Tasty Vegetarian Dirty Rice Recipe for Dinner Tonight

Are you looking for a delicious, hearty recipe that is both vegan and packed with flavor? Look no further than this vegetarian dirty rice recipe! Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this dish is sure to impress.

Dirty rice is a classic Southern Cajun dish typically made with ground meat, but our meat-free version relies on lentils and kidney beans for protein. The dish gets its unique flavor from a blend of spices including cayenne, paprika, and file powder, all of which come together to create a satisfyingly spicy and earthy taste.

Not only does this recipe offer an inspired take on traditional creole meat-based recipes, but it is also incredibly easy to make – all in one pot. So whether you’re in need of a quick weeknight meal or looking to add some excitement to your dinner party lineup, our vegan dirty rice has got you covered.

So gather your ingredients and get ready to experience Southern-style dirty rice like never before – without the meat but still full of incredible flavor!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dirty Rice - Vegetarian Style
Dirty Rice – Vegetarian Style

Are you a fan of delicious rice dishes, but trying to cut back on meat? Then, you’ll absolutely love this vegan Dirty Rice recipe. It’s a Southern-style dish, inspired by traditional Creole meat-based recipes. But don’t worry, our meat-free version relies on the plant-based protein of lentils and kidney beans instead.

One of the best things about this recipe is how easy and quick it is to prepare. With just one pot and under 30 minutes, you’ll have a satisfying, flavorful meal that your whole family will enjoy.

But why else should you add this Vegan Dirty Rice recipe to your cooking repertoire? Well, for starters, it’s packed with wholesome ingredients like mushrooms, green bell peppers, celery, and onions. These veggies provide plenty of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy.

At the same time, our recipe adds a touch of spice with cayenne pepper and paprika to give your taste buds an extra kick. Then, we include file powder to infuse the dish with that classic savory taste typical in traditional creole recipes.

Don’t forget about the benefits of brown rice too. It’s a great source of complex carbohydrates and nutrients that help keep you full for longer periods while providing lasting energy throughout the day.

Moreover, this recipe also includes fresh parsley for bright herbaceous notes that complement the spices perfectly while adding even more health benefits to the dish.

Overall, this vegan dirty rice dish is a perfect combination of wholesome ingredients and rich Southern-inspired flavors that are sure to delight your palate as well as your health.

Ingredient List

 Our Vegetarian Dirty Rice is packed with flavor and will satisfy any cravings.
Our Vegetarian Dirty Rice is packed with flavor and will satisfy any cravings.

Before we start cooking, let’s take a look at the ingredient list for vegan dirty rice. This recipe yields six servings.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 3 cups of cooked brown rice.
  • 1 large bell pepper – green or red according to preference.
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms, chopped.
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped.
  • 1 onion, diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp file powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of freshly chopped parsley for garnish

To make this vegetarian dirty rice protein-rich, we can replace meat with healthy lentils and kidney beans without compromising its authentic flavor. These legumes are an excellent source of dietary fibers and vitamins.

If you want to make the dish spicier, add more cayenne pepper or sprinkle a few drops of your favorite hot sauce while serving. You can also experiment with different vegetables such as sliced okra, carrots or peas for added richness and texture.

Next up is the recipe’s how-to section; let’s get started!

The Recipe How-To

 This dish is a perfect way to use up all those vegetables in your fridge in a fun and delicious way.
This dish is a perfect way to use up all those vegetables in your fridge in a fun and delicious way.

Now that you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to start cooking. The following steps will guide you through the process so that you can make a delicious vegan dirty rice from scratch in no time.

Step 1: Cook the Rice

Before preparing the veggies and spices for this dish, cook the brown rice first. In a large pot, add 3 cups of water and 1 ½ cups of brown rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 40-50 minutes until the rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed.

Step 2: Prepare the Vegetables

While the rice is cooking, chop up 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery, and 1 green bell pepper into small pieces. Mushrooms would also work well in this dish, so feel free to include them too!

Step 3: Cook the Vegetables

In a large skillet or wok, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the chopped vegetables and cook until they are soft (about 5-7 minutes). Then add in 3 cloves garlic (minced) and cook for another minute.

Step 4: Add Spices

Reduce heat to medium and add in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour to the vegetables. Stir constantly for about a minute or until well combined. Then add in 1 teaspoon each of paprika and salt, ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of file powder. These spices give dirty rice its classic flavor.

Step 5: Fold in Cooked Rice and Beans

Once the spices have been added, it’s time to fold in the cooked brown rice, as well as some protein-rich beans like red kidney beans or pinto beans. Gently mix everything together until well combined.

Step 6: Garnish with Fresh Parsley

Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley for extra flavor and color. Now your vegan dirty rice is ready to serve!

By following these easy steps, you can create an authentic-tasting vegan dirty rice recipe that’s perfect for any occasion. This one-pot meal is sure to become one of your favorite rice dishes!

Substitutions and Variations

 This vegan spin on a classic Cajun dish will blow your taste buds away.
This vegan spin on a classic Cajun dish will blow your taste buds away.

One of the best things about this vegetarian dirty rice recipe is that it’s highly versatile and can be easily customized with substitutions and variations to suit your taste buds or dietary preferences. Here are some ideas to switch it up:

– Protein: While kidney beans are the protein of choice in this recipe, you can swap them for other beans (like black or pinto) or add some meat substitutes like tofu or tempeh for extra protein.

– Veggies: The holy trinity of Cajun cooking (onions, celery, and bell peppers) is essential for the flavors in this dish, but you can add more veggies like carrots, zucchini, okra, or corn to bulk it up even more.

– Grains: If you don’t have brown rice on hand, you can use white rice or even quinoa instead. Just keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the grain you use.

– Spices: The combination of cayenne pepper and paprika gives this dish a spicy kick, but you can adjust the level of heat by using less cayenne or adding some hot sauce on top. You can also experiment with other spices like thyme, oregano, or bay leaves.

– Gluten-Free: To make this recipe gluten-free, simply swap the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free alternative like rice flour or cornstarch.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and make this recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to dive into a big bowl of veggies and spice!
Get ready to dive into a big bowl of veggies and spice!

When it comes to enjoying this vegan dirty rice recipe, the options are endless. You can easily serve it as a standalone dish for lunch or dinner, or enjoy it as a side dish alongside your favorite protein.

For a complete meal, I recommend serving it with roasted or sautéed vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or carrots. The added texture and nutrition from the vegetables will complement the rice perfectly. You can also add some sliced avocado on top of the rice bowl for some healthy fat and creaminess.

If you’re looking to spice things up, try serving it with some hot sauce or a squeeze of lime juice. The tangy lime flavor will balance out the savory spices from the cayenne and paprika in the recipe.

For a heartier meal, pair this vegan dirty rice with a protein source like grilled tofu, baked salmon, or teriyaki chicken. The dish is versatile enough to adapt to any cuisine, making it perfect for fusion dishes like Cajun-inspired tacos or Asian stir-fry.

No matter how you serve this delicious vegan dirty rice recipe, you’re sure to impress your friends and family with its authentic flavors and rich spice profile.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The variety of colors and textures in this dish will make your mouth water.
The variety of colors and textures in this dish will make your mouth water.

Making a dish ahead of time can be a lifesaver for busy schedules. Fortunately, this vegan dirty rice recipe is perfect for meal prepping. You can cook the rice and vegetables in advance and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator. When it’s time for a meal, just toss them together in a hot pan with some spices.

Storing dirty rice is easy as long as you keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can last up to 5 days, but be sure to reheat it properly before consuming. To reheat, simply microwave it for a couple of minutes, making sure to stir occasionally to spread the heat evenly.

If you have leftovers that you want to keep for an extended period of time, it’s wise to freeze them. Again, make sure your rice and veggies are stored in separate containers before freezing them. Once the ingredients are frozen, they can last up to 3 months. To thaw frozen dirty rice, let it sit at room temperature or put it in the fridge overnight.

When reheating frozen dirty rice, I prefer using the stovetop method over the microwave. Start by heating up some vegetable broth in a pan and then add your frozen rice along with additional spices if desired. Stir until heated through.

Remember to never leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours as bacteria can easily grow on it. And as always, use your discretion when consuming leftover food – if something smells or looks off, best not to risk it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Our Dirty Rice is a great way to add some excitement to your weekly meal planning.
Our Dirty Rice is a great way to add some excitement to your weekly meal planning.

Cooking rice can be a bit tricky especially if you’re making dirty rice – a rice dish that is full of flavors and spices. To ensure that you’ll have perfect results every time, here are some tips that will help you make the best vegan dirty rice possible.

First, I highly recommend using cooked brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice has more flavor and texture which can stand up well to the other ingredients in the dish. It’s also healthier than white rice as it is high in fiber and nutrients.

Second, make sure to sauté your vegetables well before adding in the other ingredients. This step is crucial as it releases all the flavors from the vegetable, which will give your vegan dirty rice a depth of taste that is essential to the dish.

Third, use vegetable broth instead of water when cooking the rice. This will also add more depth to the flavors of the dish.

Fourth, do not be afraid to experiment with different seasonings! While Cajun spice might be the star player in a traditional meat-based dirty rice recipe, adding cayenne pepper and paprika can add an extra kick of heat and smokiness that can make your vegan version truly stand out.

Fifth, let your vegan dirty rice simmer for at least 20 minutes with a lid on top after adding all of the ingredients into the pot. This ensures that everything is fully cooked and allows all of those amazing flavors meld together.

Finally, don’t forget to garnish with freshly chopped parsley before serving. The color and taste of this herb can really bring out all those amazing flavors in your vegan dirty rice.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to making perfect vegan dirty rice every time – one-pot meal that is flavorful, satisfying, and easy to whip up for any weeknight dinner or potluck party!


Now that you’ve mastered the art of making vegetarian dirty rice, it’s time to address some of the most common questions about this savory dish. In this FAQ section, we’ll dive into all the common concerns and queries that cooks face when preparing this vegan Cajun-inspired meal. From ingredient substitutions to cooking tips, you’ll have all the information you need to make sure your dish turns out perfectly every time. So let’s tackle those FAQs head on!

What vegetables go well with dirty rice?

To add a fresh and vibrant touch to your dirty rice, consider incorporating some grated carrot, thinly sliced peppers, raw chopped garlic, and red onion. Not only do these raw vegetables offer a satisfying texture to the dish, but they also save you time in the kitchen when you need a quick side dish.

What is the difference between dirty rice and Cajun Rice?

This rice dish goes by the name of Dirty Rice due to its distinctive coloration, which comes from the rice cooking alongside diced meats and spices. It is sometimes referred to as Cajun Rice or Rice Dressing, but all variations of the dish share similarities while utilizing diverse kinds of meat, veggies, and spices.

What can I fix dirty rice with?

Dirty rice is a classic dish that is widely loved in Southern cuisine. Its robust flavor profile can complement an array of different entrees. Pairing it with fried chicken, grilled fish, or chicken wings can make for a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Is Zatarain’s dirty rice vegan?

The vegan options for the Zatarain’s mix include jambalaya, gumbo with rice, and red beans with rice.

Bottom Line

this article on Vegan Dirty Rice with me, your articulate assistant who’s been working tirelessly to provide you with a recipe that is both authentic and vegan-friendly.

I believe that our recipe for Vegan Dirty Rice is just what you need to elevate your plant-based meal plan, and I hope that after trying it out, you’ll agree with me. Our recipe relies on lentils and kidney beans for protein, which makes it incredibly nutritious and filling without any meat-based ingredients.

By substituting brown rice for white rice, this recipe is full of fiber and nutrients that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized. Adding mushrooms and other vegetables like bell peppers, celery, and onion will give your dish a boost of flavor and texture that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Plus, our recipe for Vegan Dirty Rice is incredibly easy to make; it takes only one pot, so there’s minimal clean-up required. You can even make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for later use or portion it into containers for an easy grab-and-go lunch option.

Lastly, I want to say that this recipe isn’t just good for vegans or people who are trying to eat healthier. It’s also suitable for those who enjoy traditional Cajun-style dishes but want a meat-free version that still packs flavor and spice. With its delicious blend of cayenne, paprika, salt, and file powder, our Vegan Dirty Rice is sure to please anyone looking for an easy-to-make rice dish that’s both filling and tasty.

Overall, I hope you can see why I’m so excited about this recipe. It’s perfect whether you’re preparing a family dinner or entertaining guests with a southern-style creole meal. So go ahead and try out our Vegan Dirty Rice today- I promise you won’t regret it!

Dirty Rice - Vegetarian Style

Dirty Rice - Vegetarian Style Recipe

This version of dirty rice can be made with your favorite meatless ground burger or veggie ground burger. Cooking time does not include the brown rice which should be made according to box instructions.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Calories 272.3 kcal


  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, minced
  • 3 cups mushrooms, minced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups veggie burgers (or other meatless burgers)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons file powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne


  • In a dry skillet, brown the flour, stirring constantly, until light brown in color (patience pays off in flavor later).
  • In a separate skillet, saute the onion, celery and bell pepper, in 3 tablespoons of oil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add to the flour and mix well.
  • Brown the mushrooms in 3 teaspoons of oil. Add the veggie burger crumbles and brown well with the mushrooms for 10 minutes. Add to the onion and flour mixture and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the water and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. The mixture should be fairly thick. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well.
  • Serve with hot Tabasco hot sauce.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 317gCalories: 272.3kcalCarbohydrates: 40.1gProtein: 5.5gFat: 10.5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gSodium: 795.8mgFiber: 4.4gSugar: 2.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Brown Rice, Cajun, Easy, Peppers, Rice, Vegetable, Weeknight
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