Don’t let the name fool you, vegan Dirty Rice is a delectable dish that combines aromatic Cajun spices and flavorful vegetables, resulting in a savory and satisfying one-pot meal. With its simple preparation and readily available ingredients, this recipe makes it effortless to create a ‘sure to impress’ dish.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Bold and savory flavors. Dirty rice is bursting with bold, savory flavors from the combination of aromatic Cajun or Creole spices, such as cayenne pepper, paprika, and thyme, along with the rich flavors of fresh vegetables and vegan protein.
- Textural delight. The dish offers a delightful contrast of textures with the tender rice, vegan protein and the added crunch from vegetables like bell peppers and onions.
- Versatile and customizable. Dirty rice is highly versatile, allowing you to customize it to your preferences. You can adjust the spice level, protein choice, and vegetable selection, making it adaptable to your taste and dietary needs.
- Quick and easy to make. With its straightforward one-pot cooking method, dirty rice is a breeze to prepare, making it an excellent option for a satisfying weeknight meal that doesn’t compromise on taste.
- Rice. The main component of the dish, providing a fluffy and hearty base for the flavors to mingle. Louisiana or Carolina long-grain rice is best, but long-grain rice will work!
- Vegan sausage or vegan ground meat. Adds a meaty texture and savory flavor to the dish, providing depth and richness. You can even make your own using this recipe!
- Onion. Adds a sweet and aromatic flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile of the dish.
- Bell Pepper. Provides a vibrant and crunchy element, adding freshness and texture to the rice.
- Celery. Adds a subtle earthy flavor and a pleasant crunch, contributing to the overall texture and taste.
- Garlic. Infuses a robust and aromatic essence, elevating the flavors of the dish.
- Cajun or Creole seasoning. A blend of spices that includes paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, and other herbs, lending an authentic and zesty Cajun flavor.
- Vegetable broth. Provides moisture and a savory base for cooking the rice, ensuring it absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Salt & black pepper. To taste.
- Green onions or parsley (optional). Used as a garnish, they add a mild flavor and a pop of color to the finished dish.
How to make dirty rice
Step 1 – Prepare the rice. Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Once cooked, set it aside.
Step 2 – Brown the vegan protein and sauté the vegetables. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the vegan meat to the skillet and cook it until browned and crumbled. Remove it from the skillet and set it aside. In the same skillet, add the vegetables and sauté until softened.
FREE EBOOK SERIES! 5 SECRETS FOR FOOLPROOF VEGAN DESERTS
Step 3 – Combine and season. Return the cooked vegan meat to the skillet with the vegetables. Sprinkle the Cajun or Creole seasoning over the mixture and stir well to combine. Pour the vegetable broth into the skillet and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir everything together until well combined.
Step 4 – Simmer the mixture. Cover the skillet and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the flavors meld together and the liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5 – Serve! Serve the dirty rice hot, garnished with chopped green onions or parsley.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Sauté the vegetables well. Take the time to properly sauté the vegetables until they are softened and fragrant. This step enhances the flavor and ensures that the vegetables are cooked evenly throughout the dish.
- Use flavorful vegan sausage or ground meat. Choose a high-quality and flavorful vegan sausage or vegan ground meat substitute for added depth such as Beyond Meat, Field Roast or Tofurky. Look for options that mimic the taste and texture of traditional meat products.
- Allow the rice to absorb the flavors. After adding the cooked rice to the skillet, let it simmer to absorb the flavors of the seasonings, vegetables, and vegan meat substitute. This step ensures that the rice becomes infused with the delicious taste profile of the dish.
- Adjust seasonings to taste. Dirty rice typically has a bold and zesty flavor profile, but everyone’s preferences differ. Taste the dish as you go and feel free to adjust the amount of Cajun or Creole seasoning according to your taste buds.
To store: Allow the dish to cool down to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container or place it in a sealable plastic bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat: Take the rice out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a microwave-safe dish or a skillet. If using a microwave, cover the dish and heat the rice in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it is heated thoroughly. If using a skillet, add a splash of water or vegetable broth to prevent sticking. Use a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is heated throughout.
- Skillet. A good skillet makes a great dish I always say! This cast iron skillet will cook everything nice and evenly.
- Rice cooker. Rice can certainly be cooked in a standard saucepan but it’s hard to beat the convenience and precision of a rice cooker.
Frequently asked questions
While long-grain rice is traditionally used for dirty rice, you can experiment with other varieties like medium-grain or jasmine rice. Keep in mind that different types of rice may have slightly different cooking times and textures.
To make the dish spicier, you can increase the amount of Cajun or Creole seasoning, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce. For a milder flavor, reduce the amount of seasoning or omit the spicy elements altogether.
Yes, you can freeze vegan dirty rice for future use. Allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the rice in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Absolutely! Dirty rice is versatile, and you can customize it to your liking. You can add diced tomatoes, black beans, corn kernels, or other vegetables to enhance the flavor and nutritional profile of the dish.
- 1 cup rice long grain
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 package vegan meat about 12 ounces
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 large bell pepper diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Once cooked, set it aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the vegan meat to the skillet and cook it until browned and crumbled. Remove it from the skillet and set it aside. In the same skillet, add the vegetables and sauté until softened.
- Return the cooked vegan meat to the skillet with the vegetables. Sprinkle the Cajun or Creole seasoning over the mixture and stir well to combine. Pour the vegetable broth into the skillet and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir everything together until well combined.
- Cover the skillet and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the flavors meld together and the liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the dirty rice hot, garnished with chopped green onions or parsley.