How to Cook Zucchini Noodles without a Spiralizer (Just a Knife!)

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Here is everything you need to know to cook quick and healthy low-carb zucchini noodles without a spiralizer or other special equipment. Use this recipe and replace pasta in your favorite comfort food recipes with extra veggies!

Are you looking to make zucchini noodles from scratch? Take 20 minutes and learn how to make delicate and delicious noodles from nothing more than fresh zucchini

So, how do you make zucchini noodles? First, peel your zucchini. Then slice it into thin strips with your knife to make a noodle shape. Next, sauté garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the zucchini noodles, cook until tender, and season with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese for that extra punch. Enjoy!

Are Zucchini Noodles Better Than Pasta?

Well, that depends on what you’re looking for! While pasta is a complex dish made with wheat flour, water, and sometimes egg using a special method. Zucchini noodles are simply fresh veggies that copy the shape of the ever-popular spaghetti pasta. For these reasons, the two are not really all that similar beyond their shape. However, the ways you can serve zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles, are quite similar to pasta. You can toss your crisp-tender homemade zucchini noodles in your favorite pasta sauces, or even layer them into lasagna if you like.

Nutrition-wise, zucchini noodles are lower in calories and carbohydrates than regular pasta. If you’re looking for a lower-carb alternative to real noodles, then cooking your own zucchini noodles is a great option.

At the end of the day, you should try both and eat according to your objectives. There are pasta days, and there are zucchini noodle days!

Tools to Make Zucchini Noodles

There are a variety of ways to cut your vegetables into noodle shapes. From special equipment to basic kitchen tools, you get to decide how fancy or simple you want to make your zucchini noodles.

Spiralizer

This is a kitchen tool designed specifically for cutting vegetables into noodles. A spiralizer makes it easy to cut many different vegetables into long, spaghetti-shaped noodles.

Vegetable Peeler

Most well-stocked kitchens have a vegetable peeler. By running the peeler in long, even strokes down the side of the zucchini, you can create long, flat noodles.

Mandoline

A mandoline is a tool to make very thin, flat slices. You can use it to cut the zucchini from the end into small circle shapes or lay the zucchini flat against it to make long, flat noodles. Always be careful when using a mandolin, as the blades are very sharp!

Box Grater

Another tool that’s most likely in your kitchen already is a standing box grater. All you have to do is grate the zucchini! As a result, you’ll get small, short noodles.

Knife

In this recipe, we’ll tell you how to make zucchini noodles using a knife because you’re bound to have one of those even if you don’t cook much. When making zucchini noodles with a knife, be careful to angle the knife so that you’re only slightly cutting into the zucchini. Then slice down the length of the vegetable. In the end, you’ll get long, spaghetti-like noodles. These may not be quite as thin or spiral-shaped as you’ll get with a spiralizer, but they cook up just as nicely to replace pasta in any dish.

How to Cook Zucchini Noodles

Once you have zucchini and you’re ready to start making zoodles, follow these simple instructions.

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Prepping the Zucchini Noodles

After gathering the ingredients, you’re ready to get started by making the zucchini noodles!

Step 1: Wash the zucchini

First comes the water. Put your zucchini under running water and rinse away any dirt on the surface.

Step 2: Peel the zucchini

There are multiple ways you can peel your vegetables. The easiest one is using a vegetable peeler. However, if you don’t have one, no problem! You can easily use a small paring knife to remove just the thinnest layer of skin from the surface of the zucchini. Don’t worry if you nick a little bit of the vegetable along with the skin. The other option is to skip peeling altogether! Zucchini skin is totally edible and actually contains most of the fiber and nutrients in the vegetable. The only reason to remove it is for a uniform texture in your noodles.

Step 3: Cut the zucchini into zucchini noodles

If you have the tools to do it – like a mandoline or a spiralizer, by all means, use them! It’ll be quick and effortless. Otherwise, you’ll have to go old school. Use a chef’s knife to slice the zucchini in half the long way. Then slice each half in half again lengthwise. Finally, slice the halves into thin, noodle-shaped strips.

Cooking the Zucchini Noodles

Once you’ve finished cutting the noodles, you can move on to the easy part: cooking them. In this recipe, you’ll sauté them. Consequently, they’ll be done in minutes!

Step 1: Heat the pan

Heat a large skillet with sides over medium heat on the stove. Once it’s hot, pour in a drizzle of olive oil. Let it heat up until the oil is shimmering.

Step 2: Add some Garlic

While the oil is getting hot, add the garlic to the pan. Enjoy that incredible smell and saute the garlic to keep it from browning too quickly.

Step 3: Combine and Cook

After the garlic is fragrant and golden, add the zucchini noodles into the pan and stir things up. Continue to toss the zucchini noodles in the skillet using tongs until they are uniformly crisp-tender. This will take 2-5 minutes.

When you think the zucchini noodles are done, take a bite. If they are not, keep at it for a little bit longer!

Step 4: Season to taste

If you want to take your sauteed zucchini noodles from good to great, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste. Finally, grate fresh parmesan cheese on top. Then dig in and enjoy!

Are Zucchini Noodles Healthy?

Zucchini noodles – also known as zoodles – are certainly a healthy option. After all, they are made with one ingredient, which is a fresh vegetable, something we can all stand to eat more of.

What to serve with Cooked Zucchini Noodles

This simple garlicky zucchini noodle side dish is a great bed to any of your favorite pasta sauce recipes. If you want to add a bit more bulk to the dish, you can also toss the noodles with real spaghetti to get the best of both worlds. To add some protein to your plate, top off the zucchini noodles with simple poached chicken breast, a pork chop, or light and healthy tuna steaks.

Freezing Zoodles

While it may be easy to cook zucchini noodles, you don’t actually have to prepare them fresh every time. A handy hack is that ou can freeze zucchini noodles for later use. All you need to do is simply slice more zucchini than you intend to use, pat the extra noodles dry with a paper towel, place them in a freezer bag, and set them in the freezer. It’s a simple way to have zoodles on hand at any time. You can empty the freezer bag directly into a hot skillet and have tender and hot zucchini noodles at the ready any time.

zucchini

Zucchini Noodles

Learn how to make simple sauteed zucchini noodles for a low-carb pasta alternative.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • Large skillet
  • Tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Wash the zucchini well and peel if you like.
  • Use a spiralizer or peeler to cut the zucchini into noodles. Or use a chef’s knife to slice the zucchini in half the long way. Then slice each half in half again lengthwise. Finally, slice the halves into thin, noodle-shaped strips.
  • Heat a large skillet with sides over medium heat on the stove. Once it’s hot, pour in a drizzle of olive oil. Let it heat up until the oil is shimmer.
  • Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the zucchini noodles into the pan and stir things up. Continue to toss the zucchini noodles in the skillet using tongs until they are uniformly crisp-tender. This will take 2-5 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with parmesan cheese to serve. Enjoy!
Keyword zucchini noodles

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