You may have heard of zoodles, which are basically noodles made of zucchini. You may have even seen them pre-packaged in the store. But have you ever made zoodles at home? Well, recipe developer Susan Olayinka, who shares food tips at The Flexible Fridge, says it’s an incredibly simple recipe to whip up for people who haven’t made it before. "You literally just spiralize the courgettes, mix it with some sauce, and then it’s done. It’s a great alternative for noodles when you don’t feel like [eating] carbs," she says.
This dish is more than just a side, too, with Olayinka noting, "[Zoodles] can definitely be a main meal on [their] own if you pair [them] with the right ingredients." In addition to the delicious veggie and cheese pairing in this recipe, Olayinka suggests adding bolognese sauce. "I love to have this when I feel like something light for lunch," she says.
Gather your ingredients for zoodles
The shopping list for this healthy fare is short and sweet. Simply add courgettes, pesto, and cherry tomatoes to your shopping cart, and the rest of the ingredients you likely already have on hand. You’ll need salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and Parmesan cheese shavings to pull off your zoodles dish, too.
If you’re scratching your head about what a courgette is, Olayinka has the answer: "Courgettes are like cucumbers, but a bit more dense. It is a member of the squash family." You might know this veggie as a zucchini, of course.
And should you wish to make your own pesto, well, go right ahead. But don’t stress if you want to stick with a jarred version. This meal is meant to be easy. It’s worth noting that you can also buy your Parmesan cheese pre-grated to save even more time.
Spiralize your veggies
Get started by washing the zucchini and slicing the top stem off of each. As far as whether or not to peel the skin off, Olayinka notes, "You could peel the courgette, but the skin has fiber in it — so I leave it on!"
Next, simply cut each of your zucchinis in half. At this point, since you’re slicing anyway, go ahead and cut your cherry tomatoes into quarters. Set the tomatoes aside for a hot second now.
Then comes the fun part: Grab your spiralizer. You get to spiralize your zucchini into long, curly noodle shapes. Just this action alone is so satisfying.
Once the zucchini is spiralized, it’s time to cook up your colorful dish. Grab your extra virgin olive oil, pour it in a pan, and turn your stove up to medium heat. When your pan is heated, you are just a few moments away from enjoying an incredibly tasty low-carb dish.
Sauté the zoodles
Now, you are ready to add your zoodles to the hot pan, with Olayinka advising home cooks to use a silicone spatula to gently sauté the veggies for two to three minutes. "Be sure to not turn the heat up too high," she cautions. You don’t want to overcook your tender veggies.
Add your store-bought or homemade pesto, and stir it into the zoodles, coating them completely. Then, remove your zoodles from the pan, transferring them to a serving dish. Add your quartered cherry tomatoes and the Parmesan cheese shavings.
Yum! This healthy, vibrant, and delicious dish is ready to enjoy. Want a little heat? Add some red pepper flakes. Or, simply season with salt and pepper. Complete your dish with a protein if you desire, or stick with this plant-based meal.