ATTENTION: This recipe's Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions and ingredient notes below still refer to the original recipe yield of 6 servings.

Raw Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Pesto

Prep Time: 30 minutes    Cook Time: 0 minutes    Total Time: 30 minutes

I learned about the concept of using long strips of raw zucchini instead of pasta for a healthier alternative from my friend Jenny Lim. (Check out this video to see how easy it is to do.)  When 14-year-old Celia heard about how I planned to “ruin” dinner she was more than skeptical, but she amazed herself with how much she enjoyed it after her first tentative bite. Scramble recipe tester Kathryn Howell Dalton said that her 4-year-old son “is a pretty good veggie eater but the man just does not care for zucchini.  Knowing this, I didn’t load his plate tonight. Two seconds into dinner, though, it was gone! I asked for his feedback and he just mumbled, “So good. I need some more.”’ Serve it with garlic bread and with Yogurt Berry Pops for dessert. – Aviva

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Instructions
(Make the dessert in advance, if you are serving it.) Using a food processor, a mandolin, a spirulizer, or the largest holes on a box grater shred th... please login or register to view the full instructions.

Served with

  • Garlic Bread
  • Yogurt Berry Pops

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12 thoughts on “Raw Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Pesto

Monica says:

I saute a couple cloves of garlic and then add the zucchini noodles and saute for a few minutes–keep the noodles “al dente”, but I like the taste and texture a little better with just a few minutes of cooking on the stove.

Betsy says:

Very tasty. We added cannellini beans for protein and I sprinkled some panko and red pepper flakes over each serving for a little crunch and spice. I think this would also be delicious served as a side under grilled fish or chicken.

Heather says:

I was shocked to see my semi-picky 3 year old gobble down this dish and ask for thirds on the avocado salad. It felt like such a healthy dinner.

Brittany says:

Thought this was good and would make it again. My husband even said (without knowing title of recipe), “It’s kind of like pasta”. 3 year old liked it. A few notes: Agreed this needed bulk, so I added a can of cannellini/great northern beans. That helped a lot and tasted perfect in here. I used both tomatoes AND a 1/2 cup of kalamata olives. Also pretty sure I used more than the recommended amount of pesto, as it really felt like it needed more. I wondered about the suggestion to salt and drain the zucchini beforehand. Maybe it’s because I shredded mine in the food processor, but it already seemed quite dry and ready to go, and the process of pressing it out and letting it sit almost seemed to make it MORE mushy. Also, the recipe said it’s ok to prepare the entire meal and refrigerate up to 24 hours. I did this and would not recommend it at all. Made it the night before we ate it and it was extremely saturated and soggy by the time we had it for dinner less than 24 hours later. I had to actually drain it before we ate it. Was disappointed, too, because the whole thing was way too soggy the next day to be edible for leftovers. Easily half the bowl filled with liquid and the whole thing just too soggy. I would say this meal cannot be made in advance at all. Was definitely tasty though and I’d have it again with my noted changed. Really liked the avocado/cucumber salad as a side too. Pleasant, bright flavors and so simple.

Brittany says:

*Typo there. Should be “noted changes”. Don’t see a way to edit my comment. Last thing: be sure to seed and drain your tomatoes before chopping them up, considering above noted issues with the salad being liquidy.

Colleen says:

I loved this recipe. My four year olds…not so much. I agree with a previous poster…not substantial enough for a full meal…better as a side dish.

Ronald says:

This recipe is surprisingly good – and fast. I used a mandolin set up for french fry cuts, which made it really nice and consistent. Don’t be afraid to toss in some black olives or other veggies.

Stacy says:

My 7 year old son LOVED this. He said it was a “winner.” My husband and I though it was just okay. I don’t like thinking of it as pasta. I know, it’s just a name, but psychologically, it was a little strange. I think if I thought of it as a salad from the start, I might have adjusted my expectations. There was nothing wrong with it per se, but I thought it was lacking something. Unless it’s served as a side dish, I think it could use some chopped up fresh mozzarella or something like that. This would be good for a summer pot luck, I think.

Patricia says:

I was all excited to try this recipe until my mandoline sliced a bit of my pinky off! Word to the wise – always use your HAND GUARD! 🙂

Diana says:

@Samantha I think that avocado has protein and fat

Aviva says:

Indeed the avocado does, as do the oil and nuts in the pesto.

Samantha says:

This was good, but there isn’t any protein. Maybe both salads would be better as sides? Just afraid it won’t keep people full to eat for dinner.

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12 thoughts on “Raw Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Pesto

Monica says:

I saute a couple cloves of garlic and then add the zucchini noodles and saute for a few minutes–keep the noodles “al dente”, but I like the taste and texture a little better with just a few minutes of cooking on the stove.

Betsy says:

Very tasty. We added cannellini beans for protein and I sprinkled some panko and red pepper flakes over each serving for a little crunch and spice. I think this would also be delicious served as a side under grilled fish or chicken.

Heather says:

I was shocked to see my semi-picky 3 year old gobble down this dish and ask for thirds on the avocado salad. It felt like such a healthy dinner.

Brittany says:

Thought this was good and would make it again. My husband even said (without knowing title of recipe), “It’s kind of like pasta”. 3 year old liked it. A few notes: Agreed this needed bulk, so I added a can of cannellini/great northern beans. That helped a lot and tasted perfect in here. I used both tomatoes AND a 1/2 cup of kalamata olives. Also pretty sure I used more than the recommended amount of pesto, as it really felt like it needed more. I wondered about the suggestion to salt and drain the zucchini beforehand. Maybe it’s because I shredded mine in the food processor, but it already seemed quite dry and ready to go, and the process of pressing it out and letting it sit almost seemed to make it MORE mushy. Also, the recipe said it’s ok to prepare the entire meal and refrigerate up to 24 hours. I did this and would not recommend it at all. Made it the night before we ate it and it was extremely saturated and soggy by the time we had it for dinner less than 24 hours later. I had to actually drain it before we ate it. Was disappointed, too, because the whole thing was way too soggy the next day to be edible for leftovers. Easily half the bowl filled with liquid and the whole thing just too soggy. I would say this meal cannot be made in advance at all. Was definitely tasty though and I’d have it again with my noted changed. Really liked the avocado/cucumber salad as a side too. Pleasant, bright flavors and so simple.

Brittany says:

*Typo there. Should be “noted changes”. Don’t see a way to edit my comment. Last thing: be sure to seed and drain your tomatoes before chopping them up, considering above noted issues with the salad being liquidy.

Colleen says:

I loved this recipe. My four year olds…not so much. I agree with a previous poster…not substantial enough for a full meal…better as a side dish.

Ronald says:

This recipe is surprisingly good – and fast. I used a mandolin set up for french fry cuts, which made it really nice and consistent. Don’t be afraid to toss in some black olives or other veggies.

Stacy says:

My 7 year old son LOVED this. He said it was a “winner.” My husband and I though it was just okay. I don’t like thinking of it as pasta. I know, it’s just a name, but psychologically, it was a little strange. I think if I thought of it as a salad from the start, I might have adjusted my expectations. There was nothing wrong with it per se, but I thought it was lacking something. Unless it’s served as a side dish, I think it could use some chopped up fresh mozzarella or something like that. This would be good for a summer pot luck, I think.

Patricia says:

I was all excited to try this recipe until my mandoline sliced a bit of my pinky off! Word to the wise – always use your HAND GUARD! 🙂

Diana says:

@Samantha I think that avocado has protein and fat

Aviva says:

Indeed the avocado does, as do the oil and nuts in the pesto.

Samantha says:

This was good, but there isn’t any protein. Maybe both salads would be better as sides? Just afraid it won’t keep people full to eat for dinner.

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