Vegetarian/Vegan dirty rice - A Cajun-style recipe

Rice and beans
Juanmonino / Getty Images
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Ratings (6)

Who needs meat to make a flavorful rice dish? Yes, you can even make an all-vegan "dirty rice" dish without meat! As long as you've got celery, peppers and onions, you've got plenty of flavor! This recipe for vegetarian and vegan dirty rice and beans is made with brown rice instead of regular white rice, kidney beans, celery, garlic, green peppers, Cajun seasoning and thyme. Try it for a healthy and budget-friendly brown rice and red beans recipe - perfect for vegetarians and vegans on a budget or for anyone just looking for a simple, nourishing and filling meat-free meal to feed the family quick.

If you like cooking up rice and beans, check out these eight creative ways to make rice and beans, or check out more simple vegetarian meat-free dinner ideas.

This vegetarian and vegan dirty rice recipe is also cholesterol-free, low-calorie, low-fat and completely gluten-free, and it's a great way to use up some leftover rice.

Scroll down for more vegetarian rice and beans recipes to try.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Bush's® Beans.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped small
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 can (16 ounces) red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice or leftover rice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin

How to Make It

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and then add the onion, green bell pepper, celery, garlic, Cajun seasoning and thyme. Allow to heat, stirring for about four to five minutes.
  2. Next, stir in the red kidney beans and the vegetable broth, combining well, then stir in the cooked or leftover brown rice.
  3. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Allow everything to cook for at least ten minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a bit more liquid, so check to make sure the rice isn't burning. 
  1. Remove the rice from heat and add in the sliced green onions and season well with salt and pepper, to taste. I recommend sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately while still nice and hot!

Makes 8 servings as a side dish or, count on 6 if you'll be serving this as an entree.

Serving suggestion:
For a complete Cajun-inspired meat-free meal, serve up this dirty brown rice and beans with a side of Southern-style collard greens, or top off your dirty rice with some baked or grilled tofu. This easy blackened tofu would be a nice complement to round out your meal.

Nutritional information, per serving:
Calories: 141
Total Fat 3g
Sodium 298mg
Dietary Fiber 5g
Protein 5g
Sugars 2g
Cholesterol 0mg

A meal of rice and beans is a simple, budget-friendly crowd-pleaser whether or not you're vegetarian or vegan. ​Here's a few more ways to make healthy, cheap vegetarian and vegan meals using rice and beans:​

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 360
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 108 mg
Carbohydrates 67 g
Dietary Fiber 13 g
Protein 16 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)