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?
Putting it Together
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 start by cutting them in half then into 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 until they’re mush. Just cook then to the point where 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 additional salt and pepper (if needed) and the chopped basil on top. To cut the basil, I used the 7-5/8″ Petite Chef knife to slice and then roughly chop it.
From preparation to actual dinner on the table, this full meal takes all of 30 minutes.
Make it Your Own
If you don’t have Italian sausage on hand, you can also use a store-bought rotisserie chicken that you can 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 Italian Sausage Garden 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 the perfect meal.
Italian Sausage Garden Skillet Dinner
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 small yellow squash, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher 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 chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
- Add the zucchini, yellow squash and garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Sauté for approximately 2 minutes and add the turkey sausage, all the tomatoes and the marinara sauce.
- Cook until the sweet and grape tomatoes begin to crack their skin, the zucchini and yellow squash are tender and everything is at the same temperature.
- Sprinkle both cheeses on top of the vegetable and meat 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.