Zucchini, mushrooms, and sausage are tossed with penne in a spicy sauce for an easy dinner win in this simple skillet meal.
Mushroom Zucchini Pasta
This was a last-minute dinner I pulled together a while back, using a few things I had on hand on a Sunday night. It turned out so well that I decided to scribble down the ingredients to share this with you.
I buy mushrooms just about every time we go to the store, because they make a terrific addition to many recipes. With little more than the mushrooms we always have on hand, and a few zucchini left over from making this cheesy zucchini rice, I had dinner sizzling on the stove.
I will admit it was no hardship to remake it to photograph last week. I happily ate this sausage pasta for lunch a few days in a row the second time I made it.
Zucchini Mushroom Pasta
There are a couple of things to note when making this dish. I LOVE the bite of fresh zucchini when it has barely softened. My family? not so much.
So, when cooking this for my family, I follow the directions below and continue cooking until the zucchini is tender and just slightly crisp.
Now, when making it just for myself? I leave a solid bite to the squash and only cook it for a few minutes. Taste the zucchini as it cooks and allow it to simmer in the sauce until it reaches the level of doneness you prefer.
You probably aren’t surprised to hear me say I am a big fan of my homemade pasta sauce for this recipe. It comes together so quickly and easily for me that I make it often. But never fear. Store-bought sauces will work just fine when making this dish.
I recommend adding the full half teaspoon of red pepper flakes to this recipe, as it boosts the flavors nicely. However, if you’re leery of the heat, go ahead and start with less. For my family, I have been known to double that amount for a seriously spicy kick.
I like this sausage pasta best without the Parmesan; however, my boys like to generously top their pasta with shredded cheese. To satisfy everyone, I serve the pasta with a bowl of shredded cheese on the side. Each person can top their plate as they like.
Sausage Pasta Skillet
You will need the following ingredients to make this recipe:
- penne pasta or another bite-size pasta
- hot sausage
- cremini or white mushrooms
- pasta sauce store-bought or homemade
- Italian seasoning
- red pepper flakes
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese
One of the most important things I can stress when cooking pasta is to heavily salt the water. This adds more flavor than you might think to the final results. Drain the pasta, without rinsing it, and set it aside.
While the pasta is cooking, cook and crumble the sausage in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue cooking until barely softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking, just until the squash reaches the desired doneness.
Stir in the cooked pasta and serve warm. Top with Parmesan, if desired, before serving.
As a main ingredient or tucked in a side dish, the ways to cook zucchini are absolutely endless. This is a good thing if you have a garden full of squash or a sneaky neighbor who leaves them on your porch.
Zucchini Pizza Boats are proof that anything can be a carrier for the amazingness that is cheesy pizza toppings. Or turn them into zucchini taco boats because, let’s face it tacos make everything better, especially zucchini.
Fresh zucchini is shaved thin and tossed with olive oil and lemon juice before being sprinkled with salt, pepper, basil, and Parmesan to make this easy, fresh from the garden Zucchini Ribbon Salad.
Zucchini Mushroom Pasta
- 8 ounces penne pasta or another bite-size pasta
- 1 pound hot sausage
- 8 ounces small cremini or white mushrooms quartered
- 4 small zucchini chopped into ¾-inch pieces, about 4 cups
- 24 ounces pasta sauce store-bought or homemade
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste
- ¼ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese OPTIONAL
- Cook the pasta in heavily salted water. Drain the pasta, and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, cook and crumble the sausage in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue cooking until barely softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking, just until the squash reaches the desired doneness.
- Stir in the pasta and serve warm. Top with Parmesan, if desired, before serving.