Healthy Dirty Rice Recipe with Shrimp

This healthy dirty rice recipe is inspired by the traditional Cajun dirty rice dish that originated in the Creole regions of southern Louisiana.

However, I lightened up the traditional version without sacrificing the joy your taste buds will experience while eating this Cajun classic!

Dirty Rice is typically served as a main dish but there’s no reason why you can’t make it as a side dish as well.

Dirty Rice Recipe: WW Friendly

The WW (Weight Watchers) SmartPoints plan gives you 3 plan options: Green, Blue, & Purple.

Based on whichever plan you are following, you will have a different zero point food list.

So you’ll need to adjust the points for this healthy dirty rice recipe according to your color plan.

Here are this recipe’s points per serving for each color plan:

  • Green Plan = 6 points per serving
  • Blue Plan = 2 points per serving
  • Purple Plan = 0 points per serving

A Lightened Up Cajun Rice Dish

If you know me, you know that I’m a rice fanatic!

I could eat rice all day every day.

So add shrimp, another food that I could eat all day every day, to my rice?

Well, let’s just say that’s heaven on a dish for me!

BUT, the carbs in rice can quickly add up.

Hence, my reason for lightening up this dish so I can still enjoy the foods I love!

Although this recipe is technically considered “rice dressing” since a true “dirty rice” includes organ meats, any finely ground meat gives this dish it’s “dirty” designation.

Simple Ingredients For This Easy Dirty Rice Recipe



  • Brown Rice
  • Chicken Bouillon
  • Bay Leaves (optional)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion (white, yellow, or red onion)
  • Celery
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Ground Turkey
  • Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Shrimp
  • Scallions (Green Onions)

How To Make Healthy Dirty Rice

Step 1: Cook Brown Rice with Bouillon and Spices

Follow package instructions to cook your brown rice with the chicken bouillon cube, 1 bay leaf (optional), 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp paprika, & 1/8 tsp thyme.

Step 2: Cook Onion, Celery, Green Pepper and Garlic

In the meantime, heat a large skillet, large Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat with oil.

Then add your diced onions, diced green pepper, diced celery, (also called the holy trinity) and minced garlic.

Using a wooden spoon, sauté the ingredients until soft – about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add Ground Turkey, Salt, Pepper, and Remaining Spices

Now, add your ground turkey, salt, black pepper, and remaining paprika, thyme and cayenne pepper to the skillet.

Sauté until browned – about 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Add Shrimp, Cover, and Cook

Lastly, add your shrimp to the skillet and cover.

Allow to cook over medium-high heat for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 5: Combine Rice with Cajun Shrimp Mixture and Serve with Toppings

Finally, toss your cooked rice with the shrimp and turkey mixture.

Place servings in bowls and top with chopped scallions.

delicious and good for you cajun dish

The end result is absolutely delectable!

Ca c’est bon!

After tasting it you will want to say ‘Laissez les bon temps rouler’, which is Cajun for Let the Good Times Roll!

healthy dirty rice recipe

Healthy Dirty Rice Recipe Can Be Spicy or Mild

You can choose whether to decrease the amount of cayenne pepper (or any other spices) or not add it at all.

My hubby likes a little spice, but I typically do not.

So, I didn’t add the cayenne pepper.

However, I got out our bottle of hot sauce so each of us could spice it up a little bit.

It’s a yummy addition to the dish!

Additions and Substitutions

Additional ingredients you can add to this dish are:

  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Chili Powder
  • Creole Seasoning
  • Red Pepper
  • Black Beans, Kidney Beans, or Red Beans
  • Fresh Parsley

In addition, here are some simple swaps you can make:

  • Substitute chicken livers, chicken gizzards (for a true dirty rice), ground pork sausage, lean ground beef, for the ground turkey
  • Swap out any kind of rice for the white rice: brown rice, long grain rice, or wild rice
  • You can substitute chicken broth or beef broth for the chicken bouillon when cooking your rice

Beware: It Won’t Last Long

How to make healthy dirty rice

This dinner is so delicious it has become one of our favorite dishes!

My husband and I can not get enough of this one-pot meal.

Not to mention, he used to live in New Orleans and I’ve visited New Orleans twice for Mardi Gras and the Jazz Fest.

Needless to say, we absolutely love Cajun cooking!

As a matter of fact, my husband ate 2 huge bowls of it and then took the leftovers to work for lunch the next day.

Meal prep at it’s finest!

However, I was so bummed when I opened up the refrigerator the next day to heat some up for lunch and it was all gone!

But, I guess that’s a good sign!

It will definitely be on my list of recipes to make again and again!

Healthy Dirty Rice Recipe with Shrimp

Weight Watchers Shrimp Recipe: Dirty Rice

Healthy Dirty Rice Recipe with Shrimp

Housewives of Frederick County
A delicious, lightened up healthy dirty rice recipe with shrimp. Zero WW SmartPoints {Purple Plan}, 2 WW SmartPoints {Blue Plan}, 6 WW SmartPoints {Green Plan}.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Cajun, French
Servings 5 Servings
Calories 347 kcal


  • 1 ½ cups Brown Rice
  • 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube, Knorr
  • 2 Bay Leaves, divided
  • tsp Cayenne Pepper, divided
  • tsp Paprika
  • tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • ½ lb 98% fat free ground turkey
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb Medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 Scallions, chopped


  • Cook brown rice according to package directions in water along with a chicken bouillon, 1 bay leaf and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 each of cayenne pepper, paprika and thyme.
  • When the rice is almost done cooking, heat a large heavy saucepan on medium-low heat.
  • Add the oil, onions, green pepper, celery, bay leaf, and garlic.
  • Sauté on medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ground turkey, salt, black pepper, remaining paprika, thyme and cayenne pepper.
  • Sauté until browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and cover. Cook 5 more minutes.
  • When the rice is done, toss with turkey and shrimp and combine well.
  • Top with scallions and serve.


Zero WW SmartPoints {Purple Plan}
2 WW SmartPoints {Blue Plan}
6 WW SmartPoints {Green Plan}
Keyword dirty brown rice, dirty rice, dirty rice with shrimp, fried rice recipe, healthy dirty rice recipe, healthy recipe, shrimp recipe, weight watchers recipe, weight watchers shrimp recipe, ww, ww dinner, ww dinner recipe, ww smartpoints, zero points

For more WW friendly rice recipes, click on over to:

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken & Rice: Full of Flavor & No Guilt

Healthy Veggie Fried Rice: 3 WW SmartPoints

WW Mashed Cauliflower

healthy dirty rice recipe
healthy dirty rice recipe
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5 thoughts on “Healthy Dirty Rice Recipe with Shrimp”

  1. Yum once again!!! Interesting, the mix of ground beef and shrimp. I will be trying this one for sure. I’m not a bay leaf fan nor do I like spicy food so thanks for tweaking it for me.


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