Italian sausage and zucchini baked into a casserole with tomato sauce is summertime comfort food! I love this recipe when the summer squash is perfectly fresh and I can just pick basil from the garden. Perfect for family dinners, potlucks, and backyard bbq parties.
So, this week has turned out to be Old Family Recipe Week. I didn’t plan it that way but today I have one of my mom’s recipes – a longtime favorite, well loved at every cookout growing up. And next I have recipe from my Aunt Yolanda (a super amazing blueberry pie!), which was one of her specialties.
Maybe all this social distancing and not being able to see my family this year has me missing times past even harder. While these recipes don’t have the same nostalgia for you, I hope that as future unfolds you get to share them with your family and make new memories!
What do you need?
- Italian Sausage – I like links all sliced up here but you can switch to bulk and just break it up in the skillet.
- Zucchini – Use small or medium sized squash – green or yellow or a mix. You want thin skins and tender flesh.
- Onions – One big yellow onion will do you! Try white onion or a sweet onion to mix things up.
- Marinara Sauce – Jarred or homemade, it’s up to you!
- Herbs and Seasonings – Oregano, thyme, basil, garlic, and parmesan round things out.
How to make this
To make sausage and zucchini casserole, cook and slice linked sausage and then saute sliced squash and onions. Combine with marinara sauce and bake in the oven until fully cooked and bubbling.
This is a simple recipe to make and so I’m not going to go through the steps here, but I will list a few tips!
If you try my recipe for Italian Sausage and Zucchini, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Stay Safe, Annemarie
Italian Sausage and Zucchini Casserole
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage links
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 4 cups marinara sauce
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add sausage and lower the heat to keep it at a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the sausage has firmed up. (Note: sausage may still be pink in the center. This is fine since it will cook more in the oven.)
- Drain and slice. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion with a sprinkle of salt and saute until soft, 7-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds or so. Transfer onion and garlic to a baking dish.
- Pour in another tablespoon of olive oil. Begin sauteing the zucchini in 2-3 batches (don't overcrowd the skillet), adding oil as needed. Saute each batch until the squash is soft and cooked through. Transfer the zucchini to the baking dish.
- Add the sauce to the hot skillet and bring to a simmer.
- Pour sauce into the baking dish. Add the sliced sausage, oregano, and thyme. Mix well to combine.
- Cover and bake the casserole for 25 minutes.
- Sprinkle the parmesan over the top and stir in. Bake for 5 minutes more.
- Take the casserole out of the oven and let it rest, uncovered for about 10 minutes (to cool a bit). Top with basil and serve.
- Sausage: You can use a mix of hot and sweet (or all hot) if you wish. Also, if you are using bulk sausage, start the recipe by sauteing and breaking up the sausage in the skillet until browned.
- Squash: Any green or yellow summer squash with thin skins will work well in the recipe.
- Marinara Sauce: Use your favorite jarred sauce or make your own fresh tomato sauce.
- Make Ahead: The casserole can be prepared ahead for baking later or baked and then reheated. Either up to 2 days ahead. (If making to bake later make sure you fully cook the sausage before mixing and storing the casserole.)
- Serving: I like the recipe served over either pasta or rice.