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Italian-Style Rice Casserole

What you need: 

3 cups white arborio rice, cooked
1 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 bell pepper, any color, diced
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 tube veggie sausage (or 3-4 patties) sauteed and crumbled
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet onion, minced
1 cup pasta sauce
3/4 cup shredded vegan "cheddar" rice cheese
dried basil, oregano, rosemary, fennel seed
salt and pepper to taste

What you do: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring rice and 4 cups water to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, sausage, and spices on med-high heat with some vegan margarine until onion is transparent. Add zucchini and artichoke hearts and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat. Once the rice is done (this will take 15-20 minutes) mix with vegetables, rice cheese, and pasta sauce in a casserole dish. Add salt and pepper and continue to mix. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
This casserole is great as a main course served with steamed green beans.

Preparation Time: 
45 minutes
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
4-6
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

This was really phenomenal!  The recipe includes the cooking of the rice, so if you're using pre-cooked rice (as I did) skip the boiling of rice in 4 cups of water.  I used a total of three cups of cooked rice.  I used Italian seasoning and some extra basil and oregano, and didn't have any fennel on hand.  Easy, fast, yummy dinner!

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