Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Recipe Connection: Sausage Zucchini Bake

August 12th, 2009 · 51 Comments · Do It Yourself, Frugality, Kids in the Kitchen, Recipes

Sausage Zucchini Bake

Is everyone still drowning in zucchini out there?  If you’re looking for a low-carb (no-carb?), filled with veggies, use-up-your-zucchini meal that fills tummies and pleases tastebuds, you’re at the right post. This may well be our favorite summer meal, and I love it because it’s so healthy and easy to make.

I also have some great memories of my two-year-old son slicing zucchini with his cheese slicer that looks like a meat cleaver.  (See this post for a photo!)  Buddy Boy completely did the zucchini job himself two years ago.  …If only I could get him to help me in the kitchen like that now! (“Mom, can I go outside and play with my friends?”)

You’ll want to find a tasty sausage for this recipe, and use a spaghetti sauce that you know your family likes.  Those two ingredients are the star players and change the flavor dramatically.  We used some good pastured pork sausage this summer, but in the past I have used cheap ground turkey and made it into homemade sausage.

Sausage Zucchini Bake
  • 1 pound sausage, mild or spicy, or homemade
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce or 3 c. homemade
  • 1 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Brown sausage.
  2. Saute onion, pepper and garlic (add last) with the meat (in olive oil? See this post for research!).
  3. Pour a little spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 glass baking dish.
  4. Layer 1-2 large sliced zucchinis on top.
  5. Mix the remaining spaghetti sauce in a large bowl with the sauteed meat and veggies and the fresh basil.
  6. Pour over the zucchini.
  7. Layer sliced tomatoes (they don't have to be Romas, but those are prettier) on top, then cover with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  8. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15-30 minutes longer, until the cheese is browned and the sides are bubbling.
*Note: If you want to make sure the zucchini gets soft, you can optionally parboil it for a few minutes before layering in the pan. I skip that step because I hate making more dishes! Also, the dish will be pretty watery at the end if you use raw zukes, so either parboil, roast on a cookie sheet, or slice/shred and salt the zucchini and drain well before layering.

Since I'm learning so much about the dangers of aluminum, I chose to tent the aluminum foil so it didn't really touch the cheese.

You can also put parchment paper under the foil so it doesn't touch the food OR simply invert a cookie sheet over the baking dish.

If you roasted your zucchini, use the same cookie sheet as the "lid" above.


Not perhaps the most photogenic meal, especially if you don’t take the time to get the extra moisture out of the zukes first…but one of the most delicious recipes I have!

sausage zucchini recipeChallenge yourself to get as many ingredients as you can from your Farmer’s Market or your garden! Just another reason to love this dish.

Find the ultimate list of zucchini recipes at The Finer Things in Life.

It was a tough choice, but I chose this as my Favorite Recipe for Life as MOM’s Ultimate Recipe Swap today. There are so many good ones!

Other Great Summer Recipes:

I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for an email subscription or grab my reader feed.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

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51 Comments so far ↓

  • Lenetta @ Nettacow

    Looks yummy! Just a casual question . . . if you use a cookie sheet over the top, would condensation form and end up dripping out in your oven? Probably wouldn’t make near the mess I’m imagining, though. And I’m looking forward to learning how to clean my oven by your standards! (Especially since I can’t get it to lock to self clean, and who wants to use those awful chemicals?!?)

    Katie Reply:

    I wonder? I don’t know if there would be any more of a problem than with my casserole dishes that actually HAVE lids. I suppose you’re thinking on the overhanging part that might hit the bottom of the oven, but water shouldn’t make a mess or a stink if it does drip. I’ll have to find out next time I get the ol’ oven on!

    You’re the second or third person to mention the oven cleaning, so although I was going to put that off until January, perhaps I’ll get it in at the end of this month! ;)

  • SnoWhite

    looks great to me!

  • Dawn

    The amount of carbs will depend on what sauce you use. Most spaghetti sauces have loads of sugar. Be careful.

    Katie Reply:

    Good call. Best option, of course, would be to make your own with local tomatoes. We can’t all get away with that, though! Thanks for pointing out a good label-reading warning.

  • Joy @ Joy Of Desserts

    I found you through The Krazy Kitchen.
    Love Zucchini (I usually saute mine, first), and this sausage zucchini bake will be just right for my family too. Thanks.

  • Mary

    What a wonderful and economical meal. Can’t wait to try it. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  • Jackie

    What a great idea. I too, have many zucchini to use and be creative with. :)

  • sara

    Looks great! Will have to try when I am the lucky recipient of friends’ zucchini largesse!

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  • Ann Kroeker

    That looks attractive, healthy and creative. Oh, and delicious!

  • Jean

    I love zucchini in all it’s forms. Thanks for this recipe. I love the combination of sausage and zucchini.

  • angie

    great recipe for my moms favorite vegie

  • Amanda

    Yum, that looks so great. I just came in from the garden and I am probably a few weeks away from having enough zucchini from the garden to make this. But, I will bookmark the recipe for sure. Who knows, maybe I will buy some zucchini at the farmers market and make this sooner! :)

  • darnold23

    Thanks for sharing. We’re sharing peanut butter ideas and Elvis stories at I hope you will come join us. Or, join us for Crock Pot Wednesdays. Mister Linky will be ready for that on Tuesday.

  • Helen

    I just made this for my family tonight, and they loved it. Even my 18 mos. old, who’s currently going through a picky phase, inhaled it. This is definitely a winner!

  • rachel-asouthernfairytale

    Wow! That sounds delicious!!! YUMMY!

  • Liz@HoosierHomemade

    Another great zucchini recipe! Thanks! DH picked 9 more today.

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  • Carolyn

    Wow! Look at all the posts for this recipe. I just assembled mine with zucchini from the market … I’m sure it will be wonderful!

  • Vanderbilt Wife

    Wow! That looks divine! Can’t wait for summer to come around again so I can have yummy fresh zucchini. :)
    .-= Vanderbilt Wife´s last blog ..Bloggy Progressive DInner: Entrees to Entertain WIth =-.

  • JessieLeigh

    I loved seeing the various stages as this dish came together- looks just lovely! And anything with all that melted cheese on top ranks high on my list. :)
    .-= JessieLeigh´s last blog ..Introducing Cereal! =-.

  • Jassica

    Looks delish! I will have to try it. I have a recipe that layers Zucchini, ham and cheese, along with some salt and Italian spices and optional tomato and onion. I love it, so I’m excited to try this one as well. My zucchini plants have just begun producing!

  • Ott, A.

    Just stopping by from Tasty Tuesday. This looks like a great recipe. Always looking for something to use the zucchini I grow in my garden on. I might have to give this a try.

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  • Rhonda

    This was really tasty but I was disappointed at how it “fell apart”. I set it up like a lasagna but didn’t scoop out of the pan very well. We will make this again but next time I’ll add noodles to thicken it up

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  • Kelly

    This sounds fabulous! I wonder if it would be less watery if the squash were shredded and the moisture squeezed out before baking? Just might try it!

  • Renee

    Katie, I followed your link from your FB comment this afternoon. Recipe looks yummy! I have a couple of suggestions for you:

    1) Use a piece of parchment paper under the foil to prevent its touching the food at all. My nutritionist gave me this tip.

    2) Try salting the zucchini and let it sit for a while to “Weep out” the extra water, to keep it from being so watery.

    And of course I’d have to use less cheese on top. Just because we’re not supposed to eat it. :(

    Katie Reply:

    I’ll have to update the post with the watery-reducing suggestions – thanks! :) Katie

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  • Lisa Stone

    I’m seeing lots of comments about the wateriness already, but here’s another suggestion:

    I was recently making something with zucchini and eggplant. They suggested roasting the veggies on a cookie sheet before putting them in the casserole to eliminate some of the wateriness. Maybe you could try that, then use the sheet for a cover. You’ll have to wash it anyway. :)

    Katie Reply:

    Thanks, Lisa – I’ll update the post w/your suggestions! : ) Katie

  • Donna

    I made this on Sunday and it was delicious! EVERYONE loved it! Thanks for all your great recipes!

  • Emily

    Made this for supper tonight and it was SOOO yummy! I took the time to salt, drain, rinse and dry the zucchini beforehand, but it was STILL super watery. I just carefully poured a lot of the liquid out of the pan until I was happy with it. Careful not to dump the casserole into the sink though! :) I used homemade sausage and homemade sauce and will definitely be making it again, especially with how cheap zucchini is right now.

  • sandra

    This is kind of like a moussaka :) I like to grill the zuc (or eggplant) in a pan with just a drop of olive oil, the veg cut into long thin slices, instead of circles. The grilling gets a lot of the water out. I also use feta instead of mozzarella. The tomato sauce gets seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon.

  • Stephanie M

    I thickened my sauce with tomato paste and didn’t have any watery issues :)

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  • Sara

    Will it freeze well?

    Katie Reply:

    You know, I’ve never tried freezing this one. Zucchini tends to get really watery once thawed, so maybe not? I would recommend freezing the meat/peppers/sauce mixture separately and just put it together when you need it. :) Katie

    caroline Reply:

    i froze it and it came out fine. I cut the leftovers (about 1/2 a pan) into individual servings wrapped in freezer paper then put in a ziploc.

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  • Rebekah

    I just used ground beef (grass-fed, so very flavorful) instead of the sausage… a spicy pasta sauce, and parboiled the zucchini 3 minutes. Delicious. Thumbs up from us!

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  • Edie

    I made this for supper using my CSA zucchini. It was fabulous! I got raves from my family; this will definitely be a regular use for zucchini. I used the America’s Test Kitchen method for getting the water out of the zucchini: I sliced it into rounds, lightly salted it, and let it sit in a colander set over a bowl for about 30 minutes. It sliced like a lasagna, though slightly more “liquidy” than a lasagna. I did let it rest sbout 15 minutes before cutting it, which always helps a layered dish slice better. Thanks for a great recipe!

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.