty Rice in a bowl.

Why Is It Called Dirty 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 is a spicy and meaty rice dish that just may become your favorite rice dish of all time.

Usually this cajun 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.

Holy Trinity

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.  🙂

What If I Don’t Like Liver?

I recommend you try it first with the livers. The liver flavor gets really dispersed and isn’t all that noticeable. If you’re sure you hate liver, leave it out. You can add a little bacon grease and a few pieces of chopped, cooked bacon for extra flavor.

How To Store

Will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days and can be reheated in a microwave.

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 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes
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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71 thoughts on “Dirty Rice”

  1. 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!!

  2. 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.

  3. I substituted the meat mixture from Boudin In place of liver. Wonderful recipe!! Thanks for sharing 😀

  4. Joe Swafford

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Linda Stanley

    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!!

  7. Alondra Zuniga

    I’m sorry to ask Thisbe I might sound weird but do i have to wash the chicken liver

  8. 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!

  9. This may sound like a ridiculous question , but are the livers added raw or cooked ? I’ve never used them ! Thanks

      1. Gregg Allen Hodge

        They are cooked livers. It’s best to cook them whole with sherry and chop them when cool.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. I have made this for super this evening and I sampled it and it’s so delicious. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  14. 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?

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