Comfort food packed with tons of veggies and cheese. Perfect for late summer or early fall when the air gets crisp.

ACTIVE: 40 MIN TOTAL: 2 HOURS

TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare through Step 5; refrigerate for up to 1 day. To finish, bake at 375°F until hot and the cheese is melted, about 45 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups long-grain brown rice
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups diced zucchini and/or summer squash (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1½ cups low-fat milk
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped pickled jalapeños
STEPS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour rice into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir hot broth into the rice along with zucchini (and/or squash), bell peppers, onion and salt. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 35 to 45 minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk milk and flour in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 1½ cups Jack cheese and corn; cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
  4. When the rice is done, stir in the sausage and cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup Jack cheese on top and dollop cream cheese by the teaspoonful over the casserole. Top with jalapeños. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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