Zucchini noodles are so essential to low carb eating, that they deserve their very own HOW TO MAKE post. Who would have thought that noodles can be made of vegetables? It still strikes me as odd, but, honestly, the idea is weirder than the taste. Zucchini noodles, also called zoodles, are no traditional pasta of course, but I have come to quite love them, and do not miss “real” pasta at all.
Zoodles do not only help lowcarbies but also everyone who needs to eat gluten-free food! So knowing how to make these low carb zucchini noodles is a must. For us, they were a revelation as much as a relief, as they enable us to keep eating our beloved pasta dishes. In particular, they perfectly complement rich, tangy, creamy sauces.
Moreover, zucchinis are very healthy. They contain many vitamins and also protein, dietary fibre and a good bunch of the minerals we need. For example, one of the most important minerals we need is potassium, which helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. Zucchinis contain 295 milligrams of potassium per cup, or 8% of our recommended daily value. As for the carbs, 100 grams of zucchini contain a little over 3 grams, 2.5 grams of which are sugars. So that’s pretty low.
How to make zucchini noodles
Luckily, making zoodles is quick and really not hard. As a rule of thumb, you need one zucchini per person. And the only tool you need is a spiralizer. You can use anything from a small handheld device to a standalone spiralizer with up to 10 different blades, or a fancy electric spiralizer. I still use a small handheld one but I am tempted to upgrade, even though I do like to work the zucchini with my hands. So it’s entirely up to you.
How finely do you spiralize your zucchini? Basically, anything goes. The thicker pasta needs marginally more time to fry – it will never be more than a few minutes. Just choose how you like them best! Spiralizing and frying other vegetables into noodles works quite the same, just the time may vary a bit – carrot pasta such as in this delicious recipe needs a little longer, for example. Here, I stick to how to make zoodles, as this is the most common variety of veggie pasta. I basically use these for every low carb Italian pasta-style dish, for example my Bolognese sauce.
One important thing is that you season the spiralized zucchini 10 or 15 minutes before cooking them. The salt will drain liquid from the noodles and preserve their crunch. After spiralizing, just put the zucchini pasta into a sieve or bowl, add some salt and mix them with your hands. Before cooking them, squeeze the water out.
Just a quick stir-fry
Frying is ultra-quick. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan, add your spiralized, drained zucchini stripes, a bit more salt and some pepper – and stir-fry them for just a few minutes. The goal is to keep them crunchy but not raw. They are ready when their colour changes into an intense green. Make sure you start frying the noodles only when your sauce is ready. As zoodles cool rather quickly it is important that you serve them immediately.
Actually, some people prefer zoodles raw and just place them on a plate to be topped with sauce. Another idea is to just throw them into the pot to mix with your sauce simmering inside. That’s all good. Yet I prefer stir-frying my zucchini noodles separately. You choose!
Zero waste tipp
Don’t throw away the leftover ends of the zucchinis. You can store them in a container together with other vegetable stems or wilted veggies in the fridge. Once you have collected enough material, you can make your very own vegetable broth (how to make it will up here soon as well). In a container, the vegetables remain fresh enough for cooking stock for several days.
Delicious green zucchini noodles! This is how you make this easy and tasty low carb pasta alternative. Great with a rich, tangy sauce.
For 1 portion
1 zucchini (green or yellow both work)
olive oil for frying
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper from the mill
- Spiralize your zucchinis and put the noodles into a bowl or sieve. Add some salt, mix well with your hands – and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to drain water.
- After 10 to 15 minutes, squeeze as much water as possible from the zucchini noodles to keep them crunchy when cooking.
- Put a non-stick pan to medium heat, add olive oil and then the zucchini. Stir constantly and sprinkle with a little more salt and black pepper. The zoodles are ready when starting to change color: The goal is to keep them crisp but not raw.
- Spread your zucchini pasta on a plate and place sauce and garnish on top. Serve immediately.
- Category: low carb basics
- Method: spiralize and fry
- Cuisine: international
- Serving Size: pasta from 1 zucchini
- Calories: 153
- Fat: 14.6g
- Carbohydrates: 4.1g net carbs
- Protein: 2.4g