Opelousas you say? Huh? I realize it’s not a recipe name anyone would search but I don’t know what else to call it. That’s what they call it. When I say they, I mean cajuns. My wife is from Lafourche Parish in Louisiana and opelousas is something that her mom used to make when she was a kid.

Basically opelousas is a one pot meal cooked in a rice cooker. Everyone in south Louisiana has a rice cooker and they eat rice ALL THE TIME. My wife goes to the Asian market and buys the big sack of Jasmine rice. Is she a prepper? No. Is she feeding the homeless? No. Is she buying rice for the entire year? No. She does this a few times a year. That’s the rice situation y’all.

One day, a while after we were married, she remembered this dish her mom used to make. It was made with shrimp and it had a stick of butter. She remembered her mom would just toss everything in the rice cooker.

So she got the recipe from her mom and improvised a little. She lessened the butter, added some kind of meat and sausage, can’t remember exactly and it was stupid good. My friend Tony, who has since claimed this recipe as his own family recipe, is the one who decided to go with left over steak one time and this final meat version was born.

I’ll give you guys both versions of this dish – shrimp and meat. The shrimp version is super cool because you don’t have to do anything. The shrimp gets tossed in the rice cooker raw. The meat version is the same if you’re using left over meats. If you use raw, you’ll have to brown it up first, but you brown right in the rice cooker so it’s still super easy. And you can use any meat you want. I usually use leftover meats, just because. I’ve used left over smoked pork butt, grilled chicken, steak, pork chops, crawfish. Whatever.

I like to sauté my veggies right in the rice cooker first with the sausage, you know for the brown bits, but that’s just me. Sauté or not it’s delicious and it’s a true dump and go type of dish.

I have a favor to ask of one of you.  I have not tried this in my pressure cooker, but in theory, or at least in my mind, everything would be the same as the directions below, but add 2 1/4 cups broth pressure on high for 10 minutes and quick release.  Anyone up for that challenge? If anyone tries, please let me know how it turns out.  Or, if I do it before you,  I’ll let you know!

She did it!  The Frugal Hausfrau did it!!!!  She cooked the opelousas in her Instant Pot with leftover ham!  Go check it out and give it a try if you don’t have a rice cooker or if you’re just a pothead.  I know I will!  Instant Pot Opelousas – The Frugal Hausfrau.

Here we go! Dooo it!



2-4 tablespoons butter, depending how greasy your meat/sausage is
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
6-8 ounces mushrooms chopped or 1 can sliced mushrooms drained
1 1/4 cup rice, uncooked
1 can chicken or beef broth
2 cups your choice of meat
1.5 teaspoons cajun seasoning
smoked sausage, as much as you like
handful of parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic
pinch of cayenne, optional for extra heat


If you’re going to sauté veg and sausage, plug your rice cooker in and press the cook button down. Add butter. When hot toss your sausage in and begin to brown. About 3 minutes in, add your veg. Sauté as you desire. Keep an eye on that cook button. Sometimes it likes to go off.

Meanwhile, cut the meat up into bite sized pieces, including the sausage. You want a bit of goodness in every spoonful. If you are using raw meat, you will want to brown it in the hot butter.

Once your meat and or veg is done to your liking, toss all other ingredients into the pot. Give a good stir. Press the cook button and walk away.

Listen, this is important…do not open until it’s done and when it is done, let it sit for 5 minutes. Do not open!



1.5 cups rice, uncooked
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
1/2 stick butter
1.5 pounds shrimp, raw
smoked sausage, as much as you like
6-8 ounces mushrooms chopped or 1 can drained
1 can beef or chicken broth
3 cloves garlic
1 handful parsley chopped
1.5 teaspoons Tony’s or other cajun seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne, optional for extra heat


If you want to sauté your veg and sausage, it’s the same as above. Again, not necessary at all.
If not, just toss everything in your rice cooker, give a good stir, press the cook button and walk away.

Do not open during cooking and let sit for 5 minutes after it’s done.

Opelousas...Easy one pot rice cooker meal!Click To Tweet

You want to see me and my cleaver show you how it’s done?

Satisfying one pot meal in your rice cooker!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.

40 thoughts on “Opelousas – A Rice Cooker One Pot Meal”

    1. Love the blog post and love that you made it in the pressure cooker! I’m adding a link to yours in my post.

      So perfect for leftover ham! Leftover any meat really. You should really try the shrimp version if you like shrimp. Good stuff.

  1. We are going to love this dish and I can’t wait to taste it! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday! Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us real soon.
    Miz Helen

    1. I love to cook, but sometimes I like to fix it up and walk away! Especially in the summer.

  2. You got me at Opelousas! I need to know what type of cooker you used. This didn’t look like one I’m used to. This recipe is the bomb!

  3. I love family recipes – and I like them even better when they evolve like this one has! Both versions of your Opelousas look and sounds fantastic although I’d probably make the shrimp one first. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us at Hearth and Soul. Sharing on the new look Hearth and Soul Facebook page over the weekend!

    1. Me too, especially one that let’s me use leftovers or with the shrimp, you just toss it in. I’m checking yours out now! Thanks!

  4. You had me at Opelousas! My mother was born in Grand Coteau and lived in Opelousas for a long time after she and my father married. This recipe reminds me of the meals she and my aunts often cooked. Thanks for this recipe and I look forward to trying it.

  5. It’s so funny, because we use our rice cooker all the time, but I’ve never actually made an entire meal in it…I don’t know why, either! Thanks for sharing this with us at #FridayFrivolity this week!

    1. Finally! A fellow rice lover! It seems rice just gets a bad rap these days and everyone wants to shun it! Not me. Not you. Nice.

  6. Looks great and I love the story behind it! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party!

  7. This recipe looks SO amazing! My kids love anything spicy (the spicier the better), so I definitely need to try this one for our family. Plus, you can’t beat a one-pot meal! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Home Matters Link Party, hope to see you again next week:) #HomeMattersParty

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