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.
Yield: 8 servings
4.88 from 48 votes

Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
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!


  • 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)


  • 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.




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