A plated portion of Italian Sausage Rice Skillet melted cheese peeks out from under the serving. and Grains of rice covered in the flavorful tomato sauce. Pieces of tomato, bits of cooked sausage, mushroom, and zucchini are visible throughout the rice.

Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet

I love one pot meals, and this recipe for Italian rice skillet fits the bill perfectly. One of the best things about skillet meals is that there’s only one pan to clean up when dinner is finished. I love how simple this is to prepare, and my family loved it. Food Critic enjoyed is so much that, one of the times I made it, he ended up eating three servings by himself, though not all at one sitting. Of course, he’s quite capable of eating that much at one sitting, and he’s not overweight. I really want his metabolism. (Imagine me trying to look at my but while scowling.)

What you will need to prepare Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet

From the Pantry:

  • Diced Tomatoes with Italian Seasoning
  • Long Grain White Rice

From the Refrigerator:

  • Bulk Italian Sausage
  • Zucchini
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • Mozzarella Cheese

From the Root Cellar

  • Yellow, or Brown, Onion

How to Prepare Italian Rice Skillet

The process is simple. The first thing you should do is chop all of your vegetales, the onion, zucchini, and portobello mushroom and set them aside, so they will be ready when it’s time to add them to the skillet.

A plate filled with chopped onions, chopped zucchini, and chopped portobello mushrooms

Next, you will need a very large, deep skillet with a lid. Put it on a burner over medium heat and add the ground Italian sausage and begin to brown it.

Ground Turkey Sausage is being broken up in a black non stick skillet., the first step in preparing Italian Rice Skillet

When the sausage is beginning to get cooked, add the diced onions to the pan, and stir them with the meat until they begin to become translucent.

Browned Ground Turkey and onions in a skillet

Once the onions are finished, add the garlic– we used three cloves of garlic in the pan because Baker’s Man always requests “more garlic.” Allow the garlic to become fragrant, then add the uncooked rice to the skillet and mix well.

Uncooked rice has been added to the skillet with the onion, garlic, and cooked Italian Sausage

Stir the rice into the meat mixture and allow it to toast until it begins to become more opaque, then add the can of diced tomatoes to the skillet along with the can filled to the top with water. (Using the can as a measuring cup for your water serves two purposes. It keeps you from needing to get out any measuring cups, and it ensures that you get every last bit of the tomatoes out of the can.

Canned tomatoes and water are added to the skillet containing the Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet

Stir well to combine the rice, with the tomatoes and water, then add the chopped zucchini and mushroom.

The mushrooms and zucchini are added to the Italians Sausage and Rice Skillet

Mix all of this together and bring the pan to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat and cover the pan. Allow the rice, meat, and vegetable mixture to simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.

Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet beginning to come to a boil

Once the cooking time is finished, remove the lid and sprinkle Mozzarella Cheese over the top of the pan. Don’t stir anything.

Shredded cheese has been sprinkled on top of the Italians Sausage Rice Skillet

replace the lid, and turn off the heat. Allow the skillet to sit, covered, for 10 more minutes. This lets the cheese melt.

A skillet filled it Italians Sausage Rice Skillet covered with melted Mozzarella cheese.

Remove the lid and serve. You can sprinkle the top with fresh parsley for color, but we didn’t have any, so we ate it as is.

A plated portion of Italian Sausage Rice Skillet melted cheese and grains of rice covered in the flavorful tomato sauce. Pices of tomato, mushroom, and zucchini are visible in the rice.

I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, but this was very good. A friend, and taste tester, said “This is REALLY good,” and I think I already mentioned that Food Critic ate three servings one time I made it, and two servings another time. He has some suggestions for another rice skillet meal, and I think I might give his ideas a try.

That’s pretty much covers how to make the Italian Sausage Rice Skillet, so let’s look at some questions.

What if I don’t like turkey sausage?

This recipe will work just as well with pork Italian Sausage, but you might need to drain off some of the grease after cooking the sausage to prevent the final product from being too oily.

What if I can’t find bulk Italian sausage?

If you can’t find bulk Italian sausage, go ahead and use Italian sausage links. Simply splint the casings with a knife and squeeze the sausage out of them into a pan.

What if I can’t find Diced Tomatoes with Italian herbs?

The label of a can of diced tomatoes with Italian Herbs

In my grocery store. Diced tomatoes with Italian herbs are on the shelf near regular diced tomatoes. Look around and read the labels. If you can’t find them, add some garlic powder and Italian seasoning to a can of regular diced tomatoes. I would suggest about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and a teaspoon of Italian seasoning.

Can I use already cooked rice in this recipe?

It’s possible to make something similar using already cooked rice by using a technique similar to the one I used in my Salsa Rice recipe, but this recipe, as it is written, won’t turn out right if you use already cooked rice. There will be too much liquid, and the rice will cook to mush. Trust me. You don’t want mushy rice.

Do I have to use Portobello mushrooms?

I actually wanted to use cremini mushrooms in this recipe, sliced up all pretty, but there weren’t any in my local store. (You know…supply chain issues and all.) I grabbed a Portobello because they were literally the only mushrooms in the store. You can use whatever type of mushrooms you prefer. I would recommend button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, or, of course, Portobello because they’re basically the same mushroom. You just want about a cup full of sliced or diced mushrooms for this recipe.

A plated portion of Italian Sausage Rice Skillet melted cheese is visible on top   and Grains of rice covered in the flavorful tomato sauce.  Pieces of tomato, bits of cooked sausage, mushroom, and zucchini are visible throughout the rice.

What if I don’t like mushrooms?

Don’t use them. You can add another vegetable that you like in their place. Try adding diced bell pepper, or carrots and celery, but you will need to add them at the beginning with the onions as these vegetables take longer to cook and become tender.

How can I make this meal vegan?

I suspect that you would need to begin with some oil in the pan because plant based sausage doesn’t have any fat in it, but there are some delicious Beyond Meat Italian Sausage links readily available in stores. You would have to cook the sausage first with a little oil, and then dice it up before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. Cook the onions, and garlic in olive oil, toast the rice with the onions and garlic, then add the Beyond Sausage Italian sausage back to the pan and proceed with the recipe as written. For your cheese, I would recommend Daiya plant based cheese. They have an amazing Mozzarella style shreds that actually melts.

A plated portion of Italian Sausage Rice Skillet melted cheese peeks out from under the serving. and Grains of rice covered in the flavorful tomato sauce. Pieces of tomato, bits of cooked sausage, mushroom, and zucchini are visible throughout the rice.

What do I serve with Italian Sausage Rice Skillet?

You should keep things simple. This can be served with a green salad. If you aren’t watching carbs, you can also have some garlic bread on the side. You could have this with another cooked vegetable–Food Critic recommends green beans. I took leftovers for lunch, and I ate a serving of the rice as well as some fresh fruit for dessert, and I was very satisfied.

There you have it. A simple skillet meal that’s a great family dinner. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. We love to hear from our readers.

A plated portion of Italian Sausage Rice Skillet melted cheese is visible on top and grains of rice covered in the flavorful tomato sauce. Pices of tomato, mushroom, and zucchini are visible in the rice.

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Italian Sausage Rice Skillet

This recipe contains the flavors of a spaghetti dinner, except with rice. It's a one dish meal that's simple to prepare, and was a huge hit with our family. The total cost for this meal is $8.25 or about $1.38 per serving.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 259 kcal


  • 1 pound Turkey Italian Sausage ($3.00)
  • 1  brown or yellow onion diced ($0.25)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced ($0.09)
  • 1 ½ cups long grain rice uncooked ($0.36)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs (Do not drain) ($0.58)
  • 1 tomato can filled with water
  • 2 zucchini chopped ($1.00)
  • 1 portobello mushroom chopped ($1.98)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese ($0.99)


  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and chop the zucchini and mushroom and set aside.
  • Heat a large, deep, skillet with a lid over medium heat on stove.
  • Add Italian sausage and begin breaking it into small pieces with a spatula or a "chop and stir".
  • Once meat is about half way cooked, add the diced onion. Continue cooking, stirring frequently until the onion is translucent and the meat is completely cooked.
  • Add garlic to the meat mixture in the pan, stir well and allow it to cook for about 1 minute.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice, and stir it to combine with the meat and onion mixture. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice becomes opaque.
  • Add the can diced tomatoes.
  • Fill the empty tomato can with water and add it to the pan with the meat. (This helps to ensure you're getting all of the tomatoes out of the can.)
  • Add the zucchini and mushrooms to the pan, and mix well.
  • Bring the contents of the pan to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. You want the pan to be simmering–just a little bit of tiny bubbles.
  • Cover the pan with the lid and allow it to simmer, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, shred your Mozzarella cheese.
  • After 15 minutes have elapsed, remove the lid and sprinkle the shredded Mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Replace the lid and turn off the stove.
  • Allow the pan to sit for 10 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the rest of the water in the bottom of the pan to be absorbed into the rice.
  • Remove lid and serve.

The following nutrition label was calculated for one serving (one-sixth of the pan) of Italian Rice Skillet prepared according to the recipe above.

Nutrition Label for Italian Sausage Rice Skillet.  One serving, one sixth of the recipe contains 259 calories.

Disclaimer:  Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at cronometer.com or verywellfit.com.  We make every attempt to ensure that the information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates.   Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.  In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used.   You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.  Under no circumstances will PattyCakesPantry.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided. 

2 thoughts on “Italian Sausage and Rice Skillet

    1. This would be good made with some of your wild meats seasoned like Italian Sausage, too. My secret is to add more seasoning to the game meats that I would to beef or pork when I make my own sausages.

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