Courgettes in tomato sauce (or zucchini in tomato sauce) is a delicious way to make the most of courgettes when they're in season.
In this recipe, the courgettes are simmered in a thick, rich tomato sauce. It's a great side dish to turn a simple piece of meat or fish into a delicious meal as it adds sauce as well as vegetables. If you are cutting down on carbs, serve your lentil or turkey burgers or a piece of grilled chicken breast alongside courgettes in tomato sauce. It's also lovely with roast meats, or a plain piece of white fish. Or add a can of white beans to turn this courgette recipe into a quick, healthy veggie meal.
Health benefits of courgettes in tomato sauce
Cooked vegetable dishes such as courgettes in tomato sauce mean that you can easily eat an extra couple of portions of veg with your meal. (Read more about how to eat more veg, it's one of the best things that you can do for your health)
Courgettes are a type of summer squash, and are related to cucumbers and melons. They are low in calories as quite a lot of their mass of made up of water. Despite this high water content, they are still rich in vitamins, minerals and other beneficial plant compounds. They are also a good source of fibre which benefits your digestion and blood sugar levels.
Cooked tomatoes are also very valuable to your health. Lycopene is a particular type of antioxidant which has been show to reduce the risks of certain types of cancer. Cooked tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene.
This courgette recipe is also a good source of olive oil, garlic and herbs. All of these are a key component of the Mediterranean diet, which has been show to have numerous health benefits. (See more about the Mediterranean diet here)
If you grow your own courgettes, you can also make this recipe when they are a bit overgrown. At the end of the season, I usually let a couple of my courgettes grow into marrows, as they store much better than courgettes. The marrows work perfectly well in this recipe.
Zucchini in tomato sauce is great for meal prep. You can prepare it ahead of time, and store it in the fridge for a few days. Just heat it through in a pan when you are ready to eat. This easy tasty courgette recipe also freezes very well, so stock up whilst they are in season.
You can either use red or white onions in this recipe. Or maybe add some peppers and aubergine at the same time as the courgettes to transform this into a quick ratatouille recipe.
Feel free to switch the herbs in the recipe. A handful of torn basil leaves would work instead of the thyme. Or if you prefer, use a teaspoon of dried herbs. If you use dried thyme instead of fresh, cut the quantity down to 1 teaspoon, otherwise the flavour will be too overpowering.
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Courgettes in Tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, red or white peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 2 large courgettes cut into 1 cm cubes
- 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Fry the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and courgettes and fry for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, seasoning and herbs, along with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes.