Kalyn's Kitchen

Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Italian Sausage and Bell Pepper

Easy Brown Rice Casserole has Italian Sausage, Bell Pepper and not much rice, so it’s a carb-conscious dish, and this tasty casserole is gluten-free.

PIN Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Italian Sausage!

Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Turkey Italian Sausage and Green Bell Pepper found on KalynsKitchen.com

Sometimes I just pull leftovers out of the fridge and come up with something that turns out so well I make the recipe again to take photos for the blog.  That’s exactly what happened with this Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Italian Sausage and Green Pepper.  I had leftover brown rice and some turkey Italian sausage that I’d thawed out and never used. In the vegetable crisper I had those 2/$1.00 green bell peppers that are so good this time of year. I cooked those things together into a tasty casserole topped with cheese and decided it was a keeper, so a few days later I made it again and took these photos.

I know it’s January now and lots of you are looking for ultra low-carb recipe ideas although with less than 1/2 cup brown rice, I’d still consider this to be a carb-conscious meal. So in 2020 I made Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice Sausage Casserole, which is a low-carb variation of this recipe. Both versions are delicious; give one of them a try!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • onion
  • green bell pepper
  • olive oil
  • Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link)
  • ground fennel (affiliate link)
  • turkey or pork Italian sausage
  • cooked brown rice
  • Mozzarella cheese (I used a four cheese blend)

Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Italian Sausage and Bell Pepper

How to Make Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Italian Sausage and Bell Pepper:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe, including nutritional information.)

  1. Finely chop a large onion and a green bell pepper.
  2. Saute the onion and bell pepper in some olive oil. When they’re almost done, mix in 1 tsp. Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link) and cook for a minute or two.  You can also add a little ground fennel (affiliate link) if you like that fennel flavor like I do.
  3. Remove the sauteed onions and green peppers, squeeze turkey Italian sausage out of the casing, and saute in the same pan until it’s nicely browned, breaking apart as it cooks.
  4. Mix the sauteed vegetables and cooked brown rice in with the sausage and warm it for a few minutes.
  5. Put the mixture into a casserole dish that you’ve sprayed with olive oil or non-stick spray.
  6. Top with about 3/4 cup of cheese.  I used a four-cheese blend from Costco.
  7. Bake about 25 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and the whole mixture is piping hot.

Make it a Meal:

If you wanted a low-carb side dish I’d eat this with something like Not-so-Dumb Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onions, Avocado, and Balsamic Vinegar; Cucumbers Caesar; or Red Rock Brewery Style No-Mayo Vinegar Coleslaw with Oregano.

More Tasty Casserole Recipes for Dinner:

Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker Casseroles Index ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cheesy Baked Zucchini Noodle Casserole ~ Simply Recipes
Low-Carb Deconstructed Pizza Casserole ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Turkey Italian Sausage and Green Bell Pepper

Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Turkey Italian Sausage and Green Bell Pepper

Yield Makes 5 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 37 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes

This Easy Brown Rice Casserole is delicious and has become a favorite casserole.


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 4 tsp. olive oil (divided)
  • 1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground fennel (or more, optional)
  • 1 19.5 oz. pkg. turkey Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup cheese (I used a four cheese blend)


  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  2. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large heavy frying pan.
  3. Add the chopped onion and green bell pepper and saute until the vegetables are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link) (and ground fennel if using) and saute 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Remove the cooked vegetables to a bowl.
  6. Add 2 tsp. more oil to the frying pan (or less if you’re using a non-stick pan.)
  7. Squeeze the turkey Italian sausage out of the casing and saute until it’s fully cooked and nicely browned, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks.
  8. This will take about 5-6 minutes, but don’t rush the browning.
  9. When sausage is done put the cooked vegetables and brown rice into the pan and mix with the sausage.
  10. Cook this mixture a few minutes, until the rice is warmed through.
  11. Put the mixture into a casserole dish that you’ve sprayed with olive oil or non-stick spray.  (I used a dish that was 7″ x 9″ but a slightly larger size will work.)
  12. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  13. Put the casserole into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned and the whole thing is piping hot, about 20-25 minutes.
  14. Serve hot.
  15. This kept well in the fridge and reheated well in the microwave, although the green pepper flavor was stronger after it was reheated.


The Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link) I used is a mix of dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary.

This recipe created by Kalyn as a way to use leftover brown rice she had in the fridge.

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6.7gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 971mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 1.7gProtein: 34g

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Turkey Italian Sausage and Green Bell Pepper would be a great main dish for phase two or three of the South Beach Diet, and it’s also gluten-free. This might not work for very strict low-carb eating plans, but there is definitely not much rice compared to the vegetable and protein ingredients.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Casserole Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there..

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    45 Comments on “Easy Brown Rice Casserole with Italian Sausage and Bell Pepper”

  1. Scott, thanks for that update. Good to know it could be made with cauliflower if someone wanted this for phase one.

  2. Tried it with the cauliflower last night – my wife and I both liked it very much. Brown rice is better as it seems to give a better body to the dish, but still very good with the cauliflower.

  3. Scott, so glad you liked it. Not sure how it would be with the cauliflower, but if you try it I'd love to hear what you think.

  4. Hey Kalyn – We made this last week and it was *fantastic.* Thanks for sharing! I'm originally from SC and it kinda reminded me of the chicken bog we used to eat growing up.

    I'm wondering how this would be with cauliflower "rice" instead of the brown rice. Ever tried it? I've put it on the menu for Wed or Thur this week and may give it a go with the cauliflower.

  5. Michael glad you liked it. Yes, you could definitely add more rice. The brand of turkey sausage I use doesn't have much fat at all; in fact I have to add olive oil to fry it!

  6. Hi Kalyn,
    We enjoyed your casserole. I ended up adding quite a bit more rice though. Actually, I prepared a full cup of uncooked brown rice and ended up using all of the cooked rice in it. If I make it again I will be sure to drain the fat off the turkey sausage before baking. The reheated leftovers were even better.
    – Michael

  7. Curt I am a huge fan of brown rice too. This is simple but tasty; hope you enjoy it.

  8. This sounds really good. My wife and I only eat brown rice these days. And of course onions and bell peppers makes everything better!

  9. Thanks Amy. I confess I cheat and use the rice cooker, but that will help people who don't have one. Hope you enjoy it.

  10. Kalyn,

    You just made my husband's day! He loves brown rice casseroles. This is going on my Dinner Menu for next week.

    If someone doesn't have brown rice left over, they can bake it in the oven. It comes out perfect. I do it all of the time because I can't seem to keep it from boiling over on my stove top.

    It's simple – 1 1/2 cups brown rice to 2 1/3 cups liquid (I use some type of stock) – bake covered for 45 – 55 minutes at 375F until all liquid is absorbed. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


  11. Sausage and peppers is one of life's more perfect combinations and I think we can all agree that most things taste better in casserole form! Total comfort food! i love that it's just a mash-up of leftovers!

  12. I can't wait to try this. My wife and I have been trying to have healthier diets, but she is very resistant to both turkey sausage and brown rice. It's not that she finds either one bad; it's that whenever we have tried to use them, it's in substitution, and her palate is set for the ingredient being replaced. I think this will be a good way to try and get her to see them on their own terms.

  13. Jeanette, I've been known to turn leftover rice and veggies into fried rice too, so we're on the same wavelength!

  14. I hate throwing food out, so I love it when I can use up as much as possible in one dish – lots of times it ends up in fried rice, but I like the casserole idea.

  15. Thanks Lydia. It really did turn out well.

  16. I always feel so frugal when I turn leftovers into something else, and I feel especially clever when that something else turns out to be delicious. Most often I use leftovers in soup, but I love the idea of this casserole.

  17. Daniella, that's true! Hope you enjoy it.

  18. It's like a stuffed pepper in casserole form. Love it!

  19. Thanks Kelly. The funny thing is that if my mom had put green pepper in a casserole like this, I would have turned up my nose at it, but now I would like it much better with the green pepper in it! I do love experimenting with different combinations like this!

  20. This brings back all kinds of memories. My mother used to do the same thing trying to make ends meet and then raising my own boys, busy weeknights found us mixing what we had on hand just like you do. A delicious combo, Kalyn! I'm a big fan of rice dishes but need to try in more in casseroles like this.