Italian Fried Rice Recipe is a 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.
Confession time: I hate dinner time. Yes, I love the ability to bond as a family around a good meal. 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.
30 minute meals to the rescue
Thankfully, 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 are all popular on the blog and at home.
So, it should be no surprise to you that time saving weeknight meals are my jam.
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!
Italian Fried Rice for Busy Weeknights
We recently discovered al fresco chicken sausages. I was combing through the aisles of my grocery store to find ways to make quick dinners.
I used al fresco Sweet Italian Chicken Sausages to make this Italian fried rice recipe and they were perfect.
Tips for making this Italian Fried Rice recipe:
- Make your rice ahead of time. Not only does this save time, but using older rice ensures that nothing gets soggy.
- 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.
- If your kids will not be happy seeing the zucchini, try peeling the zucchini before dicing it. You could also use
a yellowsquash. Riced cauliflower is also a great hidden veggie option!
Can you make this dish ahead of time?
Yes and no. I highly recommend making your rice ahead of time and cutting up your veggies and sausage to make the actual dish making easier.
While you can cook this Italian fried rice and reheat it when it’s time to eat, but leave out the mozzarella until it’s time to serve.
Like hidden veggie recipes? Try this: Over 100 Hidden Veggie Recipes Your Kids Will Love!
Want to sneak in more veggies?
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.
More veggies to think about adding:
- rice cauliflower
- Frozen corn or peas
- roasted veggies like Brussels Sprouts
- Chopped green beans
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.
Find more kitchen tasks for kids here.
Italian Fried Rice Recipe
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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!)