Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole (Arancini)

This Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole takes one of my favorite appetizers (arancini) and turns it into a weeknight meal. Freezes well for make ahead meals and it’s also great for potlucks.

This Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole takes one of my favorite appetizers (arancini) and turns it into a weeknight meal. Freezes well for make ahead meals and it's also great for potlucks.
Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole

It’s filled with ground turkey and a little sausage which adds lots of flavor, plus peas and sauce. More casserole recipes I love are Chicken Sausage and Peppers Macaroni Casserole, Spiralized Turnip and Potato Au Gratin Casserole and Tuna Noodle Casserole.

I can’t take full credit for this, this is pure genius from my friend Julia of Julia’s Healthy Italian. I tweaked her recipe to lighten it up a bit, but she takes full credit for the creativity. Servings are large and very satisfying, you could serve a simple green salad on the side if you want more greens.

If you don’t like peas, swap it with another vegetable. I’m thinking of trying a broccoli and sausage version next.

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.

This Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole takes one of my favorite appetizers (arancini) and turns it into a weeknight meal. Freezes well for make ahead meals and it's also great for potlucks.

This Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole takes one of my favorite appetizers (arancini) and turns it into a weeknight meal. Freezes well for make ahead meals and it's also great for potlucks.

This Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole takes one of my favorite appetizers (arancini) and turns it into a weeknight meal. Freezes well for make ahead meals and it's also great for potlucks.

To make this quicker you can make the rice ahead of time as well as the sauce. I used my filetto di pomodoro recipe, but you can use your favorite sauce or even use jarred. I recommend either using the 93% lean turkey, I found the 99% lean turkey was too dry and the points remain the same.

More Arancini recipes:

How To Make Rice Ball Casserole

This Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole takes one of my favorite appetizers (arancini) and turns it into a weeknight meal. Freezes well for make ahead meals and it's also great for potlucks.
Print
4.87 from 65 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole

9
10
9
SP
373 Cals 21 Protein 47 Carbs 10 Fats
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole filled with ground turkey and a little sausage adds lots of flavor, plus peas and sauce. Freezes well, great for potlucks and family friendly!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 2.5 oz sweet Italian sausage link, casing removed
  • 10 oz 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • black pepper
  • 5 oz frozen peas
  • 2 cups homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 large egg, 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino romano cheese, or parmesan
  • cooking spray
  • 4 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs, divided (or gf crumbs)
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
  • fresh parsley or basil, if desired

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (1/8th), Calories: 373kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 629mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g
Blue Smart Points: 9
Green Smart Points: 10
Purple Smart Points: 9
Points +: 9
Keywords: healthy casseroles, rice casserole recipes, sausage and rice casserole, Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole, turkey and rice casserole

Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole filled with ground turkey and a little sausage adds lots of flavor, plus peas and sauce. Freezes well, great for potlucks and family friendly!

Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole filled with ground turkey and a little sausage adds lots of flavor, plus peas and sauce. Freezes well, great for potlucks and family friendly!

Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole filled with ground turkey and a little sausage adds lots of flavor, plus peas and sauce. Freezes well, great for potlucks and family friendly!

Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole filled with ground turkey and a little sausage adds lots of flavor, plus peas and sauce. Freezes well, great for potlucks and family friendly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe:




415 comments

  1. Very delish!

  2. I made this according to the recipe. Rice is too  mushy for my taste. Needs a boost. I would add some garlic and use Italian Arborio rice instead of long grain. Might even add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
    It was certainly edible, but bland. Did not taste like the arancini I make/buy.

  3. I’ve made this recipe many times, it’s one of my favorites! It’s really tasty, makes a good amount of servings, and freezes well for future meals. It’s also pretty adaptable for what you have on hand, it works with white rice, brown rice, and even cauliflower rice (I’ve made it half cauli half white rice to lower the calories a little). I typically leave out the sausage and replace it with extra turkey. And of course, I always add plenty of garlic. I highly recommend this recipe, especially if you are a fan of rice balls!

  4. Wondering if the rice can be substituted with quinoa ?
    Thanks 

  5. I made this yesterday, and I loved it! I used basmati rice, which was nice and fluffly and seemed to have knocked off a couple of points per serving (I used the WW recipe maker to double check my modifications). I also used Rao’s Marinara Sauce instead of making my own, just because I didn’t have the time. Will totally make again–thank you for the yummy recipe!

  6. Sooooo good. I use plant based hot Italian sausage. Yummmmmmmm

  7. Hello, 

    Can I make this eliminating the sausage and just use chopped turkey. We are from Sicily and huge fans of rice balls but quite a bit of work! Don’t love sausage and was wondering if leaving it out will alter the taste considerably? Thanks! 

    • I’ve left it out if I didn’t have sausage and it’s still good. I like it a bit more with the sausage but definitely good without.

    • You might want to think about a way to punch up the flavor if you leave out the sausage–it might be bland if it’s just turkey?

    • I always make it without sausage – I add a bit of fresh crushed garlic in when I am cooking the turkey and the onions. It’s been a hit at my house.

  8. Hi Gina! This was a huge hit taste wise for all of us but just way too much dairy (husband is semi lactose intolerant so I usually avoid cheesy dishes). What would you suggest if I want to do it dairy free or with just the Romano? Hard cheeses are more tolerable in general. Would I use more egg?

  9. Amazing!! I used 16 oz Trader Joe’s sweet Italian sausage, and 2 cups Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice and 2 cups fresh cauliflower rice (did not cook prior to mixing in). I‘ve made the recipe as written the first time and it tastes just as good when I made a few tweaks to hide veggies for my kids! 

  10. Has anyone made this with riced cauliflower and no rice? Wondering how it would come out. One of my favorite meals! 

  11. This was another winner for my family.

  12. I made this today, I made with 2/3 cauliflower rice. It needed more rice so I made extra. I also used no sugar added marinara. It was wonderful!!!!

  13. Loved this casserole! Wonderful flavor and even better the next day! Definitely, you don’t feel like you are dieting when eating this.

  14. Excellent!

  15. Another fabulous recipe from Skinny Taste!

    I did make some modifications though:

    1. I made 2.5 cups of basmati rice to make sure I had enough
    2. 1 lb. 93/7 lean ground beef instead of 10 oz of turkey (couldn’t find it, Thanks COVID)
    3. 12 oz bag of peas because why not.
    4. I used the whole jar of marinara sauce and would probably use some more next time. It was a little dry.
    5. Next time I might skip the bread crumbs on the bottom.
    I am going to freeze the left overs for future meals or lunches, if I ever go back to work 🙂

  16. I prepared this dish and it’s was beyond spectacular. Anyone that likes rice balls willlove this.

  17. LOVE this! Used short-grain brown rice; increased cooking time accordingly. Added a tad more sausage and cheese. Froze half for a future meal. Plop a fried egg on leftover piece for breakfast.

  18. Made this yesterday. I did make her tomato sauce, which saved a ton of money at the store. I had some leftover Turkey Italian Sausage (Ginas recipe) and used that in the recipe. Made it with Jasmine rice. My company was impressed and it was very filling.  Recipe was easy enough to follow. I do recommend to do as much prep ahead of time, eg. making the tomato sauce. I also split the recipe in two dishes and baked them in the airfryer @375F for about 20-25 min.

  19. If doubling the recipe, do you freeze after you bake it or before? I’m clearly not super knowledgable when it comes to freezer meals but hope to be one day!

    • I would say cook it until almost done. Then when you take it out of the freezer let it defrost then bake until done and heated through. 

  20. I loved this. So filling & flavorful.

  21. Why don’t you use Arborio rice in this receipe, the Sicilian rice ball casserole? 

  22. What’s the best way to freeze leftovers?

  23. Can you substitute the red sauce with cream of mushrooms or cream of chicken. Red sauce.
    makes me sick

    • It will be totally different in flavor and probably the points, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. Let us know how it turns out.

  24. My family loved this. I used more meat since the package of turkey was 16oz and I didn’t pay attention till it was already in the pan. 

  25. I’d love to try this with ride cauliflower rather than rice, this looks amazing!

  26. This was delicious…though I did end up doubling the meat and peas!  

  27. Scan this be made with cauliflower rice?

  28. Oh my word!!! Made this yesterday and it is delicious! One of my absolute favorite recipes from skinnytaste to date… And there are several!

  29. This was delicious, and there’s enough for leftovers tomorrow! 

  30. I would like to try subbing cauliflower rice for all or part of the white rice…any thoughts on that?

  31. I’m trying this recipe soon, but my family isn’t a big fan of peas. What do you suggest as a substitute? 

    • Try carrots. Chop them in half or smaller if you wish. Another favorite is chopped Broccoli. You can even use Broccoli rice (In the frozen section).

      • I didnt use peas at all it was fine. I actually used lean. Ground beef instead of sausage true arancini doesn’t have sausage in the middle. It was delicious

  32. I am having dinner guests and one person is gluten free – can I serve this recipe or change it somehow???
    Thank you – I really want to try it.

  33. Does the recipe call for one 2.5 oz sausage link or 12.5 oz sausage?

  34. OH MY GOSH!!!! You did it again Gina. This is fantastic. Only problem is I keep wanting to go back for 2nds

  35. White size baking dish should this be cooked in?

  36. This is one of my favorites among many of your recipes, Gina! I’m seeing people trying this with half cauliflower rice. I wonder if it could be done with all cauliflower?

  37. My Italian family has been making a similar version of this dish for years and everyone loves it. It’s great for parties too since you can serve it at room temp. Our variation is to saute in oil: 1/2 lb hamburger, 1/2 lb sausage crumbled, 1 chopped onion, clove minced garlic. Transfer to large bowl and mix in 4 cups cooked rice, 1 beaten egg, 3/4 cup Romano cheese., 1 can cream of chicken soup, and 28 oz can tomato sauce. Pour mixture into 9×12 greased baking dish. Beat another egg and brush over the top (this will form a golden glaze over the top that helps keep it together when cutting squares). 375 degrees for 1 hour. I bet it’s great with peas, too!

    • Thanks for this comment! I didn’t feel like “stuffing” the rice, so this gave me the confidence to just mix everything together.

  38. WOW! My family truly loved this recipe!

  39. When you substitute half cauliflower rice, do you cook the cauliflower rice  first?  Or do you mix the uncooked cauliflower rice with the cooked rice?

    Thanks!!

  40. Do you have the recipe for the tomato sauce? When I clicked on it above it said error page not found. Thanks

  41. Happily eaten by all tonight – kids said it was delicious and the 2 year old asked for more. Husband said it was like Italian fried rice as he ate what was left in the pan before cleaning. Thanks!

  42. This is one of the best recipes I have made off of skinny taste!! I use brown rice and ground chicken and it comes out great!!

  43. Would this work without the eggs??

    • Eggs are what hold the whole mess together. Otherwise you have rice with ground whatever, not a neat little square. 

    • I’ve made it without eggs (my son is allergic) and it actually held up quite well! Definitely falls apart as you eat but I was able to serve them and they stayed more or less in nice squares. 

  44. Hey Gina,
    I’ve been a loyal follower of your site since 2009 – long time listener first time caller – and I just had to say, this dish hit the spot for me this weekend. It was such a rough week, and I was really in need of a hug – and this dish delivered and then some. 
    Thank you for all the hard work you do. I’ve never followed a site where the recipes are just so consistently delicious and reliable!

  45. Is there a store bought tomato sauce that I can use that won’t add more points to this recipe? Can you just use Tuttorosso canned tomato sauce or is it too bland on its own? 

    • Rao’s is my go to jarred sauce. I am an Italian greatgrandmom an usually make my own, but when I’m not in the mood, I just open a jar of Rao’s and I’m good to go.

  46. Would it be ok to just eliminate the meat altogether for a vegetarian version? Rather than use a substitute?
    I can substitute protein somewhere else.
    Thanks

  47. This looks amazing. Gina! I’m thinking of substituting chicken sausage for the pork. I’ve been making my pizzas with it and, even though I love Italian pork sausage the chicken is pretty good. And it would probably make it even healthier. Right? I love your recipes and your website!

  48. I’m making this ahead of time. I’m going to prepare it up to baking. When I bake it how long and for what temp?

  49. This was amazing! Gina you have the most creative recipes. I ended up using half frozen cauliflower rice because I did not have enough white rice in the house. But it was great, you couldn’t taste the cauliflower at all. This was a huge hit!

  50. This was for sure a family KO and will become a part of the roataion of meals I can cook tht everyone enjoys.  Was very yummy.  I only substituted onion powder for the onions because I was out of onions.  I also added dried basil.  Yumo

  51. This is delicious and makes a ton. We always have left overs!

  52. Made a vegetarian version of this last night with soy crumbles in place of the meat and it was great! I made it with brown rice cooked in veggie broth for a little extra flavor as well.

  53. Are the calories and fat content per serving based on a full fat italian sausage or a chicken sausage like most of your recipes?

  54. Anyone know how long to cook this if it has been frozen ?

    Thank you !

  55. Anybody tried this with a veggie substitution, such as the suggested broccoli? I’ve made this before with peas and it was declicious, just curious what others have tried and how it turned out.

  56. Can I use quinoa instead of rice ? 

  57. My grandmother came to the US from Sicily, and she made us rice balls using her family recipe. They are labor intensive and time consuming to make, but such a delicious treat! Her recipe is a little different from yours, but I used your outline to make her rice balls into a casserole. Fantastic! I’m so excited. It’s so much easier and faster, so I’ll definitely be making this often. It’s pure comfort food to me. And an extra bonus is that you use way fewer eggs and far less butter, without sacrificing the taste I expect, so it’s a lot healthier too!

    Just FYI in case you are interested, the major differences in your recipe do my grandmother’s are that she did not put tomato sauce in the rice (just Romano cheese, lots of egg yolks and tons of butter!), and to season her meat she used tomato paste, Romano cheese, ground cloves, nutmeg, white wine, and mozzarella. Oh, and no peas, although I know they are commonly used in Italy. From what I understand, the recipes vary widely from region to region. 

  58. Is this recipe for a 13×9 baking pan? I’m making this for 16 people, want to make it’s the right size or should I double the recipe.

  59. I’ve made this as is and with variations, e.g, adding fresh spinach. It’s always a winner!

  60. So worth the effort—this is sooo yummy!! I even used half cauliflower rice half regular rice and you can’t even tell. Then I made it into 6 heaping servings for about the same amount of calories. 

  61. Just made this and LOVED it!! I used chopped green pepper instead of peas and it was delicious!!

  62. Tried this today. Used Brown rice and also topped meat layer wirh dollops of ricotta and chopped hard boiled eggs the way my sicilian friend makes her arancini Delicious and healthy Thank you. All I love in a healthier version.

  63. I loved this recipe and have shared with friends. Making it for Easter as part of our buffet, can’t wait to have it again

  64. Gina, when you say 2 cups of tomato sauce, do you measure with a dry measurement cup or liquid?

  65. Have you tried this with cauliflower rice?

  66. Had to double the rice, there wasn’t enough to cover the bottom. I also to had more sauce but other than that it was an easy recipe to prepare.

  67. This was amazing!! Love all your recipes!!

  68. Any thoughts for how to make this vegetarian but still filling? I prefer not to use soy products if possible.

  69. Can you (or anyone) recommend a substitute for the peas? Thanks.

    • It states in the blog post above “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.”

  70. I made a vegetarian version last night and it was delicious!  i swapped the meat for soy crumbles, eggplant and mushroom.  So good!

  71. What would be a good substitute for the cheese in the casserole?

  72. Loved this Gina, as did the kids!

  73. Made this tonight with just ground beef and it was delicious. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  74. This is the2nd time I made this. It’s absolutely delish! & it’s gluten- free!

  75. I made this using brown rice and a turkey sausage link along with the ground turkey. It was delicious!! Will definitely be a regular on our menu. Thank you!

  76. This was fabulous! Thanks Gina!!:)

  77. This was incredible! 
     It ended up not being not so “low calorie”  for me because I ate two servings, lol.  Even my kids loved it and they are so picky. 

  78. Hi Gina!  Love your site.  Could I use liquid egg whites instead of the egg?  Thank you.

  79. Gina, just curious. I entered listed nutritional information for the new weight watchers freestyle and I get 10 points. Am I missing something?

    • they new program, the only way to get accurate points are using recipe builder, which is how I do all my recipes. Calculator will always be wrong.

  80. Tastes like the real thing with a lot less work, no frying and you can feed a large group with this casserole. Flavors are amazing and easy to put together

  81. Used riced cauliflower, ground chicken breast and chicken sausage.  Got it down to 4sp.  If I swap sauce can get it to 3! My son didn’t realize it was cauliflower.  Used fresh riced. Now that’s what I call a happy meal!

  82. Really great. I struggle a little with making rice stick on sides, but either way, tastes great! Made it a few times.

  83. How about making this with cauliflower ?

  84. So you only use half a package of ground turkey? (I believe most I’ve seen are 20 oz?) If so, do you think it would be okay to use the entire package?

  85. Is this a recipe that will freeze well? 

  86. What do you think of trying it with cauliflower rice instead of rice?
    Just curious
    thanks

  87. I halved the recipe as well, only needed to increase the amount of tomato sauce. It was DELICIOUS!

  88. If I am going to make this to bring to a family pot luck, should I cook it before bringing it and just reheat there, or can it sit assembled to cook a few hours later?

  89. If not using homemade tomato sauce, should I use canned tomato sauce or marinara?

  90. I made this last night and it was unbelievable delicious! I don’t care for peas so I subbed with 3 large mushrooms and a half bag of fresh spinach, chopped, instead. It was also easy to make ahead of time and pop in the oven. I portioned out the leftovers to freeze.

  91. Would I be able to make this 2 days prior to eating and store in the fridge? Thanks!

  92. Delicious!

  93. I’d like to double it & freeze one. Should I bake it first or freeze before baking? So delicious!!

  94. I made this for dinner tonight. Substituted riced cauliflower for half the rice. It was delicious and kids didn’t even know they were eating some veggies! Mommy Score!

  95. What can you substitute for the frozen peas? My husband is not a fan…I don’t think I could sneak them in.

  96. What would be a good side dish to go with this meal? Garlic bread? Pasta? 

  97. Is there a difference in FSP if you use brown rice?

  98. Just made this tonight! I used chop meat because I didn’t have ground turkey!  It was delish!!! Kids said best thing I ever made

  99. Does this change points value with the new program Gina?  I put it in the recipe builder and it’s showing 11pts per serving

    • It’s still 9 points. If you used jarred marinara as opposed to crushed tomatoes which I use in my sauce it will be higher.

  100. Got a big thumbs up from the family on this one! Adding to our meal planning list

  101. can I use arborio rice instead of long grain? thanks!

  102. Made this today and followed the recipe but half the rice didn’t cover the bottom of a 9×15 pan. had to use all the rice to cover the bottom of the pan and it still wasn’t enough. Not sure what went wrong. Anyone else have this problem???

  103. Made this as a luncheon appetizer along with other Antipasto.. The family loved it! I did not use the turkey but doubled up on the sausage. It was filling and plenty left over for the next day – which they all appreciated and took home. Even the grand children enjoyed it.

  104. Can you do this without breadcrumbs to make gluten friendly?

  105. Can you do this with riced cauliflower.

  106. This is FABULOUS! I made this last night and everyone in the family licked the plate! I halved the recipe since there are only 4 of us. I did it in a 9×9 pan. Excellent recipe Gina!

  107. Has anyone ever tried substituting the rice for cauliflower rice which would drastically reduce the Carbs.

  108. Could I use cauliflower rice instead to bring down the points?

  109. This looks so good! Has anyone made a vegetarian version?

  110. Pingback: Behind the Scenes | A Tasty Life

  111. When you freeze, do you freeze before or after cooking?  

  112. Pingback: A Sunday Well Spent Brings a Week of Content!! – Hip Mom Style

  113. This recipe is marked as freezer-friendly, which I’m really excited about. To freeze it, do you just do everything through step 9 and then put it in the freezer before baking it? If so, how long do you bake it when going from frozen to the oven. This looks delicious and I want to make it for a friend who needs to stockpile some freezer meals. Thanks!

  114. I rarely make the same recipe twice. I have now made this recipe at least 4 or 5 times since December. It is an absolute keeper. So satisfying!

  115. In terms of reheating, how do you avoid it getting dried out? Add more marinara? Wait for the top cheese topping until reheating? Also, what temp & how long to reheat?

  116. Could I make this two days ahead and keep in the fridge raw? And then bake? Thanks!

  117. Pingback: 100 Weight Watcher Casserole Recipes with Smart Points – Recipe Diaries

  118. Pingback: Friday Faves | House Bailey

  119. i wonder if this will work with cauli-rice? I may give it a try and see how it works….

  120. Do you think this would work using cauliflower instead of rice?

  121. What would be a good substitute for the peas? I’m jot particularly keen on them.

  122. How can i freeze this dish? also how  would you recommend reheating out of t he freezer? thanks!!  

  123. Made this tonight with lean ground beef instead of turkey. It turned out so good! I added in fresh basil to the beef and sausage. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  124. Can anyone tell me if you can make this with quinoa, or some other gain? I’m trying to stay away from rice.

  125. I don’t know why, but I was skeptical of this recipe. But man, was it insanely delicious. I used ground beef with Italian seasonings instead of turkey/sausage combo because that’s what I had on hand. The flavor, texture, and aroma of the dish when it came out of the oven were all amazing. Looking forward to serving this to my 1.5yo twin girls this week. I hope they enjoy it as much as my husband and I did!

  126. Can you cook the rice ahead of time and refrigerate  or do you think it will it get too sticky?

  127. Do you think this would work with arborio rice? I’m afraid regular white rice would get mushy. 

  128. I made this last night and it was a hit with both my husband and toddler….I totally forgot to put the egg in the rice but it turned out great! Will definitely be making this again. I did double the meat mostly because I had a TON of points leftover at the end of the day and knew I wouldn’t be eating anything else…

    • I should also add that I used the same amounts and did it in two 8×8 pans because there is my husband, myself, and my toddler and baked them both and stuck one in the freezer for a quick dinner later on!

  129. I have made this twice now and my 2 picky eaters LOVE it, I use your recipes often and I just want to thank you for what you do. It makes life easier and healthier!!

  130. We adapted this recipe to create a “Mexican” version. We used brown rice and the “Skillet Chicken in Tomato Chipotle Sauce” but rather than chicken we used steak tips cut very small and tenderized in the pressure cooker.  Topped it with cheddar cheese and cilantro. Served with sour cream and avocados.

  131. Looks delicious! I want to make this on Monday to eat on Tuesday. Would you bake it on Monday and reheat on Tuesday, or put it together on Monday and Bake Tuesday?

  132. This is so, so good!!  Husband and kids loved it, too.  Adding this as a staple meal in our home, for sure.  Thank you for your recipes!  Don’t know what I’d do without your blog. 😉 

  133. If I make this a day ahead for a gathering, how do I reheat it the next day to serve? I would like to reheat it in the oven. Do you have a recommendation for temperature and time? Thank you!

  134. Made this for the first time last night. Delicious and will definitely make again!

  135. I had leftover homemade meatballs, sauce and sausages and this was perfect! On my way home from work I picked up two containers of rice at the Chinese restaurant and it came out great!!!

  136. sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo  goooooooooooooood

  137. Made this last night! It was delicious! We will be eating the leftovers for lunch over the week. Great recipe! 

  138. My family loves this recipe. I usually double the recipe when my daughter is home from college so I can send some freezer meals back with her. If I don't double the recipe, my husband gets upset because he doesn't get to have any leftovers.

  139. I am from england and at times find ingrediants that you have in america hard or very expensive to come by. i did however manage to find a reduced fat smoked pork sausage that i used in this recipie. It was so easy to make ive gone totally overboard lol and made the full portion for only two of us so i suppose my hubby will be having it for lunch tomorrow as well as me. Its still in the oven at the moment but if its half as good as it smells then heaven is in the dish. Yes i will pass this recipie on on face book. Thank you very much. oh bye the way its now 20 to 9pm here so evening meal time

    • I’m newly moved to England from Houston less than 6 months ago! I found Skinnytaste when I was living in the states and fell In love with Gina’s recipes. I’ve had the same problem with some ingredients but most aren’t too unreasonable on Amazon (or if I can persuade family to send me certain spices lol) . Wondering where you’ve found the reduced fat smoked pork sausage ? 

  140. Oh man! This was so good. I'm really impressed. Totally adding this to my Rolodex of recipes.

  141. Wet your hands when dealing with the rice. So delicious!

  142. Used brown rice, turkey sausage and turkey. Made my own sauce. Delicious!!! Gina, I don't know what I would do without your recipes. Thanks!

  143. Love everything I make from this site. I decided to make this tonight, only to discover my husband bought bulgur instead of brown rice. Turns out that bulgur works beautifully! I also added some mushrooms with the peas. Delicious – and the bulgur bumps the protein some more. I guess the husband shall live to see another day. 🙂

  144. Love it,I just made it wow

  145. I have made this with and without the sausage sometimes i use only ground turkey. It is spectacular regardless and everyone always adores it . I think this is one of the best recipes on the website.

  146. My mother in law is from Sicily! I'm going to surprise her when she comes for our weekly Tuesday night dinners together and make this one for her, thank you!

  147. Made this last night – used a hot italian pork sausage and extra lean ground beef. sooooooo good. And the servings are huge. I actually had to check to make sure it didn't say a serving was 1/16, that's how large the "slice" was. Nicely done, yet again Gina.

  148. Wow, this looks really fantastic. My mouth is already watering. Can't help it. Thanks for sharing.

    catering services in chennai

  149. Hi Gina. Made this today….oh my goodness….. so devine! Next time, I will use a firmer rice, only had jasmine. So good! In the monthly rotation it goes!

  150. Making this for dinner today

  151. This was one of the first recipes I ever made from this site a few years ago. I loved it, but couldn't remember the name of it and it was before I started saving them all on Pinterest. I hate peas, so for recipes calling for peas, I swap edamame. I think that increases the protein a bit too. Great recipe and I look forward to making it again.

  152. I've browsed you're site plenty and noticed you're into latin/Hispanic flavor too … I grew up eating something very similar called "arroz imperial" which is filled the shredded chicken instead of ground meat. It's also not very skinny seeing as it uses mayo as the binder and has a much thicker cheese layer. But I think I can figure out a happy marriage between the 2 styles =)

  153. I have a potluck to go to on Sunday and now I know what I am bringing. Thanks!

  154. Amazing Recipe!! I am definitely going to make this in my Cooking Show (DadsThatCook) this Saturday.

    Thanks Gina to Share such a great recipe with us.

  155. YUM! This is a perfect recipe for the cold weather coming in. My son hates casseroles but this is on a whole new level! He's gonna love this!

  156. How do you store this to freeze and how do you reheat? I've never frozen food before or cooked afterwards but with a family of 5 trying to eat healthy I'm needing to make meals ahead of time for long days..

  157. Both my husband and I were born in Italy and I have to tell you this was amazing!!! I didn't use the sausage and I salted and peppered the rice. I used brown rice without a problem. Was a big hit in my house! Looking forward to making more of your recipes!!

  158. You posted this 3 yrs ago today and I made it last night (and we'll have it tonight as leftovers)!

    Just a note, I forgot the prep my Pyrex with breadcrumbs (just used non-stick spray) and it didn't stick. Good to know 🙂

  159. OMG I started making something just like this about 12 years ago because I loved rice balls so much and was spending way too much money on them at the pizza place. I chose to do it as a casserole because I hated frying anything in my house because of the smell that lingered for days after. Now that I have a daughter who has a wheat allergy, this is one of the things I make for her all the time to keep frozen in squares for super-fast dinner nights. This recipe has more ingredients though. I will definitely give this one a try!

  160. This was delicious and tasted just like the rice balls from the pizzeria! The sauce was amazing and have a container saved in the freezer for future use.

  161. This looks great and easier than the rice balls, going to try it out this weekend!

  162. Just a quick question. What could I use instead of egg because I am highly allergic? I have so many food allergies & this is actually something I could try to eat minus the egg. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for something that looks delicious & probably tastes amazing that I would be so happy to eat 🙂

    • I have made this a number of times and when I made it last night was thinking I could probably leave out the egg entirely. In doing so, I would add more sauce (maybe another 2 oz to the rice mixture and another 2 oz on top to keep it moist).

      When egg is used as a binder, as it is here, I know you can sub 1/4 cup of pureed fruit (like applesauce) and I would imagine that the same amount of pureed squash would also work.

  163. This dish was delicious! Even more on the reheat. Great job!

  164. Made this for my husband and I tonight and it was hard to restrain ourselves. It was so good and easy to put together! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  165. This was great, even a hit with my super picky teenager!

  166. Do you freeze it before or after baking? I imagine you could do both, but just wondering! Thanks!

  167. I made this recipe for dinner. Made a few modifications. I only used the 1 lb bulk Italian sausage. I drained it and added 1 1/2 cup fresh spinach, 1 cup fresh mushrooms, and some diced garlic. I also added the peas.

  168. Made this tonight. This is definitely one of my favorite Skinnytaste recipes. I plan on freezing about half of it, so glad to know it freezes well. I def. see the benefit of making two of these.

  169. This is my absolute favorite recipe from this site!! Growing up in Brooklyn my mom used to get us rice balls all the time. I used long grain brown rice, lean ground beef (because I'm pregnant and hating on poultry), and Bertolli Italian Sausage sauce (because I'm lazy) and it came out so delicious. I was worried about the brown rice, but it worked out fine. The sauce actually isn't too bad stats wise, either.

  170. Hi Gina
    I made tonight to serve tomorrow for the Super Bowl ! After being in the fridge all night, how long and at what temp should I reheat it for so that it doesn't dry out?

    Can't wait to try it!

  171. A friend and I made this recipe last night and it is incredible. As we were eating, we kept looking at each other and saying, "This is so good!" Thank you so much the delicious recipe :o)

  172. This recipe is the best! I love Gina's comment about jar sauce being an Italian sin – my Italian grandma would be very disappointed in me! Unfortunately, as a busy grad student, I am always looking for time savers and in this case, jar sauce saved me a ton of time! I used Classico sausage, pepper and onion sauce and it's really flavorful. I also used 2 bags of Trader Joe's frozen brown rice – it's super sticky and SUPER easy to make. With these two substitutions, it only takes me about 30 minutes to assemble.

  173. My very picky husband loved this and it is actually something he asks me to make now. I do it with all hot Italian turkey sausage and it's actually even better after a couple of days – delicious stuff!

  174. This was great! I don't know how I missed the ground turkey but I did not have any so just put in another link of sausage. Delish!

  175. Hi Gina, just want to let you know that this is a staple in our household. It's an oldie but a goodie from you. My husband and I LOVE this recipe.

  176. I was browsing the recipes and when I came across this one, I decided I had to try it. It was absolutely delicious and even my very picky husband raved about it!

  177. Made this tonight and it was delicious! My husband loved it- he's not a huge fan of spices so this was great for him. A simple, rustic dish. A little time consuming but worth it! I used Newman's Marinara Sauce and it worked beautifully. Will definitely make this one again!

  178. Can we use pasta sauce rather than homemade?

    Thanks!

    • And anyone who has used sauce other than homemade feel free to share!

      I'm making this tonight & I'm hoping to get an answer by then 🙂

  179. Yet another amazing recipe. Thanks Gina, this was fabulous!

  180. Time consuming but soooo worth it. Even my picky son enjoy'd it 🙂

  181. As if I need another reason to love your site…I was going through your older recipes and saw this—being Sicilian, and loving arrancini, I jumped for joy! This looks amazing, and I can't wait to try it!

  182. I love this recipe! I've made it several times and it is awesome. This is my husband's favorite skinnytaste dish. 🙂 Now, though, I have a toddler and she is allergic to eggs… Has anyone tried making it without eggs? or substituting? I know she will love every other aspect of the dish!
    –Erin

  183. I loved this. It makes a ton! I think that it would be a really great dish to take to a potluck. I wonder if the people that didn't enjoy it used a store bought sauce or something because I can't figure out what's not to like. It's really good and tastes so homemade.

  184. This reminds me so much of a dish I had growing up in Miami – Arroz Imperial. I think it must be the Cuban version of this same idea…..yum!

  185. made this recipe last night and it was ok. definitly needs more spice. i think next time i will use hot sausage instead of sweet. otherwise it was good.

  186. @Debfox, I'm so glad you made this with just ground turkey and it still came out great. I'm making this tonight with all ground turkey just because we don't have any sausage.

    Thank you for all the great WW recipes Gina! I love trying them all! I have so many here next to me printed out. 🙂

  187. OMG, this was so delicious! I don't like sausage, and I don't eat red meat so I substituted ground turkey for all the meat! I'm on WW, and this was so filling and yummy! I froze the rest in portions and then I take for lunch at work. I loved this! Thanks for sharing!

  188. This is the first comment I've posted, but I just made this dish and it so DELICIOUS I had to give kudos! I can't wait to make it again!

  189. I'm so glad you all liked it 😉

    Lol jarred sauce is an Italian sin but if you must!

    Cheryl, lol talked 'Gina' with your aunt, that's funny! Glad you liked it!

  190. I just made this, and oh my… I don't even like sausage (or peas), but decided to be brave and follow the recipe as is, and boy am I glad I did! It was absolutely DELICIOUS!

  191. Will be making this one next week and adding it to my Christmas lineup. Was going to make another Italian dish but this one appeals to me more. I think I will make it today to see how it comes out. Thanks for always making our favorites point friendly Gina!

  192. My aunt made this last night for our Family Christmas party, I have wanted to make it for a while and haven't gotten to it. As soon as I heard it was yours, I was all over it! OMG! Delicious! Can't wait to have the time to make it myself! She lives in the other end of our state, it was so awesome to talk "Gina" with her!

  193. Gina,

    I'm going to make this tonight and am SOOOO excited! Question, will this work with canned tomato sauce? I know that's pretty much a sin in the Italian world haha (trust me, I'm Italian and know!) but I don't have quite that much time to make the recipe with the homemade sauce….

  194. loved this recipe! made this last night and it was so yummy. used a jarred arrabiata sauce to give it some kick.

  195. I have made this twice now (once for home and once for a church event) and both got rave reviews. I altered it slightly with the church one (more people – made more of the meat filling as it was the main dish). So yummy!!!

  196. My friends are clambering for the recipe! Thank you!

  197. This is a great 100% filling low point meal. I love it and have already told 4 of my friends they have to come over for a dinner party and try this LOVE LOVE LOVE this.

  198. Made this last night, SO GOOD!!

  199. Assembled this last night and cooked it today. Soooo yummy!!! Thank you!

  200. I made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. Darling husband and children loved it. Thank you for another delicious recipe!

  201. Made this last week and loved it. I used brown rice (minute rice) and it turned out great. My husband even approved and called it a "rice lasagna."

  202. I made this last night for dinner and it is delicious!

  203. I made this for my family today along with the skinny turkey italian meatballs and everything was delicious! Thank you for all of your fabulous recipes…I've tried so many and everything has been amazing. 🙂

  204. Love this recipe – I've made it a few times and I have to say, I think it's even better reheated, and it freezes really well!

    If anyone else is doing a high-protein diet, you might be interested in this: I doubled the turkey and used 99% lean, which I didn't find dry at all, and halved the rice and used brown instead of white. Then, I just used a smaller baking dish so that the rice still covered the bottom. Still delicious!

  205. I made this last night and my husband and I LOVED it. This is going to be added as a staple meal for sure! Thank you for creating beautiful food for those of us who are working hard to lose weight.
    PS — this was also great reheated as leftovers!
    I'm trying 3 more dishes this week!

  206. Absolutely delicious, even the kids liked it and it fills you up.I think it can even be cut for 10 servings. Served with a side salad.

  207. Sorry about the cheese but I am glad you enjoyed this!

  208. My family absolutely LOVED this dish. it is one of the best ww things I have made yet, and I cook something new everyday since last July! I used lean ground beef instead of turkey, we don't like ground turkey. The sausage added a perfect kick of flavor! I made my homemade tomato sauce and put onions in it, so I did not put more onions in the recipe. I also needed more tomato sauce then what the recipe said but my sauce is 0 points. I also needed 1 more cup of rice to cover everything but that added less then 1 point to each serving and well worth it. The way it was written, I sprinkled all the cheese and then read the next step and realized I needed more cheese for the top, so wish it had said to use a portion of the cheese and then the other portion but other then that, it was AMAZING! 10 STARS +

  209. Thanks for this (and your whole site while I am at it). My husband thought this was the weirdest recipe but once he tried it he kept saying "It's strange but it sure is good!" We really enjoyed it…I may have gone a little heavy handed on the cheese though 🙂 Hopefully I'll still lose weight this week!

  210. Good for you September, hope you like it!!

  211. This is EXACTLY like a recipe my grandmother makes!! Hers, of course, is more like WW-enemy, but it's probably my favorite dish. I can't wait to try your skinny version!!
    Gina – I've been making my weekly menus based off of your recipes and I'm proud to share I lost 5 pounds last week! Thanks for sharing!

    -September

  212. I generally like the recipes on this blog but not this one…I made this and I have to say it wasnt so great. First, 2 cups of rice definetly wasnt enough to cover the bottom and top of a 3X12 pan. Second, the rice on the bottom just became this crust…maybe it was cooked too long, maybe because there wasnt alot of rice,or maybe I pushed it down too much…not sure what went wrong. Third, the flavors were kinda bland. It didnt taste like a aranchini at all if thats what the goal was. Plain tomato sauce has no flavor. I added some garlic and italian seasoning to the meat mixture which helped.

    Overall, I dont like this recipe but it could be good if you tweak it.

    Next time I will try just layering the turkey, cheese, rice, and top with the breadcrumbs to give a similar effect. It will not dry out the rice, and will save time/complication of coating the pan with the breadcrumbs which to me didnt add anything.

    -Tiffany

  213. AWESOME!! Thanks so much. This was by far one of our family favorites. You are seriously amazing and we are so thankful to have found your site. I am cooking form your site atleast 3-4 times a week. Thank you for all of your time, hard work and LOVE you put into this blog!!

  214. Sara, she assembles it then freezes it. Let's it thaw the night before in the refrigerator, then bakes the next day.

  215. So I just made this AWESOME dish and it's in the oven cooking as I type. I know you had mentioned that your friend makes a double batch and freezes it. Does she cook it in the oven before freezing it or skip the oven stage and go right to the freezer?? Thanks so much! I have a pan waiting to freeze;)

  216. Took a little time to make but well worth it! Delicious!!

  217. This was just like my Nana (my Maltese Grandmother) used to make. It was so good. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and all the others!

  218. I'm not sure what this is supposed to taste like, but I must have messed up somewhere because it was not very good.

    I've had such great success with every other recipe I've tried of yours, I don't know how I ever lived without this site before. Thanks so much for helping me with my weight loss!

  219. Thank you for such a delicious recipe. Definitely a repeat in my kitchen!

  220. I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I found this recipe yesterday and I made it for dinner last night. I did make a few changes. I used 10 oz. frozen spinach instead of peas. I used smoked sausage instead of italian. I used olive oil and garlic Bertolli spaghetti sauce (the whole jar, 1/2 in meat sauce and 1/2 in rice)instead of the onions and garlic and tomato sauce. I used lean ground beef instead of turkey. I used Parmesan instead of Romano and I omitted the breadcrumbs. I only made all these changes because it's what I had on hand. This will be a favorite in my house!!! We LOVED it! Thanks for a GREAT recipe!!

  221. This was delicious! Definitely a repeat requested by my family. It's also good as leftovers.

  222. This came out great – really reminded me of arancini, and loved the chewy texture of the rice, especially the crusty parts that touched the baking dish. I ate it one night, saved a piece for the next night, and then cut the remaining 4 pieces into squares and wrapped them in foil and put them in a freezer bag. Home-made frozen dinners! They tasted even better the next day, once the flavors had time to meld.

  223. Love your blog – and we loved this recipe!! Can't wait to make it again!! 😉 http://redsie05.blogspot.com/2011/03/sicilian-rice-ball-casserole-ww.html

  224. First of all…your blog is amazing. I literally preach skinnytaste to all of my co-workers and they love it just as much as I do. Thank you for all of the hard work you put into the blog. It is fabulous.

    This recipe looks amazing! If I wanted to make this ahead of time and freeze it for later in the week, would I bake it first and then freeze? Or just assemble everything and then freeze it, baking it for the first time the night we eat it?

  225. Made this for dinner last night. My store was totally out of turkey sausage (ughhhhh) so I just used all ground chicken. Was delish! Yours is definitely prettier though…haha

  226. My husband and I just made this for dinner last night and it was fantastic!!! We even added a layer of spinach in the middle…delicious! I'm newly obsessed with your site and have been telling everyone I know about it. Every recipe I've tried has been fabulous! Thank you! 🙂 🙂

  227. Natalie I'm so glad to hear it!

  228. Super awesome dish! My husband loves the traditionally fried rice balls and he loved this dish! We are both trying to change our eating habits and have to thank you for your site! I come here at least once a day! Thanks!

  229. Busylady- It sounds like your rice wasn't sticky enough. Don't use converted rice, it won't work.

  230. It was awesome, had it last night for my family and a girlfriend who joined us for dinner. My 3 year old LOVED it and asked for more 🙂 I got the points down to 7 points plus with these revisions: substituted 10oz 93% lean ground beef for the turkey and used FF shredded mozzarella (which didn't melt on top but did melt in the center so next time I am putting all of it in the middle layer).

    I also made your filetto di pomodoro and it was awesome, that will become a staple in my house – the tip about baking soda to reduce the acidity is awesome and worked really well, it fizzed like mad but once it settled down it was much sweeter 🙂

    Thanks!!!

    Kate

  231. This was so delicious and the portions are generous. A real indulgence. It reheats well as leftovers. I hope that it reheats just as well from frozen.

  232. Loved the flavour of this and froze it and used it for lunches later on the next week. Definitely a do again. One quick question – mine didn't stay together very well. Any thoughts on where I went wrong – maybe it'll stay together next time.As always thanks for helping us all with eating properly.

  233. These were FABULOUS! I didn't use peas because my husband strongly dislikes them….. so I used mushrooms; sauteed them in the mix. I also seasoned with lawry's seasoning salt and a greek seasoning. I ran out of tomato sauce becasue I made 1.5 dishes, so I added in a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes w/garlic/onion. We both loved them and they are great for being on WW. Thanks for all you do; I LOVE your site!

  234. Just made this and it came out really really good. Gonna reheat it for supper tonight. Having cooked the sauce last week it didn't take that long for me to put it together and bake it. Microwaved the rice and the rest was easy.

  235. Hi Gina! This was so awesome! I made it tonight and man you were not kidding about making 2 for the amount of work! However, it was COMPLETELY worth it! My husband loved it and our cats were meowing for some too (but we didnt let them have any 🙂

  236. I made this today for dinner. So yummy. I can't wait for lunch tomorrow to have more.

    THANK YOU!

  237. I made this over the weekend with brown rice, omitted the sausage (I am meh about sausage), added some spices to make up for it, added some diced sun dried tomatoes, and mistakenly used too many peas. Except for the peas, it turned out wonderful! It was my first time using and eating turkey and it really didn't kill me 🙂 Thank you for the fab recipe Gina!

  238. i am eating this right now as i am typing this. it is fabulous!! i will be putting this on my regular roatation of meals!! for desert we are having your no bake cheesecake (no crust) topped with blueberries! this is so good i cant believe i am eating this on weight watchers!

  239. to the person who asked about the cheese sticking to the foil and how to avoid this…Sometimes I'll spray some pam or spray oil on the foil before I put it down and that seems to help 🙂

  240. I made this recipe for my Italian American family tonight. We grew up on Arancini. This recipe was fantastic and great alternative to the labor-intensiveness of making rice balls! I used chicken sausage. I really think that the sausage adds a nice flavor to the meat. I agree with Gina!
    Thanks, Gina. I'm sharing this recipe, and your website with friends and family

  241. This is very delicious looking recipe i am going to try it ASAP.
    Thanks.

  242. nope, everything is there i just double checked again

  243. Thanks Salvina!

    7 points plus? Not sure, did you leave anything out? Sausage maybe?

  244. this was delicious! one question, when i put the ingredients into the recipe builder it came out as 7 points plus…did i do something wrong or is this a pleasant surprise?

  245. Hi Gina-

    Love your recipes!!!
    As a Sicilian,and one eating healthy, I REALLY appreciate this recipe. I cannot wait to make it and tell my mom that her arancini are getting a run for their money 🙂

    Best,
    Salvina

  246. Amy, you can put it in a brownie pan!

    I knew you would all enjoy this!

  247. I made this Sunday night and my whole family enjoyed it! I loved it and shared the recipe it with my friends already! I messed up the recipe a little in regards to sauce and cheese (I sauced it and cheesed it all at once haha because I didn't read the whole recipe first, oops!) It still turned out great! Thanks for doing all the hard work!!

  248. OMG! This was comfort food at it's finest!

    This was dinner tonight. I have lots left and packaged for future meals. I will definitely be making this again. Large, satisfying serving and just plain delicious!! Definitely didn't taste like "diet" food.

  249. I made this tonight! SOO DELISH! But of course because I'm me I put them in my muffin pan. Made for nice portion sizes and I plan on boxing them on up for individual lunches. I plan on reposting this recipe (with all the appropriate acknowledgments and link backs OF COURSE!) on my blog. I am starting a month long "muffinized" healthy recipes. Come check it out if you want to see how they came out!

  250. Alissa, I know, I love rice!

    I'm so happy you all liked it.

    Amanda, this freezes great. I think I mentioned that above but yes, make two… freeze one for later.

    • To freeze, would you put it all together and just not bake? Then when ready to eat, how would you proceed to cook it? Thanks!

  251. How do you think this would freeze? Since I'm taking the time to make it and I have a whole package of turkey and more than one sausage link, I'm wondering if I can make a double batch and freeze one for a busy week night?

    Thanks for the recipe!

  252. I worked on this today as my kids napped so now all I have to do is wait until dinnertime to pop it into the oven. I can't wait! I have loved everything I have made from your site!

  253. Made this last night for my family and my sister and brother-in-law….this was DELICIOUS! Made your homemade sauce also. This was great!

  254. First off you had me at the word "Rice", I really can't wait to try this one! My mouth is watering right now, and I just ate a big breakfast!

  255. ok thanks Gina…my hubby not a big sausage fan…it turned out great though…

  256. OneSpecialDee- You can skip it, but it really adds to the flavor in my opinion!

  257. just another comment…the dish came out great,,,question?
    do all rice balls have sausage meat in them? can you skip that all together? the sausage I mean.

  258. Absolutely delicious, Gina! I made the filetto di pomodoro sauce to go with it and both my husband and I loved it. Thanks for doing what you do!

  259. I just moved to Sicily and this tastes just like rice balls <3 it 🙂

  260. These are rice balls we're talking about!! lol They have a certain flavor. But still, I need to recognize that food is ever evolving, and it might still be delicious, just different. But please don't call it "Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole" if you substitute other stuff. That would just be wrong.

    Anyway, I made it and loved it!!! My only suggestion would be to salt the rice mixture a bit before pressing it into the pan. Oh, and don't use foil at all.

  261. We made this recipe tonight with chicken sausage instead of pork sausage and it was delicious! We used brown rice and may have slipped in an extra tbsp or two of bread crumbs :

  262. Kathleen, the turkey I buy comes in a 20 oz package so I used half. (10 oz)

  263. I have a question about how much of the ground turkey to use….you wrote 10oz and then say to use half the package…so are you really using 5 oz? thanks!

  264. Elizabeth, thanks for the chuckle! I agree, it needs the peas and rice to make this a sicilian rice ball, otherwise it's just a rice or quinoa casserole. And I've used her technique for sauce, she also adds butter… it's yummy.

    Just to point out, I don't eat peas. You will never see me just eat a side of peas, but they are subtle when cooked with the meat and sauce. So just go for it!

  265. your recipe is made and on deck for later tonight…can't wait to try it….thanks again…I like adding a link to your blog every now and then on my facebook page to recommend it to others. I also post what I have made on my blog with a link back to your page.

  266. Made this for dinner tonight, it was so YUMMY!! Keep these delicious recipes coming!! I recommended Gina's to all my friends and we love it!!

  267. Gina,
    Thank you again for a tremendously delicious recipe. I will have leftovers for the week too ! I did us chicken sausage and it was delicious. I will try it with pork next time but I bought chicken and fresh mozzerella which was difficult to grate but worth the flavor. I love peas in casseroles and the flavor was fabulous. I try to make at least one of your recipes every week and I have lost 33 lbs! Still want to drop another 30 to my goal so onward I go. You are helping to keep me on track to my goal!
    Nancy

  268. Oh, and I used my rice cooker. It was perfect.

  269. Having lived in Italy, you guys are killing me with your "Can I use broccoli and quinoa?" comments. These are rice balls we're talking about!! lol They have a certain flavor. But still, I need to recognize that food is ever evolving, and it might still be delicious, just different. But please don't call it "Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole" if you substitute other stuff. That would just be wrong.

    Anyway, I made it and loved it!!! My only suggestion would be to salt the rice mixture a bit before pressing it into the pan. Oh, and don't use foil at all.

    For tomato sauce, I simmered an onion and some garlic cloves in crushed tomatoes and a little olive oil for about an hour (enough time to make and cool the rice). This is a Marcella Hazan way of doing tomato sauce, and it's not quite as nuanced as the type with vegetables simmered in it, but still very delicious.

    Thank you sincerely for this recipe. It made my week! I miss this flavor, and even though it's not quite the same as having a true deep-fried rice ball, it was still fabulous. THANK YOU!

    • I so agree. The point is to have a healthy version of Arancini.

    • I'm half Italian and lived in Italy 17 years.Yep cannot call this arancini if you use anything other than the ingridients listed,although we use ground beef and not sausage I will make it just as listed. Gina also I have baked the original arancini before instead of frying

    • my family has made these for years…but we never tried baking them..i'll have to try that sometime…this also is a lot easier than making arancini…no forming and dipping…much less time consuming…

  270. A rice cooker would work fine, as long as it's a bit on the sticky side.

    Veronica, yes this is a bit of work, much easier if you have the sauce and rice ready.

    Wendy, I'm so happy it tasted great with brown rice! When you cover with foil, it shouldn't touch the cheese, I had plenty of room for it not to touch.

  271. I made this for dinner tonight and it was another HUGE hit!! Thank you so much for sharing all of your awesome, healthy recipes!!

    I did use long grain brown rice and I loved it! I don't eat white rice anymore. I also substituted corn for the peas (I hate peas).

    My only question is how do you keep the cheese from sticking to the tin foil? Lol! I lost half the cheese taking off the foil.

  272. I am also a long time lurker. Have made many of your recipes and am such a fan. I am baking this casserole right now as I write this (at the 20 minutes covered stage). This was definitely a labour of love but I am so excited about the end result.

    Thank you thank you thank you for this healthy version of one of my favourite Italian dishes.

  273. WOW this recipe looks amazing! I am new to cooking and weight watchers so I am really glad I found your blog!

  274. Do you think I would be able to make rice in my rice cooker for this recipe? Or would that rice be too sticky for this recipe? It would make this recipe so much easier since I can never cook rice perfectly on the stove!

  275. To those of you asking about brown rice instead, if I were going to use brown, I would probably use a short grain brown rice. The rice should be sticky so keep that in mind. Arborio would work too, but white rice is easier.

    I don't think quinoa would be sticky enough here, maybe a white rice, quinoa blend.

  276. I am making this right now for my Birthday appetizer!!

  277. Looks amazing. think it will be my first Skinnytaste recipe.

  278. This looks SO good!! I am adding this to my menu next week!

  279. *drools* I will be making this for dinner Sunday night!

  280. This looks sooo good! Do you think it would work if I substituted Quinoa for the rice? How would that affect points? Thanks 🙂

  281. This is definitely one of those recipes that I never would have thought could be "skinified". Looks delicious!

  282. Yay for you and your awesome recipes! I've shared your site with several people, and everything I've made here is deeeeeee-licious!

  283. I loved Arancini in Sicly! I would go to Catania and get them every weekend!! I am so excited to make this recipe!! YAY! Thank you!

  284. This recipe looks awesome. My family love arancini, but they are a lot of work. This seems simpler and healthier. Thanks!

  285. Sarah, it wouldn't be as filling. Honestly, you could probably get more than 8 serving out of this, but I rather show more than less.

  286. Ohhhhh man that sounds/looks amazing.

    I think I know what our weekend is going to taste like!

    -Karinya @ Unlikely Origins
    www.unlikelyorigins.blogspot.com

  287. I can't believe how good this looks!

  288. Sounds great, Gina – many thanks!!

    Happy experimenting, Ann 🙂

  289. Just curious, I wonder how different the points would be if you didnt add the 2nd layer of rice and instead just topped it as you would originally with the sauce and cheese.

  290. This sounds crazy but I was just thinking about how much I love arancini and would like a light version.

  291. Thank you. This is amazing and I am so excited to make this. I have been looking for a "healthier" version of this.

  292. I wonder how this would be with veggie burger crumbles instead of the turkey and some soysauge? I think it would work okay. Might help the points too. I'm also thinking it would be worth the Arborio rice. Yum!

    • I'll definitely be trying this with morningstar veggie crumbles. I use them in a bunch of skinnytaste recipes that have ground turkey/beef as the protein and it tastes great! I'm not even a vegetarian.. my boyfriend is.

  293. Looks absolutely magnificent! Bravo! Blessings, Catherine

  294. I love arancini, and this seems like such a great way to have something similar, but much more healthy. Looks delicious!

  295. How fun. At first I thought rice balls!?! But I love arancini and I especially enjoy how you reinvented it as a casserole. Smart!

  296. This is a fantastic idea! My Gram makes Arancini all the time…the deep fried kind! This would be a delicious alternative!

  297. What if we used brown rice? Would that work, and what would the points be instead?

  298. Oh C, isn't that funny. I was thinking the same thing. I hate peas, but love how this recipe looks. I was thinking the peas are added more for color than flavor, so maybe any other green vegetable like chopped broccoli or green pepper can be used.

    Ann

  299. Oh myyyyyyyyyyy…I'm SO excited to make this! I'm on a roadtrip, right now…but when I get home, this is GONNA happen!

  300. I think sauteed mushrooms would be wonderful instead of peas and maybe even instead of sausage, maybe with a touch of sauteed garlic!

  301. This looks delicious – do you think that it would be as tasty substituting diced green bell pepper? I am not the biggest fan of peas so I am trying to think of an alternative. Thoughts?

    Pasta Fagioli for dinner tonight!! 🙂

  302. This looks so good! I can't wait to try it, but I cannot eat sausage – do you have another suggestion that I could use in place of the sausage? Thanks for your blog – I always pass on your link when I bring in leftovers from the night before to work!

  303. The pork sausage gives this nice flavor, but sure, use turkey if you don't eat pork. Points remain the same.

  304. Oh my goodness! My mother has made this my whole life (not the skinny kind), and we call it "the Rice Dish"! I cannot wait to share your version with her!

  305. OMG It looks so good. I might have to try this one this weekend for sure. I wonder if I use turkey italian sausage would that be ok?

  306. This dish looks amazing! I cannot wait to try it. Rice balls were a fun treat that my great aunt used to make for us. Just thinking of them makes me nostalgic for her.