This Italian Fried Rice Recipe is the perfect time saving weeknight meal that will please your whole family. Leftover rice is cooked up with al fresco sweet Italian chicken sausage, veggies, and a splash of wine to create a simple family favorite. The Italian style rice is a fun take on your traditional fried rice recipe.
Confession time: I hate dinner time. Like I really, really do not like it. I love the ability to bond as a family and hang out together, but the whole, “rush around the house like a chicken with your head cut off while hungry kids whine like you haven’t fed them ever” is just the worst.
As a work at home mom, I value any time I can save. Be it using Amazon Prime for literally anything and everything to spending an extra dollar or two and grabbing paper towels at the grocery store instead of making a second trip, I do it. There are days when I feel like I never stop – wake up, Ry to school, grocery shopping, pick up Ryan, calls, keep the kids from killing each other, clean up the house – and then before I even realize it Alex is walking through the door at 5 asking what’s for dinner.
Well. I have no idea. I thought it was still 1 pm.
I have a few different meals I can throw together in 30 minutes or less on the blog – my favorite hidden veggie pesto sauce, Mexican fried rice, boxed mac and cheese – so it should be no surprise to you that time saving weeknight meals are my jam. I truly believe that a healthy meal can be thrown together in less time than it would take you to drive to a restaurant – and I know I’m not alone! (now, the dishes – another story. Sorry.)
This is a sponsored post I wrote in collaboration with al fresco chicken sausage. All thoughts and content are my own. Thank you for supporting Morgan Manages Mommyhood!
We recently discovered al fresco chicken sausages recently when I was combing through the aisles of my grocery store to find some ways – any way, really – to make quick weeknight dinners. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the sausages are actually packed precooked – hello, time saver! I will admit – I was a big concerned because precooked sausage is a little weird sounding, but I promise they’re delicious. I actually couldn’t resist snagging bites when I was cutting them up!
I used al fresco Sweet Italian Chicken Sausages to make this Italian fried rice recipe and they were perfect. al fresco chicken sausage recipes are my favorite for simple meals. The pieces crisped up wonderfully and I actually think I prefer them to the fresh sausages our grocery store sells – no worrying about making sure they’re cooked through and one less thing to worry about on a stressful night.
al fresco sausages come in a ton of great flavors – when I was shopping I grabbed the Sweet Apple, Sweet Italian, and Roasted Garlic, but I’m definitely trying the Spinach and Feta and Roasted Pepper and Asiago. On their site they have a ton of products – from fully cooked chicken breakfast sausages and chicken meatballs to fresh chicken dinner sausages and chicken patties.
Time saving tips for making this Italian Fried Rice recipe:
- Make your rice ahead of time. Not only does this save time, but using older rice for fried rice ensures that you don’t get soggy rice.
- Use al fresco sweet Italian chicken sausage._ These sausages are fully cooked, so there is no need to make sure they are cooked through. Just crisp them up and go.
- Chop ahead of time. Meal prepping isn’t my forte, but chopping your veggies ahead of time will mean you can get this meal on the table in 15 minutes or less. Seriously. If you’re not a fan of a stinky fridge (I feel you) then just chop the sausage, pepper, and zucchini. Leave the onion and garlic for the day of.
- If your kids will not be happy seeing the zucchini but you still want to get some veggies in there, try peeling the zucchini before dicing it or use a yellow squash. Rice cauliflower is also a great hidden veggie option!
Like hidden veggie recipes? Try this: Over 100 Hidden Veggie Recipes Your Kids Will Love!
This Italian style rice comes together in less than 15 minutes if you make your rice ahead of time (or use leftover!) so it will work on literally any night that you feel frazzled. You can change out the veggies as you please, but I liked that the zucchini blended in well so my kids and husband didn’t even get bothered by it. (peel off the green or use a yellow squash if your kids will balk at it.) Substituting roasted red pepper or sun dried tomatoes for the fresh bell pepper would be awesome.
If you’re looking to add more veggies, try grabbing some rice cauliflower at the store. It’s sold at my local grocery store both frozen and fresh. Saute it up with the veggies before the wine, and cook about 2 minutes.
Want to get the kids involved?
Use a food chopper to have your kids help your cut up the veggies. Another great thing is having them stir in the cheese at the end (with close supervision if on the stove). Lastly, get them interested in fresh herbs by having them pick the leaves off the stems.
Italian Fried Rice
Italian Fried Rice
This Italian Fried Rice is the perfect time saving weeknight meal that will please your whole family. Leftover rice is cooked up with sweet Italian chicken sausage, veggies, and a splash of wine to create a simple family favorite. The Italian style rice is a fun take on your traditional fried rice recipe.
- 2 links of al fresco sweet Italian chicken sausage
- ¼ cup red bell pepper diced
- ½ of a medium zucchini diced
- ¼ cup onion diced
- 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- ½ cup red wine see notes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 cups of cooled rice
- 2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley
- ½ cup of mini fresh mozzarella balls
- ¼ cups quality grated paremesan cheese
Over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the chopped al fresco chicken sausage. Cook about 2-3 minutes to crisp up.
Add the pepper, zucchini, and onion. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant.
Deglaze with the red wine, cooking 3 minutes until cooked down a bit. Lower the heat if necessary.
Add in the rice. Toss until full incorporated and cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and parmesan. Taste and season. Before serving, stir in the mini mozzarella balls. (This is to prevent melting!)
Rice options - you can use white or brown rice or use a combo of rice and quinoa or riced cauliflower for an extra dose of veggies. If using cauliflower, cook it up in the veggies for a minute or two after you add the garlic. Please use good parmesan. Using good parmesan (usually near the deli section in my local store) is a game changer. Yes, it costs more but you’ll also find yourself using less. If you don’t want to use wine, you can use the same amount of stock with a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. It’s not the same but you’ll get a similar taste. You do need the vinegar to add the flavor though. If you plan on keeping leftovers, only add the mozzarella balls to some of the rice. Reheating it on a stove top will be easier that way and they won’t get super melty when you need to reheat.
Okay so tell me – do you like dinner time? What’s your favorite quick dinner? Would your family like these al fresco sausages?
If you enjoyed this, you may also like..
Quick and Easy Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe (using al fresco sweet Italian Chicken sausage!)
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