Low Country Comfort, Dirty Rice Recipe


I have to admit it. Up until I made this, dirty rice was one of my guilty boxed pleasures. I’d never seen a recipe for it, and I have to admit that I really hadn’t looked. I’d just grab a pound of ground beef or sausage and cook it up, then mix in the packet, some stock, and presto! A hearty meal that took all of 35 minutes, start to finish.It’s not what I’d call health food coming out of a box, but it was just so good!

Then one day while the Food network droned on as background noise to cleaning the living room, I saw it. There on the screen before me, Paula Deen, the First lady of Buttah was doing a segment on low country cooking, and her second dish was that elusive, delectable dish that I’d come to love so much from a box.

And it was too simple for words.

Literally, it’s probably the simplest thing you could ever make. Just brown up some proteins, add some green stuff, fold in rice and as much heat as you want, and viola! Enough dirty rice to last my rice luvvin’ wife over a week of lunches. The flavor.. Something just this side of heaven, in our opinion.

Dirty Rice is now one of those things I would never dream of buying in a box. It is a comfort food that I’ll lovingly recreate time and again. I’ll make my own at least once per month and freeze it up in individual serving sizes for a quick bite or a glorious side to any meal that needs a bit of kick to go along with it.

I hope Y’All enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

EDIT: I had a few people suggest that they would prefer giblets over livers. I’m here to tell you NOT TO DO THIS! I tried the recipe with giblets last night and the resulting dish was summarily thrown out. It is not a good combination at all!

Low Country Comfort, Dirty Rice Recipe
  • 1 lb bulk pork sausage (Mild or hot, depending on your preferences.)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 1 lb chicken livers, chopped fine.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped.
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped.
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cups hot cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 to 3 tsp. Cajun seasoning or Louisiana hot sauce.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Cook the sausage and chicken livers in a large heavy skillet until browned, breaking up any large chunks as you go. Add vegetables and saute until soft. Gently fold in the rice and parsley, serve immediately with Louisiana hot sauce on the side for those who like more of a kick.

What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:

While I fully plan on toying with the flavors in this a bit, probably with the addition of a little anduille sausage and a bit of mucking with the ratios on the trinity (Onions, celery and bell peppers), I’m not in any hurry to change this recipe much. It makes a lot of dirty rice. Something like 6-8 cups, total, so there will be leftovers and that, my friends, is a good thing! If anything, it tastes even better the next day, and will keep a good long while in the freezer. Just pop it out and defrost in the microwave, add a tiny bit of chicken stock and a pinch of fresh parsley, and enjoy!

Links to other recipes like this:

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  1. kellypea says

    Mmmmm…skip the liver (ewww) and use chicken gizzards (yum!) instead. We love this kind of food. Love. Love. Love.

  2. says

    Yummy! I still make dirty rice out of a box and I feel so guilty every single time. But no more boxes for me! Hehehe. It looks delicious, either liver or gizzards would work for me.


  3. Jerry says

    I’ll give it a shot with gizzards this weekend, it might just make for a richer flavor, but we’ll see.

    It’s really not any more difficult to make it from scratch, and for the same price, you get an awful lot more!

  4. Jerry says

    OK, tried it with gizzards.


    Absolutely no flavor. The dish was so bad we threw it out and made burgers instead.

    Thought I’d let you know.

  5. http://www.whats-for-dinnertonight.com says

    I’m always on the lookout for more good recipes to include in my next edition of my cookbook. This one sounds like it would go well with several of my menus. I think I’ll give it a try this week.

    For those of you tired of trying to figure out your dinner menus, check out my book. Everything is easy to make, economical and nutritious, and made from scratch. All recipes have been personally tried by me and improved for flavor. Happy Cooking!

  6. cemott3rd says

    Livers are rich and flavorful, gizzards are tough and bland, this is why livers are used in pate’s.

    Meanwhile this is not really dirty rice you are making but a kind of fried rice, sort of like what as known as white jambalaya, since you are adding already cooked rice to it. Try adding 1-1/2 cups of quality raw rice (like Basmati or Jasmine) and 2 cups of chicken stock and let it simmer till done.

  7. says

    I’ll give that a shot. I’d never seen a recipe for dirty rice before Paula’s, so I gave that a go first. Your suggestion would probably result in the color I was expecting in the dish. I’ll have to make it for lunch one day. Doubt I could get the kids to eat it.

  8. creole_culinary_detective says

    @cemott3rd, This is indeed Dirty Rice. The rice is cooked not fried at all, so how is that fried rice? and this “white Jambalaya” is not anything authentic to Louisiana.

  9. Kate says

    @cmott3rd You’ll find yourself in a whole heap of trouble if you use Basmati or Jasmine rice for dirty rice or Jambalaya in Louisiana! People here feel very strongly about their long-grain rice… :)

  10. junecutie says

    This recipe is the bomb! I made it exactly as you said, and now I am the queen of the kitchen. You rock! Please subscribe me to your blog with my email address. Thanks.

  11. says

    Mine is also somewhat similar to yours.

    1/2 to 1 pound spicy bulk pork breakfast sausage
    1/4 cup minced onion
    1 3/4 cup chicken broth
    1/2 cup long-grain rice
    1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
    salt and pepper


    Brown sausage in skillet until no longer pink, breaking up with fork. Add minced onion and cook 2 minutes longer. Pour off most of the excess fat. Stir in broth and rice. Simmer gently, covered, 18 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and most of broth is absorbed. Add parsley, toss. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

  12. Meta says

    My husband said it was the best dirty rice he’d ever had. For health reasons I did substitute brown rice for white and slightly reduced the amount of sausage and livers to 3/4’s lb each. I loved how easy the recipe was.

  13. Aer says

    This is a great recipe for dirty rice. I made a few minor changes. I used 1lb ground pork, 2 chorizo sausages for the meats and 3/4 lb chicken livers. The chicken livers I put in the blender rather then dice them up finely. I also mixed in some blackening seasoning with the Cajun seasoning. It came out fantastic. Thanks for posting this great recipe.

  14. Tara says

    There is a trick to cooking gizzards. They have to becooked until tender first and then ground up before you add it to the dish. Otherwise they will be bland and tough. Gizzards like alot of meats that are used in southern dishes have to be cooked until tender to bring out the full flavors. I tried the dish and loved it and when I feel like being in the kitchen longer will try the gizzards.

  15. chef dugan says

    Paula Deen doesn’t know Cajun Cooking from boxed cereal. For a real dirty rice recipe go to Justin Wilson’s. He was a real Cajun. And once more, the reason it is called dirty rice is because of the gizzards. They should be cooked first and then ground. Real dirty rice has no sausage and the livers are optional.

  16. le francais says

    French Orthograph Nazi is in the house.

    it is ” voilà ” , not “viola”.

    “viola” is the past tense for “violer”, “to rape”.


  17. michael says

    i perfer my dirty rice with a kick home made stlye is the best i just grab a box of zattrands dirty rice and add my on twist with halopenos and 30zs of texas pete for that mouth watering taste


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