Vegetarian Dirty Rice

It's filthy good.

Vegetarian Dirty Rice
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer; Food Stylist: Mary Clayton Carl
Active Time:
28 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs

This meatless recipe is the "cleanest" dirty rice out there, thanks to a handful of flavorful ingredients. Classic Cajun dirty rice is made with a host of meats, such as sausage, bacon, and even chicken gizzards. This recipe gets its rich umami from a combination of sautéed mushrooms and smoky tempeh bacon, which team up with the "holy trinity" of Louisiana cooking—onion, celery, and bell pepper—plus plenty of spices to deliver a flavorful and satisfying rice side dish.

Ready in under an hour with just 30 minutes of active cooking time, this recipe is a wonderful way to get a healthy fall dish on the table for your family with a minimal amount of fuss. In fact, this hearty vegetarian dirty rice is filling enough to stand alone as a main dish, making it a great way to spice up your next meatless Monday.


  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. fresh cremini mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped (reserve stems for another use) 

  • 1 (6-oz.) pkg. smoky tempeh bacon (such as Lightlife), chopped

  • 1 large poblano chile, finely chopped (about 1 cup) 

  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup) 

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 

  • ¼ cup dry white wine 

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided 

  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's) 

  • 3 ½ cups vegetable stock, divided

  • 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms have cooked down to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a small bowl, and set aside. (Do not wipe skillet clean.)

  2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet, and heat over medium-high. Add tempeh bacon, poblano, onion, celery, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften and tempeh bacon is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add wine to skillet; cook, stirring constantly to scrape up browned bits, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Add rice and 1 tablespoon of the butter to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until rice has started to toast and turn golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in Creole seasoning, reserved cooked mushrooms, and 3 cups of the stock.

  3. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, undisturbed, 20 minutes. Uncover; stir in 1/4 cup of the stock. Cover and continue to simmer, undisturbed, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Uncover; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 cup stock. Cover; let steam 5 minutes. Uncover; fluff mixture with a fork. Sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.

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