Cajun Rice Dressing is a dish always served during our Thanksgiving meal. It's tradition and expected. Perfectly moist and full of deep flavors from the different meat combinations.
As mentioned, it is a popular dressing recipe for southerners at Thanksgiving. This recipe is a vintage one handed down through the generations.
❤️ Why you'll love it
- We don't skip any of the ingredients that the old timers used. Those gizzards and livers are a central component of a rice dressing and give it its perfectly moist texture.
- Using those ingredients give it so much flavor very little seasoning is needed, just a little salt and pepper.
- It's one of the best side dishes at Thanksgiving. In South Louisiana we decide from 3 different dressings: Cornbread dressing, Oyster Dressing or a Rice Dressing like this one.
- Yellow Onions
- Green Bell Pepper
- Fresh Parsley
- Green Onions
- Chicken Livers
- Chicken Gizzards
- Turkey Wings
- Breakfast Sausage
- Cooked White Rice
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities.
- Step 1: Add your holy trinity of chopped onions, bell peppers and celery to a large pot, along with the gizzards, livers and turkey wings.
- Step 2: Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on a low heat or medium heat depending on your stove, for one hour.
- Step 3: Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes before handling the meat.
- Step 4: Remove the turkey wings from the broth (save the broth you'll be using it later). Strip the meat from the wings and discard the bones.
- Step 5: Using a slotted spoon remove the rest of the meat from the pot. You'll have to skim through the chopped vegetables and stuff to find the meaty parts. Set aside.
- Step 6: To another heavy bottomed pot (I like to use my Dutch Oven for this) add the remaining onions, bell pepper and celery along with the breakfast sausage.
- Step 7: Cook over medium-high heat until no pink remains and the onions are soft. Add chopped garlic, parsley, green onions, cooked rice and ground meat mixture. Stir to combine then do a taste test. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Step 8: Pour the Cajun rice dressing mixture into a well greased 13x9" casserole dish. Level out with the back of a spoon.
- Step 9: Pour 3 cups of the reserved broth evenly over the top of the dressing. It should almost come over the top of the dressing (but not quite).
- Step 10: Bake in the oven, preheated to 400°F for 35 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Hint: You could save the remaining broth (after straining the remnants out) in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and use any time a recipe calls for chicken broth.
🔄 Substitutions and Variations
- Turkey Thigh- instead of wings.
- Cream of Mushroom Soup - if you're not a fan of the organ meat I've heard some people substitute with cream of mushroom.
- Worcestershire Sauce - to add a little umami, you shouldn't due to the liver etc.
- Hot Sauce - if you like a little kick add a little hot sauce, or maybe offer it when serving.
- Creole Spices - you could add some Creole Seasoning if you feel it needs a little something more.
- Ground Beef - use 1 lb of ground beef instead of the breakfast sausage but then you'll need to add extra seasoning.
- Ground Pork - use a pound ground pork instead of breakfast sausage, but then you really will need more seasoning. Especially sage etc, which is traditionally in breakfast sausage and you'll miss it in a rice dressing.
- Chili Powder - If you want that little extra.
- Beef Stock - if you decided against the organ meat and now need some stock.
- Bay Leaves - add to the broth when cooking.
- Cayenne Pepper - add a teaspoon cayenne pepper for heat.
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I like to use my Dutch oven for most things. This rice dressing recipe is no exception.
I also love my cast iron enamel casserole dish. I use it for most things needing a casserole dish, it keeps the heat nice and even all around the pot. It also holds the heat after taking out of the oven nicely too.
I have some affiliate links in the below recipe card for more info.
📘 More Holiday Recipes
- Baked Oyster Dressing
- Jiffy Corn Casserole in the Crock Pot
- Cajun Turkey Breast
- Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese
- Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
- Dried Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Cajun Cornbread Dressing
After allowing to cool completely cover the dish with foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Expert Tip: Due to the nature of breakfast sausage, having a lot of spice, like sage, there's not much need for any more seasoning. I add about 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper at the end but that's it.
This depends on who you talk to. It's a subject that can have Cajuns having some fighting talk. I think it's pretty much the same thing, everyone's recipes are different. Depending on their tastes and whether you call it Cajun dirty rice vs rice dressing - it's all good on a plate with some sliced turkey!
If you’ve tried this Cajun Rice Dressing Recipe or any other great recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section below, how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- 4 Celery Stalks, divided
- 2 Medium Onions, divided
- 2 Green Bell Peppers, divided
- 1lb Chicken Gizzards, cleaned
- 1lb Chicken Livers
- 4 Turkey Wings, skin removed
- 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
- ½ Cup Green Onions, chopped
- 3 Cups Cooked Rice
- ⅓ Cup Chopped Parsley
- 1lb Breakfast Sausage (ground)
- Salt and Pepper To Taste
- Clean the gizzards by removing the tough membrane on the back.
- Add to a large heavy bottomed pot along with 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped bell pepper, 2 stalks chopped celery, drained chicken livers and the turkey wings (skin removed).
- Add water, enough to cover all the ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- Remove the turkey wings and pull the meat off. Discard the bones.
- Go through the pot with a slotted spoon picking out the meat (livers, gizzards, broke off turkey pieces etc.
- Do not discard the broth, you'll be using that in a while.
- Using a food processor grind the meat and set aside.
- Turn on your oven to 400°F.
- In another heavy bottomed pot add the remaining chopped onion, bell pepper and celery along with the breakfast sausage meat. Cook until no pink remains. Add the garlic, chopped parsley, green onions, ground meats and cooked rice. Stir to combine. Give a taste test and add salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Pour the dressing mixture into a well greased 13x9 casserole dish. Spread out evenly.
- Carefully pour the 3 cups of reserved broth over the rice dressing mixture. It should almost come up to the top of the dressing.
- Cook in the oven for 35 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.
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Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 547Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 522mgSodium 521mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 56g