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Chickpea Dirty Rice

 The most delicious rice you've ever tasted. This Chickpea Dirty Rice is easy to make and full of flavour.

Chickpea Dirty Rice

Chickpea Dirty Rice


I've been meaning to make dirty rice for a while now. 

I have a rather long list of dishes in my notebook and on my phone (depending on when and where the idea hits me) that I'm desperate to try and this chickpea dirty rice is the latest.

The most delicious rice you will ever try.

I spent the whole meal stopping and saying "Oh my god, this stuff is gorgeous!" and "Oh my! This is just so, so good". 

Poor Graham never got any peace to enjoy his meal as I kept asking him to confirm this was the best rice he'd ever tasted.

The boy, well he was not quite as enamored, but he is a fusspot sometimes. His rice has to be plain. *sigh*.


What is dirty rice?


Dirty rice is rice cooked with spices and vegetables.

The 'dirty' refers to the colour of the rice which turns from white to a brown colour as it cooks.

Original recipes come from the plantations in Lousiana, where white rice was abundant and it was an easy way to feed a lot of people cheaply, adding spices and any vegetables or scraps they had.

It would originally include meat, if they had any, but sometimes it was just a vegetarian dirty rice if vegetables were all they had.

For my version, I included vegetables, chickpeas, roasted peanuts and a spiced sauce.

Read this history of dirty rice, which is also called creole rice, creole dirty rice or cajun fried rice.


Which kind of rice is used in Creole dirty rice?


Creole dirty rice is made with white rice.

Basmati rice would be a good choice but you could also use brown rice (which needs longer to cook) or jasmine rice. 

Any long grain rice would work.


Does rice need to be pre-cooked?


For this recipe, the rice has to be pre-cooked.

The rice is just stirred through to combine the flavours and to warm it through.

It is a quick dish.



Make it quick!


Of course, you could cook basmati rice from scratch.

A big old bag of rice is definitely a more frugal way of cooking as it's cheaper and lasts a long time.

However, I like dinner to be quick!

I used 2 bags of microwave (basmati) rice to make this dish.

I did make a large portion, but you could half the recipe.



Do you need to cook microwave rice before adding it to dishes?


Microwave rice is already partially cooked.

When you cook it for 2 minutes in the microwave, it is effectively heating it and steaming it a little to finish off the cooking time.

It can be poured straight into dishes and sauces without pre-cooking.

You can also add it straight into salads or wraps too.

Quick and easy rice, that's ready to use. A real time-saver.


Vegan Dirty Rice in a cast iron casserole pot

What do you need to make chickpea rice?


Here are the simple but delicious ingredients you need to make vegan dirty rice.

  • Olive Oil - or other mild oil
  • Onion - white or red onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Red Pepper - or orange or yellow bell pepper
  • Rice - I used microwave rice
  • Chickpeas - I used tinned (canned) chickpeas
  • Salted Peanuts - you could use cashews
  • Sriracha - or other hot sauce
  • Peanut Butter - or other nut butter
  • Soy Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper

open tin  of chickpeas


Tinned or dried chickpeas



It's up to you. You could use canned (which are pre-cooked) or soak and cook your own.

Using dried chickpeas is a cheaper option, but takes more preparation and time.

When making dirty rice, I like to use canned chickpeas to speed up the dish, but you can decide which type you would like to use.


How to soak and cook dried chickpeas



Here's a guide to soaking and cooking dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans).

  1. Sort through the dried chickpeas, removing any grit or discoloured chickpeas.
  2. Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl, cover with lots of fresh, cold water (they swell as they soak so be generous) and 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) per 500g (approximately 2 cups) of dried chickpeas.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave the chickpeas to soak overnight (8-10 hours).
  4. Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas, then add to a large pot and cover with water (about double the depth of the chickpeas), adding bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) again (as above).
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for up to one hour until they are tender.


Which vegetables can be added to a vegan dirty rice?



Here are a selection of vegetables that would work well in a cajun dirty rice recipe.

  • Bell Pepper - any colour
  • Broccoli - grated or cut into fine pieces
  • Carrots - grated
  • Cauliflower - grated or cut into fine pieces
  • Corn - kernels
  • Mushrooms - finely chopped
  • Parsnips - grated
  • Peas - fresh or frozen
  • Spring Onions (scallions) - sliced
  • Sugar Snap Peas (snow peas) - finely sliced


  • You can pretty much add any vegetables to a chickpea rice recipe like this, just grate, shred or chop them finely so they mix in with the rice grains, but don't take over.

    Dirty Rice Seasonings



    You can add a variety of seasonings, spices or sauces to any easy dirty rice recipe.

    Here are a few ideas:

    1. Dried oregano, dried parsley, paprika, chilli flakes and lemon juice.
    2. Cajun spice mix and vegetable stock.
    3. Cayenne pepper, paprika and dried sage with tomato puree and water.
    4. Paprika, red pepper flakes, vegetable stock and soy sauce.
    5. Garlic powder, celery seeds, creole spice mix and water.

    Scroll down for the full printable recipe (just under the step-by-step photos) which includes the seasoning and sauce I used to create the best dirty rice recipe.


    How long does dirty rice last in the fridge?



    As long as it is stored correctly, leftover dirty rice can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.

    Cool it quickly and store it in an airtight container.


    How do you cool rice quickly?



    Bacteria grows quickly on rice, so it is important to cool it quickly and not store it for more than a few days.

    To cool it quickly, remove it from the pot it was cooked in, immediately after cooking and transfer it into containers in smaller batches.

    This will speed up the cooling process and mean it is ready to chill in the fridge in individual portions.

    Make sure the containers are airtight and pop in the fridge as soon as it is cool. DO NOT leave it lying about.


    Can you freeze rice?



    Yes rice can be frozen.

    Follow the same steps as when you are chilling rice and storing it in the fridge.

    Do not keep in the freezer for longer than 3 months.



    How do you reheat rice safely?


     
    Here's how to reheat your leftover rice.

    From chilled (in the fridge)

    • Heat in a microwave - loosely covered for 5-6 minutes until piping hot.
    • Heat in a pot - until piping hot

    From frozen

    • Defrost in the fridge - then heat in the microwave or in a pot until piping hot

    Dirty rice served with spicy bean burgers & mac and cheese

    How to serve dirty rice



    I serve dirty rice with breaded spicy bean burgers and mac & cheese (try these 10 minute spicy bean burgers and microwave vegan mac and cheese)

    Here are some more serving ideas.

    1. Mexican bean burgers, dirty rice, corn, salsa and vegan sour cream.
    2. Vegetable spring rolls, dirty rice, salad leaves and sweet chilli sauce.
    3. Dirty rice and buttered crusty bread.
    4. Stir fried vegetables, tofu and dirty rice.
    5. In a burrito with grated vegan cheddar and salad.

    10 vegan chickpea recipes to try



    Here are a few more vegan chickpea recipes you may like to try next.

    1. Air Fryer Crispy Pizza Chickpeas
    2. Air Fryer Falafel
    3. Balti Potato Bake with Chickpeas
    4. Chickpea 'Meatballs'
    5. Chickpea Salad with Tomato Sauce & Seaweed
    6. Chickpea & Vegetable Hand Pies
    7. Easy Hummus Recipe
    8. Roast Vegetbale, Veggie Sausage & Chickpea Bake
    9. Slow Cooker Vegetable & Chickpea Curry
    10. Sriracha Chickpea & Avocado Wrap

    For more quick dinners like this chickpea and rice recipe, check out 21 Quick Vegan Meals for Midweek Dinners.

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    How to Make Veggie Dirty Rice

    Scroll down for step-by-step photos followed by a full printable recipe. If you don't have a printer, hit print then save as a PDF.

    Vegan Dirty Rice - Step 1 (onion and veg)

    Step 1

    1. In a large pan, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
    2. Add the carrot and peppers and cook gently for another few minutes until soft.


    Vegan Dirty Rice - Step 2 (spices and rice)

    Step 2

    1. Add the chickpeas, nuts and rice and mix well.
    2. Now start to add the sauce ingredients (full printable recipe below these step-by-step photos).


    Vegan Dirty Rice - Step 3 (sauce)

    Step 3

    1. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients. seasonings and water and mix well.
    2. Cook for a few minutes until heated through.
    3. Top with fresh parsley before serving.
    4. Serve and enjoy!
    See the recipe card for storage and freezing tips.

    creole rice, dirty rice, vegan rice, vegan dirty rice, chickpea rice, cajun rice
    dinner
    Creole, Cajun, vegan
    Yield: 4-6
    Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
    Chickpea Dirty Rice

    Chickpea Dirty Rice

    The most delicious rice you've ever tasted. This Chickpea Dirty Rice is easy to make and full of flavour.
    Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 25 Min

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 onion, halved and sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
    • 1 large carrot, grated
    • 1/2 red pepper, finely sliced
    • 240g (8 1/2 oz or 1 1/2 cups approx) cooked chickpeas (400g/14 oz can drained)
    • 150g (1 cup) salted peanuts (or cashews)
    • 500g (17 1/2 oz 2 3/4 cups approx) cooked basmati rice (I used microwave rice)
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons sriracha
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter)
    • 2- 3 tablespoons water (to loosen the mix)
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 handful of fresh parsley, to serve

    Instructions

    1. In a large pan, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
    2. Add the grated carrot and sliced peppers and cook gently for another few minutes.
    3. Add the cooked chickpeas, nuts and cooked rice and stir in.
    4. Now add the maple syrup, sriracha, soy sauce, peanut butter and water, season with salt and pepper and mix in well.
    5. Cook gently for a few minutes for the flavours to combine and the rice to heat through.
    6. Top with fresh parsley and serve.
    7. Enjoy!

    Notes

    Tips

    • You can pre-cook any long-grained rice like basmati rice to add to this dish or use microwave rice, which does not require pre-cooking.
    • You can use pre-cooked, canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or soak and cook dried chickpeas.
    • You can use other veg in this dish, just grate, shred or chop it finely.


    Storing Dirty Rice

    • As long as it is stored correctly, leftover dirty rice can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. Cool it quickly and store it in an airtight container.
    • To cool it quickly, remove it from the pot it was cooked in, immediately after cooking and transfer it into containers in smaller batches.
    • Rice can be frozen. Follow the same steps as when you are chilling rice and storing it in the fridge.
    • Do not keep in the freezer for longer than 3 months.


    Reheating Dirty Rice

    • From chilled (in the fridge)
    • Heat in a microwave - loosely covered for 5-6 minutes until piping hot.
    • Heat in a pot - until piping hot
    • From frozen
    • Defrost in the fridge - then heat in the microwave or in a pot until piping hot


    Calories

    4 portions = 421 calories in each serving

    5 portions = 337 calories in each serving

    6 portions = 281 calories in each serving

    Nutrition Facts

    Calories

    280.96

    Fat (grams)

    7.8

    Sat. Fat (grams)

    1.32

    Carbs (grams)

    44.95

    Fiber (grams)

    4.71

    Net carbs

    40.24

    Sugar (grams)

    8.74

    Protein (grams)

    8.72

    Sodium (milligrams)

    530.85

    Cholesterol (grams)

    0

    27 comments

    1. Added to my shopping list for Saturday dinner. Cannot wait to try it. K

      ReplyDelete
    2. Could I use almond butter? I really do not like peanut butter.

      ReplyDelete
    3. Sounds fab. I must try it!
      I have a question re cooking of chickpeas...why add the baking powder/soda(can't remember which!)
      I've just done some dried chickpeas without it...am I missing a trick?? Sarah

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. It's supposed to soften the skins, which is especially good for hummus. Not essential but a good tip.

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    4. I love all the bold flavors in this rice side dish!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thanks and yes it does taste rather wonderful.

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    5. Beautiful rice recipe Jacqueline! You have very useful tips and I love the way you present it all, thanks!

      ReplyDelete
    6. Loving the sound of this dirty rice Jac! Especially the peanut butter sriracha flavours.

      ReplyDelete
    7. This is such a unique recipe and I love it! I am all about chickpeas so this is right up my alley. Can't wait to try it!

      ReplyDelete
    8. This is so right up my alley. I love dirty rice, and I make chickpeas all the time. I've had them in all sorts of different ways, but I've never tried them like this.

      ReplyDelete
    9. I am always looking for new ways to cook with chickpeas and this rice looks amazing. So much flavour!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Oh yes, lots of flavour snd crunch from the nuts.

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    10. We loved this recipe, had been looking for new ways to eat chickpeas and this was delicious and quick to make!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Oh excellent. Good timing then. I'm so glad you enjoyed it

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    11. I have tried dirty rice when I was in the states a few years ago and loved it there. Your spin on it with peanuts and chickpeas sounds amazing.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Oh nice! And there are so many different flavours you can introduce to it

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    12. I love how much you jazzed up a rice dish. Adding peanut butter sounds so good! Can't wait to try this out thanks for the recipe!

      ReplyDelete
    13. Brilliant way to spice up your plate! SO easy and using widely available ingredients! Perfect little bit of excitement on the plate!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Oh yes and I do like my recipes to be easy with no weird or hard to find ingredients

        Delete
    14. This was delish! I didn’t have sriracha so I used sweet chilli sauce and no maple syrup.
      This tasted even better the next day.
      I put the veggies, chopped small, in a baking sheet as I had the oven in for something else, and cooked the veggie bits like that. Super easy

      ReplyDelete

    I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x