Zucchini Rice Casserole with Sausage and Cheese

I adapted this recipe from one I found on eatingwell.com. I used Minute rice instead of regular rice for expediency’s sake (shaving about an hour off the cooking time), left out the bell pepper since I didn’t have one on hand, and left out the cream cheese topping as it seemed like cheese overkill.

I will definitely make this again, and add more vegetables to the rice — maybe carrots, broccoli, asparagus. We can leave out the cheese sauce and it will still be delicious, and Jamieson-friendly.

Here is my version of Zucchini Rice Casserole with Sausage and Cheese.

  • 1 cup Minute rice
  • 1-3/4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 2 cups diced zucchini and/or summer squash (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Pour rice into a 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish. Bring broth or water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir hot broth into the rice along with zucchini, onion and salt. Cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes.

While rice is cooking, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 6 minutes.

When casserole is done, remove from oven and stir in sausage and corn.

Preheat oven broiler.

In the same pot you used to cook the sausage, pour in milk and sprinkle flour on top. Whisk over medium heat until bubbling and thickened, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 3/4 cup cheese and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into casserole. Top with chopped jalapenos and remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Put the casserole under the broiler and broil until cheese melts and is beginning to turn brown in spots.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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