A bold and colorful dish, this smoked sausage and red rice skillet has just the right amount of smoky and peppery flavor. Filled with juicy, caramelized beef smoked sausage, slices of sweet red and yellow bell peppers, onions, and a kiss of tomato, it's a deliciously easy and belly-warming one pan meal!
Smoked Sausage and Red Rice Skillet, a Simple and Cozy Dinner
One of the things that I love most about home cooking is how one can take a relatively small handful of ingredients that happen to play well together, and turn them into a cozy, warming, one pan meal.
Longing for a dish that had a bit of kick to it, some smoky savoriness, I came up with this recipe for my smoked sausage and red rice skillet a while back when I happened to have some good quality beef smoked sausage in my fridge, along with a couple of colorful and sweet bell peppers.
Sausage and bell peppers are a wonderful match already, and when I thought about how to “round out” the rest of the dish, sliced onions came to mind, along with the addition of some cooked white rice folded into a delicious tomato “broth” to make the dish nice and rich.
I found that all of these simple yet tasty ingredients came together quickly and scrumptiously, instantly turning that white rice into delicious red rice, making it extra flavorful and colorful!
Part of what makes this smoked sausage and red rice skillet recipe so enticing to whip up on a busy weeknight is how very easy it is to prepare, pretty much ready to dig into in around fifteen minutes.
It also enlivens the senses with its mouthwatering aroma as the savory ingredients caramelize together in the hot skillet, becoming the ultimate warming and comforting dish perfect for hungry bellies hoping to be nurtured with some love-infused, home cooking!
How to Make Red Rice with Smoked Sausage as a One Pan Meal
To prepare this flavorful recipe, all you'll need is one pan or skillet to build and layer the flavors of its simple ingredients.
The beef smoked sausage, peppers, onions, garlic, hint of paprika, and the tomato broth naturally bring an abundance of flavor to the table (or skillet, in this case), so it's just a matter of allowing things to caramelize incrementally, or in layers, to create that deeper flavor.
Here's an overview of how I prepare my smoked sausage and red rice skillet recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- First, I caramelize and sear the smoked sausage in a heavy-bottom skillet (cast-iron is great for this). It should be nice and hot to allow the sausage to brown on all sides for a few moments. This also releases those tasty drippings to caramelize the aromatic veggies in!
- Once nice and browned, I remove the sausage, then add the peppers and onions to caramelize together before adding in some garlic. When ready, I remove the peppers and onions from the pan and keep them available with the sausage.
- The tomato “broth” is created with a hint of tomato paste and chicken broth (or stock), simmered for a moment before some cooked white rice is folded in, along with a pinch of paprika.
- To finish the dish, the sausage, peppers, and onions are then folded into the red rice, along with a touch more chicken broth, followed by a generous sprinkle of fresh herbs.
Smoked Sausage and Red Rice Skillet
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 601 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- Avocado or olive oil
- 1 (12 ounce) package smoked beef sausage (or your favorite variety), sliced
- 1 white onion, quartered and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- Black pepper
- 3 ounces (about half a tin) tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth/stock
- 4 cups cooked rice (I use white basmati rice)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Place a large cast-iron skillet or heavy bottom braising/Dutch oven-style pan over medium-high to high heat; once the skillet/pan becomes hot, drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of oil, and once that shimmers, add in the sliced sausage, and leave it undisturbed for a couple of moments, in order for it to sear up on that first side.
- Then, stir the sausage so that it can brown on the other sides for a few moments, and with a slotted spoon, remove from pan and set aside.
- Add into the skillet/pan the sliced onion, along with the sliced red and yellow bell peppers, and allow those to char and become golden, for about 3-4 minutes; then, add in the garlic and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, and stir to incorporate.
- Once the garlic becomes aromatic, remove everything from the pan, and set it aside with the sausage.
- Reduce the heat to low, and drizzle in a little more oil, about a tablespoon or so; add in the tomato paste and about 1/2 cup of the chicken broth/stock and stir or whisk to blend, allowing it to cook for about 15-30 seconds just to cook out the raw flavor of the tomato paste and soften it a little bit.
- Add in the cooked rice and sprinkle over the paprika, and stir so that it gets well-coated in the tomato “broth”.
- Add back into the skillet the sausage and the charred onions and peppers, plus the remaining 1/2 cup of the broth/stock, and stir to combine everything well.
- Finish by stirring in the chopped cilantro and parsley, and then check to see if any additional salt and pepper is needed (you can even add some red pepper flakes if you like it spicy), and serve.
Tips & Tidbits for my Smoked Sausage and Red Rice Skillet Recipe:
- Juicy and savory sausage: I typically prefer to use beef smoked sausage in this dish, but you can certainly get creative by using your own favorite kind of sausage. You can use kielbasa, andouille, turkey or chicken sausage—it's up to you!
- Colorful bell peppers: I love the colorful nature of using both red and yellow bell peppers, but since both offer sweetness, feel free to use only red or only yellow peppers if that is what you have on hand. You could even sub green bell peppers, just know that these won't provide that nice sweet flavor.
- Type of rice: One of my favorite varieties of rice is white basmati rice, because I love the fragrance and flavor of it. You can use any white rice or even brown rice, because it is the tomato element that will turn it red. Just take note that you are adding in already cooked rice, and not cooking it in the pan.
Hungry for more easy and delicious skillet recipes? Check out this Hungarian Red Potato Goulash with Smoked Sausage, these Skillet Potatoes with Chicken, this Peruvian Skillet Chicken, or this French Onion Skillet Chicken!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2015, and has been updated with even more love!