Have you jumped on the zucchini noodle trend? “Zoodles” use a spiral slicer to turn the low-calorie, super nutritious veggie into a low-carb, healthier alternative to pasta and rice. It’s a great way to use up all that nutrition-rich zucchini growing in your garden and enjoy comfort foods guilt-free.
But zoodles doesn’t mean you always have to do spaghetti sauce and meatballs. These delicious zucchini noodle recipes from across the web let the vegetable shine in a variety of ways. From Asian-inspired salads and soups to raw dishes and tacos, they just might replace the pasta in your life for good.
18 Zucchini Noodles Recipes
Just one look at this chicken and you’d think it was from a restaurant. The chicken breast provides protein and healthy fats thanks to the almond crust and goes from skillet to table in just 10 minutes. Served over a bed of lemon garlic zucchini and carrots, this is a go-to weeknight meal.
Photo: Slim Sanity
This light, colorful salad is the antidote to a hot day. It’s chock-full of vegetables like cabbage, red peppers, carrots and, of course, zucchini and tossed in a homemade dressing, made with rice vinegar, sesame oil and garlic. It’s great for lunch or as a side dish, but add your favorite protein, like grilled chicken, to make it a complete meal.
Surely you’ve had chicken noodle soup. But this zoodle version gives the old classic a run for its money. Not only is it ready in half an hour, but it’s loaded with the ingredients you’ve come to expect and love from the original, including carrots, celery and fresh rosemary. The best part is that you don’t even have to be sick to enjoy this one!
The best parts of a caprese salad — tomatoes, mozzarella and basil — are merged with oregano chicken and zoodles for an Italian-style dish that’ll leave you licking your lips. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar syrup over the top of the finished dish to take it to the next level.
This is a dish that looks and tastes more complicated than it is. Using just two ounces of goat milk cheese, blended with olive oil and roasted red peppers, yields a creamy sauce you’ll want to use on everything. If you’re short on time, there’s no need to roast your own peppers, just use the jarred ones. Coat the zucchini noodles in the sauce and go to town!
You’ll definitely get your greens when you make this zucchini noodle recipe! What would typically make up an indulgent pasta dish — butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese — is scaled back with the three zucchini you’ll use as noodles. Add a few cups of spinach and you’ve got a “naughty” dish that’s actually quite nice.
Don’t be deterred by the long list of ingredients in this recipe. They’re all easy-to-find and result in a pretty impression chicken version of the Vietnamese favorite. Plus, it makes 4 large servings, perfect for the whole family or to keep in the fridge and chow on as lunch throughout the week.
This traditional Korean noodle dish is given a healthier makeover in this zoodle recipe version. Because the ingredients are all quite basic — think honey, mushrooms and fresh greens — you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the end result. The instructions on how to avoid overcooking the beef are fantastic and really add to the taste of this dinner.
Photo: Steamy Kitchen
Sure, you can have a Tex-Mex dinner filled with tortillas and rice and feel lethargic for hours afterward. But why bother when you can enjoy this light zoodles recipe? This version uses ground turkey breast and black beans for a good dose of protein and a variety of spices for a homemade enchilada sauce. Served over zucchini noodles and served with fresh avocado, corn and tomatoes, the whole family will love this one.
A creamy curry that’s totally raw and vegan? I had to try it to believe it and, well, this zucchini noddle recipe doesn’t disappoint. The super smooth sauce is made from cancer-fighting cashews and avocado and given plenty of zest from the red chili paste, curry powder and cayenne pepper. It’s ready in just minutes and the sauce keeps in the fridge for about three days, so make extra servings!
Do you find yourself wanting to avoid carbs but unsure of what to serve with your protein? Enter these zucchini noodles. They’re the perfect accompaniment to heart-healthy salmon. Because the fish and teriyaki sauce it’s cooked in are both strong flavors, the noodles are a great way to enjoy it all without being overpowering. I love how easily adding a bit of garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and sesame oil totally transforms the zucchini, too!
These vegan rolls are genius. Carnivores, you will fall madly in love with these. Vegans, these rolls might win more people over to the plant-only side. Zoodles, sliced red pepper, cabbage, green onions, avocado and fresh mint are stuffed into tapioca rice wrappers. That’s yummy enough, but then there’s the accompanying dipping sauce. Made from mango, chili garlic sauce, tahini and agave, you’ll want it on everything. Just make these!
Photo: Heather Christo
This zucchini noodle recipe is so simple to make, but really packs a punch. Ricotta, green peas and bacon (0pt for beef or turkey, not pork) equals a little salty, a little creamy, a little sweet, but altogether delicious. Top with fresh basil to put this one over the edge.
Adding avocado to pesto makes it ultra smooth and creamy — and good enough to eat on its own. But this pesto deserves a good vehicle to gobble it up from and zoodles make the perfect one. You can eat them raw if you’d like (or it’s too hot to turn the stove on), but they taste more pasta-like if you saute them in garlic and oil for a few minutes. However you choose to eat them, you’ll love these noodles.
You don’t need meat to get a good serving of protein when you prepare these zoodles. They’re topped with a gorgeous fried egg that just enhances the flavor of the zucchini coated in homemade, basil-rich pesto. This is one of those recipes you can throw together after a long day at work but looks like a ton of effort — perfect for feeding unexpected guests or those hungry little mouths.
Photo: Food Faith Fitness
Greek salads are already pretty good for you. But why not jazz it up with the addition of zucchini noodles? This version omits the cucumbers, but you can definitely add them back in if they float your boat; they’re great for losing weight and detoxing. I loved how much heartier the salad felt when made with zoodles instead of greens — the dash of feta doesn’t hurt, either!
No one can deny that lasagna is awesome. But between the heavy sheets of pasta and baking time, it’s not exactly a quick-fix meal. Enter this skillet lasagna. It turns a laborious process into a 30-minute meal that can be prepped in advance. Did I mention you’ll only use one pot as well? Traditional lasagna, you’ve been given a run for your money.
Photo: Life Made Sweeter
I’m most tempted to order takeout when it’s something I don’t know how to easily make myself, like Pad Thai, one of Thailand’s biggest exports. But that excuse won’t fly anymore — not with this zucchini noodle recipe. It’s ready in under half hour and really easy to make; don’t let the instructions fool you, they’re just written thoroughly! While the recipe uses shrimp, I’d opt for chicken or thinly sliced beef instead. You likely have everything you need on hand, too. So easy, so good.