Zucchini Pasta (Zoodles)

Raw zucchini spaghetti
Food style and photography / Getty Images

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 96
Fat 7
Carbs 7
Protein 3
View All
Total Time 80 min
Prep 75 min, Cook 5 min
Servings 4 (1 cup each)

Is pasta on your forbidden foods list because you're trying to cut down on calories and carbohydrates? Well, you can put pasta dishes back on the menu by using "zoodles" instead of semolina or whole wheat pasta. Pasta dishes lose calories and gain nutritional value when zucchini noodles—called "zoodles"—are used.

The trick to incorporating zucchini pasta into your regular pasta dishes is getting the texture perfect so it's not mushy. This recipe helps you perfect zucchini noodles so that they are more like fettuccine or linguine, depending on how wide you cut them. They go especially well with pesto sauce as a side dish or as a main course.

To make zucchini noodles, you will need either a vegetable peeler, mandolin, or spiralizer. The spiralizer makes for the least amount of work (if you get a good quality tool) as it just requires you to rotate the handle or twist the top until you are left with a beautiful pile of zucchini curls.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound yellow zucchini
  • 1 pound green zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons ground Himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation

  1. If using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zucchini, working your way around the squash (so rotating the squash as you peel). They can be as wide or as narrow as you like. Keep going until you reach the seeds (a few seeds won't matter, but you don't want it to be too seedy). You can also use a mandolin or spiralizer for this, following your gadget's instructions.
  2. Put the zucchini strips in a colander or strainer, sprinkle with a liberal amount of salt, and toss to coat. Put the colander in a bowl and put a small plate on top to squeeze out the juice. To speed things up, put some kind of weight on the plate such as a can of food. You can leave it like this for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours (they get more solid over time, but most of the action happens in the first hour). If you think of it, toss the strips with your fingers at some point to make sure the brine is well-distributed.
  1. Rinse the salt off and either press the excess water out (you can just return it to the colander/plate setup) or spread the "noodles" out on a cotton dish towel (not terry cloth, or you may get lint).
  2. The zucchini pasta is now ready to eat (it doesn't really need cooking) but is more like pasta if gently warmed up; saute in olive oil heated to medium-high for 1 to 5 minutes. If you cook it longer, it may stick together or become mushy. 

Pasta Dish Ideas

Wondering if your usual pasta dishes will go well with zucchini noodles? Try these combinations to create the perfect veggie pasta dishes, or you can even add meat or seafood to your zucchini pasta masterpiece.

  • Alfredo sauce with fresh garlic
  • Feta cheese, grape tomatoes, and walnuts with a splash of olive oil
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, red bell pepper strips, basil leaves, and mashed avocado
  • Purchased Thai peanut sauce (or make your own with peanut butter, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and a splash of sesame oil
    Nutrition Facts
    Servings: 4 (1 cup each)
    Amount per serving  
    Calories 96
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 7g 9%
    Saturated Fat 1g 5%
    Cholesterol 0mg 0%
    Sodium 17mg 1%
    Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
    Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
    Total Sugars 5g  
    Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
    Protein 3g  
    Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
    Calcium 35mg 3%
    Iron 1mg 6%
    Potassium 562mg 12%
    *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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