Jailhouse Rice

Jailhouse Rice is like a dinner and a side dish all in one! Sausage AND ground beef mix together with rice in this hearty, comforting rice casserole recipe.

We love side dish recipes that are so good, they seem to take over dinner! This Jailhouse Rice could easily be swapped out for our favorite Sausage Stuffing or any type of Stuffing Recipe. This casserole is a great make ahead side dish that’s going to be perfect for every day dinners, holidays or parties!

Jailhouse Rice recipe in a black casserole dish from the top

What Is Jailhouse Rice?

Jailhouse Rice is a ground beef, sausage and rice casserole all mixed together with cream of mushroom soup and some vegetables. There are some variations of this recipe all over the internets…I looked at a few of them and made my own version here!

Most of the other versions of Jailhouse Rice that I’ve seen have a looser consistency. I read that some people saw the first few pins and said it looked like prison food or something that you’d get served in a jailhouse. I get it, it looks a little sloppy…but man, I gotta tell you…it’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!

We made our version with less liquid so it wasn’t as “sloppy” looking. Not just for the looks but I knew my family would like it better if it held together more. This rice casserole can absolutely be served as a side dish but with ground beef AND sausage in it, this casserole can also be served for dinner.

What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Jailhouse Rice?

This sausage and rice casserole is so filling with ground beef and Italian sausage, but that won’t stop you from taking second and third helpings!

  • Ground Beef: Any blend of beef you have will work fine in this recipe. You can even swap out ground pork or ground turkey!
  • Italian Sausage: You can use spicy or mild, or a combination of both. Chicken Sausage or turkey sausage would also be good substitutions.
  • Condensed Cream of Mushroom & Chicken Soup: Just like the good old days, grab those cans of condensed soup from your cabinet and put them to good use.
  • Rice: Good old white rice is best. Jasmine or Basmati rice are some of our favorites!
  • Celery: Diced celery adds a crunchy texture to this rich and hearty rice casserole.
  • Onions: Sweet yellow onions will add flavor to the ground beef and sausage while it’s browning.

Ground beef and Italian sausage browning in a skillet with celery

How Do I Make This Rice Casserole Recipe?

Start by browning the Italian sausage with the ground beef in a large skillet. After the meats are browned through, add the celery and onions to the pan to cook down soften. Don’t drain the drippings from the pan because that’s what you’re going to use to cook the onions and celery. If you used a fattier blend of ground beef then you might want to drain a little, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan.

Add a few seasonings to the meat and vegetables and then set aside.

Grab a large bowl and pour in chicken broth and your condensed soups. Mix the liquids together and then add in the beef and vegetable mixture from the skillet along with uncooked rice. Now pour the mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

Rice casserole recipe with ground beef and sausage in a cream sauce 

Now it’s time to get this casserole in the oven! Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Uncover the casserole and bake an additional 10 minutes just to brown the top slightly.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes uncovered. This rice casserole stays does stay hot after it bakes, we ate it about 30 minutes after it came out of the oven and it was still warm!

I love how the rice sticks up out of the casserole as it’s cooking so the top of the casserole looks all spiky!

Sausage and Rice Casserole recipe hot from the oven

Can I Make This Casserole Ahead Of Time?

You can, but it’s best served right from the oven. I’m going to tell you that leftovers are absolutely AMAZING. It’s almost a different flavor, much of the sauce will be absorbed into the rice the next day but that just makes the rice all that more flavorful.

The best thing to do if you really need to make this recipe ahead of time is to stash the baking dish in your refrigerator for up to a few hours after you pour in the uncooked filling. Then when you’re ready to cook it, take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking to take the chill off and then proceed with the cooking instructions.

Dinner Ideas For Serving This Casserole Recipe:

So if you decide to serve this rice recipe as a side dish, we have many dinner recipes for you to try!

  • Whole Roasted Turkey or a Roasted Turkey Breast: You can easily swap out stuffing (not everyone is a fan) for this casserole. It goes perfectly with turkey and will look fantastic on your Thanksgiving table.
  • Chicken Francese: Any type of chicken recipe is going to go wonderfully with this rice.
  • Garlic Butter Shrimp: Anything saucy like this shrimp recipe is a win, use that rice to soak up all that delicious buttery sauce!
  • Beef Wellington: Even a fancy dinner recipe like this pastry wrapped beef will work with this delicious ride side dish!
  • Baked Asian Salmon: Get some surf and turf going on! (we’re going to call the ground beef and the Italian sausage the “turf”)
  • Brown Gravy Meatloaf: Or any meatloaf recipe (we’ve got a few more here on the site to check out) is like a match made in heaven for this rice side dish.

Jailhouse Rice is a beef and rice casserole recipe that can be served as a side dish or the main meal

This recipe is one for the books, my friends. One of those recipes that you’re going to make over and over again and then pass down to your kids or anyone else in your cooking circle.

Looking For More Side Dish Recipes?

Jailhouse Rice is a beef and rice casserole recipe that can be served as a side dish or the main meal

Jailhouse Rice

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x

This rice casserole is loaded with sausage and ground beef cooked in a creamy sauce. This casserole is so hearty & comforting, you can serve it as a side dish or the main meal!



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed (spicy or mild, or a combination)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cans (10 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cans (10 ounces) cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add the ground beef and sausage, breaking up into small pieces until browned though. Leave the drippings in the pan and then add the onions and celery. Season with the salt, garlic powder and pepper.
  3. Cook the onions and celery for 5 minutes until softened, stirring together with the meat. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Pour the broth and the chicken and mushroom soup into large bowl and whisk together. Add sausage and beef mixture along with the uncooked rice. Stir and pour into 9×13 baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.
  5. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes, uncovered before serving.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven / Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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4 Responses
    1. Dan

      I fixed a few of those, thanks Deb. Yesterday was a rough day trying to plan our 12 year old’s birthday party during quarantine. I didn’t have time to proof as I normally do…let us know if you try this recipe though!

      1. Mendy Clarke

        Made this and cut the recipe in half as there are only 3 of us and 2 aren’t big eaters. In the oven now as a main dish.

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