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Bayou Dirty Rice Recipe

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Bayou Dirty Rice Recipe

Does My Love Of Soul Food . . .

Come from the thimble-full of cajun blood coursing through my veins? Maybe, maybe not. I’ll tell you this, though: This perfect meld of spices and sausage will have you saying “laissez les bon temps rouler” no matter where you’re from.*

Oh, and here’s the best part: This is my family’s FAVORITE way to eat liver. They don’t just tolerate it, they ask for it! Are you ready to get started? Okay then, don’t faint when you see the recipe. The looonng list of ingredients is mostly made up of spices you already have in your kitchen and it’s fairly simple to make. Try it with baked chicken, zesty shrimp creole or  blackened salmon with pineapple mango salsa!

Thank you Donna Patton for inspiring this recipe!

* Let the good times roll!

Bayou Dirty Rice RecipeCajun/Bayou Dirty Rice


  • 2 cups white rice (yes, it’s okay!), whole grain rice or sprouted rice (buy some here or make your own)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (substitute water if needed)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, lard or tallow (here to buy pastured lard, how to render lard)
  • 1 pound ground pork, unseasoned
  • 1 cup chicken livers, diced into small pieces
  • 3-5 slices of raw bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • cajun seasoning (see below)
  • sea salt to taste. It will depend on how salty your bacon is. (where to buy sea salt)
  • 4 tablespoons whey, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if using un-soaked rice

Easy Cajun Seasoning:

  • 5 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


The night before:

  1. Place chicken livers in a bowl, cover with filtered water and add lemon juice, whey or apple cider vinegar and place in the fridge.
  2. If you are using unsprouted rice, place 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of warm filtered water in a bowl and add 4 tablespoons of one of the following: whey, yogurt, kefir, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 7 hours.

On the day you plan to serve your dirty rice:

1. Prepare the rice.

  • For white or sprouted rice, simply prepare it according to the instructions on the package with chicken broth instead of water.
  • For rice that has been soaked overnight, it’s time to change out some of that water for homemade chicken broth. Because the rice has absorbed some of the water it’s not an even exchange to pour the water out and add 4 cups of broth back in. I recommend measuring what you pour out and then adding back in only that amount. I usually do 2 cups. It adds a lot to the depth of flavor in the dish.
  • OR – to reduce naturally occurring arsenic (a substance which is in lots of foods including vegetables, fruit and chicken), try the pasta-style cooking method.

2. Drain liquid from chicken livers and set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil/lard/tallow in a large pan over low/medium heat. Add bacon and sautee until slightly crispy.

4. Add the remaining oil and onion (but not green onions), celery and bell peppers. Continue to sautee until the onions are beginning to soften

5. Add diced chicken livers and sautee until they begin to brown, then add the pork and spices and continue to sautee until the sausage is cooked through

6. Remove from heat and add in rice, allowing flavors to meld as it cools. Enjoy!

7. Garnish with green onions

Love This Recipe?

Then you’ll also probably like these recipes for Chicken Liver Pate With Bacon and Ultimate Beef & Liver Chili.


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32 Responses to Bayou Dirty Rice Recipe

  1. Tori L. says:

    Our house loves Dirty Rice too! So much that we skip the ground pork and just do more livers. It’s so good!

  2. Donna says:

    Like your blog, but the bar on the left is getting too annoying. Is there any way you can move it further left (like other blogs) so it doesn’t cover the text? Thanks.

  3. Lori Langone says:

    Fermenting chicken livers at room temperature? Doesn’t that smell horrible?

  4. Ilana says:

    I can use white rice right? We can’t stand whole and sprouted rice here and have totally made my peace with the white stuff.

  5. Beth Wiles says:

    Heather, this is JUST what I’ve been looking for! A way to use up some fine ground pork that I’ve had in my freezer for months now! And another way to sneak in the liver now and then. :) I love your website and particularly love the recipes for homemade soaps, shampoo bars, lotions, etc. I just made my first batch of body balm with tallow yesterday — love using tallow on my face. I plan to pre-order your beauty recipe book by mid-week next week!

  6. Leah says:

    So good! We made this for dinner last night and are actually enjoying the leftovers, instead of letting them sit in the fridge uneaten.

  7. Erin says:

    Well this gives me something I can do with the turkey liver I’ll have after tomorrow and the broth I’ll be making the next day! Sounds great!

  8. Dawn says:

    This is so good! I didn’t have chicken liver or sausage so I used ground turkey and it’s still amazing!!

  9. Nicole says:

    Great recipe! Super yummy. I made the cajun spice mix, and then just added it to taste. I think that’s what you intended. You might want to clarify that in your notes though- so someone doesn’t come along and dump all of those spices in the pan – and then complain it’s too spicy 😛 Unless of course you intended the mix to be used entirely for one batch (I didn’t have cayenne- so I ground up dried peppers I had in the place of that……if I put my whole batch in- you’d be crying 😛 )

  10. Dyfed @ Celtnet Recipes Blog says:

    Love the recipe, and I really love Cajun-style dishes too. Maybe it’s having a West African wife! And I’m always up for anything with livers. Chicken livers are so cheap and so under-used.

  11. Tara says:

    This was really good. We’re not really liver fans, but this recipe and your liver chili have both been very well received. Thank you! :)

  12. Vanessa says:

    How did this freeze (Erin)? I have about 10lbs of chicken liver I had to thaw out and I want to prepare it all and freeze it. Somehow… I already have a bunch of chili in the freezer so I am looking for anything else.

  13. Brandis says:

    I made this the other night, and while I knew I would at least like it I have to report back how we REALLY felt about it.

    When I made this I was getting ready to leave for a meeting- we’ve formed a local health and food discussion group that meets monthly. I barely got this finished and had to leave, so I packed some up in a dish and took it along with me and ate it at the meeting, and never had the chance to answer to my kids’ constant “what is this? what’s in it?” grilling.

    I ate it when I got to my meeting and I LOVE LOVE LOVED it. LIke licked the bowl, then ate another bowlful when I got home. Then the next day I asked the kids what they thought of it and they absolutely RAVED. Even my picky 6 year old loved it, and the 4 year old had TWO bowls! Oddly my husband only liked it, and he could totally taste the iron from the liver, but I have a theory about why- I didn’t taste the iron at all until the very end of my second bowl, so perhaps we only get that taste when we’ve had enough? Then it would make perfect sense that my husband tasted it while me and the kids didn’t, because men have a much lower need for iron than women (at least during their childbearing years) and children.

    Anyway, I just wanted to come back and encourage anyone with picky children to TRY THIS.

  14. Denise says:

    I finally got some chicken livers and have them and the rice soaking now. Going to make this for the first time tomorrow…. can’t wait to try it and see if my little one likes it!

  15. Makenzie says:

    Can you sub in beef liver or will that be too livery tasting? I don’t usually cook liver but know I need to start, so I’m not sure if some liver tastes stronger than others. It seems like beef liver would taste stronger than chicken liver Thanks!

  16. ValerieH says:

    Looks great! I need another way to get organ meats into the kids. I like all the steps for soaking the livers and rice.

    On step 5, it says to add the sausage, but the recipe contains ground pork and no sausage. I assume it means add ground pork.

  17. Tracey says:

    Judging by the other comments, I should be able to substitute beef liver for the chicken livers, correct? No one answered about it freezing well…does it? Finally purchased our first side of beef (and extras) and it arrives next month. I ordered the heart and liver ground just so I could use it in your chili and now this shows up in my feed! Yeah for me!! Yeah for my family!! :) I’m getting all my recipes in order to use all the wonderful new goodies in my freezer!

    • Heather says:

      You can definitely use beef liver, but it will have a much stronger flavor. You might consider soaking it in some milk overnight to soften the flavor a bit or use a bit less.

  18. How To Feed 9 People For $20 | Making my meals this week from the pantry and freezer | Natural Moms Talk Radio says:

    […] Cajun Dirty Rice (rice cooked with onions, bell peppers, ground beef, beef liver, spices) * Zucchini Boats (zucchini […]

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    […] Bayou dirty rice […]

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    […] more times than I’ve succeeded in getting my family to love liver. This homemade chili and bayou dirty rice have gone over very well, but it’s not like I personally jumped out of bed in the morning […]

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