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Zucchini Squash and Sausage Recipe

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Spiralized zucchini squash and sausage is an easy-to-make dish featuring chicken sausage, garlic, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. It’s a quick and satisfying meal perfect for busy weeknights or any time you’re craving something healthy and delicious.

This Zucchini Squash and Sausage recipe features zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles or spiralized zucchini, sautéed in a skillet with chicken sausage, diced tomatoes, and fresh basil. It’s a simple, healthy dish that is also keto-approved and low-carb. Top it off with red pepper flakes and grated parmesan to finish. The best part is that it’s ready to eat in 20 minutes!

Let’s be honest. As soul food cooks and bloggers, we eat a lot of “comfort food”. So, we crafted this zucchini squash and sausage recipe as a delicious way to embrace healthier, more nutritious eating without compromising on taste. The star of this dish is the zucchini squash noodles, the perfect alternative to traditional pasta for those looking to cut down on carbs.

For added convenience, you can opt for store-bought zoodles, which makes preparation a breeze. The zucchini squash noodles pair harmoniously with the savory chicken sausage, while the garlic, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. It’s a quick and easy meal that fits seamlessly into busy weeknight schedules, offering a healthier way to indulge in a satisfying skillet dinner.

Where to Buy Zoodles

Many larger grocery stores and supermarkets now carry pre-packaged zucchini noodles in the produce or refrigerated section. Look for them near other fresh vegetables or in the specialty foods area.

Of course, we recommend that you make your own zucchini noodles at home using a spiralizer or a julienne peeler for this zucchini squash and sausage recipe. This way, you have control over the freshness and quality of the zoodles.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 4 chicken sausage links, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 4 zucchini squash, spiralized using the 3mm blade and trimmed
  • 1/cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

Special Equipment and Tools

  • Spiralizer: A spiralizer is a handy tool for turning zucchini squash into long, noodle-like strands. It can create uniform zucchini noodles quickly.
    • Julienne Peeler: If you don’t have a spiralizer, a julienne peeler can be used to manually create zoodles by peeling the squash into thin strips.
  • Colander: You’ll need a colander to drain the cooked zucchini noodles and remove excess moisture.
  • Nonstick Skillet: A nonstick skillet is ideal for sautéing without sticking.
  • Paper Towels: Having paper towels on hand helps in patting the zoodles dry to remove any additional moisture.
  • Basic Kitchen Utensils: Standard kitchen utensils like a knife, cutting board, and spatula are essential for food preparation and cooking.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Sausage: Swap out chicken with turkey, pork sausage, or even vegetarian sausage.
  • Veg it Up: Add extra veggies like bell peppers, yellow squash, carrots, or spinach for added flavor and nutrition.

Recipe Notes

  • Pat zucchini noodles dry with paper towels after to help remove excess moisture.
  • Serve the dish immediately to maintain the noodle texture.
  • Avoid salting the zucchini before cooking to prevent them from becoming too watery.

Zucchini vs. Zucchini Squash

The terms “zucchini” and “zucchini squash” are often used interchangeably, and they generally refer to the same vegetable. In other parts of the world, the vegetable may simply be called “courgette.”

Zucchini belongs to the summer squash family, and it is a type of squash with tender, edible skin and a mild flavor. The vegetable is often harvested when it’s still young and has a smaller size, typically around 6 to 8 inches in length, although it can grow larger.

How to Make Zucchini Squash and Sausage Recipe

Step 1: Cook the Chicken Sausage

  • Begin by adding extra-virgin olive oil (or nonstick spray) to a large nonstick skillet.
  • Heat the skillet and add the chicken sausage links.
  • Cook the sausage until it’s heated through, which should take about 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the cooked sausage from the skillet and place it on a plate. Set it aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Zucchini Noodles

  • In the same skillet, add garlic and tomatoes.
  • Sauté them for about a minute until they become fragrant.
  • Now, add zoodles to the skillet.
  • Cook the noodles for 2 to 3 minutes (or 1 to 2 minutes if you’re making a smaller portion).
  • Make sure the zucchini noodles are only slightly cooked since they will continue to cook for a minute or two after you remove them from the heat.

Step 3: Assemble and Serve

  • Drain the cooked zucchini noodles in a colander to remove excess moisture.
  • Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Return the cooked chicken sausage to the skillet.
  • Top the dish with fresh basil, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, grated parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

How to Make Zucchini Noodles Without a Spiralizer

If you do not have a spiralizer, you can still create zoodles! There are three ways to do this: with a vegetable peeler, a knife, or a box grater.

  • Use a vegetable peeler and apply light pressure along the sides of the zucchini until you reach the core. This will create wide, fettuccine like slices.
  • Use a knife to carve strips from the zucchini until you reach the core.
  • Use a box grater to shred the zucchini lengthwise for shorter, rice like noodles, until you reach the core.

The core of the zucchini squash is the softest part, so you will not want to use it with your zucchini noodles that have been peeled, carved, or grated because it will leave you with mushy zoodles.

How to Make Zucchini Noodles Not Watery

Zucchini contains a high water content, around 90%, which can result in excess moisture when cooking zucchini noodles in a skillet. To prevent this, after cooking, it’s essential to drain zoodles in a colander. This step helps remove the surplus moisture, ensuring your dish maintains the right texture.

For the best results, it’s crucial not to overcook the zucchini noodles. Additionally, once you’ve removed them from the heat, serve the dish promptly. Allowing the zucchini noodles to sit for an extended period can lead to them becoming soggy, affecting the overall quality of your meal.

A vital tip to keep in mind is never to salt your zoodles before cooking. Salt can draw out even more moisture from the zucchini, potentially resulting in a watery and less appetizing final dish. To maintain the desired consistency, it’s best to season your zucchini noodles after cooking and draining any excess moisture.

Can you Freeze Zucchini Noodles?

Yes, you can freeze zucchini noodles! Freezing is a great way to preserve them for later use. Keep in mind that the texture may be a bit softer after freezing, but still be a delicious alternative to traditional pasta. Here’s a simple guide on how to freeze zucchini noodles:

  • Blanch the Zucchini Noodles: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the zucchini noodles to the boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. Quickly transfer the blanched noodles to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Drain and Pat Dry: Once the noodles are cool, drain them thoroughly. Pat them dry using paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Portion and Pack: Portion the zucchini noodles into individual serving sizes or as needed for your recipes. Place the portions in airtight freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible.
  • Label and Date: Label the bags or containers with the date of freezing to keep track of freshness.
  • Freeze: Place the bags or containers in the freezer.
  • Thawing and Using: When you’re ready to use the zucchini noodles, you can thaw them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. It’s common for zucchini noodles to release some water upon thawing. You can pat them dry again before using them in recipes.
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Zucchini Squash and Sausage Recipe

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Method: stovetop, spiralizer

Description

Spiralized zucchini squash and sausage is an easy-to-make dish featuring chicken sausage, garlic, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. It’s a quick and satisfying meal perfect for busy weeknights or any time you’re craving something healthy and delicious.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 4 chicken sausage links, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 4 zucchinis, spiralized using the 3mm blade and trimmed
  • 1/cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste


Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Cook and stir sausage in hot oil until heated through, about 5 minutes; remove sausage with a slotted spoon to a plate.
  3. Fry garlic in oil remaining in skillet until fragrant, about 30 seconds; add tomatoes and stir while cooking for 1 minute.
  4. Toss zucchini with the tomato mixture and cook until softened, about 3 minutes; season with basil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Remove skillet from heat. 
  6. Divide zucchini noodle mixture between four bowls; top with sausage, red pepper flakes, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes

*If you do not have a spiralizer, you can make zucchini noodles using a vegetable peeler, a knife, or a box grater.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 252
  • Sodium: 767mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.3g
  • Protein: 23g
  • Cholesterol: 74mg

Keywords: zoodles, zucchni noodles, spiralized zucchini, zucchini, chicken, tomato, basil, low carb, keto

4 Comments

  1. These zoodles and sausage were delicious and super easy. Definitely a go to weekday meal for the family.

  2. I made this tonight and it was fabulous! I used the Paleo chicken sausage with basil and black ground pepper from Costco. Instead of the tomato and basil called for in the recipe, I added a can of drained Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies and
    some mushrooms.( My sausage already had basil in it) I will definately be making this again!

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