We pack extra vegetables into this cheesy baked rice casserole. Plus we substitute brown rice for white, reduce the cheese by half and swap turkey sausage for pork sausage. If you're bringing it to a potluck, plan to reheat it before serving.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2009


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

2 hrs
Nutrition Profile:


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Pour rice into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir hot broth into the rice along with zucchini (and/or squash), bell peppers, onion and salt. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 35 to 45 minutes more.

  • Meanwhile, whisk milk and flour in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until bubbling and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 1 1/2 cups Jack cheese and corn and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Set aside.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

  • When the rice is done, stir in the sausage and cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Jack cheese on top and dollop cream cheese by the teaspoonful over the casserole. Top with jalapenos.

  • Return the casserole to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5; cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. To finish, bake at 375°F until the casserole is hot and the cheese is melted, about 45 minutes.

Tip: To remove corn from the cob: Stand an uncooked ear of corn on its stem end in a shallow bowl and slice the kernels off with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. This technique produces whole kernels that are good for adding to salads and salsas. If you want to use the corn kernels for soups, fritters or puddings, you can add another step to the process. After cutting the kernels off, reverse the knife and, using the dull side, press it down the length of the ear to push out the rest of the corn and its milk.

Nutrition Facts

242 calories; protein 12.3g; carbohydrates 28.4g; dietary fiber 2.1g; sugars 5.4g; fat 9.2g; saturated fat 4.3g; cholesterol 31.7mg; vitamin a iu 986IU; vitamin c 34.7mg; folate 41.9mcg; calcium 167.3mg; iron 0.9mg; magnesium 53.8mg; potassium 374.4mg; sodium 596.3mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (55)

Read More Reviews
56 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 36
  • 4 star values: 17
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I'm the only one who likes the jalapenos so I left them out. Followed recipe and it is delicious. Will put in my regular recipe rotation. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Hearty and tasty! I made this after a long day of work and even though it took a while it was not hard to make! It turned out delicious. My family loved it and it's great for lunch leftovers too! Pros: Filling healthy a mixture of favors Cons: Takes a long time to prepare Read More
Rating: 4 stars
easy comfort food We used reduced fat jalapeno cheddar and spicy chicken sausage. Delicious! This is really filling with lots of leftovers. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
With fresh squash in season it is nice to fix it different ways. This can be a very versitle dish with melon or spinish salad as a main dish or it could be a side dish. It would be a welcomed guest at any potluck dinner or the new star at the holidays. Use your imagination and see what happens. Pros: It can be modified to be vegetarian without loosing its great taste. Cons: None Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was really delicious! We made some modifications though. We used the 90 second ready rice to cut down on some time and found we had to cut down on the fluid content too. We opted for chopped instead of diced onion which we also decreased. We added a little more salt and used vegetable broth. We left out the sausage to make it veggie friendly and we left out the Jalapenos. It was great! BTW we're happy to have found the Neufch ótel... we're definitely going to switch! 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 4 cups diced zucchini and/or summer squash (about 1 pound) 2 red or green bell peppers chopped 1 large onion diced 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese divided 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 8 ounces turkey sausage casings removed 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufch ótel) 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos Read More
Rating: 5 stars
a very tasty dish even my picky 6 year old enjoyed it Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Everyone Loved this recipe! This was a hit with dinner guests and family. It is a recipe you can make as spicey as you'd like or tone it down for those who do not like it extra hot. While it takes a little time to prepare it is worth the rave reviews it gets! A great change from cheesy potatoes and much healthier. Great recipe! Pros: Spicey hearty healthy Cons: It takes some time! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
this will become a staple at our house. it was SOOO good! and it doesnt even taste healthy. its really hard to believe that this dish only has 110 cals per serving. my bf was very surprised that he was eating zucchini. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious!!! I put the rice broth and veggies in the slow cooker on low for 3 hours then switched to high for another hour or so to soak up the rest of the liquid. I mixed in the cheese mixture and sausage then transferred to a casserole dish toped with cheeses (I left out the jalapenos) covered and refrigerated and baked it the next day at 375. It turned out perfectly. Read More