August 10, 2020
One of the pleasures of summer is a steady supply of fresh-from-the-garden zucchini. Zucchini is a favorite of mine because of its versatility. It adds moisture and a mild flavor to recipes, making it an ideal ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes. Zucchini is an excellent source of vitamin C and is naturally low in calories and carbohydrates. I love using it as a low-carb, gluten-free alternative to pasta.
Watch my video to learn two easy ways to make zucchini noodles, or zoodles, at home. You don’t need a fancy gadget—a simple vegetable peeler works beautifully.
Tips for Making Zoodles
When choosing zucchini for zoodles, look for straight zucchini if you will be using a spiralizer for your noodles. The shape isn’t as important when making ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Yellow squash can also be used for making noodles and adds nice color when used with zucchini.
When using a spiralizer, I find that choosing the blade that creates a thicker cut helps keep the zoodles from getting mushy when cooked. A thin or thick cut works well in salads.
One trick for avoiding a watered-down sauce is to sprinkle salt over your zoodles after spiralizing and allow them to drain in a colander for 15 minutes to an hour. This will draw out the extra moisture. Then you can squeeze the zoodles in a clean towel or heavy, lint-free paper towel, to further eliminate excess water.
If you use a peeler to slice ribbons, you’ll want to discard or compost the seedy, moisture-rich core of the zucchini. This step makes salting and draining unnecessary.
You can store zoodles in a paper-towel-lined, airtight container or ziplocked bag for 3–4 days in the refrigerator. The paper towel will absorb any moisture. I don’t recommend freezing zucchini noodles because they tend to get mushy when thawed.
Raw or Cooked?
Zoodles don’t need to be cooked. Try them raw or lightly warmed, which is my favorite way to eat them. When cooked briefly, the zoodles maintain better taste and texture—just be sure not to overcook them, or they will get mushy.
To warm the zoodles, heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the zucchini noodles and sprinkle with salt and several grinds of the pepper mill. Cook, tossing and stirring the zucchini, for 2 to 3 minutes only. The ribbons should be just softened and not limp or mushy. Adjust the seasonings to taste, and transfer to a serving dish.
Serve as is, toss with pesto, marinara sauce, grated parmesan cheese or any add-ins of your choice. Zoodles are delicious served hot or at room temperature and pair very well with tomatoes, another summer staple.
Visit my Fountain Avenue Kitchen blog to find recipes using zucchini noodles, including Zucchini Noodles in Rustic Tomato Sauce, Zucchini Noodles Made Easy, and Mediterranean Zucchini Noodle Salad.