This almost homemade (semi-homemade) dirty rice dish, is quick and easy, and we include it occasionally in our regular meal regimen. Actually, we don’t usually eat dirty rice strictly according to the cooking instructions.
We used an extra lean hamburger (ground beef) for this almost homemade dirty rice batch. Then we added the ingredients below immediately after browning the hamburger and followed the usual instructions.
- Two garden fresh red peppers diced (we used ripened Poblano peppers, but sweet peppers, including bell peppers, will work fine)
- ½ cup of carrots chopped small
- ½ cup of diced celery
- ¼ cup onion diced
- 1/4 cup dried or diced fresh carrots
- We also use vegetarian crumbles rather than hamburger when we want to go meatless.
- We have been known to toss in a can of drained red or kidney beans to up the protein ratio per serving or to stretch a batch size.
Almost-homemade dirty rice tips and options
If you’re looking to make semi-homemade dirty rice using a pre-packaged mix or box, here are some tips and options to consider:
- Add meat or seafood: Most pre-packaged dirty rice mixes include some type of protein, but you can always add more to make it heartier and more flavorful. Consider adding sliced andouille sausage, ground pork, or shrimp to the dish.
- Incorporate vegetables: While most dirty rice mixes contain onions, celery, and bell peppers, you can always add more vegetables to the dish. Consider adding diced tomatoes, corn, or okra for extra flavor and texture.
- Add spices and herbs: While the pre-packaged mix may contain some spices and herbs, you can always add more to suit your taste preferences. Consider adding cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, or oregano.
- Mix up the rice: While white rice is traditional for dirty rice, you could also use brown rice, jasmine rice, or even quinoa as a base.
- Make it creamier: To add a creamy texture to your dirty rice, add a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half.
- Add some crunch: For added texture, consider topping your dirty rice with crushed tortilla chips, fried onions, or breadcrumbs.
- Use broth instead of water: To add extra flavor to your dirty rice, consider using chicken or beef broth instead of water when preparing the rice.
By following these tips and options, you can create a semi-homemade dirty rice dish that is flavorful and satisfying.
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