There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of pasta when cold weather hits. Comforting and bulky, pasta is just what you need when it’s dark and rainy.
But when the days get longer and the sun shines brighter, you might start craving something a little lighter.
Zoodles are a low-calorie, carb-free alternative to pasta. Typically made using spiralized zucchini, these thin vegetable strips are bright, crunchy, and a perfect pasta substitute.
We love a bowl of zoodles in the sunshine, and the simple flavors work amazingly well with so many meals.
Take a look at our favorite zoodle recipes, and prepare to say goodbye to pasta (at least until it turns cold again).
34 Zoodle Recipes You Have To Try
Let’s start with the basics: how do you even make zoodles? Zoodles are actually very simple to make, and once you know how to do it, you’ll be making them all the time.
Zucchini noodles are lighter than regular pasta, which makes them ideal for summer.
Check out this guide to find 5 ways to make zoodles, including how to do it without a spiralizer!
You can buy zoodles from many grocery stores, but they do taste better when fresh.
2. Easy Zoodles
When you want a meal that’s easy, reasonably healthy, filling, and delicious, then you want this easy zoodle recipe.
Sautéed zucchini is coated in a light layer of cream cheese, and finished with a touch of seasoning, and a heavy sprinkle of Parmesan.
It tastes amazing, but it comes together in under 5 minutes!
For an even easier recipe, switch standard cream cheese for flavored cream cheese.
This will add plenty of flavor, and cut down on the added seasonings. Add an extra kick with a finish of red pepper flakes.
This garlic butter zoodle recipe is only for garlic lovers! Garlic is a perfect pairing for zucchini, and combined with big handfuls of fresh basil, this is an amazing recipe for summer days.
The zoodles are cooked quickly in butter, so they retain some crunch.
Quick cooking keeps the flavors fresh, and this is a recipe you can put together in less than 30 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread, because if anything goes with garlic, it’s even more garlic!
Ricotta, a creamy cheese that goes well with tangy and herb flavors, has been replaced in this zoodle recipe with a vegan alternative.
It tastes just as good as dairy ricotta, but it’s more suitable for various diets.
Combining soaked macadamia nuts with soaked sunflower seeds, this vegan ricotta has an incredible light texture, and a creamy finish.
The vegan “ricotta” can be kept in the fridge for up to two days, so make it in advance when you’re planning a summer picnic.
Zucchini noodles with lentil bolognese is an amazing thing.
A dish that tastes like comfort food, is secretly packed with nutrients and fiber, and tastes like hours of work but actually cooks in around 30 minutes.
Using your favorite store-bought marinara sauce immediately adds a heaping of flavor to this dish, which is enhanced with clever use of herbs and seasoning.
This recipe is perfect for basically any occasion. Make a bucket load of sauce in advance, and freeze for whenever you want a quick and delicious meal.
You need just three ingredients to make this creamy corn sauce: butter or oil as a base, onion and garlic for seasoning, and fresh corn for flavor.
Sauté together, and then blend with water until you have a sauce!
If you want to take things up a level, thin the sauce using chicken broth, and use a mixture of onion and garlic.
The thick sauce goes amazingly well with zoodles, which naturally have more moisture than standard pasta.
Tossed together, you’ll have the perfect consistency!
Red Thai curry paste is an amazing ingredient. It just adds so much flavor with so little effort!
Thai red curry paste combined with coconut milk is already an incredible sauce, and everything else you add is extra.
In this recipe, your Thai curry base is elevated with a mixture of fresh vegetables, sautéed chicken (or chickpeas), and a heavy handful of basil.
With zoodles, it’s a weeknight dish for summer days when you don’t want to spend a long time in the kitchen.
Chicken Parmesan needs oozy cheese, crispy golden breadcrumbs, and lashings of thick tomato sauce.
Incredible to eat, but not the kind of thing you can consume regularly. Enter healthy chicken parmesan with zoodles!
In this recipe, chicken parmesan is served hot over a bed of raw zucchini noodles.
By serving straight away, the zoodles can warm without losing crunch or turning watery.
Even traditional noodle lovers will fall in love with the freshness they bring to the plate.
There’s nothing quite like the slow cooker when you know you have a long day out, and you want to return to a hot meal with no effort.
Slow cooker turkey bolognese is perfect for those occasions, and by serving with zoodles, you get a healthy take on a traditional comfort food.
Using your slow cooker, your sauce ingredients can bubble away throughout the day.
When it’s time to eat, you can either quickly sauté your zucchini, or serve the sauce straight on the zoodles! Minimal effort, massive reward.
Zoodles are amazing served warm, and just as good cold! Drizzled with a homemade Italian dressing, this is a summer lunch that is delicious with your favorite grilled protein.
It’s also an excellent side dish for a barbecue or potluck!
A mixture of apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard adds heat and tang to your Italian dressing, which clings perfectly to fresh zoodles.
We like to add a sprinkle of paprika for some smokiness! Leftovers keep for a couple of days, so you can enjoy this salad throughout the week.
Zoodles are often served with Italian flavors, but why not try something a little different?
Pho is a popular Vietnamese dish, and we love the twist of serving it with zoodles.
Softened by the broth, they add the bulk of traditional noodles, and give something for the spiced sauce to cling too.
You need a well stocked spice rack for this meal, as ingredients like star anise, cloves, and cardamom pods add a tantalizing aroma.
Finish with jalapeños for a kick, or add a dash of your favorite chili sauce.
Looking for an impressive date night meal? Pan-seared halibut with lemony zucchini noodles is sure to please, and doesn’t take much work!
Pan-seared halibut is served with zoodles coated in a lemon, garlic, and parsley dressing.
Finished with bursting tomatoes, the fresh flavors are vibrant and sophisticated. It also looks amazing on the plate.
Not a fan of halibut? The simple ingredients of this dish go well with all kinds of fish, so sub your favorite seafood.
Scallops or sea bass are both excellent choices!
Instead of your traditional thin zoodles, this pesto and pine nut recipe uses wide, thin strips of zucchini.
This mimics pappardelle pasta, and means there’s even more surface area for the sauce to coat.
This method is also excellent for those who don’t already own a spiralizer!
You can achieve the same effect with a mandolin, or even a vegetable peeler.
Discard the seeds to avoid a watery meal, and sauté the zucchini in some extra virgin olive oil.
If you aren’t one of those people who get to spend the summer touring the Italian coastline, then you can (almost) recreate the experience with a plate of bruschetta chicken and zucchini noodles.
Chicken is marinated in a mixture of Italian dressing and seasoning, infusing it with a punch of herbs and a slight tang.
Chopped tomatoes are tossed with basil leaves, garlic, and Italian dressing to make the bruschetta topping.
By cooking all the separate ingredients in the same pan, the flavors combine to provide a richly layered dish.
Sesame noodles are a go-to dish for many of us when we want a quick and delicious pick me up.
If you’re looking for a healthy version, try this almond butter sesame zoodle bowl.
It has all the flavors you love, plus a load of added nutrients.
This recipe sweats the zoodles by salting them and allowing the moisture to drain out.
When cooked, sweated noodles should have an extra crunch.
It’s a simple step, and it’s easy enough to do while you get on with making the sauce!
Ramen is one of those dishes that is just amazingly adaptable.
You can throw in all kinds of veggies and proteins, and still end up with something delicious.
Which is why zucchini noodles are a perfect mix in!
This is a plant based meal that will fast become one of your favorite comfort food recipes.
It tastes like a warm hug, but the addition of lots of brightly colored veggies provides that boost you need sometimes.
All coated in a fantastic coconut broth!
Zucchini noodles aren’t just good for pasta dishes. They also work well in stir fries, especially as that speedy cooking process keeps the zoodles crunchy and fresh.
With the addition of shrimp, this meal feels like a cross between a sophisticated dinner and your favorite takeaway.
Shrimp and zoodles are both ingredients that benefit from a quick cook at a high heat, so they’re a perfect pairing.
Some added spice works wonderfully with the simple flavors of zucchini, and the meaty punch of shrimp.
Ground turkey is an underrated ingredient! It might not have the massive flavors of ground beef, but this can actually work to its advantage.
Just a few careful seasonings can bring ground turkey to life.
This recipe is an excellent swap when you’re craving spaghetti and meatballs, but you want something a little lighter. It’s also paleo friendly!
And it tastes so good, you won’t feel like you’re making a healthy switch. You’ll just feel like you’re having a really yummy dinner.
Okay, this one isn’t quite a zoodle recipe, but it’s a good starting place for those who don’t own a spiralizer.
If you’re thinking of investing, but you’re not sure if you’ll enjoy zoodles that much, then give this zucchini recipe a go.
Using sliced and matchstick zucchini, quickly sautéed in a simple sauce, this recipe has all the flavors of zoodles, with no effort.
You don’t need any specialist equipment, and you don’t even need much skill with a knife.
Thai flavors bring this zucchini salad to life, adding a combination of zing and creaminess that is irresistible.
The raw zucchini adds a crisp and bright base to the other flavors, and none of the weight of standard noodles.
You’ll love tucking into a bowl of this on a warm day. It’s also an unusual choice for a potluck dish or barbecue side!
Stick your marinated chicken on the grill, and serve with the salad.
Mussels are one of those ingredients that many of us enjoy ordering in restaurants, but rarely eat at home.
But even though they can seem intimidating, mussels are actually quite simple to make.
The long steps are all preparation, as the steaming only takes minutes.
If you’re looking for a good recipe for your first time cooking mussels, it’s hard to go wrong with this curry broth.
The zoodles soak up all the sauce, and add crunch to the mussels.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. This zoodle recipe uses beetroot to add color and richness to marinara sauce. And it’s amazing.
Beets have a deep, earthy flavor that works fantastically with the zing of tomatoes.
They also give the sauce an amazing depth of color. This deep red sauce, combined with the green of zucchini, looks incredible.
Serve at your next dinner party, to delight your guests.
It freezes well, so make sure to make a big batch when beets are in season.
Are there any two words more appealing to the lazy cook than ‘one pot’?
It means less work, less cleaning, and tends to create dishes with deliciously layered flavors.
The key to getting this dish right, and not ending up with a watery mess, is salting and squeezing your zoodles.
This helps remove the excess water, so your zoodles still have crunch.
Tapioca starch is used to thicken this completely vegan sauce.
You will be the envy of the break room with this Asian cold zucchini noodle salad recipe.
This is luxury eating, but the secret is this recipe comes together in less than 15 minutes.
You can make this salad in advance, as the flavors will develop in the fridge.
If you choose to make it a couple of hours in advance, make sure to give everything a big stir before you eat, to redistribute the sauce across your zoodles.
We all need a few good recipes for clearing out the veggies that are left in the fridge, and this miso soup will become your new obsession.
It’s incredibly adaptable, and the salty miso broth goes with all kinds of summer produce.
Although this is an excellent recipe for zoodles, if you don’t have a spiralizer, it’s just as delicious with matchstick zucchini.
The main bulk of the soup cooks for several hours in the slow cooker, but adding the zoodles at the end allows them to keep their texture.
Capers are a hero ingredient, bringing a massive amount of flavor to a dish with minimal work.
Small and salty, stirring just a few capers into a bland tomato sauce can completely transform your meal.
Tomatoes and capers work so well with zucchini. The light flavor of the zucchini balances the vivid flavors of tomato, and the punch of capers.
Excellent for a summer dinner, this recipe is best enjoyed with a cold glass of white wine.
Anyone trying to add more veggies into their lives will understand just how amazing zucchini and cauliflower are.
These adaptable vegetables can act as sneaky substitutes in many of our favorite comfort food classics.
For example, fettuccine Alfredo! This creamy pasta favorite is made here with zucchini and cauliflower, transforming a carb and cream heavy dish into something surprisingly good for you.
If you have some veg-adverse family members, try introducing them to the wonders of cauliflower with this exceptional recipe.
Salmon and zucchini are always a good combination, particularly when prepared like this. It’s a quick meal that’s excellent when you want to impress at a dinner party.
Sautéed salmon turns deliciously flaky, with a crisp outside and a soft inside.
Marinated in this spicy, Asian-inspired sauce, the salmon develops an irresistible sticky glaze.
Serve with zoodles for an added crunch, and some freshness that balances the power of the sauce.
Absolutely packed with cheerful Mediterranean flavors, this zucchini noodle salad uses a sun-dried tomato dressing to bring the zoodles to life.
It will quickly become your new go to salad, especially as there’s so much room to experiment with the ingredients.
Use up those vegetables that have been hanging around your fridge, and finish with some nuts and seeds for added bite.
Drizzled with this vibrant sauce, it’s really hard to go wrong.
Making your own pesto is rewarding, but it can also be hard work.
This avocado pesto is a handy solution, a homemade pesto that needs just a few ingredients to deliver a surprisingly creamy sauce.
The secret here is the addition of miso. Just a small amount brings umami depth to the dish, which perfectly complements the freshness of basil.
A dash of lemon adds zing, as a sprinkle of salt brings the flavors to life.
Toss through your zoodles, for a delicious and nutritious dinner.
The double tomato of this recipe comes from a mixture of oven roasted cherry tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes, blended together to form the base of the sauce.
Combined with other ingredients, such as roasted walnuts, this has a massive depth of flavor.
This recipe recommends using half spaghetti, half zoodles, but we think all zoodles is just as good.
Make the sauce in advance, and stir through the zoodles just before serving.
Pad Thai is one of those dishes that works any time of year, and any time of day.
This zoodle salad can be enjoyed warm, but is also delicious cooled and eaten as a salad.
Zoodles are not an obvious choice for a pad Thai, but they actually work really well.
The zucchini flavor is subtle, and pairs with the strong flavors of pad Thai. Eaten cool as a salad, the zucchini brings fun new textures.
33. Zucchini Lasagna
A slightly unusual take on the zoodle, zucchini lasagna uses thin slices of zucchini in place of the traditional pasta sheets.
Baked in layers of tomato and white sauce, this is your traditional lasagna, lightened up.
If you’re struggling to add vegetables to children’s diets. Give this recipe a go.
They probably won’t notice the difference until you point it out. And with a plate of garlic bread on the side, they won’t care about the switch.
Involtini literally comes from the Italian word for roll, and that’s exactly what this dish is.
Often made with thin slices of eggplant, involtini is filled, rolled, and baked.
This recipe trades eggplant for zucchini. The zucchini is sliced into wide, thin strips, preferably using a mandolin, and rolled around a cheesy filling.
Salting your zucchini for a few minutes makes the strips easier to roll, or you can try baking them in the oven!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Zoodles?
Zucchini plus noodles equals zoodles! Zoodles are long thin strips of zucchini, resembling, and often eaten in place of, noodles and pasta.
Zoodles are traditionally made using a spiralizer, but other varieties can be made using a mandolin, or clever knife work.
How Do You Cook Zoodles To Stop Them From Getting Soggy?
Zucchini is a vegetable with a lot of moisture, and when cooked incorrectly, it can turn into a soggy mess.
One of the best ways to avoid this is to sweat your zucchini.
Once you’ve spiralized your zoodles, lightly coat them in salt, and leave them to sweat for 15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess moisture away, and cook as normal.
Alternatively, sauté your zoodles in a spoonful of olive oil quickly over a high heat.
This should warm them through, add flexibility, while maintaining crunch.
Or don’t cook them at all! If you’re covering your zoodles in a warm sauce, serve them raw, and let the latent heat of the sauce heat the zoodles.
Do You Need To Salt Zucchini Noodles?
Salting zoodles isn’t always a necessary step, but it is a good one.
Salt draws the moisture from the noodles, which can then be drained away.
This ensures the cooked zoodles have more crunch, and don’t turn soggy.
Zucchini noodles can be eaten raw, sautéed, or oven baked.
The subtle flavors of zucchini pair well with a range of flavors, allowing you to transform all your favorite pasta and noodle dishes into a healthier, lighter alternative!