What to Serve With Dirty Rice?

What To Serve with Dirty Rice
Image credit: southerndiscourse.com

Dirty rice is one dish that is difficult to pair with anything else. It’s got meat, it’s got vegetables, and it’s got cheese – You could be asking what to serve with dirty rice again. 

That being said, pairing dirty rice with the right dish can be tricky, especially because it’s not exactly something that goes with everything.

Here are easy and delicious dishes if you are looking for what to serve with dirty rice!

1. Fried Okra

These fried okra are crisp, light, and have the perfect balance of saltiness. Lightly coat them in a cornstarch mixture before frying, so they stay nice and tender on the inside.

Use that crispy batter to act as a barrier between these crisp pieces of okra and hot oil, which is just what they need!

Another important key is a good fry time: ensure you cook them enough before serving, or your crust will start falling off when you try to pick them up. You can serve these as a side dish if you want what to serve with dirty rice.

2. Fried Alligator Bites

Fried Alligator bites can sometimes get a bad rap for being too spicy, messy, or just plain gross. In reality, it’s full of delicious dishes that can’t be beaten. Fried alligator bites are an appetizer any guest will be happy to dig into! 

The bits of fried alligator meat are lightly battered in a panko breading and deep-fried until crispy. They’re then served up with a zesty rémoulade sauce that perfectly compliments the cooked meat’s dense yet surprisingly light texture. 

What’s more, you’ll only need about 10 minutes of prep time for this dish–the cooking process is quick as well! Give it a try tonight if you are in need of what to serve with dirty rice.

3. Fried Apples

No one is sure how this dish got its name, but we know that the original dish would have been served in plantation homes as a side dish. This version was adapted from a recipe found in Tales of Louisiana Kitchens.

In southern Louisiana, it is customary to serve this dish during the Christmas season. My family always used buttery apples for this recipe and sometimes left them unpeeled. Fried apples are perfect for serving with dirty rice.

4. Chicken & Dirty Rice Skillet

Dirty rice is often served with a side of some sort. This recipe does not require any precooking aside from the two cups of rice that are cooked for thirty minutes in the oven, so it only requires one pan.

The chicken takes less than fifteen minutes from start to finish, so this entire dish can be done in just under an hour.

5. Southern Baked Macaroni And Cheese

This Southern classic dish is so easy to make it could hardly be considered a recipe. Mix macaroni noodles, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded Monterey jack cheese, milk, one teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and a can of cream-style corn in a 9×13 inch baking dish.

6. Roasted Cajun Potatoes

This is what to serve with dirty rice. Cajun potatoes are a delicious side dish that complements the spicy flavors of dirty rice.

Cut potatoes into one-inch cubes and toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder (to taste).

Bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until crispy brown on the outside. We recommend serving them alongside black beans, steamed broccoli or peas, and cornbread muffins.

7. Honey Cornbread

This warm honey cornbread is a must-have when serving this Louisiana specialty. Since it’s traditionally served as a side dish, it pairs well as a complimentary bread for breakfast or dinner. 

If you’re not in the mood for regular plain cornbread, this is an amazing way to shake things up and add the extra flavor you deserve.

When bringing this delightful dish to the table, garnish it with some butter, powdered sugar, or jam if desired!

8. Pecan Cornbread

This lightened-up version of pecan cornbread tastes just like moms without all the guilt! It doesn’t contain any butter or oil but mashed banana, making this recipe vegan-friendly. If you want to serve with dirty rice, you can’t go wrong with pecan cornbread. 

9. Southern Smothered Cabbage

There are many great dishes that complement the rich flavors of dirty rice. This Southern Smothered Cabbage is one if you are looking for what to serve with dirty rice. 

It is especially perfect when you want something light. It cooks quickly, is budget-friendly, is delicious and nutritious, and your whole family will love it!

10. Blackened Salmon

This blackened salmon recipe is light, crisp, and flavorful. But be warned: it’s also a little spicy! This is what to serve with dirty rice for a well-rounded meal. 

The best way to prepare this dish is in the oven because you can’t mess up the timing of cooking each component by leaving the stove on too long or accidentally getting distracted by a phone call, etc. 

To cook this meal in the oven, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  And place an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet inside while you are preparing your ingredients so that it heats up while you cook your fish.

11. Southern Style Baked Beans

The Southern Style Baked Beans are the perfect accompaniment for an autumn-themed Thanksgiving table. Plus, they are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and really delicious! This is perfect if you want to serve it with dirty rice. 

Ingredients:  olive oil, a large onion (chopped), celery stalks (chopped), diced or minced garlic, vegetable broth, white beans (such as navy beans or great northern beans), sugar, and  salt

Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent, then add the celery. Once it is slightly tender, add the garlic and cook for about two minutes more. Then add the vegetable broth, white beans, ketchup, sugar, and salt.

12. Hushpuppies

To serve dirty rice as a main dish, you’ll need what to serve with dirty rice. One of the best is fried cornbread. For this dish, you’ll want to prepare white flour and cornmeal batter separately to fry up the bread evenly.

13. Cajun Corn Salad

Summer barbecues and pool parties frequently feature macaroni salad, but it also has a place next to your dirty rice dishes.

This macaroni salad is anything from boring thanks to the mayo’s creaminess, the mustard’s slight tang, and the just-right amount of heat from the Creole flavor.

Feel free to add your preferred spicy sauce if you want a little bit more spice! Optional, but adding a little more fire never make macaroni salad taste bad.

14. Shrimp Po’Boy

The shrimp po’boy is a flavorful sandwich that is ideal for what to serve with dirty rice. Po’boys originated in New Orleans as an inexpensive yet delicious option for lunch and snacks. As a result, this dish has become popular all over the world.

For this recipe, start by preparing your dirty rice as follows. The pre-made instant dry sauce mixes, like Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Mix or McCormick Creole Original Flavor Instant Dry Roux Mix.

Place two large pieces of bread in a sprayed skillet or on an open flame grill until both sides are golden brown on each side, then remove from heat to cool slightly before assembling the sandwich.

15. Southern Louisiana Coleslaw

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to live in or visit the southern Louisiana region. You’ve probably eaten dirty rice on more than one occasion.

Made by cooking rice in a broth of butter, onions, celery, and bell pepper. And green onion seasoned with Creole seasoning (a simple mix of salt, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne). 

This traditional dish is often served as a side at any casual meal. It can also be mixed with eggs for breakfast. However, it’s enjoyed, and when paired with the right dish, it becomes an exceptional meal starter.

16. Cowboy Stew

This is ideal for what to serve with dirty rice. This recipe is traditionally made in the Southwestern region of the United States but can be found from Louisiana all the way up to Oklahoma.

Cowboy Stew is typically a one-pot meal consisting of beef, potatoes, onion, corn, bell pepper, celery, chili powder, salt, and cumin. 

This dish has many variations, as regional specialties may also include tomatoes or rice. This type of stew was originally created by cowboys on cattle drives who would mix meat scraps they had salvaged while cooking along their journey.

It became such a popular dish among the cowboys that it eventually became its own staple item in regional cuisine.

17. Cajun Shrimp

Cajun shrimp is a great option if you want to serve it with dirty rice. Fill a skillet with vegetable oil, sauté some Cajun seasoning, chopped onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes for about 2 minutes.

Next, add shrimp and ancho powder and cook until it becomes opaque. Finish the dish by adding diced green bell peppers, diced tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes), sliced okra, water, and black pepper, and bring to a boil. 

Next, Reduce heat to medium-low heat and add cooked white rice. Stir to combine all ingredients together. Garnish with Cajun seasoning and chopped green onions before serving.

18. Catfish Courtbouillon

This pair works well if you want to serve it with dirty rice. Courtbouillon is a well-known dish of Acadian or Cajun origin, meaning it’s a must when served with dirty rice.

The broth is made from tomatoes, white wine, onions, garlic, green bell peppers, cayenne pepper, thyme leaves, and the essentials – salt and pepper. 

Add some fresh catfish filets for the perfect addition. It’s easy to put together, too; you’ll be pleased with how quickly this classic French Quarter dish will be on your table in just 40 minutes!

For a variation on the classic recipe, we use sliced okra instead of bell peppers and add fresh basil and oregano at the end for an earthy flavor.

19. Collard Greens With Smoked Turkey

This recipe for collard greens is a family favorite that’s perfect for serving alongside your dirty rice dish. It goes especially well if you happen to have some smoked turkey leftover from Thanksgiving.

If not, don’t worry- this is a great use for holiday ham leftovers! All you’ll need are some fresh collard greens, water, butter, salt, red pepper flakes, and your choice of meat.

Begin by boiling the chopped-up greens in about three cups of water for 20 minutes. With this, you have found what to serve with dirty rice.

20. Sweet Potato Fries

These Sweet Potato Fries are the perfect side dish for many dishes.  Including our famous Chicken and Dirty Rice. The recipe is easy, and you can use any type of seasoning you want. 

Simply wash the potatoes, slice them, coat them in olive oil and your favorite seasonings and bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they’re crisp and cooked through. To make this healthier alternative, bake the sweet potatoes rather than frying them in a vat of oil.

21. Macaroni Salad

Summer barbecues and pool parties frequently feature macaroni salad, but it also has a place next to your dirty rice dishes. If you are wondering what to serve with dirty rice, macaroni salad is a great option.

This macaroni salad is anything from boring thanks to the mayo’s creaminess, the mustard’s slight tang, and the just-right amount of heat from the Creole flavor.

Feel free to add your preferred spicy sauce if you want a little bit more spice! Optional, but adding a little more fire never make macaroni salad taste bad.

 Combine mayonnaise, green onion, salt, pepper, celery, and red onion in a bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for two hours or until it becomes fully chilled.

When you’re ready to serve the macaroni salad, peel off the top layer of plastic wrap and stir it together.

22. Shrimp Etouffee

You may construct a wonderful lunch full of flavor that will make you feel like you are dining in the Big Easy by topping your dirty rice with this smothered shrimp! 

This recipe employs Cajun spices, but with a few adjustments, you can make a Creole dish that is just as wonderful and filling.

For those of you who are curious, gumbo will typically have a thinner consistency than etouffee. On the other hand, Etouffee is thicker since roux is typically added to it.


Dirty rice is a delicious comfort food dish, but it’s even better when you know what to serve with dirty rice. One way to cook dirty rice is on the stovetop in a pan, while other cooks prefer baking it in the oven. The cooking time varies from 30 minutes on the stovetop to 1 hour in the oven.

Dirty rice usually contains celery, green onions, bell peppers, and spices like parsley, paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

Hopefully, this list of what to serve with dirty rice will reduce your stress of finding side dishes for dirty rice. 

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