Zucchini noodles (or zoodles) pair perfect with spinach pesto in summery dinner dish! It's the perfect meal for those days when it’s just too hot to cook, and it's a great way to use up all that zucchini from your garden. This easy zucchini pasta recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
It's the end of August, and I'm already seeing talk of pumpkin spice and Halloween costumes on social media. Look, I love autumn. Autumn is my favorite season. But it's not autumn. It's still really hot here, and we still have another month of summer to go.
As much as I really want to cooking lasagnas for dinner and baking apples for dessert, I just can't bring myself to turn on the oven in 90 degree weather. Instead, I opt for cooling, mostly raw dishes, like salads and zucchini noodles.
Zucchini pasta, zucchini spaghetti, zucchini noodles, and zoodles are all the same thing – thin strips of zucchini! They've hit mainstream in the past few years, but they were kind of unheard of when I first started making them. I learned about them in a raw "cooking" class I took waaaaaay back in 2009. I immediately bought a spiralizer and started making my own vegetable pasta at home.
In that class, we learned how to make zucchini noodles with a raw marinara, but I've always preferred pesto to tomato-based sauces. I guess I'm just a green sauce kinda gal. I like to use my spinach pesto, but arugula works well, too. And if you don't feel like making pesto, you can buy pre-made vegan pesto pretty much anywhere these days. Trader Joe's has a really good kale pesto, and I really like Gotham Greens vegan pesto, as well.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
It's super easy to make zucchini noodles!
- First you slice the ends off your zucchini.
- Then you make noodles by following the instructions for your spiralizer, if you have one.
- If you'd like to reduce the amount of water in your noodles, you can place your noodles in a colander above a bowl and toss them with salt. You should allow the noodles to sit for about half an hour. Then squeeze any excess water out with your hands and pat the noodles dry with a towel.
- The noodles are good to go right out of the spiralizer, but if you don't want to eat them raw, you can cook them in a dry pan over medium-high heat and cook them for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Finally, you toss your noodles in pesto and top with the sun-dried tomatoes and olives. You can also use a sprinkle of vegan parmesan, if you like.
You can even use premade zucchini noodles to cut down on prep time, if you like.
There are a few different types of spiralizers available. I have the countertop type that sits horizontally and pushes the vegetables forward. It came with a few different blades so I can make thicker spaghetti or thinner angel hair pasta. There's also a smaller, vertical version that cranks your veggies downward in a container And you can also find expensive ones that resemble a large pencil sharpener.
If you just used your last zucchini in ratatouille, don't worry. You can use yellow summer squash or carrots. If you're in the mood for something heartier, try beets, sweet potatoes, or parsnips.
Zucchini Pasta with Spinach Pesto
For the Pasta:
- 2 medium to large zucchinis ends trimmed
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes thinly sliced
- ½ cup kalamata olives sliced
- 1 cup Spinach Pesto or store-bought nondairy pesto
- Cut the ends off your zucchini. Make noodles using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler.
- To reduce the amount of water in your noodles, you can place your noodles in a colander above a bowl and toss them with salt. Allow the noodles to sit for about half an hour. Squeeze any excess water out with your hands and pat the noodles dry with a towel.
- If you don't want to eat your noodles raw, you can cook them in a dry pan over medium-high heat and cook them for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Toss the pesto and pasta together. Top with the sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Enjoy!
More Noodle Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
More Zucchini Recipes You Might Like Include:
- Crispy Zucchini Fritters
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Lemon Poppy Zucchini Muffins