Sunday, May 3, 2009

Turkey Sausage and Zucchini Rice

This meal is what I like to think of as regular-people food. It's tasty and interesting enough, and it's even kind of pretty. But it's nothing fancy or special occasion-esque. It has meat, it has a vegetable, it has brown rice. But it also has a lovely brothy sauce, toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley just to make it a bit more elegant.

I am underselling it a bit, I know. But a meal doesn't have to be exotic or high-brow to be worth cooking and serving to your loved ones. This is a great example of simple, wholesome home cooking that you can get done in under an hour. I'm a big fan of Italian sausage, as it brings a huge amount of flavor with minimal effort. It is showcased yet again by this recipe.

Turkey Sausage and Zucchini Rice
adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
serves 3


2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons EVOO
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
3/4 cups long grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 links turkey hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2 baby zucchini, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted


1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and EVOO over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice and 2 1/4 cups broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until rice is tender and most of the broth is absorbed, about 40 minutes.

2. When the rice has about 15 minutes to go, cook sausage in a medium skillet, breaking it up, overr medium heat until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer sausage to a plate. Add zucchini to the skillet and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Return sausage to the skillet along with remaining 1/4 cup broth and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

3. When rice is done, add the sausage and zucchini mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the parmesan and parsley. Serve topped with pine nuts.



  1. Looks and sounds delicious. Do you have recommendations for the Italian sausage you prefer? Or are they all "much of a muchness"?

  2. Italian sausage is a pretty specific thing - it is raw sausage with specific "italian" seasonings. I've only ever seen two types - hot and sweet. And of course, it might come in pork, chicken, or turkey. My supermarket only carries one brand of turkey, so I can't say there is a specific brand I would recommend.