Guilt-Free Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles Pasta

My favorite way to cook zucchini noodles! Find out how to make our zucchini noodle pasta recipe in 20 minutes with garlic, tomatoes, basil and parmesan. Low carb, ketogenic and vegetarian! Skip to the Zucchini Noodle Pasta recipe

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan in 20 minutes

Guilt-free zucchini noodles in 20 minutes

We love this easy recipe. There are fresh zucchini, tomatoes, basil, parmesan and lots of garlic. The best part? It only takes 20 minutes to do it. It’s low in calories and carbs with maximum flavor!

Guilt-free Parmesan Zucchini Pasta in 20 minutes

This is such a quick and easy recipe. It’s also customizable. We love this with 100% zucchini pasta (essentially zucchini-based spaghetti), but a real spaghetti or pasta and zucchini combo is great.

This pasta recipe is made with fresh ingredients. The zucchini should be firm and the tomatoes sweet. If you’re having trouble finding good, flavorful tomatoes, it’s best to use canned tomatoes. We like the San Marzano canned tomatoes as well as the Muir Glen options.

Zucchini, basil and tomato pasta

How to make zucchini noodles with and without a spiralizer

Zucchini noodles are spaghetti-like strips of zucchini. You can craft them in a variety of ways. Here’s how they’re made:

The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is to use a spiralizer. You make long curly noodles in minutes. It’s a great tool to add to your kitchen. We bought ours from Amazon for less than $30. There is a wide range of brands and prices. Some food processors also come with a spiralizer attachment.

No spiralizer, no problem! You can also use a julienne vegetable peeler. These cost less than $10 and might be hiding in your cookware drawer right now.

Most mandolin slicers also make pasta.

You can also use a commercial vegetable peeler and make wide noodles.

Depending on where you shop, you can even buy spiral-shaped zucchini. I’ve seen them for sale at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and even some Safeway stores.

Once you have the noodles, you can cook them.

Cooked zucchini noodles

Our top tips for cooking zoodles so they’re delicious, not soggy

Zucchini is mostly water, so cooking it can be tricky. Here are our tips on how to cook it right and make sure it doesn’t get soggy.

  • Do not peel the zucchini. The peeled zucchini noodles are mushy and slightly crunchy. Plus, add a step and we’ll quickly find dinner on the table.
  • Do not salt the zucchini beforehand or while they are cooking in the pan. The salt draws the water out of the zucchini. This will make it less crispy when cooked. Because salt adds flavor, we prefer to salt the sauce rather than the zucchini.
  • Don’t overcook. Pasta should be cooked al dente (like pasta). This means they will look shriveled but will still have a tear.

Since zucchini tends to get mushy, we do our best to reduce this in our recipe as much as possible. However, there is still water at the bottom of the serving bowl. It suits us. The liquid is mixed with tomatoes, garlic, cheese and olive oil, making it delicious. By the way, if you’re looking for other uses for zucchini, here’s our Parmesan Basil Zucchini Chips recipe. They are addicting.

What our readers say

If you don’t think our recipe will help you get the perfect zucchini noodle pasta at home, check out what our readers are saying about the recipe! For more feedback see the comments section below.

“Wow! This is delicious. This recipe is at the top of my list of favorites!” -Pam

“I was surprised how delicious it was! I followed the recipe to the letter and it was perfect. – Marisa

“Oh my gosh! This is amazing! What a great way to introduce the family to healthy eating disguised in a flavor that is the epitome of summer. I planted more zucchini this year and the zoodles will last forever be a part of our lives.” – Shannon

More vegetarian recipes

Guilt-Free Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Pasta Noodles

  • COOK

We love this easy zucchini pasta recipe. There are fresh zucchini, tomatoes, basil, parmesan and lots of garlic. Plus, it only takes 20 minutes to prepare. Make it with 100% zucchini pasta, or swap out half the zucchini for regular spaghetti for a heartier meal.

These pasta can be prepared without parmesan. Substitute your favorite vegan cheese or use nutritional yeast.

makes 4 servings

Watch us at the recipe

will need

4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like your paste

2 medium tomatoes, chopped, see note (about 12 ounces)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving, see notes for alternatives

1 cup basil leaves, cut into chunks

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons of cold water

Salt to taste


  • Prepare noodles
  • Slice and spiral the zucchini (see instructions below for how to do this without spiraling). Cut the overly long noodles so that they are about the length of the spaghetti.

    Place olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large, deep skillet. Turn over medium heat. When the oil starts bubbling around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Mix pasta with pasta tongs and cook al dente; they should be wilted but still crispy; 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the noodles cook any longer or they will become mushy. Keep stirring as it cooks to allow all of the zucchini noodles to reach the bottom of the pan.

    Add tomatoes, basil and parmesan. Boil for a minute. Use pasta tongs to transfer the pasta, tomatoes, and basil to a serving plate. Leave the liquid in the pan.

    • End
    • Bring the remaining liquid in the pan to a boil.

      Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, then stir in the boiling liquid. Cook, stirring, until liquid thickens into a sauce; about 1 minute

      Taste the sauce and season with salt. Pour the sauce over the zucchini, tomatoes and basil. Finish with more parmesan and serve immediately.

Advice from Adam and Joanne

  • How to Make Zucchini Pasta Without a Spiralizer – The spiralizer isn’t the only way to make pasta. You can use a julienne peeler or a mandolin. You can also use a commercial vegetable peeler to make wide noodles or ribbons.
  • Don’t be surprised if liquid collects at the bottom of the serving bowl after the pasta has rested. It suits us. The liquid is mixed with tomatoes, garlic, cheese and olive oil, making it delicious.
  • Parmesan may not be vegetarian as it can be prepared with rennet. Substitute any vegetarian-friendly hard cheese or use nutritional yeast. If using nutritional yeast, add to taste. I would start with 2 tablespoons and work my way up from there.
  • Nutritional Facts: The nutritional values ​​given below are estimates. We use the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We assume 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

If you make this recipe, take a picture and use the hashtag #inspiredtaste. We love seeing your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutritional value per serving: Part 1/4 of the recipe / calories 197 / protein 10.7g / carbohydrates 11.2g / fiber 3.4g / total sugar 1.7g / total fat 14.3g / Saturated Fatty Acids 3.4g / cholesterol 7.2mg / sodium 471.4mg

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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