Puerto Rican Dirty Rice – Rice and Beans

Homemade dirty rice is spicy fried rice that’s usually associated with Cajun cuisine. This Puerto Rican 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 – Rice and Beans

Dirty Rice – Puerto Rican Style.

You might be asking why it is called dirty rice?

My version of Puerto Rican 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.

Here are the ingredients that you need to make dirty rice and beans.

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 Puerto Rican Fried Rice or another house favorite, my Easy Enchilada Pasta Bake.

THE BASIC Pantry Ingredients you’ll need

  • 3 cups cooked long-grain rice (from leftovers)
  • 2 cups browned ground beef (from leftovers)
  • 1 can small red beans
  • ½ cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp oil
Puerto Rican Dirty Rice – Rice and Beans

This faux sofrito is the flavor bomb in this Puerto Rican Rice and Beans.

How to Make Sofrito

Sofrito is a Puerto Rican version of Mirepoix. The sofrito ingredients here are a little bit bastardized, but it’s delicious. I use it here to add flavor to the Puerto Rican Dirty Rice. 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


  • green onions
  • tomatoes
  • fresh parsley

This Easy Rice and Beans Recipe Uses Simple Pantry Ingredients

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.

Puerto Rican Dirty Rice – Rice and Beans

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

Making the Puerto Rican Rice and Beans recipe is easy.

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.

How To Make Keto Dirty Rice

Can you make dirty rice keto? Yes, make it a Cauliflower Dirty Rice by using cauliflower rice instead of the long grain rice. For this recipe, you will probably need two heads of cauliflower, grated. You will end up with more than three cups of grated cauliflower, but the cauliflower rice will cook down a little.

Even More Rice Recipes?

  • Spam Fried Rice
  • Easy Curry Risotto

More One-Pot Comfort Food Recipes

  • Chili Verde
  • Firehouse Chili
  • Pork Ragu
  • Guinness Braised Short Ribs

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