Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles with Sausage

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This 20-minute Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles with Sausage is the perfect low-carb and keto-friendly pasta dinner. It's full of flavor, packed with protein, and no one will miss the pasta.

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Everyone is searching for more ways to use zoodles, so let’s talk about this simple sausage and zucchini noodle recipe that makes a delicious healthy dinner. It's ready in just 20 minutes, packed with flavor, and is a great low-carb option when you are craving pasta. 

The key to making zucchini noodles delicious is knowing how to cook them and pairing them with a flavor-packed ingredient like sausage. The rest is easy.  Add some garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese, and dinner is ready.

Truth be told, I have been making a version of this at least once a week for dinner and the whole family loves it. Normally I make mine with just zucchini noodles and then mix in some real pasta for the bigger eaters in my home.

If you still are looking for ways to use up all that summer zucchini, try these Shrimp Scampi Zoodles, Asian Zucchini Noodles, or Ground Turkey and Tomato Basil Zucchini Noodles.

Ingredients and Swaps

  • Zucchini: The base of this recipe is zucchini noodles. Homemade zoodles or store-bought zucchini noodles will work. You could also swap in spaghetti squash and other veggie noodles.
  • Sausage: To keep this dish light, usually I make it with ground turkey sausage. Any type of ground sausage can be used. Sausage links also work but they won't infuse the dish with quite as much flavor. To make it even lighter, make your own sausage with lean ground turkey. 
  • Garlic: Most pasta dishes are packed with garlic and this recipe isn't any different. Fresh minced garlic adds the best flavor. If the sausage has a lot of garlic flavor, you could leave it out. 
  • Parmesan: Cheese is a great way to finish a zucchini noodle dish. It adds richness, a slightly nutty flavor, and salt. This can be left off to make the recipe Paleo or Whole30 friendly. 
  • Red pepper flakes: Leave this out if you prefer things less spicy or if you use spicy sausage.
  • Butter and olive oil: The combination of butter and garlic adds richness to the dish. Feel free to use just olive oil or just butter if you prefer. 

How to Make Zucchini Noodles

Here are the three easiest ways to make zucchini noodles.

  • Spiralizer: This is the most popular and easiest way to make zucchini noodles. Both the larger spiralizers and hand-hold options work great.
  • Mandolin: Carefully slice the zucchini into planks that are about 1/8 inch thick. Then use a knife to slice those planks into noodles.
  • Vegetable peeler: There are some great vegetable peelers on the market to make vegetable noodles. They work just like a normal peeler but "peel" the vegetable into noodles. 

Note: Many grocery stores also sell premade zucchini noodles in the fresh produce section or freezer aisle. 

Recipe Ideas

  • Add more flavors with cherry tomatoes, drained diced tomatoes, or sundried tomatoes.
  • For more veggies, add some sauteed mushrooms or sauteed cauliflower.
  • Instead of Parmesan cheese, melt shredded mozzarella on top for a baked pasta-style dish. 
  • Try this recipe with a different noodle or use a combination of zucchini noodles and traditional pasta. 

What to Serve with Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles

Although this dish is substantial enough to be a meal on its own, it is also delicious with a simple side dish. Salad is a great side dish for pasta. This Spinach Salad and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad are both delicious. If you love the combination of pasta and bread, make these Two Ingredient Breadsticks or Garlic Knots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some of the most common questions about this dish.

The most common reason for soggy zucchini noodles is overcooking. Make sure to only cook the zucchini until they are just barely tender. If they continue to cook, they will release a lot of liquid and get soggy. 

If you want to make sure they aren't soggy, you can salt the zucchini noodles before cooking and place them in a colander. This will draw out some of the water. Then rinse, dry thoroughly, and cook. 

This dish works great with any type of sausage including chicken sausage, pork sausage, beef sausage, or turkey sausage. If you use precooked sausage links, you may need to add some extra seasoning since it won't season the whole dish in the same way.

Almost any vegetable can be added to this dish. Some delicious options are cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, spinach, and mushrooms.

The Recipe
Garlic Parmesan zucchini noodles with ground sausage in a bowl with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles with Sausage

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  • 4 zucchini, made into noodles (using a spiralizer, mandonline, or knife)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey sausage
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

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Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds.


Add the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks. Cook 6-8 minutes until completely cooked through.


Add the zucchini noodles and cook 2-3 minutes until tender. Stir in the butter and half the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining cheese.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 317
Calories from Fat 182
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
Saturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 102mg
Sodium 926mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 8g
Protein 31g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles with Sausage
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February 5, 2022 - 12:19
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This is a weekly staple. My husband loves it! Sometimes I will add grape tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms, oh so good. Big thanks for this one!
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