Substitute your pasta with these delicious, healthy, super easy to make Zoodles! These low-carb zoodles will be your new dinner obsession!
Love decadent pasta dishes, but hate the high amount of carbs that come with them? You can have a delicious meal and cut back on the carbs!
I absolutely love using zucchini as a noodle replacement, like in this zucchini lasagna, but my new obsession is zoodles!
This zoodle recipe is the perfect way to lighten up on your carb intake while not sacrificing flavor. It’s got a bright, savory flavor thanks to the avocado oil, lemon, and parmesan cheese. Zoodles are perfect as either a side dish OR a main dish!
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I have to admit, I am slightly obsessed with pasta. Give me all the carbonara, all the penne a la vodka, all the spaghetti and meatballs. If it’s a dish focused on pasta, I’m guaranteed to love it.
However, as much as I would love to, I can’t be eating pasta every night of the week. It just wouldn’t do good things for my stomach.
So, I’ve been on the lookout for ways to make my favorite Italian dishes without so many of the heavy carbs. I have always loved using spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute – like in this delicious Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parm dish that my kids BEG me to make.
But I’ve recently developed a love for zucchini. It works for my keto diet. It’s got a simple taste that really allows the rest of the ingredients in the dish to shine through. This also makes zucchini a great contender for kid-friendly meals because it barely even tastes like a veggie!
One of my friends recently got me into the “spiralizing” trend and believe me when I say, I will be spending the majority of the fall months figuring out what new veggie I can spiralize.
Sweet potatoes? You bet!
Beets??? It works!
Watch out for more spiral-shaped vegetable recipes coming your way soon!
I especially love throwing a zucchini in the spiralizer because it makes such perfect noodles (or as they’re so cleverly called… “zoodles”). This zoodles recipe is one of my favorites because it is light, packed with flavor, and it pairs well with so many different meals, or it works great as a stand-alone dish. So head to your local farm stand, grab a few zucchinis, and get spiralizing!
What are zoodles?
Zoodles are simply, zucchini noodles…. get it? Z(ucchini)oodles? Super cute. It’s like a celebrity couple name mash-up (remember Brangelina anyone?) but for your dinner plate!
Zucchini is the perfect vegetable to use when you’re trying to make your favorite recipes healthier or even gluten-free. Zoodles are the ultimate gluten-free pasta because of their mild taste… they go well with any sauce!
If you’re wondering how to make zoodles, the answer is easy – with one of those handy dandy spiralizers (my favorite is linked at the bottom of this post). Zucchini noodles are so easy to make, you’ll be wanting to test them out in all of your favorite pasta recipes!
Ingredients for Zoodles
- Avocado oil
- Red bell pepper
- Dried thyme
- Dried parsley
- Dried rosemary
- Parmesan cheese
I personally love using avocado oil when I cook rather than typical olive oil. They are both full of those “healthy fats” that everyone is looking for, but I find myself gravitating to avocado oil more frequently these days. I use avocado oil especially when I’m cooking zoodles because it has a higher smoke point than olive oil, meaning it won’t burn as quickly when you’re sautéing your zoodles. That being said, of COURSE, you can substitute olive oil in!
Some times I want to get some more protein into our meal, so I’ll add some baked chicken breasts that I either chop or shred. This is totally optional of course, but the chicken has enough time to cook while the zoodles rest. Dinner timing perfection friends!
How to Cook Zoodles
One of my favorite things about cooking zoodles is that you really don’t have to cook the zucchini noodles at all! You spiralize them, then let them sit for a while to dry out. Then all you have to do is simply mix them in with your other ingredients as they cook. No more waiting for water to boil, then watching the pot as your pasta takes forever to cook!
- Start by spiraling your zucchini. Then place it in a colander and add a pinch of salt over your zoodles (this will help to release the extra liquid).
- Let your zoodles sit for 20-30 minutes to really let them dry out. If you can spiral it the night before and let them sit overnight, even better! The dryer your noodles are, the more delicious they will be.
- Once your zoodles are dry, heat avocado oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and let to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it’s fragrant. Keep stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn!
*On the note of garlic – I am often very heavy-handed when it comes to garlic… you’d think I was trying to ward off vampires with my zoodles. Use as much (or as little) garlic as you and your family like!
- Next, add in your chopped red pepper and saute until it is tender.
- Now it’s time for the main event – the zoodles!! Add your zucchini noodles, thyme, parsley, and rosemary to your pan. Stir everything together and cook for 3 minutes or until the zoodles feel tender. Then check your seasoning and add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Last, portion your sautéed noodles into serving bowls and top with freshly squeezed lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Now, give yourself a little pat on the back… you made a delicious meal entirely out of vegetables!
My kids love this zoodles recipe, but they are not quite as pasta obsessed as I am. So, if I just handed them a plate of this deliciousness, they’d ask where the rest of dinner was. That’s why I love chopping up a rotisserie chicken and adding it to the top of our zoodles to make it a more “complete” meal! Super easy, super delicious, and family-approved.
Looking for some more healthy dinner ideas? Check out these other Real Housemoms favorites!
- Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
- Weight Watchers Taco Soup
- BBQ Chicken Burgers
- Ginger Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
- more DINNER recipes…
Tools used to make this Zoodles recipe
Spiralizer: watch out, if you buy this tool, you’ll want to spiralize ALL the things!
Saute pan: I love my non-stick skillet. I use this thing for so many of my favorite recipes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pat chicken breasts dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and drizzle with avocado oil. Bake for 25 minutes until juices run clear and chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and let rest on a cutting board. Once rested, chop or shred chicken.
- Spiralize your zucchini and add a pinch of salt over the zoodles. (This will release the extra liquid from your zoodles.)
- Set zoodles aside in a colander for 20-30 minutes. If you can spiralize your zucchini and let it sit overnight, this is even better! (Your zoodles can rest while the chicken bakes.)
- Heat 3 tablespoons avocado oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add bell pepper and saute until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini noodles, thyme, parsley, and rosemary. Stir to mix everything together and cook for 3 minutes.
- If you're making this recipe with chicken, add it to the skillet now. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Squeeze lemon over the zoodles (don't let any seeds get in!) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Portion zoodles into bowls and serve immediately.
- Instead of avocado oil, you can also use coconut oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil.
- You can swap out a rotisserie chicken from the store and chop or shred the chicken before adding it to the zoodles.
- Nutritional information DOES NOT include chicken.