A hearty, easy to prepare slow cooker dish that combines Italian sausage meatballs with Mediterranean flavors of eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, tomato, onion, garlic and basil.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound mild Italian sausage (pork or turkey), casings removed
8 ounces sliced baby portabella (cremini) mushrooms
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic or 1 teaspoon chopped shallot
1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (see Note)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Cooked orzo or rice
Gluten free: Serve with rice or gluten free orzo.
Variation when using an Instant Pot: Cook on medium (or normal) slow cook setting instead of low, and use an Instant Pot tempered glass lid, or a regular saucepan lid instead of the tight fitting lid used for pressure cooking. No need to add more liquid (often required for Instant Pot slow cooking), as the ingredients in this dish naturally produce plenty!
Note on tomatoes: When tomatoes aren’t in season, substitute 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained.
© A Well-Seasoned Kitchen ®