What a week. What. A. Week.
I’m forever grateful that today is Friday. This week has not been kind to me, what with having to work at 5:30am every morning and having to stay late most days. Friday blew in with a cold front (yay!) and was a welcome relief to my brutal week.
My eating schedule has been disrupted, too, so I’ve been eating dinner most days at 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Thankfully, I had made two large meals to sustain my life force throughout the week, and I only had to cheat once (I’ll forever love you, Trader Joe’s green chile mac n’ cheese). One of those large meals was this incredibly homey Bratwurst Rice Bake.
I’ve told you once before how deeply invested my family is when it comes to sausage, and this recipe was no joke. I had never thought to put brats into a casserole or bake; I usually cook with smoked sausage or Italian sausage. But this—-THIS—was so good. While it was baking in the oven, it smelled so inviting. Taking a bite immediately sent me back in time to when I was young eating a casserole my mother or grandma would make. It will give you all of the feels, and welcome you back with open arms the next day. It reheats extremely well in the microwave, so here’s hoping you have leftovers!
Bratwurst Rice Bake
A hearty rice & sausage bake that will warm you up on a cool autumn evening.
- 3 TBS. olive oil
- 1 lb. bratwurst, cooked and cut into 2″ chunks
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced thin
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cups white rice
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven (or a large oven-proof skillet, like a cast iron skillet) over medium high heat. Add the cooked brats, celery, carrots, green onions and thyme. Cook, stirring, until veggies slightly soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the chicken broth and milk and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover Dutch oven (if using a skillet, cover with foil) and transfer to your preheated oven. Bake until rice is tender, about 17-18 minutes.
- Switch oven to broiler and uncover the rice bake and sprinkle with cheese. Broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Top each serving with green onion greens.
First things first, cook up your sausages. I just threw those bad boys into my skillet with a a tablespoon of olive oil and sauted them over medium high heat, turning until they were browned on all sides. Don’t be scared if they’re still a little pink on the inside, they will fully cook when they bake in the oven. Roughly chop them up into 2″ pieces and set aside.
Back to your Dutch oven: Heat olive oil over medium high heat and then add sausage, celery, carrots, green onions, and thyme. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until veggies are slightly tender.
Add your rice and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Then add the chicken broth, milk and a pinch of salt. Stir and then bring to a simmer. Cover Dutch oven and transfer to a preaheated (at 400 degrees) oven. Bake until rice is tender, about 17-18 minutes.
Take rice bake out of the oven and switch oven over to broil. Sprinkle rice with cheese and then return to oven to let it broil for 2 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Top with scallion greens.
Look at that lovely browned cheese! I adore the taste of melted Swiss, and I don’t know why more recipes don’t call for it. It is truly wonderful. And don’t get me started on browned, baked, bubbling cheese…it’s seriously the best. I even love burned cheese, or any browned cheese that sticks to the sides of the pan. Yummmm.