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Cajun Beef & Rice

Cajun rice from a restaurant or box can have a lot of sodium and fat. Here’s a hearty, healthy way to trim it down. —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup instant brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium beef bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


  • In a large skillet, cook beef, celery, green and red peppers, and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles, 8-10 minutes; drain.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until rice is tender, 12-15 minutes.

Cajun Beef & Rice Tips

What is Cajun rice made of?

Traditionally, Cajun rice was made with leftovers from a chicken or other meat dish and included chicken gizzards. Rice, vegetables such as onions, celery and peppers and seasonings, water or broth are then added and simmered. Our version uses beef for a fun weeknight twist.

Is Cajun rice the same as dirty rice?

Cajun rice, dirty rice and Cajun rice dressing all refer to the same dish. Like most traditional favorites, professional chefs and home cooks alike have their own versions, but they’re all based on the same traditional recipe. The "dirty" in dirty rice alludes to the changing of color of the white rice after it’s been cooked with meat and seasonings.

What other Cajun recipes can I try?

Cajun food has a wallop of flavor and is delicious in any season. If you’d like to try other Cajun recipes, try our Cajun shrimp, baked catfish and, as a fun snack, Cajun popcorn! Of course, jambalaya is one of the most popular Cajun dishes you can make, too.

Research contributed by Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 291 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 422mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.

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  • Bobbie
    Jan 26, 2021

    Looked good, easy & fast to make but way too bland, no flavor, even when adding more spices .... normally I can figure out how to make a recipe better but couldn't come up with anything for this ..... I didn't like it, hubby & kids didn't like it .... won't make this again .... just yuck !!

  • Sonia
    Dec 30, 2020

    It's a good weeknight recipe. Some people compared to Dirty Rice, but I don't think this one is supposed to be Dirty Rice, people don't even read the title correctly. It has a Cajun flair, though.

  • Gary
    Dec 27, 2020

    Wanted a quick cajun dinner and tried this one. As I am living by myself, I cut the recipe by 50%. I substituted beef broth for the water and bullion cubes made with beef base for the water. I served it, and put the dish back in the pan and added an 8 oz can of tomato sauce and a half of cup of frozen corn. With those modifications it was ok. Don't know if I will ever make it again.

  • Sarah
    Aug 4, 2020

    I was looking for a new recipe for beef and craving Cajun and this was the perfect recipe for just that. I added some tomato’s I also used beef broth instead of water and skipped the beef bouillon cubes I also added 4 different types of Cajun seasons in the amount of two tablespoons and Added some garlic And for the instant rice I used Zatarans jambalaya!! Made some garlic cheese bread to go with it and it was delicious, I know I didn’t follow the recipe exactly but as a home chef you improvise to your taste and what you have on hand! Good base to follow though

  • Rushed Mom
    Feb 23, 2020

    This is one of our favorites for a quick, satisfying and yummy meal.

  • L1559
    Aug 23, 2019

    No comment left

  • Chumley5
    Jun 12, 2019

    My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. Next time I make it I'll add extra spice because enjoy more highly seasoned dishes. Incidentally, I noticed a reviewer wrote that this recipe isn't Cajun dirty rice. Well, dirty isn't in the recipe's title.

  • peg-riedinger
    Jun 12, 2018

    We’ve made this several times, including using cauliflower “rice.” It’s one of my husband’s favorites.

  • Sara
    Jun 12, 2018

    It’s close, but not Cajun dirty rice. Real Cajun dirty rice has ground up or finely chopped chicken gizzards, and sone also use livers, plus we would never use instant rice. The rice needs to cook with the ingredients so it’ gets the flavor.

  • lstclair
    Jun 12, 2018

    No comment left