Baked Rice with Sausage Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 50 min. + standing
Enjoy the savory delight of baked rice with sausage, an easy and comforting casserole ideally suited to family meals. This hearty dish blends flavorful sausage with tender rice and vegetables.

Updated: Jun. 27, 2024

Cook up a savory and hearty sausage rice casserole that’s perfect for family meals. This dish combines flavorful Italian sausage, tender rice and vibrant vegetables, making it a satisfying choice for busy weeknights.

The easy-to-prepare recipe ensures a rich and delightful meal that will have everyone in the comfort food mood. Add this casserole to your menu, and it’s sure to become a family favorite.

Ingredients for Sausage Rice Casserole

  • Bulk Italian sausage: The Italian sausage adds a rich, savory flavor and protein to the dish. Ground beef or turkey sausage can be substituted, if you prefer.
  • Celery: Celery provides a crunchy texture. Chopped fennel or bok choy can be used instead.
  • Onion: The onion adds sweetness and depth of flavor. Shallots or leeks are good alternatives.
  • Green pepper: Green pepper adds a slight sweetness and crunch. If you prefer, red, yellow or orange bell peppers can be substituted.
  • Chicken noodle soup mix: This recipe includes dry chicken noodle soup mix to enhance the dish with savory flavors. Dry vegetable soup mix can be substituted.
  • Cream of chicken soup: Undiluted condensed cream of chicken soup adds creaminess and rich flavor. Cream of mushroom soup is a good alternative.
  • Long-grain rice: Uncooked rice absorbs the flavors and provides the base for this rice and sausage casserole. White and brown rice will also work well.
  • Bread crumbs: Dry bread crumbs are tossed with butter to create a crunchy topping. Panko or crushed crackers can be used as substitutions.
  • Butter: The butter enhances the flavor and helps the bread crumbs brown. Olive oil or margarine can be used as replacements.

Directions

Step 1: Cook the sausage and vegetables

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, cook the sausage, celery, chopped onion and chopped peppers over medium heat until the sausage is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender. Drain any excess fat.

Step 2: Prepare the rice mixture

In a large saucepan, bring 4-1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the dry chicken noodle soup mix, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for five minutes or until the noodles are tender. Stir in the cream of chicken soup, the rice and the cooked sausage mixture. Mix well to combine.

Step 3: Bake the casserole

Transfer the casserole mixture to a greased 13×9-inch baking dish, spreading it evenly. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the dry bread crumbs with the melted butter. 

Step 4: Finish baking

Remove the foil and top the casserole with the buttered bread crumbs. Bake the casserole, uncovered, for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the rice is tender and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Sausage Rice Casserole Variations

  • Swap the sausage: Use chorizo or spicy Italian sausage for a different flavor profile.
  • Add more veggies: Add diced tomatoes, mushrooms or spinach for extra nutrition and flavor.
  • Top with cheese: Sprinkle shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese on top of the bread crumbs for a cheesy crust.

How to Store Sausage Rice Casserole

Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container, or cover your casserole dish with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for three to four days. 

Can you freeze this casserole? 

For longer storage, place the casserole in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to two months. 

Sausage Rice Casserole Tips

Can I make this sausage and rice casserole ahead of time? 

Yes, you can prepare the casserole component up to the baking step, then cover it with foil and refrigerate it for up to one day before baking. When you’re ready to bake, follow the baking instructions, but add an extra 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time to ensure it’s heated through.

Can I use instant rice in this sausage and rice casserole recipe? 

Yes, you can substitute instant rice for long-grain rice. Reduce the water to 3 cups and skip the initial boiling step. Mix the instant rice directly in with the other ingredients before adding it to the baking dish.

What can I use instead of a dry chicken noodle soup mix? 

You can use a dry vegetable soup mix or a combination of chicken bouillon granules and broken-up pasta noodles. If you’re using a different soup mix, adjust the seasoning to taste.

How do I prevent the casserole from drying out? 

Cover the casserole with foil during the initial baking period to retain moistureAdding a small amount of extra broth or water before baking can also help keep the casserole moist.

Baked Rice with Sausage

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 50 min
Yield 14 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds bulk Italian sausage
  • 4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 4-1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup dry chicken noodle soup mix
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage, celery, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil; add dry soup mix. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Stir in canned soup, rice and sausage mixture; mix well.
  2. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over rice mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until rice is tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 234 calories, 12g fat (5g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 771mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 10g protein.

This recipe is perfect for potlucks or church suppers since it produces a big batch and has flavors with broad appeal. Most folks can't guess that the secret ingredient is chicken noodle soup mix. -Naomi Flood, Emporia, Kansas
Recipe Creator