Spicy Dirty Rice – Rice, and Beans

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Homemade dirty rice is spicy fried rice that’s usually associated with Cajun cuisine. This easy rice recipe is an inexpensive homemade version of dirty rice that is sure to satisfy your craving for comfort food.  Plus, you can make it in less than twenty minutes in one skillet.

Puerto Rican Dirty Rice Recipe made with ground beef, small red beans, puerto rican sofrito and fresh veggies. to
Dirty Rice – with a spicy twist.

What is dirty rice?

My version of Dirty Rice uses ground beef. But traditionally, dirty rice got its brown or dirty color from the finely chopped liver and gizzards. Offal, which is organ meat, adds a lot of rich, tasty flavor to the rice. Organ meats were cheap and often eaten by peasant and working class. Don’t let the name keep you from trying this though!

I am not afraid to eat offal. But, I know it can be intimidating if you haven’t ever cooked with it. Don’t worry; this recipe does not contain any liver.

Dirty rice is perfect when you have leftover ground beef.

Ground beef is one of my main meal prep staples. I like to brown up three to four pounds of grass-fed hamburger with some diced onion and a little bit of salt and pepper. I store my pre-prepped ground beef in the fridge or freezer.

Then when I have a night that I need to make something super quick, I can cook something like this quick and easy Fried Rice or another house favorite, my Easy Enchilada Pasta Bake.

THE BASIC Pantry Ingredients you’ll need

  • Rice: 3 cups of cooked long-grain rice (from leftovers)
  • Meat: 2 cups of browned ground beef (from leftovers)
  • Beans: 1 can of small red beans
  • Stock: ½ cup of stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • Spices: 2 tsp dried oregano, 1 ½ tsp chili powder, salt and pepper
Puerto Rican Sofrito Ingredients in a pan.
This faux sofrito is the flavor bomb in this fried rice and beans recipe.

How to Make Sofrito

Sofrito is a Puerto Rican version of Mirepoix. The sofrito ingredients here are a little bit bastardized, but give this fried rice a spicy kick.

Many of the ingredients used in traditional Puerto Rican Sofrito are not readily available in US stores. Check out the link about to get the real version.

I use it here to add spicy flavor to this mashup Dirty Rice Recipe. Traditional mirepoix is a mixture of carrots, celery, and onions and is used in French cooking to add flavor to soups, stocks, and sauces.

You can find a version of mirepoix in almost every ethnicity of food.

Sofrito Recipe

  • ½ sweet onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 pasilla peppers
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic

Fresh veggies to add at the end

  • green onions
  • tomatoes
  • fresh parsley

You can make this easy dirty rice recipe with ground beef, or you can add in shrimp or chicken if you want to.

If you are going to add another protein, you should add in half of the ground beef. So you could do 1 cup of ground beef plus 1 pound of shrimp or chicken.

Making Puerto Rican Dirty Rice - add ground beef and fresh veggies, then toss well until combined.

Leftover ground beef and aromatics make this Puerto Rican Dirty Rice so flavorful, and you can make it in one pan.

Step by Step Instructions

Because this is a one-skillet recipe, you have a lot less clean up. Everybody likes that.

  1. Start by heating a large skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Add the oil and let it get warm.
  3. Add in sofrito ingredients and sauté for about five minutes.
  4. Add in the cooked rice and ground beef. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix together the rice, ground beef, and sofrito.
  5. When everything is combined and warmed through, remove the dirty rice from the heat and add in the fresh tomatoes, green onions, and parsley.

Talk about a super easy dinner. I like to serve this dinner with a big fresh green salad and my Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing.

Even More Rice Recipes?

More One-Pot Comfort Food Recipes

Puerto Rican Dirty Fried Rice. recipe by foodology geek.

Spicy Dirty Rice

Dirty rice is an inexpensive and filling meal that you can get on the table in under 20 minutes. Made with leftover ground beef and rice. This mashup dirty rice recipe is meaty, spicy, and real comfort food.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course, Rice
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 8
Calories 274 kcal


Mirepoix (flavor bomb)

  • 2 tsp Oil, I prefer coconut oil
  • ½ Sweet onion, diced
  • 2 stalks Celery , diced
  • 2 Pasilla peppers, diced
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely minced

The Basics

  • 3 cups Cooked long grain rice, from leftovers
  • 2 cups Browned ground beef, from leftovers
  • 1 can Small red beans, drained
  • ½ cup Stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp Chili powder (affiliate link)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (affiliate link), adjust to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, adjust to taste

Remove From Heat and Add In

  • 1 cup Fresh tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup Green onions
  • ¼ cup Fresh parsley


  • Start with cooked rice and browned ground beef. If you don’t have these in the fridge already, make these first. 
  • Add the oil, celery, peppers, and garlic to a large pan. Cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are fragrant. Approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice, ground beef, beans, onions, oregano, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Mix until well incorporated. 
  • Add the chicken broth. This helps to degalze the pan and get all of the flavor into the rice.
  • Remove from heat and add tomatoes, green onions and parsley.
  • Have your self a big bowl of yum! 

Laura’s Tips + Notes

Keto/Paleo Adapt It: Use grated cauliflower instead of rice. 
Vegan Adapt It: Leave out the ground beef or use ground meat substitute instead.


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Calories: 274kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 16gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 256mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gCalcium: 49mgIron: 2.6mg
Keyword Easy, fast, one pot
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    1. Alexis, the chicken broth is added after you add in the veggies. I’ve updated the recipe. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I hope you love the recipe.

  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely loved this dish! I’m not Puerto Rican so I really can’t comment on the spices! But I do know this was tremendously tasty and so easy to make. What a wonderful addition to my weeknight meals. Thank you for taking the time to share. My husband and three sons thought this was a hit!

    1. Thank you so much Ginny! I am so happy to hear that you have a new recipe that you can put on repeat. Easy recipes are the best.

  2. Puerto Rican Dirty Rice; I made the Puerto Rican Dirty Rice on this non-traditional Easter. I am isolating by myself and have found cooking a great outlet for me. I originally had the bean and rice dish more than 50 years ago dish as a child of a large family. We extended the recipe with lots of rice to feed the 4 hungry kids in the family. Being more conscientious about carbohydrates today, I decided to update the dish by substituting the rice in the recipe with a half rice and half Quinoa mixture. It was great and I have lots of left overs for the next several days.

    1. Janice,
      I am so glad that this recipe came out so great with the quinoa. I am going to have to try that. I am love to hear about all of the substitutions that my readers are using.
      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Love, Laura

  3. I’ve never heard of “Puerto Rican” Dirty Rice. I was raised in Puerto Rico & my grandmother & great grandmother were great cooks. I love to cook too Puerto Rican & lots of other food.
    Don’t know where you got this recipe from or if it’s just made up. But I have never seen this on our tables in my family. I don’t even like the way it looks. It’s like a lazy Stovetop concoction. The sofrito isn’t ours either.

    1. This recipe is probably not an Authentic Puerto Rican recipe. It is more Puerto Rican Inspired. One of my best friends is Puerto Rican, Hawaii born and raised. She made this rice for a work pot luck. So I guess because I was inspired by my friend I consider it to be Puerto Rican insipered. Either way this fried rice is delish. It’s meant to be a mash up of Cajun dirty rice + my friend rice and beans.

    1. Yes, you can replace the beans with leftover habichuelas guisadas. I would just make sure that you strain the liquid off of the beans first. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

    1. This recipe is a loose interpretation of my best friends rice and beans recipe. She is Puerto Rican. I do realize this is more of a Puerto Rican inspired recipe. 😎

  4. Thats not Sofrito from Puerto Rico. I’m a Puerto Rican Chef I specialize in Puerto Rican Cuisine
    And one thing we pride in is spices. Natural slices herbs. Culantro and Cilantro are esential in the sofrito without that. If you want traditional recipes and procedures you can hit me up anytime. Especially now in these times. .

    1. Ricardo,
      I would love to hear more about traditional Puerto Rican Sofrito. I have never even heard of culantro. Send me a quick email, and I would love to hear more about your recipes. And if you have anything that you would be willing to share, I would love to recreate and share it here.

      Love, Laura

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