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What Are The Best Things That Go With Dirty Rice

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What are the best things that go with dirty rice in a skillet with a blue towel.

Dirty rice is a southern staple and a dish that is worthy of every table. It is a flavorful one-pot meal full of white rice, bell pepper, onion, and creole seasoning. This version is meatless because I served it up with a side of grilled andouille sausage. What are the best things that go with dirty rice? Please keep reading to find out other options to put in the dish and what to serve it with. 

White rice is transformed into one of the best side dishes or served as the main dish. You can make it spicy, meatless, vegan, or chock full of vegetables. Dirty rice is a fast, simple, and flexible dish. It’s a great way to use leftover roast or vegetables.

Origin Of Dirty Rice

What are the best things that go with dirty rice? Here is a map showing the southern states centered on Louisiana.

Dirty rice is a dish that originated in Louisiana in the 19th century. It is believed to have been created by enslaved people on plantations, who used leftover scraps of meat and vegetables to make a filling meal. The dish is typically made with rice, ground meat, vegetables, and spices, and is often served with a sauce or gravy.

There are a few different theories about the origins of the name “dirty rice.” One theory is that the name comes from the fact that the dish is typically made with unwashed rice, which gives it a grayish color. Another theory is that the name comes from the fact that the dish is often made with scraps of meat and vegetables, which can make it appear dirty.

Dirty rice is a popular dish in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region, and it is often served at family gatherings and special occasions. It is also a popular dish to cook for large groups of people, as it is relatively inexpensive and easy to make.

Ingredients For What Are The Best Things That Go With Dirty Rice

Ingredients to make dirty rice on a wood board.

Here are the ingredients to make dirty rice:

  • 2 cups Jasmine rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 2 diced bell peppers, one green and one yellow
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 cups liquid, 2 water and 2 broth

Notes:

​-Any color bell peppers are great, and leave the seeds in the jalapeno for more heat. 

-Olive oil is ok to substitute for all or some of the butter.

-This dish is also made with cooked rice added to the vegetables/meat and stirred together. Either way is fine, there are many different ways to enjoy this dish.

– You need 4 cups total of liquid. Use water, vegetable stock, chicken stock, or any combination you like. 

-If you omit the lentils, use 3 cups of liquid.

Optional Ingredients For What Are The Best Things That Go With Dirty Rice

Here are some optional ingredients that can be added to this easy dirty rice recipe to make it a family favorite. 

Rice Options

White bowel with rice for  What are the best things that go with dirty rice.
  • White rice – I use Jasmine rice
  • Brown rice – use package directions for liquid amount and time
  • Wild rice – use package directions for liquid amount and time

Seasonings For Dirty Rice

Bay leaf and creole seasoning for  What are the best things that go with dirty rice

Seasonings are what makes this dish stand out. The spicy flavors are essential in Creole and Cajun cooking. Creole seasoning – see how I make this delicious seasoning blend with common spices. I this seasoning on pork chops, creole chicken linguini, and this flavorful jambalaya dish. 

  • Cajun seasoning
  • Different cajun spices
  • Fresh herbs
  • Bay leaves
  • Hot sauce
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • brown sugar (just a touch)
  • Garlic powder
  • Dijon mustard

Protein Options 

You can add small pieces of meat that have been pre-cooked to this Creole/Cajun dirty rice dish.

  • Ground beef
  • Ground turkey
  • Chicken livers
  • Diced ham
  • Smoked sausage
  • Andoilloue sausage
  • Cajun shrimp 
  • Pork sausage (ground sausage/ ground pork)
  • Red beans
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans

Vegetable Options

Traditional in Southern cooking you will find the Holy Trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery). Here are some other suggestions for this perfect side dish:

  • Green beans
  • Green pepper
  • Diced carrots, petite diced
  • Celery
  • Green onions
  • Lime juice
  • Red peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Hot peppers

Instructions On How To Make What Are The Best Things That Go With Dirty Rice

Here are the instructions to make a traditional side dish of dirty rice. 

1. Dice up the peppers and onions into small pieces. Melt the butter in a large skillet with a lid (or Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add in the vegetables, add a pinch of salt to release the moisture, and stir. Cook until they soften and turn slightly brown – 6-8 minutes.

2. Wash the rice in a bowl of water with 3 rinses. This makes the rice fluffy and perfect.

​3. Add the seasonings to the pan toast them for a minute and then mix them into the vegetables. 

4. Add the rice and lentils to the pan and stir. Pour in the liquid, stir, and cover.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 18-20 minutes.

6. Fluff with a fork and serve hot. Taste and add more salt if needed.  

How To Serve What Are The Best Things That Go With Dirty Rice

There are so many dishes that pair perfectly with this delicious New Orleans-style dirty rice. Here are some suggestions:

How To Store And Reheat Dirty Rice

Store any leftover dirty rice in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If it has meat in it, you can store it for 3-4 days. It also freezes well in a sealable freezer bag for up to 4 months. 

To reheat, I would recommend the microwave. Use a microwave-safe dish to heat at 30-second intervals until the desired temperature is reached. Add a bit of water or chicken broth if needed.

Wrapping Up What Are The Best Things That Go With Dirty Rice

 The next time you are looking for rich and savory flavors for family dinners try some Southern Louisiana dishes. It is so fun to try new recipes even if you have a picky eater (like me). This dish is easily customizable to your liking and with so much flavor, it is bound to be a hit. Creole cooking and Cajun food boast some delicious recipes and this dirty rice is a great addition to your main course meal. 

Recipe Card For What Are The Best Things That Go With Dirty Rice

5 from 1 vote

Dirty Rice

Dirty rice is a southern staple and a dish that is worthy of every table. It is a flavorful one-pot meal full of bell pepper, onion, and creole seasoning. This version is meatless and is served a side of grilled andouille sausage.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Jasmine rice rinsed
  • 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 2 diced bell peppers one green and one yellow
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 cups liquid 2 water and 2 broth

Instructions

  • Dice up the peppers and onions into small pieces. Melt the butter in a large skillet with a lid (or Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add in the vegetables, add a pinch of salt to release the moisture, and stir. Cook until they start to soften and turn slightly brown – 6-8 minutes.
  • Wash the rice in a bowl of water with 3 rinses. This makes the rice fluffy and perfect.
  • Add the seasonings to the pan toast them for a minute and then mix them into the vegetables.
  • Add the rice and lentils to the pan and stir. Pour in the liquid, stir, and cover.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 18-20 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve hot. Taste and add additional seasonings or salt if needed.

Notes

Any color bell peppers are great, and leave the seeds in the jalapeno for more heat. 
Olive oil is ok to substitute for all or some of the butter.
This dish is also made with cooked rice added to the vegetables/meat and stirred together. Either way is fine, there are many different ways to enjoy this dish.
You need 4 cups total of liquid. Use water, vegetable stock, chicken stock, or any combination you like. 
If you are omitting the lentil then only use 3 cups of liquid.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: Cajun rice, Creole rice, Dirty rice, Louisiana food, Southern cooking
Servings: 6 people
Author: Sarah

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