Instant Pot Dirty Rice is an easy one pot family dinner! This Cajun comfort food recipe is made with beef and rice and is just a little bit spicy. A tasty family dinner can be on the table in less than 45 minutes.
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Dirty rice is a delicious Cajun one pot dinner that is southern comfort food. In this recipe I combine rice and ground beef with vegetables and spices for a quick and easy dinner.
Enjoy traditional Louisiana cooking? Check out my other Instant Pot Cajun recipes, Instant Pot Jambalaya and Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice. Of the the three Instant Pot Cajun recipes on the blog this Dirty Rice is the simplest and the fastest – perfect for dinner on a busy night.
What is Dirty Rice?
Dirty rice gets its name because when rice is cooked with meat and cajun spices it gets a little brown and looks “dirty”. Chicken livers is the most traditional meat used in dirty rice.
Substitutes for Chicken Liver
There is no way in the world my husband or children are eating chicken liver, no matter how traditional it is. So in this recipe I used ground beef, which tasted excellent.
Other possible substitutions would be ground chicken, ground pork or pork sausage. You want the meat for this dish to be crumbled small – not cubes of meat. You could use any of those substitutions without changing this recipe.
The rice is also combined with the three vegetables considered the “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking – green peppers, celery and onion.
To spice up the dish I use a standard off the shelf Cajun seasoning mix. I like to add in a little bit of oregano and thyme to the dish to make those flavorings more pronounced in the final dish.
To cook the rice I use beef broth. I have made this dish with water instead of broth and it just isn’t as tasty. So use beef broth, chicken broth or even vegetable broth to get the most delicious dirty rice possible.
Why Make Dirty Rice in the Instant Pot?
Using an Instant Pot to make dirty rice offers a few advantages over cooking it on the stove top. A pressure cooker is ideal for cooking rice because it cooks it perfectly without it becoming sticky or gummy.
The results of cooking in the Instant Pot are predictable, dependable and fast. Since you can saute and pressure cook in the same container there are fewer dishes to wash.
How to Make Instant Pot Dirty Rice
1. Brown the Beef
Put the Instant Pot on saute and let it heat for about 2 minutes. Then add the ground beef and stir, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook it for about 5 minutes, until most of the pink is gone.
2. Add the Vegetables
Add the celery, onion and green pepper to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Stir it to mix well and continue to cook for another 3 minutes then turn off the Instant Pot.
There will be some fat in the Instant Pot from the ground beef. I use 90% fat free ground beef and I don’t drain the grease out before cooking the rice. I like the added taste that the fat gives the dish.
But if you are using fattier ground beef or pork sausage with a lot of fat you might want to drain the dish. If so do it now, before you add the spices and rice.
3. Deglaze the Instant Pot if necessary
Sometimes when you saute things in the Instant Pot little pieces of meat or vegetables get stuck to the bottom. This can cause a burn error once the Instant Pot is brought to pressure.
With this recipe there probably won’t be anything stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot. But it is always a good idea to check to be sure.
If there is some browned meat on the bottom add 1/4 cup of water or broth to the Instant Pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape it off.
4. Add the Remaining Ingredients
Add the Cajun spice, thyme, oregano and salt if desired. Then pour in the rice and the beef broth. Stir everything to mix it all together.
5. Pressure Cook
Put the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the sealing ring is in place and the valve is shut. Set the Instant Pot on Manual, high pressure for 6 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure.
Once the pressure cooker has finished let it naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Then you can manually release any remaining pressure and serve.
The last time I made this dish my husband was delayed at work and my Instant Pot stayed on the Keep Warm setting for about 90 minutes. I was a bit worried about how it would taste so long after cooking, but it was still delicious!
Different Types of Rice
I use white long grain rice in this dish. You could substitute white jasmine rice or white basmati rice, both of which take the same amount of time to cook.
If you want to use brown rice you’d need to increase the cooking time to 22 minutes. I haven’t tried this, but I think the ground beef would become tough and less appetizing with that long a cooking time. So I’d suggest sticking to white rice.
What to Serve With Dirty Rice
Traditionally dirty rice is garnished with parsley and green onion. It has protein, vegetables and a starch, so it is a complete meal by itself. I like to serve it with cornbread or a green salad.
Find More Instant Pot Recipes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup celery (2 stalks), chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup green pepper, (1/2 pepper), chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Cajun spice
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 cup white long grain rice
- 1 cup beef broth
- parlsey and green onion to garnish
- Set the Instant Pot on Saute and let it heat for 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and stir, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the celery, onion and green pepper. Stir to combine and cook for another 3 minutes, then turn the pressure cooker off.
- If you want to drain the grease out of the Instant Pot do it now. I don't bother.
- Deglaze the Instant Pot if necessary. I don't find it necessary with this dish - but check to be sure. If there are bits of browned meat or vegetables stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot then you need to deglaze it. To deglaze add 1/4 cup water or broth and stir to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Add the Cajun spice, thyme, oregano and salt. Then add the rice and beef broth. Stir to mix well.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, checking to make sure the seal is in the lid and the valve is shut. Set it on Manual, high pressure for 6 minutes.
- It will take about 10 minutes for it to reach pressure. Once it is done cooking let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then release any remaining pressure and serve.
- Garnish with parsley and green onions.
You can substitute white jasmine rice or white basmati rice. Brown rice will take longer cooking time which would probably effect the texture of the beef. So I'd suggest sticking with white rice.
You could use ground chicken, ground pork or sausage instead of the ground beef without altering the recipe.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 1687mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 33g
Nutrition facts are estimates.