Are you looking for the perfect side dish to serve with your mouthwatering batch of dirty rice?
If so, look no further!
There are tons of sides that pair perfectly with this savory and classic Southern-style dish.
We’ve done our research—scouring our favorite recipe websites and cookbooks to come up with 14 unique, yet delicious dishes that we think would make a great accompaniment to your plate of deliciousness.
Not only will these recipes add variety to your meal but they’ll also help bring all sorts of flavor profiles into it, making it an unforgettable feast!
So get ready; we’re about to take you on a virtual tour around the world as you discover new flavors and experience tantalizing tastes like never before!
What to Serve with Dirty Rice? Try These 14 Sides
1. Smothered Chicken
This dish is traditionally made with chicken thighs, but you can use whatever chicken pieces you like.
The key to making this dish is to cook the chicken until it is incredibly tender and then smother it in a flavorful gravy.
This dish is usually served over rice, but you could also serve it with mashed potatoes or any other type of starch.
The taste of this dish is rich and savory, with a hint of sweetness from the gravy.
The texture of the dish is creamy and comforting.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish and make it even more special.
First, you can use bone-in chicken for more flavor.
You can also add some chopped bacon or sausage to the gravy for an extra bit of richness.
Finally, if you want to really impress your guests, you can make your own homemade gravy.
2. Red Beans and Rice
There are few things more comforting than a big bowl of red beans and rice.
This dish is hearty and filling but can also be lightened up by using leaner cuts of meat or vegetarian options.
The key to great red beans and rice is in the seasoning.
You want to make sure that your rice is nicely seasoned, as this will be the base of the dish.
Then, you’ll want to add in your beans, meats, and vegetables.
The final touch is a bit of hot sauce or Creole seasoning to really give it some zing.
If you’re looking for a heartier dish, opt for Andouille sausage or ham hocks.
For a vegetarian version, try using smoked tofu or tempeh.
The key to great red beans and rice is in the seasoning, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices until you find a combination that you love.
Jambalaya is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for any occasion.
This dish is traditionally made with rice, meat, and vegetables and can be customized to your liking.
One of the best things about jambalaya is that it is packed with flavor, and can be easily made in one pot.
When it comes to taste, jambalaya is a bit spicy, but the heat can be toned down by adding less of the spices.
The dish is also very savory, and the rice soaks up all of the flavors from the meats and vegetables.
Jambalaya is also a great dish to make ahead of time, as it only gets better with age.
If you want to elevate your jambalaya dish, there are a few things you can do.
First, you can add more vegetables to the dish.
This will add more flavor and nutrients.
You can also switch up the meat you use.
Instead of chicken or sausage, try using shrimp or lobster.
And finally, don’t forget to top off your jambalaya with some green onions and hot sauce.
Gumbo is a dish that originates from Louisiana, and it typically contains seafood, sausage, and vegetables.
The dish is served over rice, and it has a thick, stew-like consistency.
Gumbo is usually made with a roux, which is a mixture of flour and fat that is used to thicken the dish.
Gumbo has a rich, savory flavor, and the texture can vary depending on how much roux is used.
If you want a heartier gumbo, then you can add more roux to the dish.
The vegetables and meat that you add to the gumbo will also contribute to the overall flavor.
There are many ways that you can elevate this dish.
One way is to use fresh seafood instead of frozen.
Another way is to make your own sausage instead of using store-bought.
And finally, you can experiment with different vegetables to find the perfect combination for your gumbo.
Cornbread is a classic Southern dish that can be enjoyed on its own or as a side to another dish.
The cornbread itself is usually moist and dense, with a slightly sweet flavor from the cornmeal.
It’s then traditionally baked in a cast iron skillet, giving it a crispy outer crust.
There are endless ways to enjoy cornbread, but one of the best is to top it with honey butter.
The sweetness of the honey complements the cornbread perfectly, and the butter makes it even more moist and delicious.
You can also add other toppings like crumbled bacon or shredded cheese.
If you want to elevate your cornbread game, try adding some diced jalapenos or green onions to the batter before baking.
This will give it a little bit of a kick and make it even more flavorful.
Serve with your favorite chili or soup recipe for a complete meal.
6. Crawfish Etouffee
Crawfish etouffee is a classic Louisiana dish that is traditionally served over rice.
This dish is packed with flavor and has a rich, creamy texture that will leave you wanting more.
While crawfish etouffee is typically served as-is, there are a few simple ways to elevate this dish and make it even more delicious.
One way to elevate the flavors in your crawfish etouffee is to add some fresh herbs.
A sprinkle of parsley or thyme can really brighten up the flavors and take this dish to the next level.
If you want a bit more of a kick, try adding some cayenne pepper or hot sauce to your etouffee.
Just be careful not to add too much, as you don’t want to overwhelm the delicate flavors of the crawfish.
Another way to make your etouffee even more special is to serve it over something other than plain rice.
Try serving it over a bed of creamy grits or crispy fried shrimp for an extra-special treat.
You could also top your etouffee with a dollop of sour cream or crumbled bacon for an extra-rich and decadent meal.
7. Shrimp Remoulade
If you’re looking for a dish that’s both tasty and elegant, shrimp remoulade is a great option.
This classic French dish is typically made with boiled shrimp, a mayonnaise-based sauce, and a variety of seasonings.
The result is a dish that’s creamy, tangy, and slightly spicy – perfect for any special occasion.
One of the best things about shrimp remoulade is its versatility.
The dish can be served chilled or at room temperature, making it ideal for both summer and winter menus.
It also pairs well with a variety of side dishes, from simple green salads to more elaborate rice or potato dishes.
If you’re looking to elevate your shrimp remoulade, there are a few simple tips you can follow.
First, be sure to use fresh shrimp – frozen shrimp will not give you the same results.
Second, don’t be afraid to experiment with the seasoning.
A little bit of cayenne pepper or Old Bay seasoning can go a long way in terms of flavor.
Finally, if you’re serving the dish cold, be sure to allow enough time for it to chill properly in the fridge before serving.
Beignets are a type of fried dough that is popular in New Orleans.
They are often served as breakfast food or as a dessert.
Beignets are made by deep frying dough that has been rolled out and cut into squares.
The result is a light and fluffy pastry that is covered in powdered sugar.
Beignets have a light and airy texture with a slight crunch on the outside.
The dough is yeasted, which gives it a slightly tangy flavor.
The fried dough is then coated in powdered sugar, which adds sweetness and contrast to the dish.
There are many ways to elevate this dish.
One way is to fill the beignets with flavored cream cheese or chocolate before frying them.
Another way is to top them with fruit or icing after they have been fried.
Beignets can also be served with savory dipping sauces such as honey mustard or ranch dressing.
Étouffée is a dish that originates from Louisiana.
It is typically made with shrimp or crawfish and served over rice.
The dish gets its name from the French word étouffer, which means “to suffocate.
” This refers to the method of cooking étouffée, which is slow and in a closed pot.
The result is a dish that is packed with flavor.
Étouffée is rich and savory, with a slightly spicy kick.
The shrimp or crawfish is cooked until it is tender and falling apart, and the sauce has a thick consistency.
There are many ways to elevate étouffée and make it even more delicious.
One way is to add Andouille sausage to the dish for extra flavor.
You can also top étouffée with green onions or serve it with a side of cornbread.
Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy this classic Louisiana dish.
10. New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimps
New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp is a dish that is packed with flavor.
The shrimp are usually seasoned with a dry rub or spice blend, then grilled or baked.
The shrimp are then smothered in a tangy, buttery BBQ sauce.
The taste of New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp is savory and slightly spicy, with a hint of sweetness from the BBQ sauce.
The texture of the shrimp is firm and juicy.
To elevate this dish, try serving it over a bed of dirty rice.
The rice will help soak up all the delicious sauce and flavors.
You can also add some chopped green onions or parsley for extra color and flavor.
11. Po’Boy Sandwich
A po’boy sandwich is a classic Louisiana dish that consists of a sandwich made with French bread and filled with either roast beef or fried seafood.
The most popular seafood fillings are shrimp, oysters, and catfish.
Po’ boys are usually served dressed, which means that they come with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise.
The combination of crispy bread, fresh vegetables, and juicy meat or seafood make for a delicious and hearty sandwich.
There are a few things you can do to elevate your po’boy sandwich.
One is to use quality ingredients – fresh bread, good-quality meat or seafood, and ripe vegetables.
Another is to add some spice to the sandwich by including pickled peppers or hot sauce.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your fillings.
In addition to the classic roast beef and fried shrimp, try fillings like pulled pork, grilled chicken, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.
12. Muffuletta Sandwich
The muffuletta sandwich is a New Orleans classic.
It’s a hearty sandwich made with a round loaf of Italian bread, filled with layers of ham, salami, and cheese, then topped with an olive salad.
The sandwich is then pressed and left to marinate overnight so the flavors can meld together.
The result is a sandwich that is packed with flavor.
The salty meats and cheeses are offset by the tangy olive salad, making for a perfect bite every time.
The texture of the sandwich is also amazing, with the crunchy bread giving way to the smooth meats and cheeses.
If you’re looking to elevate your muffuletta game, there are a few things you can do.
First, make sure you use high-quality meats and cheeses.
Second, don’t be afraid to get creative with your olive salad.
Add in some chopped peppers or olives for extra flavor and texture.
And finally, don’t skimp on the bread.
A good quality loaf of Italian bread will make all the difference in your sandwich.
13. King Cake
In New Orleans, Mardi Gras isn’t complete without a king cake.
This traditional pastry is made with a rich, brioche-like dough that’s filled with cinnamon sugar and often decorated with colorful frosting and sprinkles.
While the taste and texture of king cake are definitely unique, there are some ways you can elevate this dish and make it even more special.
One way to do this is by filling the cake with a different flavor of filling.
Instead of cinnamon sugar, you could try using chocolate or even a fruit filling.
Another way to change things up is by decorating the cake in a different way.
Instead of the traditional frosting and sprinkles, you could try using edible flowers or even get creative with the colors.
Pralines are a classic Southern treat that is perfect for any occasion.
These delicious candied nuts are coated in rich, creamy caramel and have a deep, nutty flavor that is irresistible.
Pralines are relatively easy to make at home, and they make a great addition to any dessert table.
The key to making great pralines is to use fresh, quality ingredients.
Be sure to use good-quality nuts, such as pecans or almonds, and use fresh cream and butter for the best results.
The pralines will also have a better texture if you let them cool completely before eating them.
If you’re looking for a way to elevate your pralines, try serving them with a scoop of ice cream or using them as a topping for cheesecake or brownies.
You can also chop them up and use them in place of chopped nuts in cookie recipes.
So, there you have it. Fourteen of the best side dishes to serve with dirty rice.
No matter what your preference is, there is sure to be a dish on this list that will complement your dirty rice perfectly.
Do you have a favorite side dish to serve with dirty rice? Let us know in the comments below.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!