This Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole with peppers is a back-on-track, one-pan plan kind of meal. It’s healthy food you won’t be sad to eat, weeknight fast, and leaves you with only one dish to wash at the end.

One pan sausage and rice casserole with bell peppers and fresh herbs

Lean protein? Check! Veggies? Yep! Whole grains? Uh huh. The gang’s all here.

On my totem pole of house chores, washing dishes is at the very bottom, above only snow shoveling (brrr) and vacuuming (I know it’s easy, but I despise it for some reason).

Hence, I’m always to add to my collection of healthy one pan recipes, meals that cram all the healthy food groups you need into a single pan. This sausage and rice casserole is a prime example. 

All you need to make this Italian sausage recipe is a knife, a cutting board, a wooden spoon, and one sturdy skillet. That’s less time washing dishes, and more time enjoying your tasty dinner (and dessert!).

A pan filled with sausage, rice, bell peppers, and fresh herbs

About this Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole Recipe

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.

The Ingredients

  • Italian Chicken Sausage. Italian sausage is made of herbs, spices, and whichever type of meat you select. It has oodles of flavor built in, making it an ideal ingredient for a quick casserole. To keep things speedy and healthy, I used sliced, pre-cooked chicken sausage, which is leaner than typical pork sausage.
    • 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.
  • Bell Peppers. The pepper portion of this sausage and rice casserole. Bell peppers offer vitamin-C, vitamin-K1, vitamin-E, and vitamin-A, folate, and potassium.
  • Spices. Dried basil and red pepper flakes are give Italian flavor and a touch of heat.
  • Brown Rice. To keep things healthy, I used brown rice, which is higher in fiber and minerals than white rice. It cooks in the pan right along with the other ingredients, so no separate pan is required to prepare it.
  • Chicken Broth. Cooking the rice in chicken broth makes it more flavorful than using water. Choose low sodium so your casserole doesn’t become too salty.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. They add a touch of smokiness. The rice also absorbs some of their flavor as it cooks, and they are ultra convenient.

The Directions

  1. Brown the sausage slices in a large nonstick skillet, then remove to a plate. Sauté the peppers, onion, and spices.
  2. Add the rice, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring to coat. Cook until fragrant, then pour in the broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and stir, then cover and let simmer.
  3. Add the cooked sausage and remove from the heat. Let stand with the lid on for a few minutes, until the rice is tender (no oven needed!). Sprinkle with parsley and serve. ENJOY!

A delicious and flavorful one pan recipe that the entire family will love

Recipe Adaptations

  • Ground Italian Sausage. If you’re looking for ground Italian sausage recipes, you can easily swap the sliced Italian chicken sausage links I used in this recipe for ground sausage. Hot Italian sausage and mild both work well here, so feel free to choose whichever you or your family prefer.
  • Italian Sausage and Potatoes. Italian sausage and potatoes (like red potatoes; Yukon gold potatoes may lose their shape when simmering here) is a great combo and what I used in this Italian Sausage Skillet.
  • Vegetable Swaps. The vegetables in this dish are very flexible. Peppers are my favorite, but you can easily swap them for other veggies you have on hand. I think this recipe would be yummy with any mix of chopped broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, and/or mushroom too. (Or try squash like in this Skillet Lasagna with Italian Sausage!)
  • Sausage Swaps. If you want to try this recipe with cajun, smoked, or Polish sausage, you can easily swap them in. I haven’t tried any of these modifications, but other readers have reported success with them all. I would not recommend ham in this recipe. (For cajun-style sausage, this Cajun Shrimp Boil Foil Packets is a great option.)
  • To Make Keto. If you’re in the market for keto Italian sausage recipes, then I recommend trying this Sausage and Peppers sheet pan meal or Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers. They are both Italian sausage recipes without pasta or rice.

How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze

  • To Store. Place leftover casserole in an airtight storage container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, adding a splash of broth as needed. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave until warmed through.
  • To Freeze. Store leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

What to Serve with Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole

A skillet with the best one pan meal that's packed with veggies

More Healthy Italian Sausage Recipes

Recommended Tools to Make Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole

  • Cast-Iron Skillet. The perfect skillet for making this recipe. It’s an investment piece that you’ll keep for years.
  • Non-Slip Cutting Board. I love that this cutting board doesn’t move around while you’re chopping ingredients. 

You’ll love the time this Italian sausage and rice casserole saves, and your friends and family will love you for making it!

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 {gluten free}

Sausage and Rice Casserole

4.95 from 114 votes
Quick and easy Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole. Cooks in just ONE POT! Smoky chicken sausage, juicy bell peppers, and brown rice in a zesty tomato sauce.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 4 servings


  • 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 broth 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.


Serving: 1(of 4), about 1 3/4 cupsCalories: 277kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 20gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 1215mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4g

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.


Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article


This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. I made this dish for my husband and our friends who joined us for dinner. Everyone really enjoyed it! I used Italian sausage, as the recipe called for, and it was delicious. May switch it up and use kielbasa or another sausage in the future. Will probably add a little more red pepper flakes too just to add an extra kick.5 stars

  2. This was so simple and delicious! Followed the recipe and made some adds/changes based on reviews. I used chicken garlic sausage(our favorite) added some red wine, Italian seasoning, used regular rice so more broth (used low sodium broth), navy beans and topped it with parmigiana cheese when serving. So good we both had seconds! Will make this again and again! Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  3. This was the perfect recipe for ingredients I had on hand. Really like that it listed different options and substitutions. So easy to put together. Came out great and was even better the next day.

  4. I had good success with it using uncooked Mediterranean sausage taken out of the casing, and regular Jasmine rice that I precooked lightly. I also added some chopped crimini mushrooms. Excellent recipe!5 stars

  5. Just found your website and this recipe from my Google feed and so glad I did! Trying this recipe this week. Would
    You mind sharing your preferred brand of chicken sausage? Excited to try this healthier version of sausage and peppers!

    1. Hi Michelle! I normally pick up whatever is available in my store but Premio sausage is a nice brand. Can be found at most Costco’s, Sam’s or Target. Hope you enjoy it!

  6. I made rice roni and combined it once done cooking. The chicken stock is unnecessary given it makes the rice Soggy. No salt either as the chicken sausage has enough salt. Will not make again

    1. Hi Rms! I’m sorry to hear you had problems with the dish. This recipe was for brown rice NOT rice roni which is where the recipe probably went wrong.

  7. Just found your blog!! This recipe was delicious (made as written except no onion and double garlic) and it truly was a fast weeknight meal and healthy! The directions were well written and this came together beautifully. Thank you! Can’t wait to check out more of your recipes!5 stars

  8. Awesome recipe! We made it with regular rice, cooking it separately then adding it near the end so as to absorb the liquid but not get too pasty. A fave for this family. 😍5 stars

  9. This was amazing! Even my picky eaters enjoyed it!
    I didn’t have instant rice so I made brown rice separately but cooked it with chicken broth and then added it in toward the end. I also added fresh basil rather than dried since I had a bunch needing to be used.
    Very simple, delicious meal that is going to be on our regular rotation!5 stars

  10. I added habanero peppers, cayenne and extra crushed rep pepper. Also substituted fire roasted tomatoes for tomatoes with chiles. I tasted it (it’s still cooking) and it’s sooooo good. The only issue I’m having is I used long grain white rice and it’s taking forever to fully cook the rice. Definitely will cook it separately next time like Erin said5 stars

  11. Delicious and easy to make. Whole family loved it. The only alternation I made to recipe was I used mild Italian sausage – just because I had it on hand.5 stars

  12. Excellent, I used basmati rice and it was awesome. We prefer our bell peppers with some crunch therefore, I did add them during the 5 minutes at rest. I will definitely redo it again.5 stars

  13. Must say this recipe is delicious. Didn’t have brown rice do used white rice. Use 1 1/2 cup of broth and cooked for 20 minutes. I have just added this new recipe to my list. Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  14. Delicious.
    I made this with uncooked brown rice and simmered for 30 minutes instead of 5 after bringing mixture to a boil. (Based on cooking directions for rice)

    I also used italian seasoning and put the sausage back in at the same time as the broth and tomatoes.

    Everything was juicy and moist and scrumptious.5 stars

  15. I just finished making this recipe and it turned out delicious

    Thank you for the idea

    I had some chicken sausage links and was unsure what I could do with it and this came in handy. My links added so much flavor and I love the texture of the minute rice brown rice5 stars

    1. I’m so sorry you had trouble with this recipe, Rick. I know it’s frustrating to try a new recipe and not have it turn out. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed them, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too! It’s hard to say what went wrong without being in the kitchen with you.

  16. Very tasty. I used hot Italian sausage, green and red pepper, and because I only had regular brown rice and wanted to eat sooner than later, used farro instead. Lots of flavour. Easy to make. Quick meal with minimal prep and clean up.5 stars

Load More Comments