Sausage and Rice Casserole

This Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole with Peppers is in loving memory of my dishwasher. May you rest in peace. And may I never ever take you for granted—or go through the process of replacing you—again.

Quick and easy Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole. Cooks in ONE PAN! Smoky chicken sausage, juicy bell peppers, and brown rice in a tomato sauce. One of our favorite healthy weeknight dinners! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated {gluten free}

I lived in an apartment without a dishwasher for four years, so you would think that I would realize just how dramatically life enhancing this appliance can be. Oh how quickly I forgot. Our home dishwasher recently breathed its last, and the process of replacing it took weeks. I’ll spare you the blow-by-blows of the calls to customer service and visits from plumbers, but let’s just say that there’s no such thing as a “free” installation.

On the totem pole of house chores, I’d put washing dishes towards the very bottom, above only snow shoveling and clearing hair out of the drain. Hence, while we went without one, I made every effort possible to reduce the number of dishes we produced. One-pan meals such as today’s Sausage and Rice Casserole with Peppers became my dinner go-tos.

Smoked Sausage and Rice Casserole with Peppers. A quick and easy 30 minute meal! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

All you need to make this healthy dish is a knife, a cutting board, a wooden spoon, and one sturdy skillet. Honestly, even if our dishwasher had been working the night I made it, I wouldn’t have even bothered to use it.

Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole with Peppers. Everyhting cooks in ONE PAN, even the rice! Quick, easy, and healthy. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

This recipe is an adaptation of my Cabbage and Sausage Skillet. The flavor profiles of the two dishes are completely different, but both offer the speed and convenience I’m seeking on a weeknight. If you plan your recipe prep carefully, this sausage and rice casserole can be ready in just 30 minutes.

In addition to being quick and easy, this Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole is fully flavored and healthy too. To keep things speedy, I used pre-cooked chicken sausages that I browned in the pan, then incorporated lots of fresh veggies and Italian spices. The rice cooks in the pan right along with the other ingredients, no separate saucepan required.

Easy Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole. Ready in 30 minutes! Simple, healthy weeknight dinner. Ready in just 30 minutes! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

While I’m happy to have my dishwasher back, I am thankful for the dinner inspiration it provided. Whether you have one in your kitchen or not, you’ll love the time this Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole saves, and your friends and family will love you for making it!

Tools I used to make this recipe:

Check out my recipe index for more one-pan meals.

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Sausage and Rice Casserole

Quick and easy Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole. Cooks in just ONE PAN! Smoky chicken sausage, juicy bell peppers, and brown rice in a zesty tomato sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (7 cups)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounces cooked Italian chicken sausage links (not breakfast sausage), cut into 1/4-inch slices*
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and 1/2-inch diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, cored and 1/2-inch diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, 1/4-inch diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup instant brown rice*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes in their juices
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the sausage slices and cook for a few minutes on each side, until brown, about 5 to 8 minutes total. Remove to a plate, blot with paper towels to remove any excess oil, and set aside. (Tip: To finish this meal in 30 minutes, prep the peppers and onions while the sausage browns.)
  2. With a paper towel, carefully wipe the skillet until it is mostly clean. Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Add the bell peppers, onion, basil, salt, and pepper and cook until the onion begins to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring to coat the rice. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock and canned tomatoes in their juices, stirring well. Bring to a boil, stir again, then cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the reserved sausage slices until evenly distributed, then re-cover the skillet and remove from the heat. Let stand 5 minutes, until most of the remaining liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.
  • If you prefer, you can use uncooked sausage cut into bite-sized pieces or removed from its casing and broken up. Be sure to cook the sausage pieces all the way through and be aware that it will extend the recipe’s cook time.
  • *I have not tried this recipe with regular (not instant) rice or with white rice instead of brown. Because regular (non-instant) rice’s cooking time is much longer, if you want to experiment and use it instead of the instant, I would suggest sautéing the meat and vegetables in one skillet (you can drain the tomatoes first, then add them to the sausage and peppers at the end, heating until most of their liquid evaporates) and cooking the rice in its own pot. Then, combine the two at the end with a bit of extra chicken stock as needed if the mixture is too dry. Again, I haven’t tried the recipe this way, but that is my best suggestion.
  • *If you use white instant rice (instead of brown) please note that the cooking times and liquid needs for the two do vary. I’d add a little less liquid, check the skillet early to make sure the rice does not overcook, and then add a little more liquid toward the end if it seems dry.

Adapted from my One Pan Cabbage Sausage Skillet

// All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 4), about 1 3/4 cups

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 277 Calories
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 66mg
  • Sodium: 1215mg
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 20g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

31 comments

  1. Beautiful. healthy vibrant dish Erin! I love using brown rice, don’t use it nearly enough in my cooking (:

    Rating: 5
  2. luv it. got to go get instant brown rice… what’s with dishwasher installers lately!! they’re givin us all trouble. I bought in store to be deliver/install. drivers said: “truck too big, won’t fit on your street” at 4 p.m Friday .. delivery from 7 a.m.-11. re street, just not true. luckily I went to another store and bought a better washer and luv it. but installers complained they had to bring it up stairs.. dah… everything sometimes just get nuts. you can’t eve pay to have things done right any more. so I totally am with your frustration. just hope nothing else goesssssssssss.

    Rating: 4.5
    • Thanks, Maude! Isn’t it funny how a seemingly simple things can get drawn out? Here’s to appliances running as they should!

  3. I’m thinking about making this in an instant pot!

  4. I’m not a huge Italian sausage fan so was glad to see that you used chicken Italian sausage..my assumption is that maybe it’s finer ground and not quite as chunky. They did something yesterday on The Chew with this type and cooked it on a grill – treated it like a hot dog with homemade mustard, etc. Looked very good so I’ll try this casserole soon. Hope your trip was wonderful.

  5. Made this for supper tonight I used polska kielbasa for the meat. Loved it. Nice when good food is fast and easy. Helps that clean up is a breeze.

    Rating: 5
  6. I feel the same way about my garbage disposer, which my new apartment does not have . You don’t know what you have until it’s gone!

    Thanks for this delicious recipe though!

  7. Made this for dinner last week and it was delicious!! I loved the left-overs for lunch the next day. Great recipe!

    Rating: 5
    • Aimee, I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Aren’t the leftovers the bomb? Thank you so much for leaving this kind review!

  8. This was delicious!  I had to make a few changes because of what I had on hand.  First, I used about 5 oz. of Andouille sausage, cut into small pieces.  Second, instead of instant rice, I cooked 2/3 cup of white rice with 1 1/3 cup chicken broth in my rice cooker.  I then added the rice at the very end, when I added the sausage.   We really enjoyed this dish; it was a great way to use up my Andouille sausage.  Thank you!

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Jocelyn! Thank you so much for reporting back and sharing your swaps.

  9. I just made this with vegetarian Lincoln sausages, delicious!  Thank you ❤️

    Rating: 5
    • Awesome, Hannah! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to leave this great review!

  10. I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it. It was so full of flavor. I didn’t tell my boyfriend it was Italian chicken suausge until he took a bite and he loved the healthy alternative! We’ll definitely make this one again. He even shared your page with a co-worker since we’re all looking for healthy meals that are still delicious and easy to make. We’re making the lemon chicken sheet pan recipe tonight!

    Rating: 5
    • Jill, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to share how it went, and thanks to your boyfriend for sharing my site and recipes. (P.S. I hope you love the lemon chicken!)

  11. Made this recipe tonight and it was delicious! My hubs said it tastes so fresh and that this one is a keeper. I am so happy, since it’s healthy, filling, and EASY! Thank you Erin for another great recipe :)

    • Becki, I’m so happy to hear the recipe was a winner! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback. :)

  12. See above comment, I just forgot to leave a well deserved  5 star rating 😋

    Rating: 5
  13. Made this for meal prep last week. So yummy!! I couldn’t find the italian chicken sausage so I just got hot chicken sausage and it was relish 

    Rating: 5
  14. Is not hard to make it and is not expensive at all. I can`t wait to make it.

    Rating: 4.5
  15. Loved it!  Used chorizo and got that spicy flavor!  Also didn’t have quick brown rice so used long grain white rice.  Added 1/2 cup more chicken stock and simmered an additional 5 minutes.  Yum!  Definitely a keeper!

    Rating: 4.5
    • I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to share your tweaks!

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