1 - 1 ½ lb. bulk pork sausage (mild or spicy)

1 medium onion, diced

2 lg. celery stalk, diced

2 med. bell pepper, diced

10-12 oz. mushrooms, sliced, optional

2 carrots, peeled and diced, optional

2 pk. Lipton®  chicken noodle soup mix

2 c. long grain rice, uncooked

6 c. water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a Dutch or French oven, brown and crumble sausage and set aside to drain.

Reserving 2 T. of grease or using 2 T. olive oil, cook onion, celery, and bell pepper (mushrooms and carrots, if using) until beginning to soften.

Add the soup mix and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

Stir in rice, and return the sausage to the pot.

Cover and bake 30-45 minutes.

Fluff casserole, and top with slivered almonds before serving.