Monday, October 1, 2012

Make Ahead Meals: Wild Rice and Sausage Casserole

I am starting a series of blogs for Make Ahead Meals that I am preparing before Baby 2.0 arrives. Every night when I make dinner, I am doubling the recipe and putting the second in the freezer. I am hoping that the prepared meals will help on those totally exhausted days when cooking sounds like no fun. I am hoping many of the meals I will be preparing will be somewhat healthy and low calorie, but I know there will be some meals mixed in that aren't. To prepare for the freezer meals, I purchased some slow cooker liners (for the crockpot meals), gallon freezer bags (for the freezer skillet meals), and Aluminum Foil Steam Table Pans with matching lids (for the freezer casseroles).

I made this recipe a while back and it is now one of my husband's favorite casseroles and he requests it all the time. 

2 packages (6.3 oz each) rice pilaf 
2 cups of wild rice mixture, cooked
1 lb bulk pork sausage
12 celery ribs, chopped
8 medium carrots, sliced
2 cans (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cans (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp pepper
4 cups of chinese chow mein noodles
2 packages (2.5 oz.) of sliced almonds

Prepare rice pilaf according to package directions. 

I like this brand of rice pilaf, but I only use 1 seasoning packet as I find with two it gets too salty.
In large skillet, cook the sausage, celery, and carrots over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. The veggies might be a bit crisp, but will cook down in the oven. 

In a large bowl, combine the soups, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. 

Add mixture to the skillet full of carrot, celery, and sausage. 

Add in the rice pilaf mixture and stir.

 Add in cooked wild rice and 1 package of almonds.


Grease two baking dishes. I made the meal that night, so used the smaller one for dinner and the larger one is for the deep freezer.

Transfer the casserole over to the two dishes.

Sprinkler top with remaining package of sliced almonds.

And top with chow mein noodles.   

Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. I use tin foil on the top and then cover with the lid that matches the pan to prevent freezer burn. Label the freezer one to thaw, bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until warm.

For dinner that night, bake the remaining casserole at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Enjoy!!

Meals to date:
1 x Wild Rice and Sausage Casserole

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