Ever had zucchini noodles or ‘zoodles,’ as some affectionately call them? They’re a great way to get your pasta fix if you’re gluten-free or grain-free.
This is a super simple recipe to make. All you have to do is throw everything in the pan, sauté until soft, and top with lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and olives. Feel free to add shredded chicken or throw in some quinoa if you’d like some additional protein. Creamy white beans would also be a delicious mix-in!
This recipe was built around the veggies I had on hand and they came together perfectly. The zucchini acts as noodles for the base (but you could also swap the zucchini for other gluten-free noodles as well) of the dish, which is loaded with gorgeous veggies. This recipe is a fabulous way to increase your vegetable intake!
You have to try the sauce… very light, only a few ingredients, and so fresh. This is not a sauce you have to worry about making separately either (no additional dishes to dirty up!) – this baby uses flavors that are already in the dish.
The combination of the olive oil, saltiness from the black olives, fresh, earthy parsley, zing from lemon juice, and spice from the red chili pepper flakes is divine.
And, although I absolutely love garlic, my stomach needed a break from it, so I left it out. If you’re a garlic lover, definitely add it!
Herbed Lemon Zucchini Noodles (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Grain-free)
2-3 TB, extra virgin olive oil
1 cup, chopped carrots
1/2 to 3/4 bunch, chopped asparagus
3-4 big zucchini, sliced into noodles (see below)
1 cup, halved cherry tomatoes (multi-color heirloom adds beautiful color)
1/4 cup, chopped scallions
1/4 cup, chopped black olives
1/4 cup, chopped parsley
Salt and pepper (or lemon pepper if you have it)
Red pepper chili flakes
To make the zucchini noodles:
you can use a spiral slicer (my favorite: Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer), julienne peeler (my favorite: Zyliss Julienne Peeler), vegetable peeler, or a steady hand and a knife to slice into strips.
Some people remove the zucchini skin before slicing, but I like to keep it on for added nutrition. If it looks like your noodles are watery, give them a good squeeze between clean dish towels or paper towels to remove some of the water.
To cook: heat up a generous splash of olive oil in a pan under medium heat. Put the carrots, red pepper, and asparagus into the pan to soften. Once those become tender, add the zucchini noodles. Stir to incorporate all of the veggies. Add the cherry tomatoes and salt and pepper. Cover and sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables are cooked through to your liking. Remove from heat, throw in the scallions, and spritz with lemon.
Put individual servings into bowls and top with black olives and parsley. While still warm, add lots of lemon juice, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with red pepper chili flakes – these make up the sauce. Mix well to fully incorporate, let the flavors meld together for a few minutes (this is important – so the olives, lemon juice, parsley, and red pepper chili flakes come together), and mix again. Taste to see if any additional lemon, red pepper chili flakes, or salt is needed and enjoy!
– the zucchini noodles will look like a TON when you make them into noodles, but will shrink up a lot when they cook.
– Never made zucchini noodles? Here are two short video tutorials using a julienne peeler and one using a spiral slicer (in this video, she dehydrates the noodles after slicing…. I personally don’t think this is necessary unless you’re finding that the sauce is too watery.) You can also use a vegetable peeler to make thicker zucchini fettuccine strands.
– If you use the links in this post to purchase the products mentioned, I receive a small percentage from the affiliate program. That said, I only recommend products that I use myself or that I suggest to clients. Your purchase helps support my work – thank you.
Question to my readers: What is your favorite way to eat zucchini? Have you ever tried zucchini noodles?
UPDATE: This recipe has been featured in Healthy Vegan Fridays, Wellness Weekend, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Tasty Traditions, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Foodie Fridays, Real Food Fridays, Gluten-free Fridays and Fast and Easy Paleo Recipe Roundup.
Go check it out for more recipe inspiration!