Cajun Rice is a flavorful and slightly spicy rice dish that will add some Louisiana spice into your week night dinner routine. It is fairly easy to put together and makes an amazing side dish. It starts with the holy trinity of onion, peppers, and celery and then gets seasoned with all the Cajun flavors you love like; chilies, garlic, oregano, thyme, and smoked paprika.
The Cajun Rice recipe starts with a Holy Trinity, which is similar to a mirepoix, but it is the Cajun version and uses peppers instead of carrots. So this Holy Trinity mixture is diced onion, pepper, and celery (plus garlic).
Then you will of course need rice. We like to use a simple long grain white rice for this recipe. If you choose a different type of rice make sure you follow the cooking time on your packaging.
Chicken Stock or Broth is the chosen cooking liquid for the rice. It adds a layer of flavor that water won’t give you.
To make this “Cajun” rice we are going to add a nice mix of seasonings from your spice cabinet. You will want to grab; smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a bay leaf.
How To Make Cajun Rice
- Sauté the Holy Trinity in the butter.
- Add the rinsed rice and garlic and sauté another 3 minutes.
- Measure in the seasonings and spices.
- Pour in the chicken broth.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover.
- Simmer covered for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered another 5 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork, remove the bay leaf, and serve.
Cajun Rice Tips and Troubleshooting
Sometimes rice can be tricky to get JUST right. Cooked al dente, but not undercooked, and you definitely don’t want it to be overcooked and mushy. There are a few key tips for cooking perfect rice.
- Make sure you rinse your rice well before adding to the pot. This removes some of the rice starch and makes for fluffier rice instead of creamy rice (like risotto).
- You want to bring the rice to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer (low heat).
- Don’t use the old school ratio of 2:1 liquid to rice. Using a little less liquid, about 1.5:1 liquid to rice, will produce a fluffier rice and not a mushy rice.
- Use a pot with a tight fitting lid. Then keep the lid on and don’t peek. You need the steam to stay in the pot to cook the rice properly.
- Finish the rice covered for 5 minutes off the heat.
If your rice isn’t cooked all the way through, add another ¼ or ⅓ cup of water or chicken broth and pop back over low heat with the lid on. Just another 5 minutes. Then check again.
If your rice is overcooked and mushy, unfortunately you are out of luck on this round. You can try some of these tips to save mushy rice : ( but I have not tried to see if they really do work. The good thing is that your Cajun Rice will still TASTE great!
More Cajun Recipes To Love
We absolutely love the flavors of Louisiana style Cajun Cuisine here at Mom’s Dinner. Here are some other recipes to try next time you want a little Cajun for dinner.
Perfect Cajun Rice Recipe
- Pot with tight fitting lid
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 1 stalk celery finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- ½ cup yellow or white onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice rinsed well of extra rice starch (see notes)
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika make sure to use "smoked"
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Bay Leaf
- pinch red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock
- OPTIONAL – add a fresh diced jalapeno with the peppers and onions for extra spice!
- In a pot over medium heat add the butter and let it melt. Add the celery, peppers, and onion, sauté until they are softening, about 7-8 minutes.(add the jalapeno too, if using for extra heat)3 tablespoon butter, 1 stalk celery, 1 red bell pepper, ½ cup yellow or white onion
- Add the garlic and rice. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.1 ½ cups long grain white rice, 3 garlic cloves
- Measure in all the seasonings and spices. Stir around for 1 minute.¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, Bay Leaf, pinch red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper
- Pour in the chicken stock and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot.2 ½ cups chicken stock
- Bring to a boil, make sure all the rice grains are in the liquid, then cover the pot and lower the heat to low.
- Simmer covered for 18 minutes, without peaking. Remove from the heat and keep covered for 5 more minutes to finish cooking.
- Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Taste for additional seasoning or spices.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.