Easy dirty rice recipe – Lebanese-style

This is not the authentic dirty rice recipe that you will find in Southern kitchens. Nevertheless, this recipe is a keeper. It is made with ground lamb and is full of Middle Eastern flavors. It is super easy to make, and just like the traditional dirty rice, it makes a perfect meal for a busy weeknight.

dirty rice on a plate served with fresh cilantro leaves and red chilies
The post has extra tips to make sure the recipe comes out amazing on your first try. If you're in a rush, use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end! 👩‍🍳🔝

Why you should give this recipe a go

I am very excited to share this recipe. We have had it multiple times in the last month because it is so quick and easy to make and is packed with flavors. Mhh.. the rice cooked in chicken stock is sooo good!! My kids love this rice pilaf too, which is always a BIG plus. It’s what a perfect weeknight dinner looks like when we need minimal washing up (hello, one-pot meal) and as little fuss in the kitchen as possible.


  • Lamb mince (ground lamb): I use regular ground meat, not the low-fat version.
  • Basmati rice, well rinsed.
  • Brown onion.
  • Carrots.
  • Chicken stock: Opt for homemade chicken stock if possible or opt for a good quality store-bought one.
  • Spices, such as sweet paprika, ground coriander, and ground cumin. If you like spicy food, add some cayenne pepper as well.
  • Fresh cilantro (coriander in Australia) or fresh parsley leaves to serve.
  • Olive oil.
  • Sea salt and black pepper to season.
ingredients needed to make dirty rice

Find the full list of ingredients in the recipe card below 👇 

Recipe variations

Meat: While I used lamb mince in this recipe, you can substitute ground chicken or ground beef. However, I find that minced lamb imparts authentic Middle Eastern flavors.

Rice: I prefer using white rice, particularly long-grain varieties like basmati, as they cook quickly and make the best dirty rice. Nonetheless, you can opt for brown rice or wild rice for a healthier twist; simply adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Veggies: Some finely diced green bell pepper, green beans, and celery are a great way to add more vegetables to the dish.

How to make dirty rice – Lebanese-style

  • Start by searing the ground lamb in a large skillet or Dutch oven with a little olive oil over medium-high heat. You can use a potato masher to break the meat down.
  • Once the lamb has browned slightly, add chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions have softened. Now, add the spices, mix, and let them fry for a minute until fragrant.
  • Next, add the grated carrots and mix well until the carrots have wilted.
  • Add the washed, uncooked rice, mix once again, and pour in the chicken stock, ensuring it is distributed evenly over the rice. Ideally, you would not have to mix the rice again. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes on low heat.
  • Once the chicken stock has leveled up with the rice and lamb, close the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.
  • After ten minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. It’s time to call your family to the dinner table!
a fork with dirty rice ready to be enjoyed

What side dish can I serve with rice pilaf?

This rice dish is a complete meal on its own, but if you like you can try it with my favorite roasted eggplant salad or with the spiced chickpea salad for a delicious crunch.

How to store and meal prep

Once the dirty rice has cooled completely, you can transfer it to a glass airtight container and refrigerate it for the next day. I do not recommend refrigerating rice for more than one day, as it may affect its quality. Additionally, rice doesn’t freeze well in my opinion.

If you would like to prepare it ahead of time, cook the meat and vegetables according to the instructions above, but do not add the rice. You can refrigerate or freeze the lamb mixture until ready to use. Then, simply add the rice as per the instructions and finish the dish. Enjoy!

I hope you won’t be disappointed with this new take on the classic Cajun dish and enjoy it as much as we do. If you like Cajun spices, make sure to try my quick cajun chicken with coleslaw.

More of our favorite rice dishes you will like:

Have you tried this recipe? If so, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could leave a star rating and share your thoughts in a comment. Your feedback means a lot to me, and it can also help others who are interested in trying it out. Thank you! 🌟👩‍🍳


dirty rice on a plate with fresh cilantro leaves

Easy dirty rice recipe – Lebanese-style

Elena Elliott
Try the new take on the classic Souther soul food. Our dirty rice is made with ground lamb and Middle Eastern spices. This one-pot meal imake a perfect family dinner. Enjoy!
5 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Middle eastern
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Large Dutch Oven


  • 500 grams ground lamb meat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized brown onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 cup long-grain rice such as basmati
  • 3 cups good quality chicken stock
  • Sea salt and black pepper to season


  • Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Sear the ground lamb until lightly browned, breaking it down with a potato masher.
    500 grams ground lamb meat, 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Add chopped onion to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Then, add the spices, stirring well, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
    1 medium-sized brown onion, finely diced, 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Mix in grated carrots until wilted, then add the washed, uncooked rice to the skillet. Stir to combine.
    2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated, 1 cup long-grain rice such as basmati
  • Pour chicken stock evenly over the mixture, ensuring the rice is covered. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes on low heat.
    3 cups good quality chicken stock
  • Once the chicken stock has nearly leveled with the rice and lamb, cover the skillet with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Do not lift the lid during this time.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the skillet from heat and let it rest, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy your meal with your family!


  1. Use long-grain rice, such as basmati, for best results. Its texture and quick cooking time make it ideal for this dish.
  2. Ensure the chicken stock is evenly distributed over the rice before simmering. This helps to cook the rice evenly and infuse it with flavor.
  3. Resist the temptation to lift the lid while the rice is cooking. Keeping the lid on allows the rice to steam properly and ensures a perfectly cooked dish.
Keyword dirty rice recipe
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