Sometimes, when the cooking bug takes hold, I start tossing things into a pan or pot, a little more of one ingredient and then another, without a plan. This turkey, sausage and vegetable sauce happened that way, and even after it was cooked, taste-tested, and pronounced utterly blogworthy, I couldn't figure out what to call it. Or how to serve it. So, here are a few ideas.
If you're low-carbing, try the sauce on its own, casserole style, or over zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or cauliflower rice. If you aren't doing low carb, how about serving it over brown rice for a filling meal in a bowl? For my husband Ted, I boiled some Dreamfields low-effective-carb pasta. Or you could stuff the sauce into hollowed-out zucchini boats, or baked stuffed bell peppers. So many possibilities! If you're dairy-free, omit the cheese; otherwise, don't skimp, because more cheese is always better. This turkey sauce, a satisfying and healthy dish on its own, is a great make-ahead-and-freeze recipe, perfect for healthy weeknight meals or take-to-work lunches.
Turkey, sausage and vegetable low-carb sauce or stuffing
From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, ground turkey, onion, thyme, oregano, Dijon mustard, parsley, garlic, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, black olives, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cornstarch.
Serves 6-8 or more, depending on how you serve it.
2 tsp olive oil
1-1/3 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat free)
1 lb mild Italian chicken sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh flat-leave parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt, or more, to taste
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 zucchini, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms (or white mushrooms)
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 cup drained canned chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup black olives (optional)
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tsp water (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a very large, deep frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground turkey. Break it up with a wooden spoon (or a potato masher).
Squeeze the sausage out of the casings directly into the pan, and, using a wooden spoon to break it up, cook until all the meat is lightly browned.
Add the onion and garlic, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
Now stir in the thyme, oregano, mustard, parsley, salt and pepper. (Remember that you'll be adding cheese, which is salty, so don't add more salt at this point.) When the spices are well combined with the meat, add the zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes (and olives, if you're using them). Gently mix everything together. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan. Cook covered for 10 minutes.
When the vegetables are cooked but not soggy, stir in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Taste, and adjust with salt or pepper, as needed.
Note: there will be a small amount of liquid in the pan. If you wish, thicken it by pouring the cornstarch solution into the hot liquid.
Serve hot, as is, over pasta, or over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Garnish with additional cheese.
More ground turkey favorites:
North African harissa and butternut squash stew, from The Perfect Pantry
Greek red pepper and feta turkey meatball salad, from The Perfect Pantry
Relleno de pavo or turkey stuffing, from Laylita's Recipes
Chicken sausage brown rice stuffing with celery and mushrooms, from Skinnytaste
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