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Easy Sausage and Rice Casserole

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5 from 9 votes
This Easy Sausage and Rice Casserole is an old fashioned supper recipe that's easy to prepare and can serve as an entrée or as a side dish!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
A serving of sausage rice casserole on a white plate.

This Easy Sausage and Rice Casserole is an old fashioned supper recipe that will quickly become a family favorite. It’s full of flavor, is easy to prepare, and can serve as an entree or as a side dish!

Comfort food casseroles are a huge part of southern cooking. They make up the bulk of dishes served at every family reunion, church potluck, and friends’ get-together throughout the southern states. 

A serving of sausage rice casserole on a white plate.

If you can name it, we probably have a casserole made with it. Chicken? Yep. Beef? You bet. And tuna, and turkey, and potatoes, and squash. As I said – you name it!

This Easy Sausage and Rice Casserole recipe (sometimes called Rice Dressing) has been around for a very long time. It’s one that I know I can throw together when I don’t have anything else planned and I need to get dinner ready quickly.

This casserole’s combination of breakfast sausage, rice, and the classic pairing of celery, onions, and bell pepper make for a tasty treat your family will really enjoy!

How to Serve Sausage Rice Casserole


This recipe works as either the main or a side dish. To serve as the main dish, I usually pair it with a simple tossed salad with a nice vinaigrette dressing and dinner rolls with butter. As a side dish, it goes well with anything from roasted chicken to pork chops to a perfectly grilled steak. It’s also great as a side dish for a southern comfort food meal with country fried steak or fried chicken, green beans, and honey wheat bread.

About the Ingredients


Ingredients used to make the casserole.
  • Bulk Sausage (Bulk sausage is also called breakfast sausage. It’s fresh, not smoked, and comes in bulk rather than in casings. I recommend Jimmy Dean brand simply because it’s my favorite. You can choose mild, medium, or hot according to your family’s preferences.)
  • Celery, Onion, Bell Pepper, and Garlic (The flavoring basis of many southern recipes. The combination works wonders to enhance even the simplest of recipes.)
  • Butter (For sauteing the vegetables and adding an underlying richness to the casserole.)
  • Chicken Broth (If you have homemade chicken broth it’s the best. Otherwise, canned is fine.)
  • Cream of Celery Soup (Where would be without canned cream soups? Of course, if you’d rather make a bechamel sauce from scratch, feel free.)
  • Rice (You’ll use uncooked rice for this recipe. I prefer long grain white rice. Don’t use a quick-cooking or “minute” rice. I haven’t tested the recipe with other types of rice such as brown rice or wild rice.)
  • Red Pepper Flakes, Dried Parsley, Salt, and Black Pepper (The seasonings I prefer for the casserole. Adjust according to your own tastes.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Simple Sausage and Rice Casserole


Do the Prep Work

Chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic on a wooden board.
STEP 1. Prep the vegetables.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter or spray a 9×13 casserole dish or baking pan. Chop the vegetables and set them aside.

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Cook the Sausage

Sausage cooking in a skillet.
STEP 2. Cook the sausage until browned.
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the sausage breaking it apart, until crumbly and browned. Drain and discard any excess fat from the sausage and set the sausage aside.

Saute the Vegetables

  1. In the same pan, cook the celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic with butter until tender.
  2. While the vegetables cook, in a medium bowl, whisk together the broth and soup.
  3. When the vegetables are tender, return the cooked sausage to the pan with the cooked vegetables.

Mix Together and Bake

  1. Add the rice, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. Stir in the broth-soup mixture making sure everything is well combined.
  3. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover tightly with foil.

TIP: Be sure to secure the foil tightly to the dish so that as much moisture as possible stays inside the dish during cooking.

  1. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes without removing the foil.

Fluff and Serve

Fluffing the rice with a fork.
STEP 10. Fluffing the rice.
  1. Uncover and fluff the rice-sausage mixture with a fork before serving.

Variations


  • Make it into a cheesy sausage and rice casserole by stirring in 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Make your casserole both creamy and cheesy by adding 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese when you add in the rice. Stir together really well to distribute the cheese.
  • For color, top with finely chopped green onions.
  • Substitute turkey sausage for the pork sausage.
A serving of sausage rice casserole on a white plate.

How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze


To store leftovers, remove from the baking pan or dish and place in an airtight refrigerator storage container. May be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days.

To reheat leftovers, transfer to a microwave-safe dish, add a tablespoon or two of water or broth, cover, and microwave in one-minute increments, stirring after each, until heated through.

To freeze, transfer the leftover casserole to an airtight freezer container and freeze for up to three months. To reheat, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and follow instructions for microwave reheating.

A serving of sausage rice casserole on a white plate.

Questions About Sausage Rice Casserole


Can I use brown rice in this recipe?

You can make this into a sausage and brown rice casserole by substituting three cups of cooked brown rice for the raw white rice and reducing the amount of chicken broth to 1 cup.

Is sausage and rice casserole a breakfast recipe?

Although the recipe does use “breakfast sausage,” it’s generally not considered a breakfast recipe. I’d place this one firmly in the dinner/supper category.

Can I use ground beef instead of sausage?

You can use almost any ground meat you like to make this recipe – ground beef, chicken, turkey, or venison. Just be aware that those meats will not contain the seasonings that sausage contains. Your final result will be different but still tasty.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Recipe

A serving of sausage rice casserole on a white plate.

Easy Sausage and Rice Casserole

This Easy Sausage and Rice Casserole is an old fashioned supper recipe that's easy to prepare and can serve as an entrée or as a side dish!
5 from 9 votes
Print It Rate It Text It
Course: Main Dishes, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Resting Time:: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 459kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk sausage
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 15 ounces canned chicken broth
  • 10.5 ounces cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter or spray a 9×13 casserole dish or baking pan. Chop the vegetables and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the sausage breaking it apart, until crumbly and browned. Drain and discard any excess fat from the sausage and set the sausage aside.
  • In the same pan, cook the celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic with butter until tender.
  • While the vegetables cook, in a medium bowl, whisk together the broth and soup.
  • When the vegetables are tender, return the sausage to the pan with the cooked vegetables.
  • Add the rice, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir in the broth-soup mixture making sure everything is well combined.
  • Turn the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover tightly with foil.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes without removing the foil.
  • Uncover and fluff the rice-sausage mixture with a fork before serving.

Notes

Tip: Be sure to secure the foil tightly to the dish so that as much moisture as possible stays inside the dish during cooking.
Storing and Reheating:
  • To store leftovers, remove from the baking pan or dish and place in an airtight refrigerator storage container. May be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days.
  • To reheat leftovers, transfer to a microwave-safe dish, add a tablespoon or two of water or broth, cover, and microwave in one-minute increments, stirring after each, until heated through.
  • To freeze, transfer the leftover casserole to an airtight freezer container and freeze for up to three months. To reheat, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and follow instructions for microwave reheating.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1063mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 472IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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