Don’t you just love having fast meals on your menu plan for the week?
I sure do! Cuz, let’s face it, we all have those days now and then.
You know, the ones where you’ve been on the phone for 45 minutes saying, “rep-re-sen-ta-tive” as slowly as you can, and the plumber never showed up, and the cat threw up in your favorites shoes…
Yeah, those days.
But instead of hitting the drive through or making other questionable choices for dinner (Ben & Jerry’s anyone?) you can still serve your family and yourself real food.
This particular meal can be on the table inside of 30 minutes. Now that’s what I call real fast food!
I like having Italian sausage in the freezer because it’s such a versatile ingredient.
Kinda like the little black dress of the food world. You can dress it up or down pretty much any way that suits your fancy and it always works.
For this particular recipe I paired it with some beautiful mini bell peppers that were loitering in my crisper.
Added a saucy/gravy thing and served it over rice.
What made it so quick to fix was using my homemade instant rice.
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So, here’s what you’ll need to recreate this fabulous, fast & flavorful skillet meal.
Italian Sausage, Peppers, and Rice
- 2 cups homemade instant rice or other instant rice ~ enough for 4 cups
- 4 cups homemade chicken broth, divided
- 5 Italian sausages (if you’re on a tight budget, feel free to use less sausage, it still turns out great!)
- 1 med onion
- 4 mini bell peppers or 1 regular size
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp thyme
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
- Parsley flakes for garnish
If using purchased instant rice, follow the directions on the box.
To prepare homemade instant rice
Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of homemade instant rice. Stir to combine. Cover and let sit for at least 10 minutes. When ready to serve, fluff with a fork.
To prepare sausage, peppers, and onions
While the stock for the rice is coming to a boil, remove the casings from the Italian sausage. Now make 5 or 6 small sausage balls from each sausage.
Next, slice the onion and mince the garlic clove. De~seed the bell peppers and cut them into thin strips.
When everything is ready to go, put the olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or other heavy skillet) and turn the heat on to medium. I love my cast iron! This is the skillet I have.
Start off by browning the sausage balls on all sides. Because they are small they will cook through fairly quickly, so make sure you just brown them. Once they are browned, remove them from the pan. You may have to brown them in 2 batches.
Now toss in the garlic, onions, bell peppers, and thyme. And, ya know, not really toss. We’ve talked about that before…
Saute those guys until the peppers are tender and the onions are translucent. Now remove them from the pan, too.
To prepare the saucy/gravy thing
Add the 2 Tbsp of flour to the hot oil in the skillet. Whisk constantly, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
We need to cook the flour until it turns a golden brown so it loses that “raw” taste.
Once the flour has browned, add the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth all at once. Whisk to combine and continue whisking until the gravy has thickened.
When it reaches the desired thickness, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Reduce the heat to low and return the sausage balls to the skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes to finish cooking the sausage.
Add the veggie mixture and stir to combine.
Serve over the rice. Or you can mix the rice into the rest of the ingredients in the skillet.
Totally up to you. Judgement free zone here.
Sprinkle the parsley flakes over the top.
Round out the meal with a tossed salad and some garlic toast and you have a meal fit for a queen! Or any other royalty you’d care to name.
This would be equally as fabulous with kielbasa sliced in rounds. Or even with chorizo.
What kind of sausage would you use? Give it a try and let me know what you think.
More fabulous dinners you should make: