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Not Quite so Dirty Rice

No road trip to 'N’awlins', as Bill calls it, for this tasty little dish ~ you can make it right at home!  

We remember our first taste of dirty rice many years ago ~ and Bubba does too.  It was from Popeye’s, the restaurant chain originating in New Orleans.  And then, our many visits to N'awlins...

However, this time, I made it at home in the Instant Pot now that I have one.  It’s a one pot meal that does the cooking for you quickly. 

The Arcadian classic version of this dish normally comes with chicken livers added for that distinctive flavor and dark color making it “dirty” in appearance.  

It always includes the Cajun holy trinity, you know, celery, onions and bell peppers.  

It's the foundation of so many of the world’s greatest dishes ~ from gumbo to jambalaya to chicken fricassee and étouffée, with every cuisine having its version of it.  
  • French cooks call it mirepoix, the combo of onions, carrots and celery. 
  • Italians call the same combination of ingredients soffritto.  
  • Greek cooks prefer lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.
  • In Spain, garlic, onion and tomatoes are combined. 
  • Thai:  Kaffir lime, lemongrass and galangal (relative of ginger.)
  • Cuban cuisine:  garlic, bell pepper and onion.
  • In Spain, it’s garlic, onion and tomato.
  • Brazilians season with dende oil, coconut milk and malagueta pepper.
You get the idea ~ every country has its own version of the holy trinity for their cuisine.  
I didn’t add chicken liver to the mix this time, but the basic concept is still there:  ground beef, the holy trinity, spices and rice.  It’s delicious, no matter.  

It’s spicy, but not too spicy, you can always bump up the heat if you prefer.  It’s a loaded dish with the best flavors in it.  

We enjoyed it with grilled catfish, but I could definitely make a meal of just dirty rice.  And, it tastes even better leftover, after the flavors have mingled longer.  

One pot Not-Quite Dirty Rice is a great dish to try in your Instant Pot, a perfect dish your family will want second helpings of.  No Instant Pot?  Cook it in a Dutch oven on the stove top.

Next time, same recipe, with the exception of substituting Andouille sausage and chicken liver for the ground beef.

And perhaps a Dirty Martini or two on the side ~ with a little jazz or Zydeco music!  

Woo hoo!  


Yield: 6 servings

Not Quite so Dirty Rice in an Instant Pot

No road trip to 'N’awlins' for this tasty little dish ~ you can make it right at home!
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 35 MINStotal time: 45 mins


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander


  1. Heat oil in Instant Pot on sauté setting, or in Crock Pot.
  2. Add garlic and onion, cooking until onion starts to soften and brown a little.
  3. Add celery and bell pepper, sauté for a minute or two.
  4. Remove from pot and set aside.
  5. Add beef, brown and crumble, drain fat.
  6. Return veggies to pot, add remaining ingredients to meat in IP.
  7. Mix all ingredients well, scraping the bottom of the cooker.
  8. Place lid on, set the vent to Sealing and press Slow Cooker, low setting for 30 minutes.
  9. Do a Quick Pressure release and fluff rice mixture with a fork.
  10. If needed, adjust seasonings.
  11. Serve immediately, or set IP to warm setting for amount of time you prefer until ready to serve.
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I have never heard of dirty rice before...but it surely looks very comforting and delicious, Pam.

  2. Hi Angie! It's a good thing, we love it! Here's wishing you a great week!

  3. Let me know what night you're going to make it with Andouille!

    The only thing missing then would be coffee from the Cafe du Monde...except you really need that nasty river water they use to make it taste right :)

    1. Hi Son! You got it! I think a trip to NOLA is in order! :)

  4. How about some of my crawfish étouffée along with the rice some time?

    1. Yes, that would be great, and delicious! Woo hoo! You're an awesome son! :)

  5. OH How I'd love some Nawlins Cuisine... I lived there for 4 years in the '80's after my divorce.... My two youngest sons were with me --and the oldest was in college in TN... We had a great experience while living there --including all of that wonderful food... We just happened to be there during the World's Fair (when nobody in the world attended except us locals). We had season's passes so we got to visit the fair almost every day or night when we wanted to... AND--oh how delicious the food was... YUM....

    We also enjoyed about 4 weeks of Mardi Gras leading up to Fat Tuesday..... Had an amazing time going to all of those parades all over the Nawlins area. My sons got to ride the streetcar to school... How many kids get to do that?????

    Of course, this was long before Katrina... Things have changed and now I'm grieving since they took all of the wonderful statues down (political correctness gone amuck)..... GADS!!!!!

    Thanks for making me HUNGRY.... Can't you just bring some of that meal to us????? I love liver --but would also love it with hamburger or even chicken.... YUM...


    1. Thanks, Betsy! I love Nawlins too! It sounds like you had a great experience living there. And Mardi Gras, what fun! Reminds me of all the Kentucky Derby festivities when we lived there.

      Sounds fantastic with the World's Fair and the streetcar for your sons. And the food... beignets, jambalya, gumbo, the coffee!, and on and on...

      Wish I could deliver the meal to you! 😉 Have a fun week!

  6. My husband's mother grew up outside N'awlins. She made dirty rice quite often. Such good stuff!

    1. Woo hoo! I bet her dirty rice was great! Thanks, Abbe!!!

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Gloria! It is! Take care

  8. Pam, I like your recipe for not so dirty rice...don't care for chicken livers! I'd have to make one other modification peppers just aren't in my lexicon of foods I like. Love rice based dishes like this although I do have a rough time in New Orleans as everything has green peppers in it! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

    1. Thanks, Dave! I know what you mean, I feel the same way about cilantro, sometimes it's everywhere! Have a great week!

  9. Hi Pam, this rice looks fabulous, I'm almost embarassed to say I've never been to New Orleans, maybe next year. Love your sites new look, really looks nice. Hope you are having a great week...

    1. Hi Cheri! Thanks! Don't feel bad, there are a lot of places I've never visited. I think I've finally found the one I like. ☺ Here's wishing you a wonderful week. Take care

  10. I love all the ingredients in this delish!

  11. Cest bon, cher! Looks so good and now you have made me hungry for Dirty Rice!

    1. Hi Marguerite! Bet yours is REALLY good! Thanks!

  12. I've always wanted to visit New Orleans and this would be the kind of dish I would try first! I used to love chicken livers but never eat them anymore - because ... well they say they're not good for us so I'm glad you left them out of this tasty dish. I still don't have an Instant Pot - but want one now!

    1. Hi Tricia! It's an interesting city to visit, great architecture, food, characters and the blues! Yes, I like this dish just the way it is, spicy and good! Have a great rest of the week!

  13. Ever notice that the food is just better in the South? I wonder why that is?

    1. I don't know, must be the atmosphere and good Southern hospitality and cuisine! HAGD, son!

  14. My husband would eat the whole thing, I am sorry I missed dirty rice when I was in New Orleans last year.

    1. Oh, it is good in NOLA, Gerlinde! You'll have to go back for it! 😉 I know people who could it the whole thing too! Thanks for the visit!

  15. Love this dish! And I haven't had it for ages. Don't know why not, because it's so good -- too busy cooking other stuff, I guess. Need to have some soon. Yours looks perfect -- thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Thanks, John! I love it too! Hope you make it a pot of soon! 😉

  16. That is a new one on me. I use a lot of those ingredients just cooking rice but have not tried it with mince, on the menu for a slightly cooler day than what we have right now (37C ) Thanks Pam for this hope all is well Diane

    1. Hi Diane! Hope you give it a try and like it when it's cooler! Take care and have a wonderful rest of the week!

  17. This spicy and meaty rice dish seems to be ideal both as a side dish and a main dish. Your recipe is very "convincing", and it looks great on the plate. It was interesting to read in your post about the various geographical versions of this southern dish.

    1. Thanks, Duta! It's definitely spicy and full of good flavors. Happy you enjoyed reading it! Take care

  18. I have never had dirty rice made "dirty" with the chicken livers - this version looks really great!!

    1. Hi Amy! It's good with liver, but I probably like it better without. 😊 It's a meal to me, nothing else needed. Have a good day!

  19. Love this no quite dirty rice...or should I say clean dirty rice. It's the kind of dish where I can enjoy liver when there is some. Ah been a while since I heard about the Cajun holy trinity. Cool that you listed all the other ones.

    1. Hi Evelyne! Glad you like this clean dirty rice! The Cajun holy trinity works every time! Have a great weekend!

  20. We love dirty rice but we don't care for the livers either, it's bulk sausage for us.

  21. Oh my- I just got my Instant Pot yesterday, and I can see by your recipe that there is a learning curve to using it. Your recipe looks delicious


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