Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Rice with Sausage and Peppers

Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Rice with Sausage and Peppers
Spicy Brown Rice with Sausage and Peppers cooks in the slow cooker to keep your house cool!

If you're someone who usually doesn't like slow cooker recipes where you have to brown the ingredients before they go into the slow cooker, I hope I can still convince you to give this one a try. Seriously, this Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Rice with Sausage and Peppers was so, so, so delicious.  It took me about 25 minutes to cut up and brown the sausage and chop the veggies and then it cooked in two hours in the slow cooker (without heating up the house!)  I shared some of this with my sister Pam who pronounced it very good, but said she'd prefer a bit less heat.  If you're not sure about the spicy factor I'd recommend using the smaller amount of cayenne pepper.  The recipe I adapted this from called it Dirty Rice, but personally I didn't think it can really be called Dirty Rice without using chicken livers.  If you like chicken livers though, I think they'd make a perfect addition!

I used 5th Street Grill Italian Turkey Sausages from Costco, and I'm loving these low-fat sausages.

I wanted small pieces of sausage all through the rice, so I cut the sausage lengthwise into four strips and then sliced them into small pieces.

Saute the sausage in a little olive oil until it's well browned.

While the sausage cooks, finely chop a green bell pepper and an onion.

Put the sausage in the slow cooker and saute the green pepper and onion for 2-3 minutes before adding it to the slow cooker.

You'll need one cup of Uncle Ben's Brown Rice and 2 cups of chicken stock.  (I just used a can of chicken broth and added water to make 2 cups.)

Stir the rice and stock into the sausage, peppers, and onions that you've added to the slow cooker, along with the Spike Seasoning, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Cook on high for 2 hours and you'll have perfect Spicy Brown Rice with Sausage and Peppers. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired and serve!

Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Rice with Sausage and Peppers
(Makes about 4 servings; recipe adapted from Crock-Pot 365 Year-Round Recipes.)

I used my favorite Crock-Pot 3.5 Quart Slow Cookerfor this recipe, but any size that's about 3-4 quarts will work.

2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
12 oz. (4 links) turkey Italian Sausage (I used 5th Street Grill Italian Turkey Sausages from Costco, but you can use any turkey Italian Sausage.)
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock (I used a can of chicken broth and added water to make 2 cups.)
1 cup Uncle Ben's Brown Rice (You can use other long-grain brown rice, but cooking time might vary.)
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (or other all-purpose seasoning blend)
1/2 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (I used 1/2 teaspoon, but my sister would have preferred it a little less spicy so adjust to your heat tolerance.)
chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Cut the sausage lengthwise into four strips and then slice into small pieces.  (If you're not using pre-cooked sausage, you'll need to brown it before you cut it.)  Heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the sausage well, stirring until it's brown on all sides.  Put sausage into slow cooker.

While sausage browns, finely chop the green bell pepper and onion.  After you remove the sausage, add the last teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and saute the pepper and onion 2-3 minutes; then add to the slow cooker.  Add the chicken stock, rice, Spike Seasoning, salt, and Cayenne pepper and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 2 hours, or until rice is tender.

Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley to garnish if desired.  This freezes well, so if you have  a large slow cooker you might want to double the recipe.

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South Beach Suggestions: 
Brown rice, turkey Italian Sausage, green peppers, and onion are all low-glycemic ingredients and this recipe is suitable for Phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Ideas for Rice in the Slow Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker Spanish Rice ~ Taste and Tell
Slow Cooker Greek Rice with Red Bell Pepper, Feta, and Olives ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Italian Rice ~ A Year of Slow Cooking
Spicy Slow Cooker Rice with Green Chiles, Green Onions, and Cheese ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Casserole ~ The Perfect Pantry
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!


  1. Once again, your recipe makes me want to run out to Costco and find those sausages! I'm still learning how to make rice in the rice cooker. I do love keeping the kitchen cool in the summer by using my slow cookers more often.

  2. Lydia, I just keep finding new things to make with these delicious and healthy sausages!

  3. I'm so happy that I found out about those sausages from you...we use them as many ways as we possibly can. This rice is the perfect make-ahead meal, and I love that opening photo of it!

  4. Dara, so glad you're enjoying the sausages! I loved this rice; I'm sure I'll be making it over and over again.

  5. This looks great! Can you use any type ofbrown rice? Also can it cook longer than 2 hours in the crockpot?

  6. Michelle, I haven't tried with other types of brown rice or longer cooking times, so you'd have to experiment to see what works. I would guess if you switched to LOW setting you could probably cook 4-5 hours with good results, but that's only a guess.

  7. I read this recipe this morning and made it for dinner tonight. My hubby loved it and went back for seconds. A real keeper! Thanks Kalyn

  8. This is great! I used turkey cajun sausage from a local butcher. Sausage was plenty spicy on its own so I omitted cayenne and spike. I also used long grain store brand brown rice. The two hours on high still worked fine. I will definitely make this again.

  9. Vicki, so glad you enjoyed it, and I'm happy to hear that variations in the sausage and rice worked out fine.

  10. I made this today, but after 2 hours in my Crock Pot (on high) the rice wasn't done. So I had to let it cook longer.

    Did I do something wrong? Was I supposed to cook the rice first?

  11. No, there are lots of reasons I said "or until rice is tender." Slow cookers all cook at slightly different temperatures, and if the rice was older (more dried out) it could take longer to cook as well. In general, older slow cookers tend to cook a bit cooler than newer ones, but there are a lot of variations even among the newer ones.

  12. Hi Kalyn! Just started the SBD and am on Phase 1...wondering if I can make something like this w/ cauliflower rice, so that it's Phase 1 friendly...would I still put it in the crock pot? Thanks!:)

  13. Jillian I'm guessing this would work great in the slow cooker with cauliflower rice, but that's only a guess since I haven't tried it. Would love to hear how it works if you try!


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