Cheesey, Meet Delicious! Spicy Sausage Zucchini Casserole

10 08 2011

Let me tell you a story—a story of a family of women—who are all extremely critical of themselves.  HA.  On a recent trip to visit my family while Mr. Amanda was out of town, and before I get into what will definitely be the start of a grueling 4 years of school, the entire family sat around dinner one evening.  As we all chowed down on some delicious chicken, homemade coleslaw, etc,  Grandma Amanda mentioned that she didn’t know if it would “be that good” because she had just “thrown it together”.  We all thought it was absurd, and if you knew my grandma you would too, because rarely are any of her meals anything but stellar.  Needless to say, it was a delicious dinner, but the mere sound of my grandma saying these words reminded me of something I so often say to Mr. Amanda…… “Now, I don’t know how this is going to turn out…it may not be any good at all”.

In our house, I spend a lot, and I mean A LOT, of time trying new recipes.  I don’t know if this is adult onset ADD or just boredom, but I scour my collection of hundreds of cookbooks nearly every day looking for new things to try (you would think that, by now, I would have made just about everything I would want to try out of my collection—but if you think that, you haven’t seen my collection 🙂 ).  Recently, Momma Amanda came to visit on what I like to call “Mission: Make this House Look Like It’s Worth More Than It Is” (we were preparing the house to be put on the market)…not too catchy, huh?  Anyway, when she came, with her car load of goodies, she brought some of Grandma & Grandpa Amanda’s zucchini and yellow squash.  YUMMMM

In order to not waste precious, delicious squash, I looked for recipes that I could use them in.  This is where my “I don’t know how this is going to turn out” statement comes in…..after hours of looking for something that looked halfway appetizing, I gave up and decided to try something simply called “Sausage Zucchini Casserole”.  I had zucchini (obviously), and I had sausage…so it was a go.  I really thought it was a shot in the dark as to if this was going to be edible or not–I mean, one of the first few ingredients was……Velveeta….Not a commonly used ingredient in our house (aside from when making Super Bowl snacks!).  I made it….with my additions/modifications……then presented it to Mr. Amanda with my famous “I don’t know how this is going to turn out…..”.  Normally, almost immediately, after giving it to him and “my line”, I get a response made to make me feel better.  But this time there was no response.  I was sure I had failed.  But instead, what I found when I brought my own plate to the table was that Mr. Amanda was nearly 3/4 way finished with his plate.  I figured this was merely because he was hungry after a difficult workout, but decided to take a courageous bite myself.  And I was speechless.  DE-LI-CIOUS.  How does that happen?  How can such a strange mix of ingredients make something that you want to literally fight over the leftovers the next day?!  Now, I will warn you now, it’s not a “pretty” dish.  It’s not the dinner you make for a dinner party.  But, if you are looking for something comforting and sure to please the entire family, THIS IS IT!!!!!

Spicy Sausage Zucchini Casserole


1/2 lb turkey sausage (I use turkey breakfast sausage)

1/4 medium onion, chopped

1 Tb minced garlic

1/2 c water

1/2 c brown minute rice

2 c cubed zucchini squash

1 diced fresh tomato

4 oz Mexican style Velveeta, cubed  (Mexican style is needed for extra flavor)

1 (4 oz) can mushrooms OR 1/2 container of fresh mushrooms that have been cooked down (so that they have released their water)

2 tsp paprika

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

large pinch of oregano

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

dash cayenne



Combine rice and water and cook according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Cook sausage and onion over Medium Heat until only a little pink remains in the sausage.  Add in garlic.  Continue to cook until sausage is browned.  Drain any grease.

Stir in zucchini and tomato–cook until tender

Stir in rice, mushrooms, and cheese

Season with oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne to taste.

Mix together thoroughly.

Spread into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam or cooking spray of choice.

Bake 1 hour or until lightly browned at 325 degrees.




Nutritional Information & WW PointsPlus

Servings: 6 or 8

Per Serving: 1/6 or 1/8 of dish

Calories: 151 / 113

Fat: 6.75 g / 5.1 g

Fiber: 2.3 g / 1.7 g

Carbohydrates: 12.25 g / 9.2 g

Protein: 12.1 g / 9.1 g

WW PointsPlus: 4 PP / 3 PP




One response

14 08 2011

I’m so late on reading all your blogs, but I LOVE THIS ONE. I totally know what you mean about Grandma Amanda/Jess. I can’t wait to try out the recipe!

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