February 24, 2014

Sausage and Rice Casserole

Anybody that’s been here a while knows about my love affair with rice. And that my poor ol’ Canadian, potato-loving husband is just out of luck. Because if I’m doing the cooking, we eating rice. And p.s… to the fella that said rice is yankee food on the facebook page the other day… um… well, the East Coast low country and the Gulf Coast bayou were built on rice so, those of us in those areas have rice in our blood. And that covers a pretty good chunk of the South. Whew, I've wanted to get that off my chest for a few days now. I feel so much better!

Anyway! I came across a recipe for a sausage and rice casserole in one of my old Paula Deen cookbooks the other day and just had to try it! When I pulled it out of the oven both girls came into the kitchen sniffing around like little hound dog puppies. It’s got a good bit of celery and onion in it so I had a feeling they would lose their enthusiasm when I pulled the lid off. But nope! Angel Baby asked what the green stuff was and Flossy told her, “Just don’t worry about it. It’s like spaghetti and meat loaf. There’s all kinds of stuff in spaghetti and meat loaf we don’t like but it tastes good when it’s cooked all together.”

I noticed they were hanging around pretty close as I was taking pictures. When I was done I gave them spoons and let them go to town. And those two little suckers just about knocked the bottom out of my casserole dish! I finally had to take it away from them! God bless them. God bless their little rice loving, green stuff eating, Southern hearts.

Sausage and Rice Casserole is a simple dish made with sausage and rice perfect for supper, side dishes, potlucks and Thanksgiving (sometimes called Rice Dressing or Rice Stuffing)
Sausage & Rice Casserole
Recipe adapted from Paula Deen
1 pound pork sausage (I used “hot”)
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 stalks celery, finely diced (about a cup and a half)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 14.5-ounce can chicken or vegetable broth (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 can cream of celery soup*
1 cup uncooked white rice

Brown and crumble sausage in a large skillet. When sausage is about half cooked, add onion, celery and red pepper flakes and continue cooking until sausage is no longer pink and veggies are starting to become translucent. If your sausage is particularly fatty, drain off some of the fat – mine wasn't so I didn't need to.

Spray a medium-sized casserole dish with cooking spray or rub with butter. You don’t need anything as big as a 13x9 casserole. A 1.5 quart dish should do the trick. I used the precious red oval dish my friend Dawn left at my house. Yo, Dawn, good luck getting that one back, hooker! It’s my new favorite!

In a separate bowl, whisk together broth and soup until smooth. Pour soup mixture and rice into skillet and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Pour into prepared casserole dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove casserole from oven and let rest, covered, for 10-15 minutes before serving.

*You can use other creamed soup flavors but I highly encourage you to use Cream of Celery. I'd never used it before and really didn't know what to expect but I was genuinely impressed with it. And I'm not even a huge fan of celery! I picked it because I was already using chicken broth and I didn't want the dish to be too “chickeny” (now, there’s a word I never thought I’d use) but you can certainly use whichever soup suits your fancy. Also? I think I’m getting over my aversion to cream of whatever soups. Maybe they've just gotten better over years.


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93 comments:

  1. I make almost the same dish and my family LOVES IT! I add bell pepper too and I've always used water instead of broth but I might have to try broth next time. I prefer cream of chicken soup but cream of celery will do in a pinch! ha

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    1. I am DEFINITELY trying this. I've had a cough for the past week and my boyfriend keeps trying to get me to take cough syrup. And I refuse. But a homemade version...I am totally going to try!

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    2. Our family puts in a can of Chicken Noodle Soup instead of broth and we use a can of Cream of Chicken Soup! Diced onion sautéed in butter is delicious, too! Brown rice is a good alternative also!

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  2. can u use hamburger meat instead of sausage

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    1. Yes but you'll want to add some salt, pepper and garlic.

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  3. I do the same with hambuger meat, at my place it's called chinese style hamburger hash. The last 15 minutes in the oven, we put some crunchy chinese noodles on it and it adds a nice texture. The noodles reheat soft though, so only use what you need for the meal!

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  4. Now that I read the other comments, I guess I do have the hamburger recipe from years and years ago. This one looks "do it now" good, but I always wonder about which kind of sausage to buy. Did you use a breakfast sausage, such as Jimmy Dean? Thanks....

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    1. You could use ground beef, yes! But add seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, etc.). As for which type of sausage, I used Jimmy Dean's hot pork sausage.

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    2. I've made the ground beef version a lot in years past and it is good, but it's Asian inspired. I'm ready for this one and am always curious about what sausage, exactly, to buy - silly I know. I so appreciate that you always respond. It means a lot. And now I know the rice answer before I wondered! Thanks again.

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    3. Can I use Italian Sausage??

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  5. Do you use minute rice or regular rice?

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    1. what if you ONLY have minute rice? Think it would work or be too soggy? Want me to guinea pig it?

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    2. Maybe reduce the broth by half? Good luck :)

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    3. I used same amount of broth and soup, used 10 minute rice and baked for 45 minutes. It was perfect!

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  6. I've been looking for something different to make and this looks so good. I would use brown rice and ground beef or turkey though, not a fan of sausage. Maybe add some green pepper and diced tomatos? Adding some cheese in one form or another might not be bad either. Thanks!

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  7. I just made a chicken and rice soup that had, in addition to the broth and water, a can of cream of celery soup. It made the broth just a little thicker, a little richer, and a little more delicious! Now seeing this recipe, I'm beginning to think that maybe cream of celery soup is the glue that holds the world together!

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    1. I know, right?! WHO KNEW?!?!!! I was truly impressed and surprised!

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  8. So, could you double the recipe and use a 13x9 inch dish and take to a potluck? Also, do you use this as a main dish or side?

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    1. Yes, I think that would work perfectly!

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    2. Main dish vs side dish - largely depends on how much one puts on ones plate. Personally, I believe I would opt for main dish.

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  9. My mom makes a recipe similar to this but uses a pack of Lipton Noodle Soup dry mix instead of the cream soup. It's always a hit with the kids. I may have to try this version. My dad got me started on eating Cream of Celery soup as a soup as a kid, and I've loved it ever since!

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    1. Kim,
      Hi, I would like to know if I can get your recipe!

      Thx
      Jenny

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  10. OMG This looks so good! You can believe I'll be making this real soon. I wonder if I can just dump everything right in my rice cooker - after browning the sausage and onions of course. I bet it would work.

    I can't believe some guy said rice wasn't southern! That right there is as southern as you can get! Heck, next door in Louisiana they make sausage out of the stuff!

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    1. I have no clue about the rice cooker! I don't have one so I don't know how they work.

      Last time I checked, liver puddin had rice in it too :)

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    2. LOL...rice is universal! In Minnesota, we add it to our venison..when we make sausage. Its wonderful and takes on the flavors.

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  11. I made this tonight for dinner and it was quick and delicious, thanks Mandy!

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  12. During the summer, when the garden is on overload, I add cubed boiled & drained eggplant. I don't really like the taste of eggplant but will eat it like this. I plant 1 eggplant plant so I can make this. The kids don't even know there is eggplant in it.

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  13. I make one similar but brown the sausage, cook the onion & celery in butter, cook the rice with 2 pkg dry chicken noodle soup mix and 2 c. water (cook as directed for rice) then mix it all together, add some salt & pepper & pour into a buttered 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 until lightly browned - about 20 minutes. We are having this tomorrow matter of fact, just bought the ingredients today.

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  14. Hey there!
    Just made this last night....found my new favorite soup....cream of onion! Reduced the amount of onions I put in and used a can of the onion soup.....Hubby didn't even have left-overs for work! YUMMY!!! Thanks for all you do!

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  15. I make this with ground beef and pickles! Use 2-3 diced pickles and slosh in about 1/2 cup pickle juice. I use Del-Dixie pickles. We call it pickle soup

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  16. I make this with cream of mushroom and a can of milk. Also add some chopped bell peppers (red,green,yellow) and a can of corn mixed in. Great leftovers! Precious comments are great ideas to experiment with! Thanks everyone:)

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  17. I'm on a low carb, low sodium and sugar diet, I would modify this if anyone is interested in trying to be a bit healthier with it, by swapping out the white rice for riced cauliflower, using low sodium broth and using extra lean ground meat (perhaps turkey, but pork is good too), adding some additional spices that do not contain salt...will try to substitute the cream of celery as well.

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  18. I ABSOLUTELY love how most comments are like " from way back when!"!!! You so rock lady!

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  19. I made this last night. I used partial can of Rotel instead of the red pepper flakes. It was awesome. I think next time I will try it with more meat.

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  20. I was just wondering... do you know about how many servings/what size servings this makes?

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  21. This dish was excellent as is but being a bacon lover I had to try it out I added one pound of bacon to this and damn it puts a nice twist on it

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  22. I have made something very similar, but instead of white rice, I use a mixture of Carolina wild rice and some brown rice and there is never one drop left over...great Thanksgiving side dish.

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  23. My Mom has been making this recipe, with the bell pepper, for 50 years. It is a family favorite and one of my go to recipes for comfort food. We bake for 45 minutes, then stir with a fork to fluff it up, then bake for an additional 15 minutes. Yum.

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  24. I really don't understand why if someone is good enough to post a recipe, that others do their best to change the entire idea of it! Oh well, I for one am going to say that I tried the recipe as written and it is absolutely wonderful! If I want a hamburger casserole I'm sure that Mandy has several posted that will be just as wonderful as this one!
    Thanks for all that you do!

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    1. Couldn't agree more! "I followed the recipe to the letter but substituted...." No longer the same recipe, folks. At least make it exactly first time around and THEN make it your own. Oy.

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    2. I agree except that I'm on a very restricted diet and have to revise a lot of recipes as I'm sure a lot of others do also. I do like the idea of this recipes-it sure looks good and I think it could be "healthied" up really easily.

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    3. I personally appreciate when others comment with their substitutions. If I'm lucky, someone will have already figured out a way to make the recipe fit with my family's diet restrictions (in our case, dairy-free). I think both you "anonymous" need to get off your high horse and not read the comment section if you don't want to see other people's variations.

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    4. I too like to see substitutions. It can be very helpful especially for someone who has a child with food allergies.

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    5. I like the substitution suggestions.. helps me use things already in my pantry.

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    6. Sometimes we substitute because we had something in the fridge or the cupboard and were missing one or more of the ingredients in the recipe. When it's time to make dinner, it's easier to use what you have than go shopping! I like to read about others' successful substitutions: I call them creative variations, and when it comes to cooking, necessity is the mother of creativity!
      P.S. Italian sausage is fine, if that's what you have. General Tso's sauce in the refrigerator? A little of that with some chicken and or beef stock was good too! Just remember: 2 cups rice + 2 1/4 c. liquids and you can't go wrong. --Ellen in PA

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  25. I Saw this on "Weekend Potluck" and thought it sounded very good. Pinning it! Thanks!

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  26. I absolutely love this recipe! I'm expanding my dinner menus thanks to you!! I've loved every recipe that I've tried. Thank you so much!

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  27. I've made this recipe with potatoes that I have parboiled. Used same ingredients substituting potatoes for the rice. It was delish! I always serve this with hot buttered cornbread, green lima beans, and fried okra.

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  28. Made this for supper tonight with a side of turnips and greens. Loved the ease of putting casserole together. Had to substitute bell pepper cause I didn't have celery and used regular sausage (my family isn't fond of hot spicy food). Now we've got plenty of leftovers. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe
    I'll be back for more!

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    1. I'm glad y'all enjoyed it! Wish I had some of those greens!

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  29. I just wanted to say that I found your blog Sunday, pinned this recipe, got home today (Monday from work) and had an email that said 18 people REPINNED IT! Now I have to put the ingredients on my grocery list! Just wanted to let you know a lot of us "northerners" thought it sounded delish. I will have to tame the "heat", used to be able to handle it but now the "old body" says ohhhnoo you don't girl! ;)

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    1. WOW! Y'all must like rice like I do! I hope you enjoy it!

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  30. Really enjoyed the flavors in this recipe. Agree with a previous review that it was a little salty. Used sodium reduced broth and used mildly spiced sausage meet. My husband says its a definite make again :).

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  31. Made this tonight for the 3rd time and have loved it every time! Have you ever made it in the crock pot? Any idea how long you'd cook it on low? I don't use rice in the crock pot often so don't know how long those recipes typically take. So glad I found your blog!!

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    1. I haven't but I think I might try it out soon! If you beat me to it, please let me know how it turns out!

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  32. Im sorry I posted one of your recipes to facebook. I didn't know I wasn't suppose to do that.

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    1. I appreciate when anyone shares links or clicks "share" from anything on my FB page just please don't copy/paste the recipe with it :)

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  33. Hi Mandy,
    This jogs the memory from long ago.... I am wondering if this could be baked in a cast iron skillet? Maybe reduce the heat a bit? What do you think? Thanks

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  34. I really like this recipe. With all the celery our house smells like Thanksgiving. I was telling my husband that all of our favorite meals are your recipes. Out of nowhere he looks at me and says "I love her."

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  35. I am new at finding you, found you through pinterest and love this recipe. I switched the chicken broth to beef and cream of celery to broccoli cheese, because that's what I had on hand. My family is so picky, but they all loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

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  36. I loved the flavors in this recipe. Some of the rice did not cook thoroughly, not sure if that is because I used a 9X13 dish. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe!

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  37. This recipe tastes great! I even added some carrots I had in the fridge that I needed to use up. My only comment is if you are using brown rice (like I did because it's what I had in the house), you'll need to cook it for probably two hours. I left mine in for 1 1/2 hours and some of my rice was still al dente.

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  38. How would you adapt this for crockpot cooking?

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  39. Sounds Delish! Does the hot sausage make it spicy? I am not sure which to use, the regular or hot sausage. I want to make this dish and enjoy the dish. Does the hot sausage make it hot? I know that is a crazy question, but really want to make for New Year's Day! Thank you!

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  40. I enjoy trying new recipes. I made this for a pot luck at work - doubled it. Everyone loved it. I make another casserole that is very similar. I use mushrooms and water chestnuts, and soy sauce. We call it Mock Chop Suey.

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  41. Just took this casserole out of the oven and took a little taste to make sure the rice was done. WOW, the flavor was great!. The cream of celery soup will now be a staple in my pantry. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks

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  42. Has anyone tried making larger batches of this and freezing?

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  43. Thanks for the recipe. I made this tonight and it was a big hit. I found your recipe because I needed something for the "end of the week, and I need to go shopping" dinner and it was absolutely perfect for that!

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  44. I made this recipe and my husband and I really enjoyed it. It's a comfort casserole that makes you feel as cozy as a pot of chicken and dumplings. We completely wiped out the leftovers too. It's an absolutely yummy casserole that I cannot wait to make again! Doreen

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  45. How about Cheddar Cheese soup??

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  46. Natalie CampbellMay 11, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    I've used this recipe before and it was a hit, any thoughts on using a crockpot for it???

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  47. Do I add a can of water to the cream of celery soup

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  48. My Grandmother passed away recently and she used to make something similar called "Rice Continental". I was craving it this week, but when I asked my Mom for the recipe, she couldn't find the file for her recipes on her computer. Found this via internet search, and it seems just right.

    Just put the casserole in the oven and it smells wonderful! I am gluten-free, so I made a roux with gf flour and chicken broth for the cream soup.

    Thank you for posting this!

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  49. Just found this on Pinterest. My mom (feisty 82 year old) and I have a movie night with friends on Sundays. Next one is my turn for the main dish and this will be perfect! Looks like delicious comfort food. Thanks!

    Love the site by the way, I've looked around a little and will do more when I get home from work (don't tell the boss LOL)

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  50. I showed the picture to my husband of 30 years and asked him what that looked like, he said "your sausage casserole". I've been making this for decades and find the better quality meat you purchase the better the flavor of the dish. I've always used 2 cream soups with milk, chicken & celery, basmati rice adds a nice flavor as well. I will definitely try the chicken stock to reduce the salt, great idea. We like it crispy so I cover for an hour and then cook uncovered for another 1/2 hour till it gets crusty around the edges, I use a large pyrex bowl. Always a winner and leftovers are great in a frying pan, lid it to cook through and uncover last 5 mins to recrisp with some sweet peas on the side. Yum!

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  51. Husband makes this but adds zucchini and squash cut up in chunks :)

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  52. I've made this for over 35 years. I use a can of cream of chicken and a can of cream of mushroom. I do not use the broth. And I use minute rice. Always a favorite with no leftovers. You can also add some slivered almonds or water chestnuts for crunchy texture, but I usually just add some extra celery.

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  53. Made this tonight, with veg broth and the cream of celery. Neither my husband or I are big fans of cooked celery, so wasn't sure about using it. Was a big hit! Husband told me at least twice while eating how good it was, then said you have to make this again. Maybe try with cheese next time, but would it interfere with the rice cooking? Excellent!

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  54. Have made this twice, and while I normally have excellent results with Mandy's recipes, the rice both times has turned out a bit underdone. Followed the recipe exactly with no substitutions, let it rest for even longer than called for. Used a good quality brand of rice. Any ideas? Flavor is great, but family has no more patience with me when they get to the dinner table and see anything with rice!

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    1. I would add a little water when you mix everything up and cook it for 10 minutes longer. Hope that works!

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    2. I often have to cook my rice dishes longer as well. I live in SLC, Utah, so I wonder if it's because of the high altitude.

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  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  56. Hi Mandy! I'm looking to make this for my son's 1st birthday brunch. Do you know how many servings this feeds? Also, if serving for a large crowd do you think it will do well if I 6x the recipe and cook it the night before and heat up the morning of?

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    1. I would say it makes 4 entree servings or 6-8 side dish servings. If you make that big of a batch, you'll want to cook it longer to get the rice done. I think it should heat up beautifully! Happy birthday to your son!!

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  57. I REALLY love this recipe!!!! I have made it four times so far and tend to make it more!

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  58. Hi Mandy! Thank you for sharing this recipe- it brings me right back to when I was a little girl at my grandmother's house! Since I am a Cajun girl, I used Creole Seasoning (pre-chopped onions, celery, green peppers, garlic and parsley) instead of the onions and celery, ground beef instead of the sausage, and brown rice. It was amazing! You should know that it was very hard to wait the whole hour while the dish was in the oven. It made the house smell so good! And tastes even better than it smells! Thanks again!

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  59. If freezing this dish for a quick meal later, would you bake as directed and them freeze? Anyone try this in the crock pot?

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  60. I made this recently and it was very good. The recipe did not specify breakfast sausage or Italian sausage. I used 3 links of Italian sausage as I did not feel it needed a whole pound. This was easy to prepare and everyone liked it.

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  61. I made this for dinner tonight but because it was getting late, I used 1 and 1/2 cups of minute rice on the stove top....it was wonderful. I used cream of mushroom soup with chicken broth and added mushrooms to the sausage, onion and celery. I let that mixture get really hot before adding the rice. After simmering on low for about 5 minutes I turned the heat off and let it sit so the rice didn't get soggy. Start to finish, less than 30 minutes!

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  62. Just finished making this and taste testede. OMG GOOD

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  63. Thank you so much for this recipe! A dear friend mentioned her mother used to make this for her Yearly Birthday Dinner. Recently she had surgery so I brought this over - she/they loved it. Today I'm making it for another ill friend! I'm a vegetarian so I have no idea what it's like but they love it and I love them so thank you for that!!

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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