Vegetarian and Vegan Dirty Rice

Rice and beans on fork and in bowl
Juanmonino / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
156 Calories
2g Fat
28g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 397mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 14mg 70%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 366mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 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 quickly.

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.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, or leftover rice

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

Steps 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 4 to 5 minutes.

  2. 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 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a bit more liquid, so check to make sure the rice isn't burning. 

  4. Remove the rice from heat and add in the sliced green onions and season well with salt and pepper, to taste. We recommend sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately while still nice and hot.

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.