Zucchini noodles are the perfect low-carb option for pasta night. Use these 3 cooking methods to add a little healthy goodness to dinnertime!
Easy Zucchini Noodles Recipe
Zucchini noodles are the ultimate pasta alternative. Inexpensive, gluten-free, and low in carbs, zucchini noodles, also known as “zoodles” can satisfy a pasta craving without sacrificing nutrition. To put this into perspective, a normal serving of spaghetti is usually around 200 calories. With zucchini noodles, that same portion is only 30. You may be asking yourself, but does it taste as good? And the answer is yes! Zucchini has a very mild taste, naturally. It is like the chameleon of veggies! It will absorb the flavor of whatever you are cooking with. So, whether you are topping your zoodles with alfredo, spaghetti sauce, or pesto, the outcome is sure to be delicious! Also, you can change the texture depending on your cooking method. In this post, I will show you 3 easy ways of preparing your zucchini noodles.
Boiling, sauteing, and eating zoodles raw all yield different textures and are great for different types of dishes. Boiling zucchini noodles makes them very soft. Because boiling enhances zucchini’s natural water content, it can leave them slightly watery. This type of zucchini noodles is best enjoyed in a soup or a stew. Next, there is sauteing. This is the most common way of cooking noodles and is super quick and easy! It will leave you with zoodles that are in that happy medium between soft and tender. Lastly, you can enjoy your zucchini noodles raw! Raw zucchini has a pleasant crunch and works great in things like Greek pasta salad. No matter how you choose to prepare your zoodles, I know you will love them as much as traditional pasta!
Ingredients to Have On Hand for Cooking Zoodles
These are the ingredients you will need to create plain zucchini noodles. They are truly the best blank canvas. Top them with your favorite pasta sauce, or throw them into a stir fry with meat and veggies for a pop of satisfying texture!
- Zucchini: In this recipe, I use medium-sized zucchini. Large zucchini tend to be more seedy and have a higher water content. This can sometimes result in mushy zoodles.
- Salt and Pepper: I like to add salt and pepper to taste for a little initial seasoning.
- Olive Oil: If sauteing your zucchini noodles, use olive oil to help them cook up perfectly!
Using a Spiralizer
My spiralizer is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It gives you the perfect, long, and curly strips of vegetables with no hassle!
- Wash your zucchini and make sure the outside is free of dirt. Whether or not you want to keep the zucchini skin on is up to you, but I like to keep it on for a pop of color and extra health benefits! Zucchini skin contains cartenoids that work to boost your immune system and support eye health.
- Cut off the stem and remove the bottom of your zucchini.
- Poke your spiralizer blade into the end of your zucchini. Be sure to situate your zucchini so that you can get the longest slices possible.
- Attach the other side of your spiralizer. Once firmly in place, crank the handle to create oodles of zoodles!
Note: You can use your spiralizer for other vegetables like eggplant, squash, and carrots! I like to fill pasta salads with all sorts of veggie noodles. I love the variety of colors and textures.
Tips and Tricks for Making Zucchini Noodles
Making a tasty zucchini noodle dish is so easy! Use these tips and tricks to ensure a perfect result every time. The perfect healthy dinner for your family!
- Using a Julienne Peeler: If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can easily make zoodles with this other common kitchen tool! Use your peeler to make long slices and then gently pull them apart until you have your desired noodle thickness.
- Pat Zucchini Dry: Because zucchini has a very high water content, I recommend patting your zucchini noodles dry before adding sauces or pan frying.
- Avoid Overcooking: When pan frying your zoodles, only cook for a couple minutes. Zucchini will release more water the longer it is cooked. So, the longer you cook your zoodles, the higher the chance you’ll end up with soggy noodles.
- Use Heavy Sauces: Opt for heavy sauces when making zucchini noodle recipes. Light or watery sauces can ultimately make your zucchini noodles more mushy.
- Eat Zucchini Noodles Raw: My tip for having the least soggy zoodles is to eat them raw! When you pour warm sauce over them, it will heat them just enough so that they are tender and delicious!
Boiling Zucchini Noodles
- Add to Boiling Water: First, add your zucchini noodles to a pot of boiling water.
- Cook and Serve: Boil for 2 minutes, then drain completely and serve.
Sautéing Zucchini Noodles
Sautéed zucchini noodles are warm, tender, and delicious! They are perfect for oil-based pasta dishes like these tasty garlic mushroom and sesame noodle recipes! You can also throw them into stir-fries; pepper steak and garlic shrimp are some of my favorites.
- Add Olive Oil to a Skillet: In a medium sized skillet add 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
- Sauté: Next, cook the zucchini noodles over medium-high heat until they start to soften. This will take about 2-3 minutes.
Storing Leftover Zucchini Noodles
You can easily store zoodles to throw into a variety of dishes! They are the perfect healthy staple to have on hand. Quick and easy to make!
- In the Refrigerator: Zucchini noodles will keep for a week in an airtight container. Make sure you store them without any sauce added- this can make them become soggy faster.
- In the Freezer: Because of the high water content zoodles have, they don’t freeze well. They become too soggy when thawed.
- Reheating: I like to reheat my zucchini noodles in a skillet. Warming over medium-high heat helps to cook off any excess water.
- 3 medium zucchini
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
To Boil the Zucchini:
- Add the zucchini to a pot of boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes and drain.
To sauté the zucchini:
- In a medium-sized skillet add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Cook the zucchini noodles over medium-high heat until they start to soften about 2-3 minutes.
To serve raw:
- Serve the noodles with a warm sauce on top.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.