Down Home Cooking: Creole Dirty Rice- Vegan Style

If you have never made Creole Dirty Rice, then you want to get making this recipe quick! This is the one pot dish that gives you all that deep-down-satisfying, packed-with-spices, no-way-boring flavor that will make seconds a must! I make this recipe in the Instant Pot, but you can make it on the stovetop as well. Serve it up with Pan Fried Plantain Cakes

Creole Dirty Rice in a bowl

The Difference between Creole and Cajun

Although both Creole and Cajun food are both native to Louisiana, they are more than just a cuisine. Each of these groups have their own culture and history and make up the very distinct Louisiana style of cooking that spice lovers like me adore. There are many similarities in the two styles of cooking, but the differences set the tone of the dish:

  • Creole can be described as "city" cooking, as it was originally a class distinction for the people of New Orleans. The creole kitchen stems from the historic ties to French, Carribean, and Spanish ancestry, although is more of a melting pot than the cajun kitchen. Tomatoes and butter are the defining ingredients, used heavily in Creole cooking, but not found in the typical cajun kitchen. This is because the more affluent Creole society of early New Orleans had access to canned tomatoes and finer ingredients that the cajuns did not.
  • Cajuns were originally from France and ended up in Louisiana by way of Canada. Their exile from the Acadia region of Canada is the origin of their name, coming from the French word "Les Acadiens". In the same way Creole food is described as "city" cooking, Cajun food can be described as "country" cooking. Cajun food was often made up of foods that could easily be foraged, fished, or hunted and tended to use the whole of everything.

One thing is for certain, both of these cuisines are rich with multi-cultural history and spices that make the food come alive. This down home cooking Creole Dirty Rice will hopefully become a staple in your vegan recipe repertoire. *Down for a good read? This book will blow your mind on a culture and people that set the background for what we're cooking here.

Why Dirty Rice is called Dirty

Dirty rice gets it's name from the color the rice takes on from all of the charred ingredients and [usually] meats. In this vegan style of Creole Dirty Rice, I use a vegan sausage crumble that I cook in with the caramelized onions and peppers.

impossible sausage

This is the type of sausage I use in my recipe, but substitute any

The Spices in Creole Seasoning

The spices used in this recipe can be blended together in a larger batch and kept in your spice cupboard for whenever you want a Creole twist to a dish. Use it as a spice rub for vegetables before roasting, or mix it with butter to spread on corn or potatoes. The ingredients are simple, the ratios are in the recipe:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Dried Thyme
  • Bay Leaf
  • Cayenne

The Benefits of Creole Dirty Rice in the Instant Pot

I have to say I was reluctant, at first, about purchasing an Instant Pot. However, for the relatively cheap cost, I have found it to be an invaluable addition to my kitchen and I honestly use it ALL THE TIME. It has actually become my preferred way to cook any rice (and I am a big rice eater). Instant pots aren't just slow cookers, they are pressure cookers. Not only do they cook quickly, but once you get used to them, they are fairly straight forward and easy to use. The ratio for rice (no matter what kind) is always 1 cup to 1 cup: rice to water. It doesn't get much simpler than that. (note: I use on the "pressure cook" setting, not the "rice cook" setting).

I use the basic, simple Instant Pot. Nothing fancy needed.


Creole Dirty Rice

Creole Dirty Rice- Vegan Style

This is the one pot dish that gives you all that deep-down-satisfying, packed-with-spices, no-way-boring flavor that will make seconds a must!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Recipes- Grains
Cuisine Creole


To Make the Creole Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne
  • 2 Bay Leaves

For the Dirty Rice

  • 2 Tbl Vegetable Oil
  • 1 medium Red Onion
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 small Poblano Pepper or green bell pepper
  • 4 stalks Celery
  • 4 oz Vegan Sausage smashed or crumbled
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Canned Diced Tomato
  • 2 cups Jasmine Rice rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups Water


  • Combine all the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Chop the onion, peppers, and celery into approximately ½" pieces and set aside, keeping the onion separate from the other ingredients. Have all of your other ingredients ready.
  • Turn the Instant Pot onto "sauté" setting for 15 minutes.  
  • Add the oil and the onions and stir well.  Let the onions cook until they brown (about 4 minutes).  
  • Add the peppers, celery, and spices and stir well.  Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add in the sausage and break up with a spoon while stirring in with the rest of the mix.  Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is browned and crumbled (about 3 minutes).
  • Next add in the rice, tomatoes, and the water and stir well, making sure that you scrape the bottom so that nothing sticks.
  • Place the lid on the machine and set at "pressure cook" high for 18 minutes.
  • Once done, quick release the steam and let sit for 5 minutes before removing lid.
  • Fluff with fork and serve hot.
Keyword creole, creole cooking, dirty rice, gluten free, vegan, vegan recipes
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