Rice dressing in a serving dish with red checkered napkin and spoon.

Louisiana Rice Dressing

This meaty Louisiana Rice Dressing is a traditional southern Louisiana rice dish that begins with a stock made of roux and the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery. Then the roux and vegetables are simmered with ground beef and pork meat and mixed with cooked fluffy white rice. It’s not the same as dirty rice, I’ll explain the difference. A delicious side or main dish!

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Daddy was a cattle farmer. Horses and cows were his passion, and he loved sharing them with others. My two sisters and I were put on the backs of horses at a very young age. We spent time together driving cattle, helping in the cow pen with vaccinations and steer cutting, bottle feeding orphaned calves, and all of the other things Daddy’s like mine want their daughters to grow up doing. I realize now they were good learning experiences and didn’t seem much like work after all, except for those twice daily bottle feedings.

Cattle in the field.

Outside Island Outings

Once a year, we’d load up the horses and head to Outside Island, where the wild cows lived. The land at Outside Island was passed down to us from my great-grandmother Motty’s side of the family. It’s a wooded land located just south of the Intracoastal canal surrounded by marsh.

In the early days, the working of the cattle was a big gathering with family and friends. It wasn’t all work, though. We had fun playing in the dusty (sometimes muddy) outdoors, riding horses, and even swinging from the long rope outside my great-aunt Mary Lou’s camp. It hung from the tallest old oak dripping with gray moss where we’d fly through the air as high as we could. As rugged as it sounds, it’s a beautiful place.

The occasion always included good food, and I can still smell the charcoal barbecued steak, chicken, and sausage. Served right alongside of the bar-be-que was usually a pot of meaty rice dressing. Yep, more meat! Surprisingly it goes well with barbecue. 

This ice dressing dish isn’t as well known as some other Cajun dishes, but I have never known anyone to not like it. My Mawmaw Trahan would make her rice dressing with oysters and stuff it into her Christmas turkey. A delicious and unique treat! It adds a whole other dimension of flavor to the dressing while it bakes in the turkey.

Here’s a good Roasted Turkey Seasoned In A Brine recipe if you’re looking for an excellent turkey to stuff this dressing in.

The Difference Between Rice Dressing And Dirty Rice

This recipe is not dirty rice. I didn’t understand the difference between them until my daughter asked recently which one my Mama always made. After researching, I discovered that rice dressing is made with beef and pork while dirty rice is made with ground organ meats like livers, hearts, and giblets.

Many southerners are more familiar with Cornbread Dressing. It wasn’t anything I wa familiar with until that first Thanksgiving I spent with my husband’s Mississippi family. I really missed my rice dressing that year, but I’ve learned to enjoy and even make a pretty good Cornbread Dressing. We now have both kinds at the table for our holiday gatherings. 

It’s Easy And Convenient

One of the beauties of this recipe is you can freeze the stock before adding the rice. Then defrost and just before you serve, heat and stir in the cooked rice. This is so convenient for those days when there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to cook, but your family will think you’re a superhero! 

 

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Louisiana rice dressing in a green dish.

Louisiana Rice Dressing

Rice dressing is a traditional Cajun rice dish that begins with a roux and the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery. It is then simmered with ground meats and mixed with cooked white rice.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1  1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork 
  • 2 cups chicken stock or beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1  1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups cooked rice

Instructions

  1. Make a roux first by heating the oil over medium heat in a large pot like a dutch oven until hot and stir in the flour. 
  2. Brown the roux until it is a dark caramel color being careful not to burn, taking your time all the while.
  3. Stir the chopped vegetables into the roux and cook until onions are soft.
  4. Remove vegetables and roux out of the pot and into a bowl to set aside.
  5. Add the ground meats to the pan and brown.
  6. Drain fat from beef and pork.
  7. Add the roux and vegetable mixture to browned meat and stir in the chicken stock or beef broth.
  8. Pour in a cup of water and stir in salt and cayenne pepper then close the lid and let it simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  9. Add 3 cups of cooked rice mixing well and serve warm.

Notes

  • You may add up to 1 more cup of rice to the dressing if you prefer the taste of more rice and less meat.
  • Use your favorite Cajun seasoning instead of salt and red cayenne pepper.
  • Author: Louisiana Woman

Keywords: rice dressing, Cajun Rice Dressing, Louisiana rice dressing

 

A spoon in a pot of roux with Cajun trinity vegetables.

You may notice that this roux’s ingredients are a little different from my Chicken Gumbo, Simply Classic Cajun recipe. I find that less oil will give it a milder taste.

A cup of broth poured into stewed ground meat.

Chicken stock is tastier than chicken broth, but you can use beef broth if you don’t have any chicken stock in the kitchen.

Rice stirred into a pot of rice dressing mix.

A green dish of rice dressing.

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Have a nice day!

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

8 Comments

  1. When I first tried rice dressing it was from a deli counter in a little store called Larry’s in Kaplin, LA. I have tried to make several rice dressings recipes that mimicked theirs but to no avail…….until I found this one! It is SO good! It has quickly become a family favorite and I make it often.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • It is my pleasure to share with you what I’ve learned from my momma’s kitchen in Kaplan, La. Small world! Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing, too.

  2. Hi Kay! Your blog is wonderful and dishes beautiful! So glad my brother,Tony,found you! I remember swinging on that rope with you at Aunt Mary’s camp!

    • Hey, girl! Thank you and I’m so happy to hear from you. I think of you and the last times we spent together at LSU. I’d love to see you again. Let me know when you’re in the area. ❤️

  3. What happens if you use jasmine rice? We are from Lafayette,Louisiana but moved to Alabama and my daughter likes jasmine but honestly it’s hard to find my favorite rice here!😢 This is exactly how my mom makes it yum!

    • Jasmine is my favorite, too! It can be prepared the same way. Walmart has a brand but I can’t recall off-hand what it is. Have you tried Amazon?

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