One-Bowl Meal: Pesto with Zucchini and Sausage

Last week I described my method for preparing and storing pesto. Pesto is something I like to have on-hand, but I certainly don’t cook with it every day – or even every week. That means by preparing a double batch and then freezing it, I have a stash of pesto on hand for at least 4 months before I have to make more.

Today I’m covering one of my go-to recipes to make when zucchini is in season. This dish is surprisingly flavorful and not too oily. Consider the pesto a seasoning, not an overwhelming sauce.

This dish will serve two for dinner.


  • 3 Italian sausages (I like to use the chicken and turkey basil sausages from Trader Joe’s. Obviously, the basil flavors in the sausage compliments the pesto.)
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Step 1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Dice the onion and begin cooking it in a large saute pan over medium heat. Begin cooking the pasta when the water is ready.



Step 2. Slice the sausages in half lengthwise, then dice them into half-moons. Do the same with the zucchini.



Step 3. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, with the pan covered. It’s important to do this so there is juice in the pan when you add the zucchini, so they can steam and cook. After about 5 minutes, add the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the zucchini have softened and cooked through.

Step 4. When the penne has finished cooking, drain it and return it to the pot. Spoon 1 tablespoon of pesto onto the pasta and mix thoroughly. Near the end of cooking the zucchini, add a tablespoon of pesto to the saute pan, stirring to evenly distribute.

Step 5. Add the pasta to the saute pan and stir. Serve up the combined dish and top with parmesan cheese.



  • Scott

    I made this a few weeks ago and loved it!

    • Mark Evitt

      Excellent! It’s one of my favorites.

  • NP

    I like how this is so easy to make, yet is so delicious. These days I’m experimenting with my slow cooker. I made chicken tortilla soup the other day, and an Indian goat curry. They both turned out good. Would love to read your slow cooker recipes if you have any.

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