Easy How-to Zucchini Pasta Recipe

Raw zucchini and carrot spaghetti cut with spiral slicer
Westend61 / Getty Images
Total Time 80 min
Prep 75 min, Cook 5 min
Yield 6 servings (64 calories each)

Pasta dishes lose calories and gain nutritional value when zucchini noodles 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. I especially like this with pesto sauce as a side dish with any main course.


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


1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zucchini, working your way around the squash. 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.

2. Put the zucchini strips in a colander or strainer, sprinkle a liberal amount of salt over them and toss to coat.

Put the colander in a bowl and put a small plate on top to squeeze out the juice as it emerges. 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 an 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.

3. 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).

4. The zucchini pasta is now ready. It doesn't really need cooking, but you can gently warm it up in olive oil heated to medium high for one to five minutes. If you cook it longer, it may stick together or become mushy. 

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

Wondering if your usual pasta dishes will go well with zucchini noodles?

Try these combinations to go create the perfect veggie pasta dishes or you can even add meat to your zucchini pasta masterpiece.

  • Turkey meatballs and tomato and basil sauce
  • 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
  • Thai ​peanut sauce(or just peanut butter), red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and a splash of sesame oil 

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