Here is yet a recipe for a Rice Sausage Casserole that a friend and I used to make in our freezer cooking marathons. It is not my ultimate favorite, but it makes a nice change from the other recipes as it has rice. And since it has rice, my family likes it!
I have made quite a few adaptations to it as we have seven family members, and there is no way one box of rice would be enough! I have included the original recipe, and then I put off to the side in italics what I did.
- •2 packages 7.2 ounces each rice pilaf--I used 4 boxes of Rice-a-Roni, 2 of Rice Pilaf and 2 of Creamy Four Cheese; but any flavors would do. I doubled the rice and carrots, but nothing else.
- •2 pounds bulk pork sausage--I used 2 pounds of turkey smoked sausage.
- •6 celery ribs chopped--I only did 1-2 ribs because I didn't have anymore, and we don't care for celery that much.
- •4 medium carrots sliced--I did 7-8 carrots, chopped
- •1 can 10-3/4 ounces condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
- •1 can 10-3/4 ounces condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
- •2 teaspoons onion powder
- •1/2 teaspoon garlic powder--I did not use.
- •1/4 teaspoon pepper--I did not use.
Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.
Chop your carrots and celery. I have a food processor, and I chopped the vegetables rather small as the casserole would be more enticing to the children with small pieces of vegetables rather than big pieces of vegetables.
Slice your smoked sausage if you are using smoked sausage.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage, celery and carrots over medium heat until meat is cooked. Drain if necessary; for my smoked sausage, I did not have to drain it.
In a large bowl, combine the sausage mixture, rice, soups, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. Transfer to two greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dishes. (If you do 4 boxes of rice like I did, then use 13-in. x 9-in baking dishes. I put half of the rice in a 13" x 9" pan, then half the meat mixture, half of the cans of soup, and mixed all of it up in the 13" x 9" pan.)
Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed. Yield: 2 casseroles (6-8 servings each).