Subliminal Messages from the Electric Company

I have been on a casserole kick lately. I really don’t know why but with summer turning into fall, I think this kick is about three months too soon. Long baking dishes in the oven when the air conditioner is running is just a bit counter productive. My electric company loves it, though. Maybe they are sending me subliminal messages in my sleep!

In my mind, a casserole should generally be a one-dish dish. Most of what I am making, ends up being a pot, a pan and three dishes. This recipe is really no exception.

This was both hearty, creamy and very good.

There are a surprising number of ingredients in this dish.

Spread the rice out.

Layer in the veggies.

Start the sauce.

Cook up the sausage.

Putting it all together.

And into the oven.

Ready to eat.

Zucchini Rice Casserole

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Cook Time: 2 hours | Makes: 12 , about 1 cup each


  • 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 , (Neufchâtel)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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 jalapeños.

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

Nutritional Info:

248 calories; 9 g fat (5 g sat, 1 g mono); 34 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 2 g fiber; 491 mg sodium; 273 mg potassium.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baking, Cheese, Main Dish 2, Pasta, Pork, Recipes, Side Dish, Turkey, Vegetable2

Author:The Ranting Chef

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16 Comments on “Subliminal Messages from the Electric Company”

  1. September 25, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    What can beat a “one-dish dish” for ease and cleanup – sounds delicious.


  2. The Lunchpail Tree
    September 25, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Will try this without the meat, am sure it will be just as good.


  3. twisterfish
    September 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    This is my type of recipe… sounds great!


  4. September 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    We’re lucky…a cold front and the baking & casserole bug both arrived at the same time. Sounds yummy as always!


  5. September 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    yummy, I’m going to make…minus the sausage.


  6. September 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I’m very conflicted about reading this blog. It always makes me hungry! NOT a good thing to feel when it’s 10:30pm or later! 🙂


  7. September 26, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    Yummy! I need to try this, ASAP!


  8. September 26, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    I am definitely going to try this! 🙂


  9. Renee Spindle
    September 26, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Looks wonderful! I needed a new zucchini idea.


  10. September 26, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Thank you very much for “liking” my blog over at “Healthy Stuff Reviews” at

    I really love all your pictures here and this recipe. My friend has a garden and brought over tomatoes and zucchini, so this “Zucchini Rice Casserole” recipe is perfect and something I definitely am thinking of trying!

    P.S. If you don’t mind…I just recently began my Blog…and well…I would love to have more people come over to visit it. Perhaps you can share something on your blog to draw people over to my page? If not, that’s totally okay.

    In any event, I will definitely add your Blog to my subscriptions.

    ~Amy 🙂


  11. September 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    I’ve just started taking a liking to Zucchini..will try this recipe!


  12. September 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Reblogged this on WrAnTz and commented:
    This sounds good. Reblogging so I can find the recipe again.


  13. September 27, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Now that it’s Autumn, I’m ready for food like this. I’ll try it vegetarian style, substituting veggie “meat”. Thanks for stopping by bluejayblog.


  14. September 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Casseroles are a big favorite of mine. I love the melding of flavors and the creamy textures. For me, the ultimate comfort food. Sadly, my family don’t much care for casseroles. They are of the foods-must-not-touch ilk…so I’m enjoying vicariously!


  15. September 29, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    Looks great. Vegetarian too! I love zucchini (courgettes).


  16. September 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Reblogged this on theworldthatihavecreated and commented:
    I want to try this… yum yum!!!!


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