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Charleston Red Rice

My Charleston Red Rice is a one-pot meal of rice, chicken, and tomatoes based on the famous Charleston, South Carolina recipe. Low country cooking at its finest!

This is a really old recipe and one of BeeBop’s favorites! Red Rice. It’s based on the famed Charleston Red Rice. Sort of. Well, kinda. It’s similar, anyway.

A bowl of red rice on a decorative kitchen towel.

If you’re a fan of Low Country cooking, please indulge me. I know this is not the accurate, authentic Charleston Red Rice. It does have one thing in common, however. It’s really good!

When BeeBop was still in the Navy and stationed in Charleston, we used to visit the market downtown. It was full of all kinds of treasures. Handwoven baskets, jewelry, trinkets, antiques.

And there was one little stall there where a lady always sold spice mixtures. She had little bags of red rice mix 3 for $5. Every time we went to the market, I’d pick up at least three of those rice mix bags.

Then after we got married and were exiled to the Maine/New Hampshire border, I no longer had access to the little lady with the red rice mix. So, I had to come up with a close substitute on my own. After years of trying, I think this recipe is pretty darned close.

This is one of those one-pot meals that really sticks to your ribs on a cold day. All you need to make this a complete dinner is to add some bread. Garlic bread is mighty fine.

🥄 How to Make Charleston Red Rice

To get started, grab your largest, deepest chicken frying pan with a cover. Or a dutch oven. Anything that has some depth and width and that you can use on top of the stove.

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook until tender.
  3. Remove them from the pan and set aside for later. They’ll look something like this:
Sauteeing onions, celery and garlic in a skillet.

Don’t worry about a little browning in the pan or on the onions. It’ll add to the depth of flavor of the finished dish.

  1. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the chicken.
  2. Sprinkle the poultry seasoning over the chicken in the pan.
  3. Cook the chicken, stirring frequently, until no pink still shows and it has a light brown color.
Browning chicken in a skillet.
  1. Add the reserved onions mixture back to the pan with the chicken.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine everything.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 25 to 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
A bowl of red rice on a decorative kitchen towel.
Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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My Red Rice is a one-pot meal of rice, chicken, and tomatoes, based on the famous Charleston Red Rice. Low country cooking at its finest! https://www.lanascooking.com/red-rice/

Charleston Red Rice

My Red Rice is a one-pot meal of rice, chicken, and tomatoes, based on the famous Charleston Red Rice. Low country cooking at its finest!
5 from 6 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 336kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 12 dashes Tabasco
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes with juice
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook until tender.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and chicken.
  • Sprinkle poultry seasoning over chicken in pan.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink and has a light brown color.
  • Add reserved onion mixture back to the pan with the chicken.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Notes

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 336kcal | Carbohydrates 45g | Protein 21g | Fat 7g | Saturated Fat 1g | Trans Fat 1g | Cholesterol 48mg | Sodium 833mg | Potassium 754mg | Fiber 2g | Sugar 4g | Vitamin A 394IU | Vitamin C 21mg | Calcium 66mg | Iron 2mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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13 Comments

  1. Sandie Jackson says:

    This is nothing like the red rice that we ate in Charleston when I was growing up. My parents and I were all natives. If you want real low country recipes use Charleston Receipts cook book. The best she crab soup recipe!

    1. I’ve had a copy of Charleston Receipts for about 30 years and do use it regularly. Did you read the post? I did spend the first five or six paragraphs explaining that this is not the authentic recipe but is a recipe BASED ON it.

    2. Kimberly Evans says:

      Yea this is not even close to Charleston red rice in anyway, I wouldn’t eat this. My ancestors are rolling over in their grave.

      1. Well, aren’t you just a lovely person. I was VERY clear in the intro to the post that this is not an authentic recipe.

  2. This sounds really good.. I’ve made something similar to this without the chicken.

  3. Cajun Chef Ryan says:

    Lana, now this really looks almost like a Cajun jambalaya, and like Drick stated, many in common similarities between cuisines.

    Thank you,
    CCR
    =:~)

    1. Yep, except there’s no bell pepper to make the “trinity.” I find lots of similarities between Cajun and Low Country as well, but there always seems to be the presence of the bell pepper in the Cajun dishes where it’s usually absent in Low Country. Wonder why that is?

  4. What is the green stuff in the pan with the onions & garlic? It looks like celery to me … I can’t wait to try this recipe — it sounds DELISH!

    1. Yes! It’s celery. Thanks for pointing that out! I’ll make corrections to the recipe.

  5. jenn (Bread + Butter) says:

    Oooo…I’ve never heard of red rice before. Looks really good!!! Saving this one.

  6. funny what low country and creole have in common – like this rice, this sounds right up my alley…

  7. hmm, really love this! I mean I love any chicken and rice dish but this is one of those must trys! Saving it, saving it, saved! lol

  8. Looks very delicious. I love rice so this is just perfect for me.