Popeye’s Cajun Rice (Copycat)

8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Popeye’s Cajun Rice is the perfect copycat recipe for the popular side with ground beef, gizzards, seasoned rice and bold cajun spices in 30 minutes.

We love Copycat Recipes on the site, especially side dishes you can recreate at home to enjoy with fried chicken like our Original Recipe KFC Chicken and Chick-fil-A Nuggets.

Popeye's Cajun Rice Copycat RecipePOPEYES CAJUN RICE COPYCAT

Popeye’s Cajun Rice is the perfect crazy popular side dish you either love at Popeye’s or may have never heard of before. The Cajun Rice is one of the few fast food side dishes you can order with meat in it, this dish is hearty enough to be a main course (this is how we enjoy it sometimes!).

Thanks to the addition of chicken gizzards in the recipe it tastes like a cross between a turkey rice stuffing made with turkey gizzards and a beefy rice recipe.

Let me tell you, for those of you who are discovering this recipe for the first time, you’re in for a treat. To those of you who got here because you wanted this copycat recipe for a dish you already love, I am excited to share some ideas with you below on how we like to enjoy this recipe in more ways than as a side.



  • Rinse your rice well then add to a dutch oven with your beef broth.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat.
  • Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking add the vegetable oil, ground beef, chicken gizzards, bell pepper, onion to a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat, breaking it apart as you cook them.
  • Add in the garlic powder, celery seed, creole seasoning, cayenne and black pepper along with the water and stir well.
  • Add the rice to the mixture, stir well to combine and serve.

Popeye's Copycat Cajun Rice Recipe


  • Serve with additional vegetables sautéed into the mixture. The more bulk you can add in the more this dish becomes a main course. Adding the remaining halves of the green bell pepper and onion, cut them larger and carrots would be a good addition.
  • If you have leftovers, this mixture would make a delicious burrito filling. If you’re making it fresh as a filling, cook the moisture out of it a bit more than the recipe calls for and double the amount of beef and in the recipe and add 50% more spices.
  • Use the rice mixture as a filling in a Stuffed Pepper Recipe and bake per the instructions in that recipe.
  • Skip the rice portion of the recipe and make the ground beef mixture that you can stuff into pasta shells and bake like in my super popular Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells Recipe.


How to Serve and Store Popeye’s Cajun Rice:

  • Serve: You can leave this at room temperature for up to 2 hours maximum, but preferably less than 1 hour.
  • Store: Stored in an airtight container this recipe is good for 3 days in a refrigerator. Always let the rice cool down to room temperature completely before you put it away.
  • Freeze: You can freeze Cajun Rice for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw before reheating in a microwave on half power to avoid drying out the beef.

Popeyes Cajun Rice in white bowl

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Popeye's Cajun Rice Recipe (Copycat)

Popeye's Cajun Rice Copycat is a beefy boldly seasoned rice with cajun spices. The perfect copycat recipe! 
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/2 cup chicken gizzards minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Rinse your rice well then add to a dutch oven with your beef broth.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat.
  • Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking add the vegetable oil, ground beef, chicken gizzards, bell pepper, onion to a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat, breaking it apart as you cook them, for about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic powder, celery seed, creole seasoning, cayenne and black pepper along with the water and stir well.
  • Add the rice to the mixture, stir well to combine and serve.


Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 778mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

Copycat Cajun Rice Side Dish

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I’m sorry but this tasted nothing like Popeyes Cajun rice… I was truly disappointed with the outcome, and my rice looked nothing like Cajun is supposed to look. Not sure how or where she even came up with this recipe but this was by far the worst recipe I’ve seen on Pinterest. Please don’t make this if you’re craving Cajun rice from Popeyes.

      1. This recipe was close but they left out the most obvious addition. THE RUE. No dirty rice or cajun rice dish is complete without it. Yes you should and some pre-cooked chicken or turkey liver. (Rue is just a couple tablespoons flour browned in butter in a skillet)

        1. Thanks for your feedback! This Copycat recipe doesn’t include rue but it would be a great add!

  2. I was an assistant manager for Popeyes in Delaware. It took me two years to appreciate the flavor. After all this time,you can’t buy it. Shame on them!!!!!!!!!

  3. Incomplete how do u prepare the meat, before adding everything to rice, worked for Popeyes and the meat mixture came in a frozen chud to be warmed and added to cool rice so not a copycat recipe

  4. I’m going to get my husband to make it with me . We have been looking forward to making this rice for a while now . Thanks so much for the recipe.
    We will let u know how great it turns out

  5. Also next time I make this I will add the beef broth to the meat mixture then cook the rice in it. I want more flavor going into the rice.

  6. This does not taste like Popeyes but my family likes it even better. My husband has worked at Popeyes. He says he’s impressed with this recipe. I did everything perfectly except I omitted the celery seed and minced 1 celery stalk and added it with the rest of the veggies. I did not want to find out the celery seed was over powering.

  7. This Popeye’s Cajun Rice Recipe is so good! I used a bit of Coconut Secret The Original Coconut Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce that I bought from Karman Foods for an added twist of flavor. It’s perfect! Best paired with Jasmine Rice and Vitasoy Vita Reduced Sugar Chrysanthemum Tea on the side.

  8. We lived in Texas for 4 years and ate Popeyes dirty rice and chicken occasionally. I learned how to make their dirty rice too but I add finely chopped spinach. ) a little boost of nutrition). So delicious. The kids love it! And don’t know there is spinach in it.

  9. Tasty dish, but not nothing at all like Popeye’s cajun rice. All recipes online like this one have the exact same ingredients – and all of them are wrong.

  10. Tasted nothing like Popeyes Cajun rice. Tasted like ground beef and rice. In Chicago rice has green tint no green tint . Very disappointed.

  11. This is not a copy cat I use to be a Popeyes store manager in Houston and Spring Tx the recipe does not have gizzards nor bell peppers

    1. There’s not really a substitute but you could add dark meat chicken instead. That’s probably the closest though it doesn’t have the full flavor of gizzards.

  12. I love Popeye’s Cajun Rice! Thou it taste more like a chicken liver than gizzard. Trying this recipe! Needed to get some of the ingredients that I don’t have right now.

  13. In the recipe you have listed garlic salt, but in the instructions it says add the garlic powder. Which one do i use? Thank You.

    1. Thank you for catching that. It should be garlic powder. I’ve adjusted the recipe card to read correctly now. Enjoy!

      1. Not even close , Popeye’s dirty rice used lard , no bell peppers at all , sorry but this recipe is 0.00. I cook too

        1. Well since you can cook SO good, why are you even on this website???? Obviously it’s for a reason.. . How about you keep your ignorant comments to yourself and move along.

          1. Why is it an ignorant comment he made? He said Popeye’s uses lard and no bell pepper, which is correct. They don’t use bell peppers in the recipe. So if he is correct, why is it an ignorant comment. It is a pretty good recipe, but nothing close to being a “copycat” recipe. Very different flavor. I would call it something else, personally.

    1. You can usually find them in the grocery store next to where chicken is sold. I know Purdue and Tyson have them at Walmart. You can always ask your local butcher as well. Good luck!

  14. I’ve been eating at Popeyes since the first one opened in New Orleans in the 70s and I can tell you this recipes tastes almost 100% like the original.

  15. I love Popeye’s Cajun Rice! And its a rice dish my husband will eat. Lol. What can i use besides the dutch oven?

  16. This dish was PERFECT! It tasted exactly like the real thing – can’t wait to make it again, this time a double batch!

    1. Sauté function and sauté beef with oil. Once done add chicken gizzards 5 minutes.
      Add veggies and seasoning and cook for about 2 minutes, add rinsed rice and broth. Stir well. Hit cancel, cover with lid, make sure valve it set to sealing. Cook on high 6 minutes. Allow natural release for 10 minutes. Then manual release and switch valve to venting. Open the lid. Fluff the rice.
      Let me know how it turns out 🙂

    1. The gizzards are essential to making this a true copycat, so if you substitute them or leave them out it won’t taste spot on. You can always leave them out or substitute chicken livers if you don’t want to use gizzard and don’t mind it tasting different.

    1. Because it’s a copycat recipe, the gizzards are essential to getting that taste. BUT if you want to leave them out or substitute chicken liver, you can – it just won’t taste like Popeyes.