Tasty zucchini noodles with ground turkey sausage in a delicious garlic cherry tomato sauce. Easy to make, low carb, and delicious.
These low-carb, paleo, and Whole30-friendly Garlic Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomato Sauce and Sausage is the perfect summer pasta alternative and are full of seasonal ingredients. You'll also love these Asian Zucchini Noodles and Pesto Shrimp Zucchini Noodles.
Ah...finally! The warm weather seems like it just might be here to stay! (Fingers crossed.) When the warm weather rolls in, I find myself craving zucchini noodles since the squash is abundant at the farmer's market and more bathing suit friendly than traditional pasta is.
Also, by swapping in zucchini noodles, that means I can enjoy a nice glass of white wine outside on my deck without any guilt. As I always say, it's all about balance, right? Fun fact: One serving of pasta has about the same amount of calories as a glass of white wine.
How do you make Garlic Zucchini Noodles with Sausage and Tomatoes?
Now, more about this delicious zucchini pasta dish. First thing's first. You'll need some spiralized zucchini. You can make this with a spiralizer, a vegetable peeler, or a sharp knife. Or you can buy it pre-made at the grocery store in the produce department. Once you've got your zoodles, set those aside on a paper towel to drain.
You'll want to use a lean, ground turkey sausage, which is packed with flavor. You can choose a sweet or spicy variety depending on your preferences. Add the ground turkey sausage to a hot skillet set to medium heat. (If you can't find ground turkey sausage, just buy the links and remove the casings.) Brown the meat for 7-8 minutes, making sure that it doesn't all clump together as it cooks. Remove the browned meat from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set that aside as well (you can lay the sausage on paper towels as well if you want to drain off some of the excess oils).
From there, we are going to make a simple tomato sauce using bright cherry tomatoes. To make sure it has plenty of flavor, it's important to flavor the olive oil first with garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Adding smashed garlic cloves right to the oil will add a ton of garlic flavor to the sauce without haven't to worry about burning minced garlic. To the medium-high skillet, add the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Cook this all together for 1-2 minutes until the delicious smell fills your kitchen and makes you want to dive right into it. Then, add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Turn the burner up to medium high heat and bring the whole mixture to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes longer.
Finally, add the zucchini noodles and sausage back to the skillet with the tomato sauce and cook an additional 3-4 minutes to let everything combine and the zucchini noodles to cook (they will not need long at all). And that's really about it! Easy, delicious, and perfect for a warm summer night.
Ideas for Customizing Garlic Zucchini Noodles
- Crank the heat up a notch and make this dish extra spicy by adding double the red pepper flakes, hot sauce, or a combination of the two. You could also add a can of spicy diced tomatoes, like Rotel.
- Instead of turkey sausage, try chicken sausage, beef, or pork.
- Add in some greens to wilt into the sauce with the sausage and zucchini like spinach, kale, or Swiss chard.
- Use minced garlic from a jar if you don't have garlic cloves.
- Add in some rosemary and thyme as well to round out the Italian flavors.
- Push this dish in a Mediterranean direction by adding chopped kalamata olives and a sprinkling of light feta cheese to finish the dish.
- If you don't have fresh basil and/or parsley, you can use the dried varieties or skip them all together.
- Change your zucchini noodles for other veggie noodles, like yellow squash or sweet potato.
- If you want the carbs, try an alternative pasta made from chickpeas or lentils instead of veggie noodles (cooked according to package directions).
Side Dish Ideas
- Serve this with a side salad for a bit of cold, crunchy, summery texture.
- A baked russet or sweet potato would round out this meal nicely.
- Or, better yet, try grilling some potato wedges if you're going to be enjoying the great outdoors anyway.
- Try a low-carb bread or some thin bread like pita or naan on the side (you'll have some sauce leftover for dipping).
- Try another low-carb side dish to go along with your veggie noodles.
- Roast up some veggies for the ultimate, healthy side dish.
No matter which way you slice it, this dish makes a great complement to your summer evenings!
Garlic Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomato Sauce and Sausage
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4 medium zucchini
1 lb. lean ground turkey sausage
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (double if you like a lot of spice)
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup basil, chopped
2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
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- Nutritional Information
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* 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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