Vegan dirty rice is a savory spin on popular Southern comfort food that is a must-try! Vegan ground protein cooked with rice seasoned with garlic, onion, bell peppers, celery, and Creole seasoning!

 

Hey, you. What’s up? Are you feeling okay? You look a little down. That’s too bad. Oh, I know what it is: you’re looking for some delicious rice recipes and you can’t find any good ones on the web. Well, come to my warm embrace, it makes everything better.

Take a look around this site; there are different unique rice recipes here, including the absolute best versions of traditional Creole recipes as well as Southwestern Cajun dishes that are native Louisiana (because they are). Even if you don’t normally have time to cook from scratch, these recipes are pretty easy to whip up for a weeknight dinner—a must with hectic schedules like ours. 

Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that taste the best. That’s the case with these vegan dirty rice. All you need is some vegan burger, some vegetables, and some spices, and you can serve up this New Orleans classic in no time at all. Take the guesswork out of making dirty rice when you follow these simple directions! My family gobbles this up and asks for seconds plus the leftovers are wonderful.

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What Is Dirty Rice?

Dirty rice also (Cajun rice) is an American Cajun/Creole dish.  This rice is originally from Southern Louisiana.

Cajun rice is eaten all over the American south.

Dirty rice is popular throughout the Cajun country, especially in New Orleans. It is served in various forms at all public gatherings, whether it is a family reunion, potluck, cookout, funeral.

Although there are many versions of dirty rice, traditional dirty rice is made with ground beef, pork, chicken livers (giving it its dirty color), onion, celery, bell pepper, and Creole seasoning.

My Vegan Version Of Dirty Rice!

In my version of dirty rice, I added a vegan burger for that dirty rice look.

I have made it with my vegan burger recipe and Beyond burger and they were both a huge hit. I also substituted green bell pepper for red bell pepper.

This is the perfect one-pot meal! This dirty rice can easily be adapted with your favorite veggies. And protein to be enjoyed all year round.

If you like Cajun food, this might become your new favorite way to enjoy it.

 

Why Is It Called Dirty Rice?

It is called ‘dirty rice’ because of the bits and pieces of browned meat studded in the rice.

Traditionally long-grain or medium-grain white rice is used to make homemade dirty rice but I use brown rice. 

Why You Should Try This Recipe?

I like to make dirty rice and I hope you’ll too. It’s great for lots of reasons:

  • It’s an easy recipe, so you can do it even if you don’t really know how to cook!
  • Whoever you’re bringing home from the bar or a party is going to be impressed by your cooking skills
  • It’s healthy and nourishing! This dirty rice recipe is made with healthy ingredients and is high in protein and carbohydrates to help you feel satiated for longer. Additionally, it is a good source of important vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients because it contains bell pepper, garlic, onion, celery, and other nutrients rich ingredients.

 

What Type Of Rice Is Used In New Orleans?

Rice: Traditionally white long grain rice is used but I’m using long-grain brown rice. Rinse the starch out in the sink with a fine mesh strainer. The rice is then be simmered in a mixture of chicken broth and water with classic Cajun seasoning.

Veggies: Cajun and Creole cuisines season their dishes with a range of traditional vegetables.

What’s In Dirty Rice?

Onion, celery, bell pepper chopped for vegan dirty rice in black skillet

A flavorful take on the classic Southern comfort dish, vegan dirty rice recipe is definitely a must-try! Cooked vegan ground protein, rice seasoned with onion, celery, bell peppers, and Creole seasoning.

How To Make Vegan Dirty Rice?

This vegan dirty rice recipe is so simple and quick to make. You don’t need any special tools or ingredients (except a good vegan burger), and it’s so delicious that people will be begging you for the recipe!

To make dirty rice, you’ll need:

  1. Cook vegan burger following recipe instructions or if using storebought burger, cook according to package directions and cut into small pieces using a fork and knife, set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat, add onion, garlic, celery, bell peppers and cook until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add Creole seasoning, or use Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vegan burger, rice, salt to taste, and spring onion. Cook until heated through, about one minute. 

How To Serve Vegan Dirty Rice?

After the rice has been properly cooked, simply fluff it and set it aside for 5 minutes before serving.

  • I prefer to garnish it with freshly chopped green onions and parsley. I strongly advise you to do the same! To add a touch of color, dice up some red onion and toss it into the mix, but it’s entirely up to you.
  • If you like being spiffy and presenting these rice in a bowl rather than right from the pot, add a substantial quantity into a midsize bowl with a spoon. Then, by using the back of a spoon, press it into the bowl until it is evenly distributed. Place the plate onto the bowl, securely pressing everything together, and flip. Remove the bowl, and you’re done! A lovely heap of dirty rice.
  • If you’re looking for something with a little more flair, try adding some chopped pecans or almonds on top before serving. It gives it just enough crunch without overwhelming your taste buds!

What Goes Well With Dirty Rice?

Dirty rice is typically served as a side dish with black-eyed peas or beans, but it can also be served alone as a main course. My Vegan Gumbo Recipe tastes amazing with this Cajun dirty rice recipe with a side of Vegan Chicken Nuggets and Southern Fried Cabbage.

I suggest pairing this with any of the following to make it a more complete meal:

Oven-Baked BBQ Fries or Vegan Manicotti, sautéed collard greens or kale, Corn Muffins, Air Fryer Asparagus, Vegan Coleslaw, roasted cauliflower, and a light-dressed side salad.

Can You Freeze Dirty Rice?

Yes, you can freeze dirty rice, preferably freeze your dirty rice immediately after cooling. Place rice in sealed containers and freeze.

Dirty rice should keep for one month in the freezer.

To reheat dirty rice you can either defrost the container in the refrigerator or reheat from frozen. I usually add about 2 tablespoons of water or vegetable broth to the pan.

vegan dirty rice, cajun style. Brown rice cooked with onion, garlic, celery and bell peppers with ground burger and Creole seasoning, garnished with green onion in a large black skillet with a silver spoon on a wooden background with a black and white stripe napkin. photo is side view.

Is It Possible To Make This Dish Ahead Of Time?

Yes, it can be prepared up to three days ahead of time. If you’re preparing it for lunch, reheat it for 2 minutes in the microwave. If you’re making it ahead of time for a family of four, reheat it in a skillet over medium-high until well heated.

A flavorful take on the classic Southern comfort dish, vegan dirty rice recipe is definitely a must-try! Cooked vegan ground protein, rice seasoned with onion, celery, bell peppers, and Creole seasoning.

Which Type Of Rice Should You Use?

It’s fine to use your preferred long-grain white rice. If you prefer the flavor and texture of brown rice, go ahead and use it. The best part about Dirty Rice is that you can use any type of rice you have on hand – white or brown – even brown minute rice!

This “Southern Rice” is best made using precooked and chilled rice! You’ll be combining the precooked rice with sautéed vegetables and seasonings in a skillet!

Is Dirty Rice The Same As Rice Dressing?

No, Dirty rice and rice dressing are not the same thing. They differ mostly in what protein they utilized. Dirty rice is traditionally made with sausage and chicken livers, whereas rice dressing is traditionally made with beef or pork chopped up.

Outside of Louisiana, many people are reluctant to purchase minced chicken livers to ensure their dish is authentic.  

Holy Trinity: What Is It?

The Holy Trinity is a combination of three ingredients used in Cajun cooking: onion, green bell pepper, and celery. From gumbo to étouffée, it’s the foundation of all essential Cajun meals.

Is Rice Healthier Than Pasta?

When it comes to calorie content, rice has 117 calories / 100g versus pasta’s 160 calories.

If you’re trying to lose weight on a calorie-controlled diet, rice over pasta may be the best option.

Recipe Note

  • The most important thing to remember when making this wonderful dish is to not overcook it after adding the rice. Overcooking will ruin the taste of the dish and make rice soggy/sticky.

I hope that I’ve helped make your life a little bit easier. Now go back to being happy and try this recipe!

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per portion)
  • Energy: 322 kcal / 1346 kJ
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Carbs: 57 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 20 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • For: 8 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cook vegan burger following recipe instructions or if using storebought burger, cook according to package directions and cut into small pieces using a fork and knife, set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat, add onion, garlic, celery, bell peppers and cook until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes.  Add Creole seasoning, vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the vegan burger, rice, salt to taste and spring onion. Cook until heated through, about one minute. 
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.