Zucchini Spaghetti with Sausage and Basil Sauce
I love this Zucchini Spaghetti with Sausage and Basil Sauce; don’t think of it as a replacement for pasta, think of it as a delicious zucchini dish!
Have you ever used a Spiralizer (affiliate link), Julienne Cutter (affiliate link), or a Mandoline Slicer (affiliate link) to cut zucchini into thin “spaghetti-like” strands and then served it like pasta? I have all those handy cooking tools and an abundance of zucchini every summer, and I loved the julienned zucchini in recipes from the first time I tried it! For this recipe for Zucchini Spaghetti with Sausage and Basil Sauce I made a very tasty quick sauce with spicy hot Italian sausage, tomatoes, and lots of chopped basil, parsley, and oregano, and completely enjoyed this for a quick dinner.
It also happened to be a dinner that was low-carb and gluten-free! I do recommend thinking of this as another delicious way to cook zucchini and not as a replacement for pasta, but if you like zucchini and the summer duo of tomatoes and basil, I think you’ll enjoy this dish.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- turkey or pork Italian sausage, hot or mild
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- canned petite dice tomatoes
- ground fennel
- chopped fresh basil
- chopped fresh parsley
- chopped fresh oregano (Use any combination of chopped fresh herbs that you have.
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
How to make this recipe:
(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)
- I was excited to find this Italian-Seasoned ground turkey, but my favorite turkey Italian Sausage is also perfect for this recipe.
- Heat a little olive oil in a heavy frying pan and brown the sausage.
- Then push the sausage over to the side, add a couple teaspoons more olive oil to that spot, and saute a little minced garlic and a few hot pepper flakes.
- Then add 1 can petite dice tomatoes or 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes plus about 1/4 cup water, and some ground fennel.
- Chop up a generous amount of fresh basil, parsley, and oregano. (If you don’t have fresh herbs you could add dried basil, parsley, and oregano at this point, but I’d use fresh if you can.)
- When nearly all the water has simmered away, add the fresh herbs and simmer about 5 minutes more.
- While the sauce simmered, I used my Julienne Cutter (affiliate link) to make the strands of “spaghetti.”
- A few years after I posted this I shared Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini or Other Vegetables, and if you have a Spiralizer, I would definitely prefer that to make the noodles.
- In a very large heavy frying pan heat about 1 T olive oil (depending on your pan), add a few garlic cloves and cook until you start to smell garlic (to season the oil).
- Then discard the garlic. Immediately add the strands of zucchini and cook over high heat, turning over a few times, just until the spaghetti is hot. This was only about 2 minutes for me in a cast-iron pan.
- Season the “spaghetti” to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Then add the sauce and gently combine.
- Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
More Ideas for Zucchini:
Amazing Low-Carb Recipes for Zucchini Noodles from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Zucchini Pickles from Andrea Meyers
Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Zucchini Waffles from The Perfect Pantry
- 19.5 oz. turkey or pork Italian sausage, hot or mild (use more or less sausage to taste)
- 3 T olive oil, divided (if you use a nonstick pan you’ll need less oil)
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced + 3 more to season the oil
- pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)
- one 14.5 oz. can petite dice tomatoes, not drained (see notes)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. ground fennel (or less if you’re not crazy about fennel)
- 2 large zucchini cut into thin strands with a Julienne Cutter, a Mandoline Slicer, or a Spiralizer (see notes)
- 5 T chopped fresh basil
- 2 T chopped fresh parsley
- 1 T chopped fresh oregano (Or use any combination of chopped fresh herbs that you have. See after the recipe for information about using dried herbs.)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (for seasoning zucchini)
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving if desired
- Heat about 1 T olive oil in a heavy frying pan, then add turkey sausage (squeezed out of the links if needed) and use a turner to break the sausage apart and cook until it’s lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- When the sausage is browned, push it over to the side and add 2 tsp. olive oil, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and hot pepper flakes if using.
- Let them cook about a minute.
- Then mix the garlic into the sausage
- Add the tomatoes, water, and ground fennel (and dried herbs if using.)
- Turn heat down to low and let the sauce simmer while you prep other ingredients.
- Use a Julienne Cutter or Mandoline Slicer to cut the spaghetti into long strands. (affiliate links)
- After I posted this I shared Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini or Other Vegetables. Now that I have a Spiralizer (affiliate link) I would definitely prefer that.
- Cut off the ends of the zucchini, wash and dry, and then cut into julienne strands or Spiralize into noodles.
- Wash and dry the herbs and finely chop.
- In about 15 minutes, or when the water has mostly cooked out of the sauce, stir in the chopped herbs and let sauce simmer about 5 minutes more.
- Heat about 1 T olive oil over high heat in a very large frying pan.
- Add 3 whole garlic cloves and saute until you can start to smell garlic, then remove and discard the garlic.
- Immediately add the zucchini strands to the hot pan and cook stirring a few times just until the zucchini is heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Season the cooked zucchini with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Add the sauce to the zucchini and gently combine.
- Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
You can certainly make this sauce with dried herbs, although I think fresh herbs, especially fresh basil, really add a lot of flavor here. If you use dried herbs, I’d add them when you add the tomatoes and fennel and add a couple of tablespoons more water. I would use about 1 T dried basil, 1 tsp. dried parsley, and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano. You can of course use a combination of fresh and dried herbs as well, just add the dried herbs at the beginning and the fresh ones at the end.
You can use 2 generous cups chopped fresh tomatoes for the sauce if you prefer. Use zucchini that is 10-12 inches long.
Recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from many sources.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 459mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 45g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
If this Julienned Zucchini Mock Spaghetti with Quick Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce made with low-fat turkey Italian sausage, everything about this zucchini dish would be a great choice for any phase of the original South Beach Diet. Zucchini is a very low-carb vegetable, so go ahead and eat as much of this as you’d like! This recipe is also great for other low-carb eating plans which will prefer higher-fat pork sausage.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Spiralizer Recipes for more zucchini noodle recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.