I made this entire casserole for the two of us and it was so good, we ate it for three nights in a row! It’s easy to make. I provide you with step-by-step instructions on to flavor the entire dish. Then just toss the veggies, rice and easy to make turkey sausage together and you end up with a dish of deliciousness!. If you feel that you need to mask the vegetables for picky eaters, top it off with a creamy cheese sauce.
Gluten Free Zucchini Rice Casserole with Homemade Turkey Sausage
A flavorful rice and turkey casserole with flavorful vegetables. The homemade sweet Italian sausage is the star of this dish.
- 1 recipe Cheese Sauce (optional)
For the Turkey*:
- 1 pound ground turkey (organic from Costco)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or agave syrup)
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed basil
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
- 1/3 teaspoon fennel seed (optional - omit if you don’t enjoy black licorice)
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/16 teaspoon ground thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Scant 1/16 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
For the Rice:
- 3/4 cup Thai Jasmine rice (O Organics) (or your favorite rice)
- 3/4 cup Wild Rice Mix (brown basmati & wild) (O Organics) (or your favorite rice)
- 2-3/4 cups organic gluten-free reduced-sodium chicken broth (Better Than Bouillon)
For the Vegetables:
- 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored or extra-light olive oil
- 3 zucchini (1 pound) cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- If you are using the cheese sauce to top of this casserole dish, make it according to the instructions at the above link.
- Either use bulk gluten free turkey sausage or make your own using plain ground turkey. To season plain ground turkey, fry the turkey, breaking it up in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the maple syrup. Sprinkle with basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, ground thyme, salt, and pepper. If desired, add a tiny bit of cayenne pepper for a little heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
- If using the two above suggested rice, follow the instructions on the package by bringing both rice varieties, and in this case, chicken broth (instead of water) to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for simmer for 35 minutes or until rice is tender and most or all of the water is evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- In a large skillet, preheat oil over medium-high heat. Saute the zucchini, bell peppers, and onion until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the rice and turkey to the skillet and toss together. Serve immediately.
- Cover and refrigerate leftovers that will be consumed within three days. Otherwise freeze and defrost at room temperature.
*You can either use gluten free bulk turkey sausage or make your own using plain ground turkey and season as instructed above.
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