No, dirty rice is not rice that you dropped all over the floor.
Dirty rice is a spectacular dish that you can thank Louisiana for, made with white rice that is cooked with meat (usually beef, pork, or chicken), plus green bell peppers, onions, and celery).
It’s lovingly spiced with cayenne and black pepper and it has so much flavor, it really is like a meal in itself.
But hey, you don’t want to just have everyone gather around the table for rice, no matter how full of meats and veggies it may be.
That’s why you will need some sides for your dirty rice to complete your meal!
Serve Up Deliciousness with These 13 Dirty Rice Side Dishes
Let dirty rice grace your dinner table tonight.
And when you do, make sure you choose some sides to make it more of a complete meal.
Here are 13 of them that you’re going to love!
1. Spicy Coleslaw
Dirty rice has that hot, spicy feel to it, which is why coleslaw may bring balance.
But regular coleslaw needs an upgrade here and that’s why we recommend you make it spicy.
A little apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and chopped jalapenos can make that happen in a flash.
You get all the crispy crunchiness from the cabbage and traditional coleslaw ingredients, just with a nice kick that complements your dirty rice beautifully!
2. Homestyle Mac n’ Cheese
Now let’s move on to another comfort food that can be paired with your dirty rice.
We love homestyle mac n’ cheese for this very reason, along with many others.
For starters, it has cheese, and how can you resist?
For another, that cheese is a nice pairing for the spicy dirty rice you’ll serve.
And as a bonus, if you have kids joining you at the table, you’ll have something familiar to fall back on.
Pro tip: shred your own cheese and use 3 different kinds to give it that creamy, dreamy, cheesy texture everyone knows and loves!
3. Fruit Salad
Dirty rice is delicious, no doubt about it.
But it can feel a bit heavy and spicy, so having something light and fresh can balance your palate.
Plus, if you’re serving dirty rice at a party, you’ve got to give your guests some variety.
Make a fruit salad and you’ll have that balance satisfied.
Fresh seasonal fruits help cleanse the palate and bring out the best tastes from your spicy dirty rice.
4. Seasonal Steamed Veggies
Sure, dirty rice has some veggies in it.
But they’re purely for aromatics and flavor.
The real star of dirty rice is the meat.
And of course, that Cajun flavor.
Still, a nice side of veggies is important for making your meal complete.
A no-fuss way to do that is by steaming fresh seasonal veggies.
Carrots, broccoli, peas, corn, cauliflower, green beans, and more can all go in the steamer.
It’s a healthy addition to any meal with rice (even paired with coconut rice), but if you want to add a little indulgence, serve them with Old Bay-seasoned butter for the perfect finish.
5. Cajun Corn Maque Choux
Ok, ok, so you’re not a huge fan of steamed veggies, no problem!
If you really want to blow everyone away, serve this Cajun corn side dish.
It’s got corn with peppers, onions, jalapenos, and a wonderful Cajun spice.
Oh, and it’s cooked in bacon fat which will certainly make this veggie side so much more robust.
6. Bourbon Baked Beans
Another simple side dish that will please a crowd involves baked beans.
You’ll put your cans of baked beans together with cooked bacon and then the secret ingredient.
Trust us, it just takes this savory side to the next level of deliciousness.
This hearty side for dirty rice is one that you can eat right on top, or keep it to the side.
7. Fried Apples
In addition to fruit salad, apples can be a great pairing for your dirty rice.
Unfortunately as we know about apples, as soon as you cut them up, they turn that vile, unappetizing brown.
So, beat them at their own game.
Slice the apples into rings, then coat them in batter with a hint of cinnamon and fry them.
It’s like having a healthier apple pie shaped like an onion ring, and it really makes the perfect side for those that like dessert alongside their main dish.
8. Sweet Potato Fries with Cajun Spice
All too often, we all gravitate toward regular potatoes to make fries.
But sweet potatoes are perhaps even more perfect when spiced with Cajun seasonings.
These will disappear all too quickly, so we advise you make more than you need.
Serving them with a soothing yogurt dill dressing goes great with that Cajun spice and adds another layer of fun to your meal.
9. Cajun Chicken Wings
When you’re having a party, or you just want dinner to feel like a celebration for your family, wings are the perfect choice.
The best part about chicken wings though is that you don’t always have to slather them in hot sauce or Buffalo sauce to make them taste amazing (you can even go to town with some buffalo chicken dip on the side!).
Not that we don’t love them that way, but we have lots of love for all things wings, especially when they’re covered in Cajun spice.
You don’t have to let them marinate overnight, but if you do, you’ll have even more tender, juicy flavor to enjoy in every bite!
10. Cajun Crab Dip
There is no way you can not make this Cajun crab dip, especially when you’ve got guests coming over for your dirty rice.
It’s great with crackers and slices of French bread, oh but darling, if you put it on top of your dirty rice, you will cry tears of pure sweet joy.
This dip features lump crab meat melded with cream cheese, pepper jack, mayo, lemon, hot pepper sauce, ground mustard, and Cajun seasoning.
It’s so delicious, everyone will fight for the last spoonful.
11. Spicy Shrimp Skewers
One thing that pairs so well with Cajun flavors and dirty rice is shrimp.
Skewer them up and brush them with butter and Cajun seasoning.
Then pop them on the grill.
You can also throw them under your broiler.
They cook up fast so serving spicy shrimp skewers is the perfect solution for a side dish to go with y our dirty rice on a busy night.
12. Crispy Fried Okra
Now here’s a southern side that goes with dirty rice in the most perfect way.
Fried okra is the best way to enjoy this odd-looking veggie.
Other ways of cooking it can make it have a mushy texture, but if you quick-fry it, you’ll be in for a treat with a crispy outside and tender inside.
It’s great with dipping sauces too, like a Cajun ranch which will add a cool yet spicy flavor to this tasty dish!
13. Hush Puppies
And finally, you gotta make golden hush puppies to go with your dirty rice!
These crispy delights have a tender interior that you’re going to love.
Made from cornmeal, flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk, and a little cayenne for a kick, these balls of fun will make your dinner all the more delicious.
Try them with a little barbecue sauce, or sprinkle in some Cajun seasoning to make them even more magical.
Now you’ve some great ideas for what to serve with dirty rice that are wonderful ways to make your meal more amazing.
Some have veggies, some have fruit, and some have meat, but all have the potential to bring everyone to the table for second helpings!
Dirty Rice Side Dishes
- Spicy Coleslaw
- Homestyle Mac n’ Cheese
- Fruit Salad
- Seasonal Steamed Veggies
- Cajun Corn Maque Choux
- Bourbon Baked Beans
- Fried Apples
- Sweet Potato Fries with Cajun Spice
- Cajun Chicken Wings
- Cajun Crab Dip
- Spicy Shrimp Skewers
- Crispy Fried Okra
- Hush Puppies
- Choose your desired dirty rice side dishes.
- Gather and organize needed ingredients.
- Create a tasty recipe to complete your meal!