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Sausage and Rice Casserole
Sausage and Rice Casserole is my latest and greatest recipe. This is a new one for me, but I can definitely see it making it into our normal meal rotation. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I found I loved it! I am definitely glad that I kept an open mind and gave it a try.
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Nathan and I were talking about what to make for dinner on his days off this week, as we always do. Everything he suggested, I already had a recipe for here. He asked me to stop being so productive! Nathan was especially mad that I had already published my recipe for tater tot casserole.
When I told him to find me something new that I had never made before, he asked me to try this sausage and rice casserole out. I wasn’t too sure about it, especially since I was going into it with limited information. It can become impossible to live up to childhood memory standards!
This sausage and rice casserole recipe was a favorite of Nathan’s growing up that his mom made him. Like I said, living up to that memory was a daunting task.
The great news though, is that I succeeded! Not only did I succeed, I was able to put my own spin on the recipe and add mushrooms to it, which I think were essential. Nathan ended up eating two and a half plates worth for dinner. He’s my little piggy.
Sausage and Rice Casserole Ingredients
Italian Sausage, 2 pounds
Onion, ½ medium, diced
Celery, 1 ½ cups, diced
Mushrooms, diced, 1 cup
Red Pepper Flakes (optional, to taste)
Chicken Broth, 1 can (14.5 ounces)
Cream of Celery Soup, 1 can (10.5 ounces)
Brown Rice, 2 cups, uncooked
Almonds, sliced, ½ cup
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for browning meat
Sausage and Rice Casserole Instructions
Season the sausage with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Brown the sausage in a large skillet or frying pan.
Once the sausage is about half cooked but still slightly pink, add in the celery, onions, and mushrooms. Continue cooking on medium heat until the sausage is no longer pink and the onions are becoming translucent.
Do not drain!
Pour the chicken broth and cream of celery soup into the pan. Mix and stir until they are well incorporated, and start to bubble.
Add in the rice and start to cook. Once the rice starts absorbing the liquids, it is time to bake!
Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Sausage and Rice Casserole Notes
The red pepper flakes are totally optional. I omitted them in this recipe, but instead used a really coarse grind black pepper. That course grind on the black pepper gave it the little punch it needed, without being spicy.
You can use other creamed soups if that is what you have, like cream of mushroom would work great in this recipe too.
Make sure the rice is uncooked, because as it cooks, it will absorb all the delicious liquid from the pan and flavor the rice from the inside out. I do the same thing with my stuffed peppers recipe and it works wonderfully for an added depth of flavor.
Covering the dish with the foil is important because that keeps the moisture in, and helps the rice cook thoroughly. If you happen to run out of foil, simply cook the rice longer in the frying pan before transferring to the baking dish.
Why I love this recipe
This is a perfect weeknight meal that I can quickly make and toss in the oven to cook, while I focus on other tasks, like writing or working around the house for an hour. There are a million things I can think of to do while this sausage and rice casserole bakes.
Sausage and rice casserole is hearty and comforting, especially on a chilly winter evening, when I need a good meal that sticks to my ribs while I curl up under a blanket. This definitely qualifies!
The almonds give it a great crunch, which is essential. Texture differences are so important in foods, especially a casserole where most ingredients are soft.
Have you tried this sausage and rice casserole before? What is your favorite food from your childhood? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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