A healthier twist on a Cajun classic, the addition of shrimp turns this “dirty brown rice” into a fabulous main dish.
Dirty rice is a classic Cajun dish made “dirty” by cooking the rice with minced livers or gizzards. I created a healthier version using brown rice and lean ground beef in place of the chicken livers that normally make dirty rice “dirty”. I’d like to think of this as a Cajun shrimp fried rice.
This healthier version does not skimp on flavor! It has plenty of spices and a bit of kick, you can adjust the heat to your taste but don’t be shy with the cayenne if you can handle it!
Normally a rice dish like this if made with white rice would be cooked all in one pot, but after several attempts to perfect this I found that cooking the brown rice all together created an unpleasant mushy texture. By cooking the brown rice separate, the texture of the rice was perfect when mixed with the beef and shrimp and made a delicious main dish even my “non-brown rice eating” husband enjoyed.
Dirty Brown Rice with Shrimp
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
- chicken bouillon cube, Knorr
- 2 bay leaves, divided
- 1/8 + 1/4 tsp cayenne, divided
- 1/8 + 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/8 + 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 lb 96% lean ground beef, Laura's lean beef
- salt and fresh pepper, to taste
- 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Cook brown rice according to package directions in water along with a chicken bouillon, 1 bay leaf and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 each of salt, cayenne, paprika and thyme.
- When the rice is almost done cooking, heat a large heavy saucepan on medium-low heat.
- Add the oil, onions, green pepper, celery, bay leaf and garlic. Sauté on medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add beef, salt, black pepper, remaining paprika, thyme and cayenne pepper.
- Sauté until browned, about 10-15 minutes; add shrimp, cover and cook 5 more minutes.
- When the rice is done, toss with beef and shrimp and combine well. Top with scallions and serve.
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Makes 6 1/2 cups.
176 comments on “Dirty Brown Rice with Shrimp”
My entire family (husband, 3 picky kids) love this recipe! Such good flavor!
This was very tasty. I added a fresh jalapeno and a tomato and a shake of cajun spice to the shrimp before cooking. . We will have this again for sure.
We loved this recipe. Will definitely be making it again.
What’s the serving size?
1 1/3 cups.
Can & if so I substitute ground turkey or ground chicken? Has anyone done this ? Wondering which would taste better….
This was delicious!
This was incredible! Hit the spot for the entire family. Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe!
Excellent meal. Used 3/4 lb ground beef. Doubled sauté & cooked beef & veg longer & cooked shrimp for 10 min. Adjustments are probably my pans & stove. Rice takes 45 min & cutting & cooking come out about same. Great taste.
Anyone try this with cauliflower rice?
Delicious! Definitely going to make it again.
This was delicious. I made it in the Instant Pot (did the brown rice first, then made everything else on saute mode). I made 3 cups of (uncooked) brown rice and left a little more than half in. Forgot to add the seasoning to rice before cooking so I added after. Didn’t have onions so I subbed in 1 tbsp of onion powder, didn’t have bay leaf so left out. Had jumbo shrimp so I cut them in half length-wise. No scallions so garnished with some parsley flakes. But followed everything else! It didn’t take quite as log as the estimates to get my peppers soft, or cook through the ground beef and shrimp, but everything came together very well. I was really pleased with the flavor – not too salty, just a little bit of a kick from the cayenne, but most importantly, there was great depth of flavor. Could not tell it was brown rice. Didn’t feel heavy at all. Will definitely have to make this again! Shared the recipe with the Instant Pot Community and received almost 100 shares and over 200 likes so that might drive up the traffic here :). Thank you for the great recipe!
Love this recipe! Made a while back and just now found it again. After reading through the directions i noticed under #1 that you say to add 1/4 tsp of salt AND another 1/8 tsp of salt. That seems like a typo so could you clarify for me on the salt amounts?
Hi Gina, your recipes are amazing! I am doing freestyle. How many Freestyle points per serving if I use ground turkey instead of beef. Thank you so much.
Sorry don’t have that info handy!
Toy really should specify what type of green peopl pepper should be used. There are many types of green pepper.
To me, green pepper means green bell pepper and that’s what I used and it was amazing!
Made this for dinner and it was amazing and my whole family loved it!! It had a lot of flavor and texture. I will definitely be making this again!
Do you think this would work with quinoa?
I followed your recipes faithfully and I have every recipe I have tried. I lost 50 pounds in 8 months and I have been delighted. I am back to find more new and exciting WW recipes. My whole family loves the DIRTY BROWN RICE WITH SHRIMP. It is a family favorite. Thanks for sharing these recipes with us. I do not like the New WW. But thanks to you I can still keep up with my points.
Would this work with white rice?
Yes, just note the nutritional values would change
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Can this be done in the Instant Pot?
Made with ground turkey, super yummy! Thanks 🙂
Really delicious! Another winner! My hubby really liked it and asked that it go into regular rotation. Thanks!
Made this twice in the last week! So good, everyone enjoyed it! Thank you for creating this recipe.
You’re welcome Caroline!
Made into the T! It was an excellent recipe. I often struggle with brown rice, this was a pleasure to eat. Made it a second time, substituted green bell pepper for seeded jalapinos, it was GREAT.