This is a perfect weeknight meal that would be delicious with a nice salad (and maybe even some additional grilled meat if you’re serving a hungry crowd)!
Slicing zucchini or yellow squash into penne pasta shapes is one of my favorite keto cooking hacks! Visually, it looks a lot like pasta and—if you close your eyes—the texture isn’t too far off from the real thing either!
This pasta-shaped veggie preparation is perfect for quick sauces like the one in this recipe (it’s also great with classics like alfredo or pesto)!
Do yourself a favor and make this your new go-to weeknight Italian dish!
Quick, Italian-inspired keto dinner with zucchini, hot sausage and a creamy tomato sauce.
- 5 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5 hot Italian sausage links, casing removed (19 ounces)
- ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tablespoon dried basil
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup low-carb marinara sauce
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cut the ends off each zucchini then slice into quarters, lengthwise. Carefully slice away the soft core of each quarter (save for blended soups) then cut on a bias to form penne pasta shapes. Reserve.
- Add oil to a preheated pot and brown sausage (after removing the outer casing/skin) over medium-high heat for 5 minutes—breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
- Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, dried basil, salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes (or until veggies are softened).
- Mix in marinara sauce and heavy cream then reduce for 5 minutes—stirring occasionally.
- Mix in zucchini, cover and cook—stirring every few minutes—for 5 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 5 more minutes—stirring every few minutes (zucchini should be just tender).
- Remove from heat and fold in Parmesan for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce thickens slightly.
- Serve with more Parmesan cheese (and chopped parsley if you’re feeling fancy). Enjoy (see notes)!
Net carbs: 5.1g
I’d serve this recipe with an additional side or a salad to stretch it a little further (maybe even some additional protein like grilled chicken or baked fish).
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Sauteing
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: keto Italian dinner, low-carb recipes, zucchini and Italian sausage
Hey there—I’m Nate! I’m passionate about developing delicious, healthy recipes and exploring better living through low-carb, wholesome cooking! Welcome! I'm glad you're here!