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Italian Sausage Rice Pilaf

This tasty Italian Sausage Rice Pilaf is an incredible way to rock your side dish options. It’s amazing as an accompaniment alongside chicken or pork and also serves as a mighty tasty bed for grilled kabobs. It’s packed with flavor and a delightful way to serve-up the Italian flavors we all love.

Italian Sausage Rice Pilaf

Easy Italian Sausage Rice Pilaf Recipe

Life you, my life is incredibly busy so, I tend to gravitate to easy side dish recipes. As things usually happen in my kitchen, this rice pilaf was born out of a need to put dinner on the table using the ingredients I already had on hand. While I love making, eating and serving Cajun dirty rice this particular day I needed an Italian side dish in a hurry. Fortunately, my family loves Italian flavors and rice so, I knew they would likely take to this pilaf, too. Don’t you love it, when you make the right call and everyone’s happy?


How to Make the BEST Italian Sausage Rice Pilaf Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Italian Sausage Rice Pilaf: Long grain rice, Italian sausage, pine nuts, olive oil, minced garlic, red bell pepper, chicken stock or broth, chopped Italian parsley, dry Italian seasoning, garlic salt, crushed red pepper flakes, butter and grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: Sheet pan, large 12 inch skillet, sharp knife and chopping board, measuring cups and spoons, cheese grater and large stainless steel spoon for stirring.
  • When sweet Italian sausage is referenced, it’s referring to mild sausage. Should you choose to use hot Italian sausage for this recipe, you may want to omit the crushed red pepper flakes.
  • This recipe uses long grain rice i.e.Uncle Ben’s or a similar brand will work. Should you choose to use another kind of rice please note that it may cook differently. Basmati rice and Jasmine rice are both delicious but more delicate than long grain rice.
  • You can use chicken stock or chicken broth in this recipe. Low sodium works.
  • The ease of preparation includes the fact that this dish reheats beautifully making it perfect for make-ahead meal prep and stress-free entertaining. Reheat this rice in single servings in the microwave.
  • This Italian rice pilaf is topped with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts. The pine nuts add crunch and flavor but could be omitted, if desired.
  • Store cooked Italian rice pilaf in an airtight container chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Italian Sausage Rice Pilaf

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5 from 1 vote

Italian Sausage Rice Pilaf

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Resting time5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
Keyword: Italian-sausage-rice-pilaf
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 460kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 1 lb Sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 2 cups long grain rice uncooked
  • 1 32 oz container low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped Italian parsley divided
  • 2 tsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for garnishing
  • 1 Tbsp butter


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 5-7 minutes until lightly golden. Remove and cool.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook the onion and red bell pepper in a couple of drizzles of olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes until softened and beginning to brown.
  • Add the garlic to the skillet cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Add the sausage. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain all but 2 Tbsp drippings from the pan.
  • Add the uncooked rice to the sausage and stir to coat with the drippings. Cook for 1-2 minutes to allow the rice to brown slightly.
  • Add chicken broth, 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic salt and crushed red pepper flakes, mixing to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to simmer. Simmer covered for 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat. Rest for 5 minutes covered on the counter.
  • Just before serving mix-in the Parmesan cheese, butter and remaining parsley. Stir well.
  • Serve immediately garnished with toasted pine nuts and a sprinkle of additional Parmesan cheese.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 1177mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. This looks really yummy. Any ideas for a substitution for pine nuts? My son has an allergy to them specifically and I would need to replace or remove them. Thanks

    1. 5 stars
      I made this using a pound of regular Jimmy Dean country sausage and left out the pine nuts. It was delicious!

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