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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
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