Zucchini noodles are a great example of a healthy tweak on a comfort food classic that truly lightens up the dish, and still packs a ton of flavor. Trust me, pasta is my ultimate comfort food! This recipe for zucchini noodles with my homemade basil pesto, roasted tomatoes, and goat cheese is light, comforting, creamy from the goat cheese, smoky from the roasted tomatoes, and perfectly balanced and bright from the herbaceous pesto! If you want to make this more filling, toss the noodles with grilled shrimp or sausage, or serve with toasted baguette slices.
There are several ways you can make zucchini noodles. You can use a regular vegetable peeler to create long strips, and either keep them thick, or halve them lengthwise to make them skinnier. You can use a julienne vegetable peeler which will create thin long strips, you can use the julienne blade on a mandoline slicer, or you can use a spiralizer. I used a hand-held spiralizer (as opposed to a larger spiralizer that uses a hand crank ) and I love how quick and easy it is! Plus, using a spiralizer creates an even thickness and texture in the noodles, ensuring that they cook easily. If you guys think it’s helpful I can do a full post, or perhaps a video tutorial, on the different ways to make the “zoodles”!
Serves 4 as a light meal, or 2 very hungry people
4-5 Large Zucchini
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Basil Pesto (Storebought pesto works for this, but if you want this to pack a lot of flavor, make it yourself! Check out my Basil Pesto recipe here)
1/2 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Toasted Pine Nuts
Red Chili Flakes
Preheat oven to 400*. When your oven has preheated, arrange the cherry tomatoes on a lined baking sheet and roast them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, when the tomatoes really start to soften and the skins get slightly caramelized (the tomatoes will have started to slightly burst). While the tomatoes are roasting, using whichever method of spiralizing from the above options you prefer to prepare your zucchini into noodles; I’ve been using a handheld spiralizer a lot lately and I really like how easy and quick it is. To cook the zucchini noodles, place a large skillet over medium heat and coat the pan with extra virgin olive oil. When the skillet is heated, add the zucchini noodles and toss around to cook, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer cooked zucchini noodles into a serving bowl, toss with pesto, roasted tomatoes, and some crumbled goat cheese. Season to taste with a few pinches of salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Serve into individual bowls. I love topping each bowl with a pinch of red chili flakes, toasted pine nuts (I buy pre-toasted pine nuts), and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Happy eating! What are your favorite “zoodle” recipes? Let me know in the comments!
*As a note, zucchini noodles release a lot of moisture in the pan while cooking. I don’t always mind this, but if I have the time, after I “spiralize” the zucchini, I lay them out on paper towels and sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for about 20 minutes, and then gently pat them with a towel, to draw the moisture out. Then I proceed cooking with the above instructions.