During the summer, I am always looking for an easy weeknight dinner that takes advantage of what my garden or farmers market can provide. This Italian Sausage Garden Skillet Dinner is perfect because, while there is a recipe, you can really use whatever the garden offers. The only non-negotiable items are the tomatoes, which are needed as the base flavor for whatever else you are putting into the skillet. So if you don’t have zucchini, put in some eggplant. Come to think of it – who doesn’t have zucchini in the summer?
This dish comes together quickly. I found that using my 9-1/4" French Chef knife made quick work of dicing the zucchini and yellow squash. I cut the squashes in half and then cut long strips and diced accordingly. Just make sure to keep your dice the same size for even cooking.
The key to this dish is patience. You really do need to cook it over medium heat until the golden sweet and grape tomatoes start to crack their skin. Don’t overcook them so they’re mush – just to when the skin cracks. Trust me, it’s worth the wait as the tomato flavor will intensify through the cooking process.
Once the dish is cooked, the final step is to sprinkle some additional salt and pepper (if needed) and sprinkle some chopped basil. To cut the basil, I used the 7-5/8" Petite Chef knife to cut this herb into slice and then roughly chop.
From preparation to actual dinner on the table, this full meal takes all of 30 minutes. If you don’t have Italian sausage on hand, you can also use a store-bought rotisserie chicken that you’ll want to shred for this dish. If you don’t have zucchini, use eggplant or cucumbers. For the cheese, I like the creaminess that the mozzarella gives the dish and the salty flavor of the Parmesan but it really can be your preference. Just add what you like.
The best part of this skillet dinner, besides the fresh flavor, is that it’s a one-dish meal, so there is less clean-up at the end of the night. It just may be my perfect meal.
Italian Sausage Garden Skillet Dinner
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 small yellow squash, died
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 Italian turkey sausage links, cooked and chopped
- 1 cup golden sweet tomatoes
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes
- 3 plum tomatoes, diced
- 2/3 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Put the olive oil in the skillet and heat on medium.
- Add the zucchini, yellow squash and garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Sauté for approximately two minutes and add the turkey sausage, tomatoes and marinara sauce.
- Cook until the sweet and grape tomatoes being to crack their skin, the zucchini and yellow squash are tender and everything is at the same temperature.
- Sprinkle both the cheeses on top of the vegetable and meet mixture, placing a lid over the skillet to help melt the cheese, approximately 2 minutes.
- Once the cheese is melted, sprinkle the basil over the finished dish, add some additional salt and pepper if needed, and serve directly from the skillet.