Kel’s “Kind-of-Like-Bojangles” Dirty Rice

Kel's Cafe dirty rice

Tailgating in the South? If you don’t stop at Bojangles before heading to the stadium, somebody partying next to you surely has. Let’s face it — it’s a tasty Southern tradition. Crunchy Cajun fried chicken, fluffy to-die-for biscuits, excellent iced tea and a handful of sides make it a favorite stop on the way to the game.


My favorite side is Bojangles’ dirty rice, which is fluffy and has just enough spice and heat to be completely addictive. Sometimes that’s all I get (the large container of course.)

Bojangles dirty rice

Since the closest Bojangles to me is not exactly convenient, I decided to try and duplicate its dirty rice recipe. After an exhaustive Internet search yielded no definitive copycat recipe, I decided to combine several I saw and came up with something reasonably close to the original and just as good.

This recipe will feed a crowd and in addition to tailgating, is perfect to serve at Easter with ham, Thanksgiving with turkey or other holiday gatherings. And if you have leftovers, no worry – it freezes well and can be reheated in the microwave (add a little bit of water as needed.)

Kel's dirty rice freezes well

Ingredients (8-12 servings)

Kel's dirty rice ingredients

  • 2 cups long-grained white rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound hot country sausage
  • ½ cup sweet onion, diced small
  • ½ cup green or red bell pepper, diced small
  • ½ cup celery, diced small
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package, substituting the chicken stock for the water. Remove from heat and keep warm.

rice is done

In a large ovenproof skillet, cook sausage until completely brown, breaking it into bite sized pieces.

bowrn sausage for Kel's dirty rice

Save one tablespoon of sausage grease. Drain sausage in a colander, set aside.

drain sausage for kel's dirty rice

Heat sausage grease and add onions, bell peppers and celery, and sauté for several minutes.

saute veggies for kel's dirty rice

Add the parsley, garlic, and seasonings and cook for a minute or so.

add spices to kel's dirty rice

Return the sausage to the skillet and mix well.

return sausage to pan for kel's dirty rice

Add the cooked rice to the sausage mixture and stir until well blended. Taste to see if your seasonings are okay – I needed to add some more Cajun seasoning at this point.

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes to let the flavors intensify. Remove from oven and serve.

This goes great as a side dish to traditional tailgating favorites, like fried chicken and slaw.

Let's eat Kel's dirty rice

Or serve as a hearty side to hickory smoked grilled pork chops with a nice green veggie, like this creamed spinach.

Kel's dirty rice is served with pork chops

And if you don’t want to do any additional cooking, this is great in a big bowl by itself as well!

Bowl of Kel's Dirty Rice

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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4 Responses to Kel’s “Kind-of-Like-Bojangles” Dirty Rice

  1. eleanor cook says:

    Hey! This is fantastic – I love Bojangles dirty rice and this will be even better I bet.

  2. BlackDahliaSmiles says:

    I just wanted to let you know I adore this recipie! I have made this many times now and it is so addicting! It tastes IMO better than Bojangles! I have had multiple family members request this and ask for the recipie! Thank you so much for this! I have it bookmarked and come back to it often!

    • Thank you! It really is quite good. Thanks for your feedback, and my apologies for taking forever to get back to you – this fell through the cracks! Thanks for reading my blog, I hope there are other recipes you will try.

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