Cajun dirty rice is always a crowd pleasure. It is colorful, flavorful and the perfect blend of vegetables, meat and rice with just a little hint of spice. Are you curious about making this Louisiana favorite at home? Here are the recipes that will make that happen!
What is Cajun cooking?
The term Cajun refers to a regional style of cooking popular in Louisiana. It blends French and Southern culinary traditions and commonly features roux and the 'holy trinity' of bell peppers, onions and celery.
Cajun Dirty Rice Ingredients
What makes Cajun dirty rice special is its unique blend of ingredients: rice, chicken broth, ground chicken livers or gizzards (which give the rice its 'dirty' appearance), pork, peppers and garlic.
Some of the more elaborate Cajun rice recipes contain a dark roux (a blend of butter/lard and flour cooked until it is dark brown), sausage or even ground beef. They are even vegan versions of this popular New Orleans dish which is also known as cajun rice dressing, as it makes spectacular stuffing for poultry during the holiday season.
Cajun dirty rice recipe
For the best Cajun dirty rice recipe we turned to Emeril Lagasse, the authority on all things Cajun. This legendary chef best known for his shows on the Food Network but whips up a mean pot of Cajun dirty rice. Here's how to make it:
Cajun dirty rice ingredients for 8 servings
3 tbsp oil
1 lb chicken livers, finely chopped
1/2 lb pork sausage, casing removed and crumbled
1 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 celery, finely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp of Emeril's Original Essence (can substitute for a Cajun seasoning blend)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
5 cups cooked rice, chilled
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
Sauté the chicken livers and pork sausage until browned, then add all the vegetables and seasonings to the pot. After the vegetables are tender add the stock and bay leaves, scrape the bottom and sides of the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.
You can find Emeril's step-by-step cooking instructions here.
Cajun dirty rice recipe with ground beef
To prepare Cajun dirty rice with ground beef substitute 1/2 lb of pork sausage for the same amount of ground beef.
Cajun Dirty Rice with a Twist
Another Cajun dirty rice recipe on our list is this one prepared with pecans and cranberries - it'd make a wonderful side dish during a holiday meal. It is festive and very simple to make.
Raw Vegan Cajun Rice
This is a special cajun dirty rice recipe for the raw vegans out there. It features a blend of vegetables that are marinated for an hour then combined with soaked bulgur wheat. It's not a gluten-free recipe but it is mighty tasty.