This Sausage and Rice Casserole is a quick one pot dinner recipe that punches way above its weight in terms of effort vs results. Smoked sausage is the trick! It adds a ton of flavour that’s absorbed by the rice. I’ve used kransky, but any type will do – kielbasa, chorizo, etc.
Tastes like Jambalaya, minus the cajun flavours, and much faster to make!
One Pot Smoked Sausage and Rice
Like the “dump and bake” Fried Rice I shared a few weeks ago, this rice casserole recipe was conceived as a quick and low-effort dish. What makes this recipe tick is the use of smoked sausages. An under-utilised yet economical ingredient sold at all supermarkets, smoked sausages like kransky and kielbasa (Polish sausages) pack a ton of flavour thanks to their smoky taste and the generous seasoning in the sausage itself.
They pan fry to a beautiful golden colour, leaving behind a stack of tastebud-tickling good stuff in the oil which then forms the primary flavouring for this rice meal.
And therein lines the beauty of this recipe: the exact flavour you end up with in the rice depends on the sausages you use. All are slightly different, some smokier than others, with slightly different seasonings.
One dish, different tastes!
Ingredients in this Smoked Sausage and Rice
Feel free to change up the vegetables in this recipe to whatever you want, as long as they will hold up to 20 minutes cook time on the stove.
Smoked sausages – I’ve used kransky sausages here but any smoked sausage will work here. Other smoked sausages you may know include andouille, kielbasa and smoked chorizo. They are well-seasoned so they leach a ton of flavour into the oil which then flavours the whole dish.
What exactly are smoked sausages? Smoked sausages are sausages that have exposed to burning wood smoke, which imparts a fabulous smokey flavour. They are commonly cooked sausages like Polish kielbasa, andouille, and the kind you see in American barbecue. However sometimes you will see salami-like sausages which are cured, dried and cold-smoked (meaning they’re technically uncooked).
Smoked sausages can be sliced neatly, as depicted in the photo of kransky sausages below, unlike fully raw sausages.
It doesn’t matter whether the smoked sausages you get are cooked or uncooked because they get cooked through in this recipe.
Raw sausages – Even raw sausages will work in this recipe because they too leave a ton of flavour in the pot! You can’t really slice them though because the meat is raw and squishy, so just cut into small chunks. They end up looking like mini meatballs – it’s so good!
Rice – This recipe is best made with long grain rice for this one pot cooking method because it’s the least sticky, so you get the nicest texture once cooked. Other rice types that work:
– Basmati rice – same fluffy texture but you get the basmati aroma (which is lovely!)
– Medium and short grain white rice – works perfectly but the rice is a bit stickier (that’s the way these rices are) so don’t expect the same loose rice texture you see in the video. It will clump a little more.
– Jasmine rice – reduce water by 1/4 cup (water to rice ratio is lower than other rices.
The recipe won’t work as written for: brown rice, paella or risotto rice, wild rice, quinoa or other speciality rices. I’d need to figure out liquid/rice ratios and cook times.
Onion and garlic – Essential aromatics for the flavour base.
Smoked paprika – The spice used to flavour the rice. We don’t need much flavour added into this dish because the smoked sausages add so much!
Chicken broth/stock – Be sure to use low sodium to ensure the dish doesn’t get too salty. Vegetable stock can also be used.
Capsicum / bell peppers – I used one of each red and yellow in this recipe. Lovely colours!
Other vegetables that will work include: carrots, corn, celery, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower (though broccoli and cauliflower will get a bit softer than ideal).
How to make Sausage and Rice
All made in one pot – nice and easy!
Cook sausages first to make them nice and golden, and to flavour the oil which is then used to flavour the whole dish. Do not underestimate how much flavour comes out of smoked sausages!
Once the sausages are golden, remove from the pot and set aside. We will add them back in later.
Sauté garlic and onion. Essential aromatics that virtually every savoury dish on this website starts with!
After we get the garlic and onion going, add the capsicum. I add it later because it cooks slightly faster.
Add uncooked rice and stock – Once the vegetables are softened, add the raw rice, stock, paprika, salt and pepper. Then add the cooked sausages back into the pot.
No need to rinse rice first unless you’re concerned about rice cleanliness (rice in packets at (grocery stores should be fine, I never rinse). If you rinse, reduce stock in the recipe by 2 tbsp – because this is roughly the amount of water that will cling to the rice and will make the cooked rice a tiny bit more mushy / wet than intended.
Bring to simmer – Give it a stir, then bring to simmer. Once the surface is bubbling, lower the heat to low (or medium low if you have a weak stove) until the surface is bubbling gently.
Cook 20 minutes – Place the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add peas – Add the thawed peas on to the surface of the rice, then put the lid back on. Work quickly here, to minimise the loss of heat. The residual heat in the rice will cook the peas.
Rest 10 minutes – An essential step with any rice recipe which allows the rice to finish cooking through evenly.
Fluff and serve! Use a fork to fluff the rice, stir the parsley through (if using, it’s 100% optional) and serve!
The rice is juicy and has absorbed the flavour left in the pot from cooking the sausages. Actually, it tastes almost like a simpler version of Jambalaya or Paella. There’s a small range of seasonings in the dish, but overall, the same amount of flavour! If that makes sense?!?!
A one pot meal!
This recipe serves 4 to 5, and contains 2 onions, 2 capsicums, and 2 cups of peas which I think is just enough vegetables per serving to make this qualify as a complete meal.
For a quick way to up the veg quota in this, stir through a few handfuls of baby spinach when fluffing the rice. The steamy heat will wilt the spinach in seconds! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Smoked Sausage and Rice – easy one pot dinner!
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves , finely minced
- 2 onions (medium), chopped (or 1 large)
- 1 yellow capsicum , cut into 1.5cm / 1″ squares
- 1 red capsicum , cut into 1.5cm / 1″ squares
- 400 g/ 14oz (~3) kransky or other smoked sausages , sliced 0.5cm thick / 1/4" thick
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3/4 tsp smoked paprika (sub normal paprika)
- 1 1/2 cup long grain white rice , uncooked (Note 2 other rices)
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock/broth , low sodium (or veg stock)
- 2 cups frozen peas , thawed
- 2 tbsp parsley , chopped (optional)
- Cook sausage: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large heavy based pot over medium high heat. Add sausages and cook until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Cook onion and garlic: Add remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes. Add capsicum and cook for 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add rice and liquid: Add rice, chicken stock, paprika, salt, pepper and the sausage. Stir, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low so it's simmering very gently.
- Cover and cook: Cover with lid, cook 20 minutes.
- Add peas and rest: Remove pot from stove. Working quickly, remove lid, add peas, then quickly put the lid back on. Rest 10 minutes – the residual heat with cook the peas.
- Fluff and serve: Add parsley. Use a fork to fluff the rice. Serve immediately!
- Basmati rice – same fluffy texture but you get the basmati aroma (which is lovely!)
- Medium and short grain white rice – works perfectly but the rice is a bit stickier (that’s the way it is) so don’t expect the same rice texture you see in the video (it will clump a little more).
- Jasmine rice – reduce water by 1/4 cup (water to rice ratio is lower, see here for cooking plain jasmine rice).
Life of Dozer
I’m sorry Dozer. You cannot help with taste testing these chocolate muffins. Chocolate is bad for you!!