Zucchini Noodles are the perfect main dish or side! This veggie is mildly flavored and easy to make. I love baked zucchini but I also love to transform this easy veggie into the perfect noodly base for any sauce or dish!
It’s so delicious and goes perfectly with pretty much anything from a Homemade Pasta Sauce to Basil Pesto or even just with butter salt and pepper. These easy zoodles are simple to master and a great healthy alternative to pasta or spaghetti!
Zucchini Noodles Spaghetti
I started making zucchini noodles way before it was trendy to make veggie noodles. I often eat low carb and would create “zucchini noodles” when a spiralizer wasn’t a thing yet.
At the time I’d use a veggie peeler (more on that below) to create tender strips of zucchini and mimic noodles. I shared it on a weight loss forum I used to frequent and it ended up with 17K rave reviews way back in 2010… I knew I was onto something!
We’ve eaten these delicious noodles ever since but I now use a spiralizer to create easy noodle perfection!
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
The easiest way to create zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) is to use a spiralizer. This inexpensive tool (under $40) is super easy to use and works great. Most versions have 3-4 different blades/plates to create different sizes or shapes of noodles.
I’ve tried several brands and of all of them, I like the Inspiralizer the best (you can also get it at Walmart). I like this one because of the rotating blades and the way it cuts the noodles. There are many versions or types of spiralizers on Amazon as well with great reviews!
You can get inexpensive hand-held versions as well (around $10) but I’ve not had a lot of success with these. I find a countertop spiralizer is the best option if you plan to make veggie noodles often.
I create zoodles out of the flesh of the zucchini until I reach the core. I save the core and add it to salads or even freeze it and add it to chicken stew or hamburger soup! A bit of butter or olive oil and fresh herbs is the perfect way to season and enjoy this as a side!
How to Make Zucchini Noodles Without a Spiralizer
No spiralizer? No problem!
There are a few different options to make zucchini noodles without a spiralizer.
- Use a vegetable peeler to create thin strips of zucchini. Simply run the peeler along the zucchini until you reach the core. (Don’t use the core, it’s seedy and gets mushy).
- Use a julienne slicer, I love mine! I bought mine on Amazon for about $10 and use it all of the time to prep salad veggies or zucchini noodles! Simply run it along the zucchini to create strips.
- Mandoline slicers often have a julienne blade as well, perfect for creating noodles and zoodles!
How to Cook Zucchini Noodles
This is SO IMPORTANT! You guys, zucchini noodles are delicious… when cooked right! The most important thing is to make sure you don’t overcook them. Zucchini noodles don’t have to be cooked, they can be eaten raw and I often use them to make Zucchini Salad.
They’re perfect served just like pasta, a little al dente. Many methods out there call for salting them and every time I’ve tried it, I dislike the taste and texture. I’ve tried cooking them about a thousand different ways over the years. There are a few really important parts to getting perfect zucchini noodles.
- Do not overcook them.
- Do not add salt until serving.
- Choose small zucchini.
To Avoid Watery Zucchini Noodles
- Do Not Overcook: Zucchini noodles should take 3-5 minutes max in a pan. A dash of olive oil, a touch of seasoning and a few minutes. That’s it. They’ll still have a little bite to them but this keeps them from getting soggy. Zucchini noodles do not need to be cooked soft, think of it more as ‘wilting and heating’ them.
- No Salt: Salt draws water out of the zucchini which is mainly water. If you draw out the water, they’ll be watery. Makes sense right? So when cooking them, unlike most items, do not salt your zucchini noodles until they’re on the plate.
- Choose Small Zucchini: I know this seems weird, I always used to choose a larger zucchini assuming I’d get more noodles out of them. In truth, the smaller the zucchini, the firmer the flesh and the better the noodles. Choose the littles at the grocery store if you can.
- They will have some water: Zucchini is 90% water… so naturally your noodles will have some amount of water, this is normal. Avoid salt during cooking and make your sauces extra thick to try to accommodate extra liquid.
How to Freeze Zucchini Noodles
Frozen zucchini noodles can lose their flavor and texture. They literally take seconds to make so I prefer to make them fresh rather than trying to make them ahead.
If you do happen to have leftover zoodles, you can freeze in freezer bags. I’d suggest chopping them to use in soups, chili, stews etc.
More Zucchini Recipes You’ll Love
- Zucchini Bread – So moist!
- Grilled Zucchini
- Zucchini Cake
- Zucchini Brownies – with 1 Minute Frosting!
- Crispy Zucchini Fries (oven baked) – Great appetizer or snack!
- 3 small zucchini
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning or to taste
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter optional
- salt and pepper to taste *see note
- Spiralize zucchini on the medium noodle setting (not the smallest noodle).
- Preheat 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat.
- Add zucchini noodles and Italian seasoning (no salt). Cook 3-5 minutes turning with tongs until hot and slightly softened.
- Remove from heat, toss with butter and pepper. Serve and add salt to taste.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)