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Zucchini noodles (also know as "zoodles“) They are the perfect gluten-free zucchini pasta. Today I show you how to make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer, julienne peeler and mandolin.
I also have several tips on how to cook zucchini noodles perfectly (so they're not soaking wet) and I'm sharing my favorite zucchini noodle recipes “go to”.
Just because you've decided to get rid of wheat-based spaghetti doesn't mean you have to give up pasta. How is that, you ask? Well, let me introduce you to the zucchini noodles. Also known as “zoodles”: zucchini noodles are the brightest noodle base for numerous healthy gluten-free recipes.
But if you are new to the world of zoodles, you may be overwhelmed with all the options. You may even have questions like: What is the best tool to make zucchini noodles? What zucchini noodle recipes should I make? How do I cook them? And should I even cook them?
I UNDERSTAND COMPLETEly. And trust me, those are the same questions I had years ago. So today, I have prepared the definitive guide to zucchini noodles. A mini resource guide to help you navigate the wide world of zoodles.
The Ultimate Guide to Zucchini Noodles
Listed below are the The most popular methods of making and cooking zucchini noodles. I have listed them in order from my favorite to least favorite. If you keep scrolling, you'll also find a video that shows you how I use each device, so be sure to check it out!
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And finally, in the end I have included some of my best tips along with my favorite zucchini noodle recipes. So let's dive in!
How to make zucchini noodles
1. With a spiralizer
The Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer is by far my favorite tool. Create curls from your favorite vegetables, literally in seconds. It is the fastest tool in the group and requires the least amount of force or effort (with suction cup feet to hold it in place). Simply cut off the ends of a zucchini, place it next to the blade, and rotate. In less than 8 seconds, you will have sliced the whole zucchini.
Now I know these reviews are for zucchini noodles, but be aware of other vegetables that you might want to cut. Carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, pears … the list is endless!
With this spiralizer, you can create your favorite carrot paste, curly potato chips, or apple chips with easy-to-change blades. Yes, it is bigger than some of the other options, but considering how often I use it, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, making it still my number 1 favorite.
PROS: requires little effort / force, performs the fastest, reasonably priced, rugged, and offers different slicing / knife options.
CONS: will require more storage space than other options.
2. With a Julienne Peeler
The best thing about a Julian peeler is that you probably already have one in your kitchen. Win! A julienne peeler often does double duty with a vegetable peeler. One side juliennes, the other side sliced. And that's perfect for when you want thick, flat slices of zucchini pasta. The biggest benefit of a julienne peeler is that it is small. It takes up virtually no space in your kitchen and will likely reside in your utensil drawer.
When it comes to real zucchini noodles, a julienne peeler cuts the finest and most delicate noodles. Then simply separate the threads with your fingers. The reason this tool comes second on my list is that it takes longer to cut (rotates the zucchini, creating a rectangular shape), leaves the core larger, and the potential to cut a finger is high (yes, I'm clumsy )
PROS: Cheap and easy to store.
CONS: It takes longer to cut and leaves a fairly large core.
3. With a mandolin
In fact, I hummed and asked about making mandolin # 2 on my list (because I love it), but the Julian peeler won by size. I have had this mandolin for several years and it is used a lot in my kitchen.
Mandolin creates julienne noodles that are slightly thicker than a peeler, but it does it in half the time. The blades are SUPER sharp on a mandolin, so always use the plastic holder or a cut resistant glove. I've cut a big thumb hole before, and it's not fun.
Mandolin creates the best flat zucchini paste and allows you to vary the thickness. Like the Paderno World Cuisine spiral, it has several blade options, giving you perfectly consistent options for noodles, slices, or rounds (and easily cuts any "harder to cut" vegetable). Alright, maybe this is really a tie for # 2.
PROS: cutting is easy / fast (due to sharp blade) and constant size / width of output.
CONS: Sharp blade (be careful with your fingers) and medium size for storage.
4. With the KitchenAid spiralizer
If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you probably know the many accessories available. While these accessories are not cheap, they are automated by connecting to the power hub on the front of the mixer. And yes, as you guessed it, KitchenAid does have a spiral accessory.
The Kitchenaid spiralizer comes in a nice storage box (albeit quite large) and offers most blade options, with 7 blades (including a peeler). But even with all these blade options, I found that it still gravitated towards the 3 basic blades, the same ones included with the Paderno Spiralizer.
Another consideration is that because this tool is automated, it also has a fixed width. That means large zucchini should be cut in half, with each half spiraling separately.
If you already have a KitchenAid and love to use attachments, this is a great option. But for everyone else, cost alone is likely to be the biggest deterrent.
PROS: The only automatic spiralizer has most blade options and comes with a peeler.
CONS: Fixed width requires the most amount of storage space and I found that I could still spiral a zucchini faster, by hand, with the Paderno Spiralizer.
5. With a hand held spiralizer
The handheld spiralizer is the newest kid on the block and the solution for kinky noodles on a little gadget. It produces zucchini noodles more similar to the Paderno Spiralizer, although they tend to be flatter and not as consistent in size. I was really hoping to love this little device, but with all the other options on the market, I had to rank it in the end.
If you're spiraling multiple zucchini, your wrist may ache from twisting, and it's hard to keep the zucchini sliced straight. Also, if you plan to spiral other vegetables (like carrots and sweet potatoes), this tool will be the most difficult since it requires the most strength and effort. Sure, it's cheap, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
PROS: cheap and takes up little space.
CONS: Inconsistent noodles, requires wrist strength / strength and lacks the versatility of the other options.
Learn how to make zucchini noodles
In the video below, I will show you various ways to make zucchini noodles. While I love using my spiralizer, you can choose your favorite method!
How to cook zucchini noodles
Congratulations, you made zucchini noodles! Now the big question is what to do with them, right? And maybe you're thinking, how do I cook them? But the question you should ask yourself is: "How do I heat them up?" Because you don't want to cook zucchini noodles. At least not too much.
Zucchini is made up of 95 percent water (yes, 95%). So when you cook them, you can end up with a wet, pasty mess of watery noodles, just cooking a minute too much. Quite the opposite of al dente. So when cooking zoodles, remember that your intention is to just heat them up and not really "cook." I failed miserably at this at first.
Today, I end up with perfectly crispy al dente noodles every time. That is how…
1. Eat the raw zucchini noodles
The best way to get the crunchiest and most al dente noodles? Keep them raw. Yes, that means not cooking at all. Spiralize, mix with your favorite ingredients and serve. Not only is the easiest and fastest method raw, but the noodles are as deliciously cold as they are hot. Think of raw cucumber – you don't need to cook that to eat it, do you? Cold zucchini noodles are no different. And mixed with a cold avocado cucumber sauce or pesto sauce for zucchini caprese pasta… they are delicious!
If your zucchini is at room temperature, simply mixing the noodles with a hot sauce, such as bolognese, also heats the noodles. So you've cooked without cooking! Isn't that the best? And that's why crude oil always wins as my favorite method of "cooking."
2. How to microwave zucchini noodles
For the quickest cooking of your zucchini noodles, it can't be microwaved, that's why it's my second favorite cooking method. Just stack all of your noodles on a microwave-safe plate and cook for a minute. Depending on the amount of noodles you have, you may have to cook longer, although I would recommend 30 second increments to avoid overcooking. Then, divide your noodles between serving plates and top with your favorite sauce.
3. How to sauté the zucchini noodles
If you're already cooking on the stove, skipping your noodles may be the easiest thing to do. Simply add a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil to a pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes. This is a perfect cooking method if you are making zucchini pasta with garlic and lemon shrimp, or something similar. But I find that if I'm adding one bolognese sauce or another to the noodles, I'd rather not have the extra oil in the noodles.
4. How to boil zucchini noodles
When I started making zucchini noodles, this was the method I used the most. It is quite simple to boil a pot of water, add the zucchini noodles and cook for a minute. It is similar to cooking frozen vegetables on the stove. And once your noodles are cooked, drain them in a colander and serve. If you want them to be super dry, pat them dry with a paper towel before serving.
5. How to bake zucchini noodles
Baking zucchini noodles is the method I use the least, since it requires the most time and work. At first, I thought the noodles would be crispier and more spaghetti, but the difference is negligible. For additional time and energy, I prefer any of the other methods.
But if you want to try it, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a baking sheet with a paper towel and evenly distribute your noodles on top. Then sprinkle with sea salt. Sea salt helps remove moisture while the paper towel absorbs it. And no, the paper towel will not catch fire at such a low temperature. Cook for 10-15 minutes, then remove from oven and gently squeeze noodles on paper towel to drain additional water.
The best zucchini noodle recipes
Zucchini noodle tips and tricks
After preparing, eating, and cooking zucchini noodles for several years, I learned some tricks of the trade. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- If you are using my favorite spiralizer to make your noodles, you will end up with super long strands. To more easily serve your guests, just use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut some of the threads.
- Make your zoodles in advance! This is the best advice to save time. After you have spiralized several zucchini, line a large plastic or glass container with a paper towel, add your noodles, and place them in the refrigerator. They will keep fresh for 2-3 days.
- Larger zucchini are easier to spiral and it will produce more noodles. For serving sizes, plan one medium zucchini per person.
- To peel or not to peel the zucchini? Do not peel zucchini before spiraling as I love the green color added to my plate and the extra nutrients it provides, such as dietary fiber.
- Don't forget to make zucchini ribbons and spiral many other vegetables, such as carrots, squash, aubergines, potatoes, beets, and parsnips. Be creative!
- And finally, remember that there are many more vegetables that you can spiral, in addition to zucchini noodles. Check out my Spiralizer Beginner's Guide with 10 most frequently spiral vegetables. And expand your repertoire of vegetarian recipes with the new Vegetable Slicer Cutter. It's really amazing.
Easy zucchini, parmesan and garlic noodles (noodles)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
Total time: 7 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Learn how to make and cook zucchini noodles “zoodles” – the best way! This zucchini, parmesan, and garlic noodle recipe is easy and delicious. It is also low carb and keto friendly and has only 4 ingredients. Be sure to check out my video above for the full zucchini noodle tutorial step by step!
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut the ends of the zucchini and place it on your spiralizer. Turn the spiralizer and create zucchini noodles.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add zucchini noodles and stir for a minute, just to heat them up, then turn off the heat.
Sprinkle the grated Parmesan along with salt and pepper, toss them another turn in the pan, and then serve.
- Don't forget to read all the notes and tips in the previous blog post. You will soon be an expert on zucchini noodles too!
Calories: 119 kcal, carbohydrates: 7 g, protein: 4 g, fat: 8 g, saturated fat: 1 g, cholesterol: 3 mg, sodium: 96 mg, potassium: 511 mg, fiber: 1 g, sugar: 4 g , vitamin A: 430 IU, vitamin C: 36.1 mg, calcium: 96 mg, iron: 0.7 mg