Dirty Rice with Sausage

Dirty Rice with Sausage is a hearty dish consisting of a balance of browned pork sausage, softened veggies, long-grain rice, and Cajun seasoning. Perfect as a complete meal or side dish! At the heart of it all, it’s a great Southern side dish that I ate by the pounds!

Close up of Dirty Rice with Sausage in a serving bowl with a spoon, ingredients in the background with a striped kitchen cloth.

While Dirty Rice with Sausage may look ‘dirty’ and not as fancy as some other meals, it’s rich in flavor and irresistible texture thanks to the fluffy rice, browned pork sausage, herbs, aromatics, and sautéed vegetables.

Simple ingredients and even simpler recipe steps makes this Dirty Rice with Sausage my number one choice when I want a delicious main meal or side dish with minimal effort!


Dirty Rice with Sausage is made with budget-friendly ingredients – great for midweek family meals.

It’s a one-pan recipe, reducing clean-up in the kitchen and an easier cooking process.

Make a hearty and wholesome meal in just over 30 minutes. The combination of vegetables, rice, and sausage makes it a balanced and nutritious meal.


Ingredients for Dirty Rice with Sausage on a white kitchen countertop.

Pork sausage – I use Cumberland sausage for this dish with the skins removed.
Rice – Long-grain rice, such as basmati rice, is best for this recipe. Leftover cooked rice is another option, but then you will need to add it towards the end of the recipe and shorten the simmering time.
Vegetables – A combination of brown onion, green bell pepper, celery
Seasoning and aromatics – You’ll need garlic cloves, Cajun spice, thyme sprigs (or dried thyme), salt, bay leaves, and black pepper.
Cooking liquid – Chicken broth. You can use low-sodium chicken broth to keep the salt content low in this rice dish.


Sausage – You can use another type of sausage, such as beef, turkey, or chicken sausage. Ground pork or beef can be used instead of sausage.

Broth – Vegetable broth can be used instead of chicken broth.

Rice – Brown rice or another preferred type of rice can be used, although you will need to adjust the recipe to accommodate this to prevent undercooked rice.

Overhead view of a bowl of dirty rice with sausage, larger bowl with remaining dirty rice with sausage, and individual ingredients scattered around on a white countertop.


You’ll need a large skillet, a wooden spatula, and a plate.


This one-pan dirty rice with sausage is quick and easy, combining simple ingredients to have dinner on the table in just a little over 30 minutes. Here are my fail-proof steps to making this hearty and satisfying dirty rice with sausage.


Prepare all of the ingredients, such as dicing the veggies and rinsing the rice, and heat the large skillet over medium-high heat.

Cooking Instructions

Step 1
Cook the sausage in the skillet, breaking it apart with a wooden spatula under no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the browned sausage and then transfer the cooked sausage to a plate.

Large skillet with cooked sausage, broken into smaller pieces.

Step 2
In the same skillet, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and celery.

Large skillet with diced onion, green bell pepper, and celery.

Step 3
Add in the garlic, Cajun, salt, and pepper once the onions have turned translucent. Cook for another 30 seconds.

Large skillet with softened veggies and seasoning.

Step 4
Stir in the uncooked rice. Add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, and the set aside browned sausage. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 18 minutes until the water has evaporated and the rice is fully cooked.

Fluff the rice with a fork, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and serve this dish was a sprinkling of chopped green onions.

Overhead view of a large skillet with browned sausage, uncooked rice, chicken broth, herbs, and seasoned veggies.


Don’t be heavy-handed when seasoning this dish. Depending on the type of sausage used, it may be best to add the salt and pepper at the end of the cooking.

Be mindful that different types of rice cook at different rates and require different amounts of cooking liquid. You will need to adjust this recipe or even partially cook the rice if you use a longer-cooking rice variety, such as brown rice.

This Dirty Rice with Sausage isn’t spicy hot. For an extra kick of heat, add in some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. You could also add a splash of your favorite hot sauce into the mixture towards the end of the cooking time.


Main Dish

Serve this Dirty Rice with Sausage as a main meal alongside Oven Roasted Vegetables, Vegetable Au Gratin, leafy salad, and Cornbread.

Side Dish

This Dirty Rice with Sausage can also be enjoyed as a side dish to Crockpot BBQ Pork Roast, Instant Pot Corn Casserole, or Instant Pot Corn Soup.

Close up of a serving bowl with Dirty Rice with Sausage and a spoon, larger bowl of Dirty Rice with Sausage in the background with ingredients on a white countertop.



This dish turns a ‘dirty’ brown color while cooking with the browned sausage and other ingredients, giving this dish the name ‘dirty rice’.


Both of these dishes consist of similar ingredients, such as bell pepper, onion, and Cajun spices. The main difference comes down to the type of meat used. Jambalaya typically consists of a mixture of shrimp, chicken, and sausage, while Dirty Rice usually consists of sausage or ground meat.


It can be! This dirty rice recipe consists of a balance of vegetables, carbs, and protein, making it a complete meal in itself! Of course, you can also enjoy it as a side dish.



Store leftover Dirty Rice with Sausage in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.


Dirty rice with sausage can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat to serve again.


Reheat leftover dirty rice with sauce in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through. Stir the dirty rice while reheating to ensure that it heats evenly throughout.



This Dirty Rice with Sausage serves 5 generous portions. You can easily cook a second batch to serve more people or to store it away in the fridge or freezer for later use.

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Yield: 5 Servings

Dirty Rice with Sausage

Dirty Rice with Sausage

This southern-style dirty rice with sausage is the ultimate comfort food. Packed with savory flavors and a little bit of heat, it's the perfect dish for a cozy night in or a family gathering. The combination of seasoned rice, sausage, and aromatic veggies will have your taste buds dancing. Try this recipe today!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 11 oz Pork sausage (I used Cumberland), the skins removed
  • 1 cup brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, medium small dice, not very fine it will wilt during cooking
  • ¾ cup celery about 2-3 stalks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, about 1 heaping teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoon cajun spice
  • 1 cup long grain rice such as basmati, uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs or dried thyme 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste (seasoning will depend on which broth is used, best to use low sodium and add salt just a little, this dish has plenty of flavor and seasoning from the broth and sausages)
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • Green opinion, scallions or cilantro for garnish
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage meat, breaking it down into small pieces with a wooden spatula. Cook until no longer pink. Drain the fat and remove to a side plate.
  2. In the same skillet, saute onion, bell pepper and celery. When onion is becoming translucent add in garlic, cajun, salt, pepper. Cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in uncooked rice (I washed and rinsed it prior), pour in broth, add bay leaves, thyme, and return the meat to the skillet.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 18 minutes until all the water has evaporated and rice cooked.
  5. Fluff the rice with a fork, remove the thyme, bay leaves and serve with green onions.


  • Top with more cajun for serving if desired.
  • Be careful with seasoning, you may not need to use any salt at all here. If not sure, best to season with salt and pepper after the rice has cooked through. Depending on which meat using, it has plenty of seasonings and spices already.
  • Store the leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the skillet over medium low heat.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 329Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 56mgSodium 1443mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 15g

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