Healthy Zucchini Noodle Recipes
I’m obsessed with zucchini noodles. They are my new favorite dinner. You can prepare them in so many different ways to make a quick healthy meal. They’re MUCH lower in calories than pasta and practically carb free. You can have a large plate of tasty food for under 300 calories (depending on the sauce of course). I’ve got it down to a science. I can make a zucchini noodle dinner in 6 minutes. You can find tons of healthy zucchini noodle recipes on the internet. I’ve chosen a few of my favorites.
How to make zucchini noodles
No worries … you don’t have to make real noodles. All this entails is “spiralizing” a zucchini with either a machine, a hand-held spiralizer or a vegetable peeler. I bought a great spiralizer machine a while
ago but thought it was too much work to use/clean it. I then started to buy zucchini already spiralized at a local gourmet store. But I found the $7.00 price tag a bit hefty for a such a small container. Then I bought a little plastic handheld spiralizer at Bed Bath & Beyond (about $10) and love it! It takes literally takes 30 seconds to spiralize a whole zucchini. I use 1-2 zucchini’s per meal. Watch my previous blog post/video on me spiralizing zucchini with my machine.
My go-to recipes
I like to add protein to the noodles if I’m making them for lunch the next day. I find that protein holds me longer than just vegetables. It’s actually kind of a shocker that I MAKE lunch sometimes as I’m not the “brown bag” type. Goes to show I must be obsessed. I tend to like my noodles cooked slightly. I see that several of the recipes I’ve included call for raw noodles, so I’ll give those a try. I usually the noodles with an Italian or Asian. Here are my staples:
– Frozen turkey burgers and shrimp. They can be quickly defrosted to add to the noodles.
– Olives, wine, tomatoes, grated cheese
– fresh ginger, Szechuan sauce, hot mustard
Nothing fancy – I just scramble the turkey (or cook the shrimp in a little olive oil) then add the tomatoes or Asian seasonings, followed by the noodles for about a minute. Voila – you have a meal in 6 minutes! Now for some real recipes…
Healthy tasty zucchini noodle recipes
If you do a google search on zucchini recipes you will find tons of them. I found some great recipes from 2 of my favorite sites: Danielle Omar’s Food Confidence Blog and Skinnytaste.com
Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomatoes & Olives (recipe and pic taken from Danielle Omar, RD)
3 zucchini, spiralized
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large clove garlic, minced (or to taste)
1/4 cup caper
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp anchovy paste (I use the kind in the tube; vegetarians — feel free to omit)
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper, optional
Instructions: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Once heated, add garlic and anchovy paste, if using. Cook until anchovy dissolves and garlic browns. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until softened about 5-8 minutes. Then add the capers and olives. Simmer for about 5 minutes more, or until the tomatoes make a sauce. Add salt, to taste. Stir in the basil. While sauce is cooking, spiralize the zucchini and place in large bowl (I cut my noodles with a kitchen scissor so they are easier to eat). When ready, toss the sauce with the zucchini and eat immediately.
Lemony Zucchini Noodles with Spinach, Cherries & Pine Nuts (recipe and pic taken from Danielle Omar RD)
3 zucchini (one per person), spiralized
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
6-7 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
Place pine nuts in small non-stick pan on medium heat and toast until browned.
Wash zucchini, leave stem end on but chop off other end. Holding stem end, place zucchini into the spiralizer and twist until spiraled. Place noodles into a large bowl.
Add pine nuts and remaining ingredients to noodles, toss well to combine.
Serve cold or room temperature
Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Lemon-Garlic Spicy Shrimp (recipe and pic taken from Skinnytaste.com)
Servings: 1 • Size: 1 zucchini + shrimp • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 235.5 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 14.5 g • Fiber: 4 g • Protein: 25 g • Sugar: 4 g
Sodium: 179 mg (without salt) • Cholesterol: 173 g
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
4 oz peeled and deveined shrimp
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin and devided
1 medium zucchini, spiralized
pinch salt and fresh black pepper
1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
1. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and crush red pepper flakes, add the shrimp and season with pinch salt and pepper; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add half of the garlic and continue cooking 1 more minute, or until the shrimp is cooked through and opaque. Set aside on a dish.
2. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and garlic to the pan, cook 30 seconds then add the zucchini noodles and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Add the shrimp and tomatoes to the pan and squeeze the lemon over the dish. Remove from heat and serve.
Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles For Two (recipe and pic taken from Skinnytaste.com)
Servings: 2 • Size: scant 2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 277 • Fat: 12 g • Protein: 24 g • Carb: 21 g • Fiber: 4 g • Sugar: 9 g
Sodium: 725 mg (without salt) • Cholesterol: 62 mg
2 medium zucchini, about 8 oz each, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
6 oz skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ground ginger
2 tbsp crushed dry roasted peanuts
2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions along diagonal
For the sauce:
1 1/2 tbsp reduced soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp hoisin sauce
2 1/2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste (or more to taste)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1. Using a spiralizer fitted with a shredder blade (this makes a thicker noodle), or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade, cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips. If using a spiralizer, use kitchen scissors to cut the strands into pieces that are about 8 inches long so they’re easier to eat.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic, hoisin, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil in a large, deep nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
4. Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper, stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about two minutes until just tender and mixed with the sauce. If it seems dry, don’t worry the zucchini will release moisture which helps create a sauce. Once cooked, mix in chicken and divide between 2 bowls (about 2 cups each) and top with peanuts and scallions.
Raw Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Pesto (recipe and pic taken from Skinnytaste.com)
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 1/4 cups • Old Pts: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 148 • Fat: 12 g • Carb: 9 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 4 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 102 mg (without salt) • Cholesterol: 4 mg
For the Pesto
1 cup packed fresh basil
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the zoodles:
21 oz (3 medium or 4 small) zucchinis
1 cup heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing. Set aside.
2. Spiralize the zucchini, cut it into smaller strands if they are too long and place them in a work bowl. Toss with the pesto and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper as needed.
For more zucchini noodle recipes, check out: 9 Reasons You Should Familiarize Yourself With Zoodles, Stat by Greatist.com
What are your favorite zucchini noodle recipes?
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