Inevitably the evening will come along where, despite my best intentions I am short of time to get dinner ready. This Kielbasa, Cheddar and Rice dinner is a favorite of my family’s and a favorite of mine to pull together quickly.
The reasons for the shortness of time may vary. Late afternoon meetings. Errands to run. Often because I sit down with a coffee after work and then can’t will myself to get back up again. Then as I see my son make a move for the pantry, his hunger getting the better of him I realize I have to get moving!
The staples of this dish are often on hand in our house. It is great to have them available for this dish and for countless others. Jasmine rice cooks up in only fifteen minutes, and also works beautifully in Bacon, Tomato and Basil Rice Salad. Packages of kielbasa or smoked sausage are often on sale and freeze very well. The kielbasa or sausage make a great dinner in this dish and also in Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes with Sausage. Bags of shredded cheese are convenient for so many meals and snacks. My kids often use it to make simple cheese quesadillas for snacks, and more loaded types like spicy Chorizo Quesadillas make great dinners. Our grocery store and our local Costco carry large bags of shredded cheeses.
This dish comes together in under thirty minutes, and most importantly it is delicious. Cheesy, savory and satisfying.
Kielbasa, Cheddar & Rice
- 1-1/2 cups Carolina brand jasmine rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼-teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 12-ounce package kielbasa or smoked sausage
- Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted. Quickly stir in the flour, garlic powder, pepper, smoked paprika and salt. Stir this roux continuously over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Quickly stir in the milk and whisk to combine it with the roux. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once simmering stir for another 30 seconds to one minute until the mixture has slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the shredded cheese until it is melted.
- Slice the kielbasa into thin slices. Heat the kielbasa slices in a small skillet over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until the slices are sizzling and browned at the edges.
- In a large serving bowl toss together the cooked rice and kielbasa slices. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and stir to combine. Serve it while hot.
Makes 6 servings.