Saturday, October 30, 2021

Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

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I'm a big fan of stuffed bell peppers. This version takes on a Cajun spin starting with a spicy and smoky dirty rice and finishes on top of a zesty cream sauce.

Cajun Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
Cajun Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers with a Zesty White Sauce

Slap Ya Sister

Last month, we went to Charleston for a weekend of food and fun with several members of our BBQ team. While there, we visited Virginia's Veggie Stand at the City Market, where they had an array of spice mixes packed in small bags with hand-written labels. 

You know that I couldn't pass that up and one of the mixes I bought was there Slap Ya Sister. It's a Cajun blend loaded with large herbs and dried chiles and that's what inspired this recipe. 

Slap Ya Sister cajun herb mix from Virgina's Veggie Stand in Charleston, SC
The Slap Ya Sister Cajun herb mix from Virginia's Veggie Stand in Charleston has large pieces for robust flavor. I can't think of a Cajun seasoning that would be an equal swap since these herbs are big and flaky. To substitute for a tablespoon of Slap Ya Sister, I would use a teaspoon or so of Meat Church Holy Voodoo or Slap Ya Mama seasoning. That's about a 66% reduction in volume because one is flaky herbs and the other is ground seasoning.

Toasting Rice

One way that I like to boost the flavor of my rice dishes is the toast the grains of rice in oil before boiling the rice, like you do with rice pilaf. In this dish, I saute diced spicy Cajun sausage, bell pepper, onion, and celery. Then I stir in the rice, cooking it in the rendered sausage fat until it yields a nutty aroma. This gives the rice a complex flavor that permeates the dish. 

Toasting your rice in fat or oil to boiling (like rice pilaf) gives it more flavor and a luscious mouthfeel.

Here's the recipe

Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

Published 10/25/2021

Smoky, luscious, and delightfully spicy, these stuffed bell peppers are sure to leave a smile on your face.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup diced Conecuh Cajun Sausage (about 8-10" piece)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Slap Ya Sister Cajun blend 
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 green bell peppers, top sliced off and seeds removed
  • 4 slices Sargento Smokehouse Cheddar or other cheddar cheese
For the zesty white sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tablespoon Slap Ya Sister 
  • garlic salt to taste, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon


  1. Parboil the bell peppers (optional, see notes). Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the peppers and bring to a boil. Add the bell peppers to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the bell peppers and place them in a large bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Saute the dirty rice ingredients. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter and saute the onion, bell pepper, and celery for 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for 1 more minute. Add the rice, 1.5 teaspoon salt, and Slap Ya Sister and cook for one more minute, stirring frequently to get the rice fully coated in the fat rendered from the sausage.
  3. Boil the rice. Stir in the stock and water, cover and bring to a boil. Give one more stir, reduce the heat to a gentle but steady simmer, cover and cook until the rice is done, 18 to 20 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes, then open and fluff with a fork.  Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.
  4. Set up grill for indirect heat at 350°f. I used a Big Green Egg set up with a BBQ Guru Ultra Q, Kick Ash Basket, cast-iron plate setter, and standard grate but you can use any grill with an indirect set up.
  5. Fire roast the stuffed peppers. Place the bell peppers in a 8" skillet or other grill-safe pan and fill the peppers with the dirty rice. Any leftover and go in the skillet around the peppers. Top each pepper with a slice of cheese. Place in the grill and cook until the tops are golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Make the zesty white sauce while the peppers are roasting. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium hit. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking until it is mixed into the butter and gives a fragrant, nutty aroma, about 1-2 minutes. Continue whisking and slowly add in the half and half until fully combined. Season to taste with the Slap Ya Sister and salt.
  7. Plate the dish. Spoon the sauce onto plates and top each with a stuffed bell pepper. Feel free to garnish with green onion, parsley, or even more Slap Ya Sister.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 45 mins.

Total time: 1 hrs 5 mins.

Tags: skillet, Cajun, sausage, rice, grilling, 

Big Green Egg in a Challenger Designs Torch table
For this cook, I used my large Big Green Egg (the one in the Challenger Designs cart) and an induction cooker for cooking the rice.

We used Conecuh Cajun Smoked Sausage for this recipe.
We used the Southern favorite Conecuh Cajun Smoked Sausage for this recipe, we love the smoky, spicy flavor. 

Smoking Conecuh Sausage on the Big Green Egg
The sausage is already smoked by the packer, but I like to give it a "double smoke" by smoking it for about 30-45 minutes at 250°f. I set up the Big Green Egg for indirect heat by using a cast-iron plate setter. For a standard kettle grill, just bank the coals to one side and cook the sausage over the other side.

Parboiling the bell peppers for 3 minutes will make them more tender.
I like for my bell pepper to be fork tender for this dish so I take the optional step of parboiling the peppers for 3 minutes before stuffing them. 

Mise en place
Got my mise en place, which is French for "mess in place". (No it isn't)

Using a Tramontina induction burner to cook the rice.
The one advantage gas grills have over a kamado grill is that they come with a side burner :)
If you don't already have one, I highly recommend adding an induction cooker to your grilling area. This one is a Tramontina 81500 and it has proven to be durable for us, but I don't think this model is available anymore. 

The timing of adding the sausage depends on whether you double-smoked it or not.
I add the sausage once the veggies are getting soft, only because I double-smoked it. If you are using the sausage straight from refrigeration, it will need a bit longer to cook, so you might want to add it when you add the onions, pepper, and celery.

Cajun Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
Adding in that fragrant and yummy Slap Ya Sister herb mix.

You can use a mason jar funnel to stuff the bell peppers
I wouldn't run out and buy one, just for this, but if you already have a wide-mouth funnel for mason jars, they make stuffing the peppers easier. [Amazon affiliate link]

Four large bell peppers fit well in an 8" cast iron skillet.

Cajun Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
This already smells phenomenal. You could eat the rice just like this but it only gets better cooking it further inside of the bell pepper.

BBQ Guru Ultra Q grill controller
I let the BBQ Guru UltraQ do the driving for this cook.

Cajun Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers featuring Sargento's Smokehouse Cheddar
Sargento's Smokehouse Cheddar slices rock for this recipe but you can mix in whatever you want. Pepper jack would be a nice fit, as well. If you want your peppers extra cheesy, stick a quarter of a slice in the middle while stuffing them with rice.

Cajun Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
I used the same setup for my Big Green Egg as when I smoked the sausage, I just turned up the heat to about 350°f.  The skillet is the 80+ y/o Griswald 8 that we restored, it is my go-to grill skillet.

Cajun Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
When you cut into the pepper, the rice, cheese, and pepper gets all mixed in with the sauce below and man oh man, it is so good! 

Here were my immediate first thoughts that I wrote down while eating it.
PS: If you love taking notes about your cooks/recipes, check out a Rocketbook.

Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
A spicy spin on one of my favorite dishes, these are epic.

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