Zucchini Pasta Recipe

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This zucchini pasta is a delightful and creamy dish that combines the freshness of zucchini with the richness of a plant-based cream sauce.

You can make gluten-free pasta if you want, but no matter what past you use, cook it al dente. It sets the stage for the zucchini and creamy sauce to work their magic. And don’t forget those fresh herbs – they add amazing flavor. All in all, this zucchini pasta is the kind of simple, yummy meal that’s great for a chill weeknight dinner.

A side view of a nest of zucchini pasta on a plate.

Is Zucchini Pasta Good For You?

Most definitely! Vegetables are always good for you, barring any allergies or sensitivities, of course. That said, this recipe does call for regular pasta. So if you want to keep things healthy, make sure it’s either whole grain pasta, bean-based pasta, or gluten-free pasta, depending on your needs.

How To Make Zucchini Spaghetti Without A Spiralizer?

While spiralizers are a nice gadget to have, you don’t have to have one to make zucchini pasta. All you need is a box cheese grater.

Does Zucchini Pasta Taste Like Pasta?

Of course, there will be a slight difference, both in flavor and texture. That said, I find that I personally prefer raw zucchini pasta, while some folks prefer cooked. You can use it either way, but most people will have a strong preference one way or the other. If you prefer it raw, simply skip cooking it in this recipe.

A fork reaches for a fork-full of zucchini pasta.

Is It Better To Boil Or Saute Zucchini Noodles?

I do not recommend boiling zucchini noodles. Some folks may feel differently, but in my experience, they turn to mush. So if you want to use water to cook them, you’ll basically just want to “blanch” them. Never boil them outright. Sautéing works well, but again, it should be brief.

Recipe Tips

  1. Be sure to use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to create uniform zucchini noodles. This will ensure that they cook evenly and maintain their texture.
  2. If you don’t have a spiralizer or julienne peeler, you can grate the zucchini using the smallest holes on a box grater. This will create shorter strands of zucchini that will still work well in the dish.
  3. To prevent the zucchini noodles from becoming soggy, be sure to squeeze out as much water as possible after grating or spiralizing them.
  4. You can adjust the amount of garlic, lemon, and mint to suit your taste preferences.
  5. If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can add more vegan cream or cashews to the sauce to make it creamier and richer.
  6. For a protein boost, you can add some cooked chickpeas, tofu, or chicken to the dish.
  7. Be sure to use a large enough pan to toss the pasta and sauce together to ensure that everything is well-coated.
An overhead view of a plate holding a nest of spaghetti pasta garnished with parmesan and fresh mint leaves.

About The Ingredients

Zucchini: Look for medium-sized zucchini that are firm and have smooth skin. Organic zucchinis are a good option if you’re concerned about pesticides. You will need to grate two zucchinis finely and use the other two to create “noodles” with a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler.

Gluten-free spaghetti: Make sure to use gluten-free spaghetti if you or anyone in your party is sensitive to gluten. Cook it according to the instructions on the package.

Heavy Cream: Just a regular, plain, heavy cream like whipping cream will work. If you prefer to cut down on fat, you can use an extra creamy oat milk that is unsweetened instead, or even full-fat milk. But using regular milk won’t make this as creamy, obviously. Feel free to use vegan cream if you are plant-based.

Olive oil: Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.

Salt and pepper: Add salt and pepper to taste. Remember that the spaghetti will already be salted, so you may not need to add much additional salt to the sauce.

Mint/Menta leaves: Menta is a type of mint that is commonly used in Italian cuisine. If you can’t find Menta, you can use regular mint or basil as a substitute.

How To Make Zucchini Pasta

Individual ingredients for this Zucchini Pasta Recipe on a white background.

Gather all your ingredients and tools.

Grated zucchini on a cutting board next to a grater.
Julienned zucchini on a cutting board next to a grater,

Start by preparing your zucchinis. Wash and dry them thoroughly, then cut off the ends. Using a box grater, grate 2 of the zucchini on the smallest hole, creating tiny shreds of zucchini. Next, switch to the medium-sized hole and grate the other two zucchini, creating thin zucchini noodles. Place the grated zucchini in a colander and squeeze out any excess water. Set aside.

Spaghetti pasta in a strainer.

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water and stir until dissolved. Once the water is boiling, add the spaghetti and stir occasionally. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Strain and set aside.

Oil in a skillet.
Zucchini pasta in a skillet with oil.
Cooked zucchini pasta in a skillet.

While the spaghetti cooks, let’s prepare the sauce. In a separate pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the finely grated zucchini and sauté for a few minutes until it begins to soften. Be sure to keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pot.

Cream added to cooked zucchini in a skillet.
Zucchini pasta mixed with cream in a skillet.

Next, pour in the cream, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir everything together. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes until it thickens slightly.

Spaghetti pasta added to creamy zucchini in a skillet.
Spaghetti pasta mixed into creamy zucchini in a skillet.

Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet with the zucchini sauce. Use a pair of tongs or a large spoon to toss everything together until the spaghetti is fully coated with the sauce.

Fresh mint leaves added to creamy pasta in a skillet.

Finally, add the zucchini noodles and chopped mint to the pot and stir gently to combine. The zucchini noodles only need a minute or two to cook, so be careful not to overcook them. Once they’re heated through, remove the pot from the heat.

An overhead view looking down onto a nest of pasta on a plate, garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Serve your zucchini pasta hot, garnished with extra mint leaves if desired. You can also sprinkle some vegan parmesan cheese on top for extra flavor. Enjoy!

Storage

After preparing the zucchini pasta, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat the pasta, simply add it to a pan with a splash of water or vegan cream to thin out the sauce and heat it over low heat until it’s warmed through. Additionally, you can store the zucchini noodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Be sure to pat them dry with a paper towel before storing them to remove any excess moisture. You can also make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve the pasta, simply reheat the sauce in a pan over low heat and add the zucchini noodles and cooked spaghetti. However, I do not recommend freezing this dish as the zucchini noodles and spaghetti may become mushy when thawed

Freezing

Freezing is not recommended for this recipe.

Reheating

This can be gently warmed up in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop. Do not overheat.

More Healthy Pasta Recipes

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A plate holds a nest of spaghetti pasta garnished with mint leaves and parmesan cheese.

Zucchini Pasta Recipe

A delicious, creamy pasta the whole family will love.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 710kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley

Equipment

  • 1 hand grater
  • 1 Colander
  • 1 large pot
  • 1 large pan
  • 1 Wooden Spoon (or spatula)
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 set of measuring cups
  • 1 set of measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • lbs. zucchini
  • 1 lb. dry spaghetti
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh mint leaves (chopped – as much as you like)

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients.
    Individual ingredients for this Zucchini Pasta Recipe on a white background.
  • Start by preparing your zucchinis. Wash and dry them thoroughly, then cut off the ends. Using a box grater, grate 2 of the zucchini on the smallest hole, creating tiny shreds of zucchini. Next, switch to the medium-sized hole and grate the other two zucchini, creating thin zucchini noodles. Place the grated zucchini in a colander and squeeze out any excess water. Set aside.
    Julienned zucchini on a cutting board next to a grater,
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water and stir until dissolved. Once the water is boiling, add the spaghetti and stir occasionally. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until it's al dente. Drain and set aside.
    Spaghetti pasta in a strainer.
  • While the spaghetti cooks, let's prepare the sauce. In a separate pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the finely grated zucchini and sauté for a few minutes until it begins to soften. Be sure to keep stirring so it doesn't stick to the pot.
    Zucchini pasta in a skillet with oil.
  • Next, pour the cream, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir everything together. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes until it thickens slightly.
    Cream added to cooked zucchini in a skillet.
  • Add the cooked spaghetti to the pot with the zucchini sauce. Use a pair of tongs or a large spoon to toss everything together until the spaghetti is fully coated with the sauce.
    Spaghetti pasta added to creamy zucchini in a skillet.
  • Finally, add the zucchini noodles and chopped mint to the pot and stir gently to combine. The zucchini noodles only need a minute or two to cook, so be careful not to overcook them. Once they're heated through, remove the pot from the heat.
    Fresh mint leaves added to creamy pasta in a skillet.
  • Serve your zucchini pasta hot, garnished with extra mint leaves if desired. You can also sprinkle some vegan parmesan cheese on top for extra flavor. Enjoy!
    An overhead view looking down onto a nest of pasta on a plate, garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25the recipe | Calories: 710kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 753mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1215IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 2mg

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I'm Tiffany, a writer for MSN and the AP Newswire, a cookbook author, digital publisher, food lover, and mom. I create healthy, clean eating recipes for everyday living.

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