Although it can be pretty filling and robust on its own, you may wonder what to serve with dirty rice to make your meal that much more tasty!
Dirty rice is a staple in traditional Creole cuisine made from white rice with pieces of pork, beef, or chicken, mixed in with some vegetables like green pepper and celery, all tied together with some spices and garnishes.
When you know you want to serve some dirty rice for dinner, it is always a safe bet to go with other Southern Louisiana side dishes to pair alongside it!
Here are 21 options on what to serve with dirty rice that can easily take your dinner from simple to absolutely delicious!
Classic southern sides like Hushpuppies and Honey Cornbread are never a bad idea but if you want something more filling, try some Cowboy Stew or even Fried Alligator to serve alongside your rice dish.
Since dirty rice is a Creole staple, there are limitless options to pair with this dish, so feel free to try cooking something new the next time you prepare your rice.
Everything on this list is guaranteed to taste good with dirty rice, so start planning your weeknight meals!
1. Fried Okra
A crispy side of Fried Okra is precisely what you need to pair with your dirty rice meals.
It takes no time to make and is an easy way to get some okra in your diet, even if it is deep-fried.
Okra is in peak season in the summer, so keep that in mind as you search the stores for the best okra to use!
This one-pan dish is a great way to make a filling and satisfying meal out of your dirty rice.
The Cajun spices expertly come together to marinate the chicken but if you want a little more heat, add some jalapeno pepper, chili pepper flakes, or even cayenne pepper.
You can easily make your entire meal with this skillet dish, so it takes a lot of trouble preparing a hearty weeknight meal!
A big, beautiful bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese should come to mind when thinking about what goes good with dirty rice!
This recipe uses five kinds of cheese, but feel free to add in more or make tweaks based on your liking.
The specific cheeses here add a nice creaminess and richness to this comforting side dish that pairs well with your Cajun meals.
Since dirty rice is a common Cajun side, it is only fitting to add some blackened seafood as a choice of main dishes to go with dirty rice.
A creamy Cajun sauce is included in this recipe that elevates the flavors and compliments your dirty rice so well.
The seasonings used with blackened salmon are popular in Creole cooking, so you get a balance of earthiness, spice, and smoke in each bite!
Topping your baked beans with tons of crispy bacon is a definite way to win over everyone sitting at your dinner table.
This recipe uses some brown sugar with the beans, so there is a hint of sweetness mixed in with the savory flavors mixed with your beans.
There is very little involved in the preparation process for these baked beans, so once everything is combined and slid into the oven to bake, you can turn your attention to other aspects of your meal!
Few southern-style meals are not made better with Hushpuppies.
These sweet and savory fried balls are the perfect addition to any southern fish dinner, but they go great as a side for your dirty rice!
Each hushpuppy gives you a crispy bite that immediately melts into a soft and crumbly cornbread-type texture once it hits your mouth.
The addition of caramelized onions adds an extra layer of sweetness to balance the flavors of your hushpuppies.
Bring a big bowl of this corn salad out the next time you set out your dirty rice sides for an impressive meal with the right amount of Cajun flavors bursting through.
This salad features grilled corn, bell peppers, and onions, all tossed with a blend of sweet and spicy seasonings.
This Cajun Corn Salad is a lighter side when your main dish and dirty rice are on the heavier side, giving you a nice balance of flavors and freshness.
Pairing dirty rice with a seafood sandwich may not be the first thing to consider when planning a meal, but these two foods work incredibly well together since the southern Louisiana flavors shine through in both of these dishes.
Making this po’boy sandwich is not as complex as it may seem at first, so there is no reason to be intimidated!
Using frozen popcorn shrimp for your sandwich can cut down on time and effort, meaning you can enjoy your tasty meal that much sooner!
Something about this homemade southern-style coleslaw is so comforting, especially considering that it is a “salad.”
Making fresh coleslaw only takes about ten minutes, and it can be put in the fridge until it is ready to serve, making this an easy addition to your meal without causing a lot of stress.
You will probably have some extra dressing leftover, so feel free to make more coleslaw throughout the week or use it up in fun new ways!
10. Cowboy Stew
Cowboy Stew is a one-pot dish packed full of satisfying beans, veggies, and three types of meat that are complimented so well with a heaping plate of dirty rice.
The great thing about this is that nearly any addition or substitution goes great, so you can make it perfect for your personal tastes.
This is a delicious and satisfying method of making your favorite chili and beef stew by combining all of the best parts into one!
11. Cajun Shrimp
Making delicious sides to eat with dirty rice can be a quick and stress-free process, especially when following this shrimp recipe.
In about ten minutes and with four ingredients, you can have juicy shrimp ready to eat with your dirty rice full of the Cajun flavors you love!
Even if you are new to cooking, this recipe is easy to follow, so you can guarantee a tasty dinner that will impress everyone!
This elevated version of Catfish Courtbouillon can be made with any fish you have on hand, but catfish is always an excellent seafood choice if you make a Cajun-style dinner.
Since there is so much flavor in the catfish, simple white rice can be served, but dirty rice is a lot more fun!
Somehow, your catfish will perfectly balance out crunch in the breading, light flavors, and a bit of tang and kick from the seasonings.
If you wonder what goes good with dirty rice, the answer should be collard greens!
Whether you use bagged or fresh, this is a great way to get a side of greens with your rice.
Tossing in some shredded smoked turkey brings out the natural flavor and makes them a bit more filling, which is no problem when you have dirty rice packed with meat!
A dash of sweetness to go with your dirty rice is just what you need to balance your meal.
These sweet potato fries are baked until crispy and can be seasoned with cinnamon or salt, depending on how much sweetness or saltiness you want with your dish.
This quick side dish can bring your meal up a few levels with only about ten minutes of prep work!
15. Macaroni Salad
It is not uncommon to find macaroni salad at barbecues or pool parties during the summertime, but they also have a place next to your dirty rice dishes.
This is far from a plain macaroni salad, gaining creaminess from the mayo, a bit of tang from the mustard, and the right bit of kick from the Creole seasoning.
If you want a little more heat, feel free to add your favorite hot sauce!
This is optional, but no macaroni salad is ever wrong with a little bit more fire added in.
16. Shrimp Etouffee
When you use this smothered shrimp to top off your dirty rice, you have a special meal full of flavor that will make you feel like you are eating in the Big Easy!
This recipe uses Cajun flavors, but you can get a Creole dish that is equally as tasty and satisfying with some tweaks.
In case you are wondering, one of the differences between etouffee and gumbo is that gumbo will have a thinner consistency.
In contrast, etouffee is thicker due to the roux that is usually added in.
Preparing potatoes to be a tasty side for your dirty rice doesn’t need to include too much since roasted potatoes are already a delicious side dish!
In four steps and with the right seasonings, you can have a tasty side for your rice that compliments all of the Cajun flavors on the table.
This recipe is incredibly versatile and can be made to enjoy with all types of meals, so start with pairing it with your dirty rice and then enjoy it with all kinds of cuisines!
18. Honey Cornbread
A side of cornbread can pull together any meal, but it can easily ruin the other dishes when it is too dry.
Fortunately, this honey cornbread adds a little bit of oil and honey to the batter to ensure it is moist and sweet while maintaining a crisp edge baked in a cast iron.
This is the perfect blend of northern and southern cornbread to make a happy and delicious hybrid!
This Creole-style Smothered Cabbage is precisely what you need if you don’t know what goes with dirty rice.
Even without adding extra ingredients, you can taste the soul in this cabbage side!
Smoked turkey and Creole seasonings add all the flavor you need, so there is no need for extra gravy or condiments when you prepare this.
If you are new to trying alligator in your meals, there is no need to be scared!
It is often described as tasting like a mixture between chicken and seafood.
Frying the tail into bite-sized pieces with Cajun seasoning and a dash of hot sauce will ease any fear of trying out a new type of meat!
21. Fried Apples
Cracker Barrel and many other restaurants have done a great job pairing sweet fried apples with a hearty and savory meal.
Whether you cook these in a crockpot or fry them in a pan, you will love the sweetness they add to your dirty rice dinner!
Not to mention, it is straightforward and promises to have everyone licking their plate clean!
The bottom line
While dirty rice is already a delicious option for dinner, there are worlds of options on what to serve with dirty rice to make it a complete meal that everyone will love!
Widespread in southern Louisiana, nearly any Cajun or Creole side will be a tasty addition to your rice-based dinner.
Some of these sides are common, while some may be new to you, but one quality they all share is how delicious they are when served alongside dirty rice!
- Fried Okra
- Chicken & Dirty Rice Skillet
- Southern Baked Macaroni And Cheese
- Blackened Salmon
- Southern Style Baked Beans
- Cajun Corn Salad
- Shrimp Po’Boy
- Southern Louisiana Coleslaw
- Cowboy Stew
- Cajun Shrimp
- Catfish Courtbouillon
- Collard Greens With Smoked Turkey
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Macaroni Salad
- Shrimp Etouffee
- Roasted Cajun Potatoes
- Honey Cornbread
- Southern Smothered Cabbage
- Fried Alligator Bites
- Fried Apples
- Find your favorite recipe from our What To Serve With Dirty Rice.
- Gather all the ingredients needed.
- Start cooking and make us proud!