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Have you ever heard of dirty rice? No, this is a not a typo! This recipe is called “dirty rice” because the rice that’s originally white gets a “dirty” color from all the tasty goodies that go into it :) Cooked rice is stir-fried with ground beef, onions, carrots and peas, and flavored with garlic, tomato sauce and spices – delicious!
Cajun seasoning spice, ground beef, fried onions and carrots give this dirty rice it’s color and deep flavor. The Cajun spice mix is sold in a supermarket in a spice isle, next to other spice mixes (sometimes it’s labeled as “Creole spice mix”). Or if you don’t feel like buying this spice mix just for this recipe, you can substitute with Taco seasoning mix or even simple Chili powder! Dirty rice recipe is very forgiving to substitutions, so you can really be creative :)
Cajun dirty rice with ground beef is a great one-dish meal, and all ingredients can be found in a pantry and freezer! The staple ingredients are rice, ground meat and tomato sauce, and the rest of the ingredients can be easily substituted (you can just throw in a bag of frozen veggies, and the recipe will turn out just fine).
You can also use ground turkey instead of ground beef if you don’t eat red meat or would like to cut down on calories. Dirty rice is a perfect recipe for those nights you don’t feel like going to a grocery store and need to put something together quickly for dinner.
Dirty rice also freezes very well. You can double the recipe, put leftovers in a freezer bag, label it and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw it in refrigerator overnight, or on Defrost setting in a microwave. It’s always nice to know there is a delicious meal stashed in your freezer for those nights you are way too busy to cook!
- 2 cups rice, uncooked
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 can (15 oz) green peas, drained
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- Cook the rice according to package directions (I always use the rice cooker). While the rice is cooking, move on to the next step.
- Peel the onions, and chop them into small pieces.
- Peel the carrots and shred them in the food processor using the top disk shredder blade.
- Mince the garlic and set aside.
- Heat ½ tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shredded carrots and cook, stirring periodically, for 5 minutes. Remove the carrots from the frying pan into a bowl.
- Heat ½ tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring periodically, for 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef to the onions. Cook, stirring periodically, for 7 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink.
- Add the minced garlic and ½ tsp salt to the beef, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Set up the food processor with the regular blade that goes inside the food processor. Put the beef and onion mixture inside the food processor and pulse 5 times.
- After the rice has finished cooking, heat 3 tbsp of oil in the large non-stick frying pan (same one as you used to cook the beef).
- Add the Cajun seasoning to the oil, then add the cooked rice and mix until all rice is colored orange (like the Cajun seasoning).
- Add ground beef, carrots and tomato sauce. Mix until combined.
- Add the green peas and mix.
- If necessary, add more salt and Cajun seasoning.