Dining

Zucchini Noodle Recipes

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Pasta has been getting a bad rep lately, especially from people who are trying to stay away from carbs. Portion control is really important when it comes to starchy foods, and pasta dishes are often heaped high. Since starch is a type of sugar, eating too much can cause your body to store it as fat. In order to avoid the overeating that seems to almost always occur when eating pasta, many people have been finding creative alternatives for these dishes.

The zucchini noodle trend has been gaining a lot of traction lately. Zucchini noodles are simple and quick to make, they’re healthy, and the texture is very similar to pasta. The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is to use a spiralizer. Spiralizers make long, curly noodles in minutes. A spiralizer is a great tool to add to your kitchen, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry! You can use a standard vegetable peeler to make make wide noodles.

Here’s a few of our favorite zucchini noodle recipes:

The first is a light and summery dish. The zucchini noodles are tossed in fresh basil pesto with roasted tomatoes and grilled chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    1 tablespoon oil
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
    salt and pepper to taste
    4 medium zucchini, sliced into noodles
    1/2 cup basil pesto

Directions

Toss the tomatoes in the oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees until they start to caramelize (about 10-15 minutes).

Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste, grill it over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes per side. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and cook until just tender, about 1-2 minutes, stirring. Toss the zucchini noodles, tomatoes and chicken in the pesto and enjoy!

This next recipe for creamy parmesean and garlic noodles is rich and delicious, but completely guilt-free!

Ingredients


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 pound (3 medium-sized) zucchini, spiralized*
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% milk, or more, as needed  Coupons
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup half and half*
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and heated through, about 3-5 minutes; set aside. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the saucepan. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in milk, thyme and oregano. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half and half and Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in zucchini and gently toss to combine.

This simple recipe for tomato basil zucchini noodles is on point! You’ll use the liquid from cooking the vegetables to create a thick, creamy sauce.

Ingredients

4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like the pasta
2 medium tomatoes, chopped, see note (about 12 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
Salt, to taste

Directions

Peel or spiralize the zucchini. Cut extra long noodles so that they are about the length of spaghetti. Add olive oil, garlic, and the red pepper flakes to a large, deep skillet. Turn to medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles with pasta tongs and cook until al dente — they should be wilted, but still have a crunch; 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the noodles cook any longer or else they will become mushy. As they cook, keep tossing so that all the zucchini noodles have a chance to hit the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Cook for one minute.

Use pasta tongs to transfer the noodles, tomatoes, and basil to a serving dish. Leave the liquid in the skillet.

Bring the liquid to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl then whisk into the simmering liquid. Cook, while whisking, until the liquid thickens to a sauce; about 1 minute. Taste the sauce and season with salt. Pour the sauce over the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil. Finish with more parmesan cheese on top and serve immediately.

We hope you enjoy these healthy summer recipes!

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Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at lauren@sdentertainer.com.

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