Hurricane Rice with Shrimp & Sausage ♥

Hurricane Rice with Shrimp & Sausage, a Cajun-style Quick Supper ♥, on the table in 30 minutes, packed with flavor. High Protein.
A hearty Cajun-style skillet filled with shrimp, sausage and brown rice cooked in beer, packed with flavor and texture and dinner goodness that'll have you lickin' your chops and thinking about seconds.

Real Food, Fast & Casual. Little Effort, Big Taste. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. One-Pot Meal. High Protein. Naturally Gluten Free.

This recipe was first published in 2005 as the US grappled with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, devastation and destruction along the Gulf Coast and especially in New Orleans. Ever since, whenever a big storm looms, I turn to Hurricane Rice.

Counting My Blessings

Thanks to Katrina, I'm counting my blessings.

My family and friends are safe
My town is on high ground
I'm in a position to help those who've been left with little more than their lives

To raise awareness, food bloggers across the world have been challenged to create a dish from a handful of New Orleans-inspired ingredients, just beer, shrimp, sausage and tomato. And thus I counted my culinary blessings too.

I raaaarely cook without a recipe but this time, a blank slate was great fun
I've never cooked N'awlins but a tablespoon of research yielded a whole cup of self-confidence
I cooked under the influence of NPR's Fresh Aid with music from New Orleans greats Dr John, Harry Connick Jr and Allen Toussaint (FYI, I just created a playlist with all three segments)
Most of all, the results are seriously delicious

The Vision, The Results

The vision began with brown rice cooked in beer (would it be awful? I wondered), fat with shrimp and sausage, filled to the gills with okra, corn and tomato that'd qualify it for a veggie-focused venture. The result was close except:

For easy serving, I served the dish hot straight from the skillet
No okra, no corn in the spirit of the time and with gas shortages possible, I walked to the local market instead of driving to the supermarket: no okra and the corn was sad
It tasted even better than imagined, a definite keeper

Hurricane Rice with Shrimp & Sausage, a Cajun-style Quick Supper ♥, on the table in 30 minutes, packed with flavor. High Protein.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4 (easily doubled)

The recipe calls for cooked rice and cooked shrimp, especially the rice will need a good head start.

1 tablespoon bacon grease or another fat
1/2 large yellow onion, diced small
1/2 large green pepper, diced small
Salt to taste

8 ounces (225g) cooked sausage (see TIPS), cut into bite-size pieces
1-1/2 cups cooked rice (see TIPS)
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (see TIPS) stirred with 1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Sprinkle cayenne
Plenty of pepper

8 ounces (225g) cooked shrimp, cut into bite-size pieces
8 ounces (225g) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Cooked whole shrimp, optional garnish

In a large heavy skillet, heat the bacon grease on medium heat until shimmery. Stir in the chopped onion and pepper at the same time, dust with salt and let barely cook, just until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the sausage and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges begin to crisp up. (My husband is the master of texture, he'd definitely brown the sausage separately so that it could get really crispy without overcooking the vegetables.) Stir in the rice, adobo sauce stirred with water and spices. Heat through, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the cooked shrimp and heat through. Stir in the tomatoes and heat through. Garnish the whole shrimp and serve hot. It's time to dig in!

MAKE-AHEAD If you like, cook the rice and shrimp ahead of time.

LEFTOVERS reheat beautifully. They freeze beautifully too, just pack into a freezer container, press a double layer of waxed paper onto the surface to prevent freezer burn, cover tightly removing as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.

VARIATIONS Whenever possible, I add fresh corn and little rounds of okra to this dish, adding them after the sausage has browned, letting them cook partway before adding the rice. Most of the calories come from the sausage so if you like, cut way back on the sausage and cut it into small bits so that you still get some in every bite. You might add more shrimp or another protein, chicken thighs roasted with Cajun spices come to mind. Do keep in mind that the sausage also contributes to flavor so you'll need to boost the Cajun spices somehow along the way.

SAUSAGE Andouille sausage would be traditional. We find andouille way too spicy and instead turn to a sausage like summer sausage that's got lots of flavor but isn't spicy.
RICE Do you have to cook the rice in beer? No but it does add an unexpected edge to the rice. For Hurricane Rice, I cook brown rice in beer following this recipe, Cook’s Illustrated Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice, just substituting beer for water. To our taste, a lighter beer works better than a stronger beer. Allow a good hour to cook the rice. For some-faster cooking for brown rice, use Perfect Stovetop Brown Rice. For white rice, here's How to Cook White Rice.
ADOBO SAUCE Look for small cans of "chipotle in adobo sauce" in the Mexico aisle at the grocery store, super easy to find. Inside you'll find small chipotle (once dried, jalapeños are called chipotle) that are wet with a brown-colored adobo sauce. It's the sauce you're after for this dish, just a couple of teaspoons for lovely smoky flavor, not spicy. That said, when I open a can, I always purée the chipotle and adobo sauce together, it keeps for months in the fridge, ready to use whenever. Because the chipotles have been mixed in, the combined mixture is much spicier, you'll use less, say 1 teaspoon plus more to taste. Swoosh either one with some water, this distributes the flavor throughout the rice without any unexpected hot 'n' spicy spots.
SHRIMP To yield 8 ounces cooked shrimp, you'll need to buy a good pound of unshelled shrimp. I like to keep the pieces of shrimp quite big, so you know you're seeing and eating shrimp, for most shrimp, that means each shrimp is cut into 2 or 3 pieces.
Note to Vegetarians

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2005 & 2020 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Found you via Tomatilla Paper Chef. Definitely looks deliciously quick and easy for lunch as the name suggest!

  2. Good job! I would be scared to cook with those ingredients and no recipe!

  3. Alanna,

    I just have to love a recipe that begins with "1 tablespoon bacon grease." Also, I really liked the idea of cooking the rice in beer, what kind of beer did you use?

  4. Thanks, all! FYI bacon grease is a "secret ingredient" when a flavor punch is appropriate, so I keep a self-replenishing container in the frig. The beer was a Sam Adams something -- just what was in the frig that seemed better than Budweiser.

  5. This looks great. I definately wouldn't have thought to use beer to cook the rice, but it sounds great and is definately theme appropriate!

  6. I use that method for my brown rice as well. comes out great. I love CI.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna