Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole Recipe
This casserole takes one of my favorite appetizers (arancini) and turns it into a weeknight meal. Freezes well, great for potlucks and family friendly!
The filling is ground turkey with a little sausage that adds lots of flavor, plus peas and sauce. If you don’t like peas, swap it with another vegetable. I’m thinking of trying a broccoli and sausage version next. I’ve made this with brown rice, it works fine too.
Julia usually makes double and freezes the second casserole to use later. I halved her original, but it makes sense to make two for the same amount of work it takes to make one. I serve mine with a little extra sauce on the side and have also made this with brown rice and it works great.
Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 slice (1/8th) • PP: 9 pts • Smart Points: 10
Calories: 373 • Fat: 10 g • Sat Fat: 4 g • Carb: 47 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 21 g
Sugar: 1 g • Sodium: 629 mg • Chol: 61 mg
2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (2.5 oz) sweet Italian sausage link, casing removed
10 oz (.65 lbs) 93% lean ground turkey
1/4 cup onion, minced
5 oz frozen peas
1 large egg, 1 egg white
1/2 cup pecorino romano (or parmesan)
4 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs, divided
1 1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
fresh parsley or basil, if desired
Cook rice with 1 teaspoon kosher salt according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, sauté sausage meat; cook until brown breaking up into pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add turkey and onions and cook until browned, breaking up as it cooks. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste, then add peas and 1 cup sauce; simmer on low, covered, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl combine cooked rice, pecorino romano, eggs, and 1/2 cup tomato sauce and mix well. Rice should be a bit sticky.
Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray, making sure to spray sides too. Add 2 tbsp breadcrumbs to the dish and roll around to coat the bottom and sides.
Take half of the rice mixture (a little more if needed) and cover the bottom of the dish and up the sides; press to form the bottom layer. Fill with the meat and peas.
Top with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
The cover with remaining rice and press until even.
Top with remaining sauce, remaining 2 tbsp breadcrumbs, and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, until hot. Garnish with parsley or basil if desired, cut into 8 pieces and serve.
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