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Sausage and Rice Casserole

This incredible sausage and rice casserole is always a hit with my family!

It’s a one-dish meal loaded with savory sausage, tender rice, and colorful veggies. It gets baked to perfection in a creamy, cheesy sauce. It always warms me up from the inside out!

Savory homemade sausage and rice casserole with colorful vegetables
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I love how easy it is to make too. It comes together in less than an hour.

The best part? It makes plenty of leftovers, which are perfect for lunches throughout the week. It’ll quickly become your new favorite!

Why You’ll Love This Sausage and Rice Casserole

Crowd-Pleaser: Every time I make this, people gobble it up. You can’t go wrong!

One-Pot Wonder: You only need a single baking dish, so cleanup is a breeze.

Easy to Make Ahead: You can assemble the casserole in advance and refrigerate or freeze it until ready to bake. It’s such a timesaver.

Full of Flavor: The combination of sausage, veggies, and a creamy sauce is just to die for.

Ingredients

  • Pork Sausage: The savory star of the dish. Choose hot or mild bulk sausage for the perfect flavor kick.
  • Vegetables: I use a colorful medley of diced onion, celery, garlic, and red bell pepper.
  • Long-Grain White Rice: Uncooked rice absorbs the broth, turning fluffy and tender as it bakes.
  • Cream of Celery Soup: It adds creaminess and a subtle celery undertone.
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth: It infuses the rice with flavor.
  • Seasonings: Dried thyme and optional red pepper flakes add a nice kick.
  • Cheddar Cheese: It melts into a gooey, golden topping.
  • Fresh Parsley: For a pop of color and freshness.
Meaty and cheesy homemade sausage and rice casserole with bell peppers and celery

How to Make Sausage and Rice Casserole

You’ll love how easy this casserole is to throw together! 

1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

2. Cook. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the sausage until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Sauté. In the same skillet, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

4. Mix. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream of celery soup and chicken broth until smooth.

5. Combine. Stir the rice, thyme, red pepper flakes, cooked sausage, and sautéed vegetables into the soup mixture.

6. Bake. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the rice is tender.

7. Add cheese and serve. Remove the foil, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes until melted. 

Loaded homemade  sausage and rice casserole with celery, bell peppers and cheese in a 9x13 casserole dish

Tips For the Best Sausage and Rice Casserole

Follow these tips and tricks for the very best casserole.

  • Swap out your sausage. Kielbasa or andouille have the most flavor. But any type of sausage will work well.
  • Use what you have on hand. Long-grain white rice works best for a fluffy, less sticky texture. Medium grain, short grain, basmati, or jasmine rice may result in a stickier casserole.
  • Keep it secure. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil so steam doesn’t escape. This also ensures there’s enough moisture for the rice to cook through.
  • Give it a rest. After baking, let the casserole rest covered for 5-10 minutes. The rice will steam and absorb any excess liquid.
  • Have fun and experiment. Try different proteins like chicken, ham, or ground beef. Or add vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or peas. 
Meaty and colorful sausage and rice casserole with red bell peppers and celery

How to Store

Leftover casserole stores and freezes beautifully! Just follow these steps.

To Store: Place leftover casserole in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. 

To Freeze: Transfer the cooled casserole to a freezer-safe air-tight container or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

To Reheat: Gently rewarm refrigerated leftovers in a 350°F oven, covered with foil, for about 20-30 minutes. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave in 30-60 second increments until warmed.

Sausage and Rice Casserole

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

5

minutes
Calories

352

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kcal

You can’t go wrong with this easy sausage and rice casserole! Between the savory, spicy flavor and creamy sauce, it’s a dream come true.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bulk pork sausage (hot or mild)

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 celery ribs, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of celery soup

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the sausage until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • In the same skillet, add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cream of celery soup and chicken broth until smooth. Stir in the rice, thyme, red pepper flakes, cooked sausage, and sautéed vegetables.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Cover tightly with foil.
  • Bake for 1 hour, until the rice is tender. Remove foil, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes until melted.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy

Notes

  • Be sure to use long-grain white rice, not instant, for the proper texture.
  • Covering tightly with foil is key to keeping the rice moist as it cooks.
  • Let the casserole rest before serving so the rice can absorb any excess liquid.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

4 thoughts on “Sausage and Rice Casserole”

    • Hi Diane!
      Yes, you can absolutely prepare this sausage and rice casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight before baking in the morning.

      Here are a few tips for making it ahead:

      1. Follow the recipe instructions to cook the sausage, vegetables, and combine everything with the rice and soup in the baking dish. But don’t add the cheese on top yet.
      2. Once assembled, cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate overnight.
      3. In the morning, remove the casserole from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
      4. Remove the plastic wrap or foil, cover the dish tightly with new foil, and bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the rice is tender and the casserole is heated through. The extra time accounts for it being cold from the fridge.
      5. Uncover, sprinkle the cheese on top, and return to the oven for 5 more minutes until the cheese is melted.
      6. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

      Reply

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