Zucchini harvest time is one of the best times of the year, in my opinion. I have never met a zucchini I didn’t like, whether roasted, in bread form, or more recently, as “zoodles.” (Not sure what the heck zoodles are? You’re in for a treat!)
Many home gardeners grow zucchini during the summer because it’s low maintenance and easy to grow. But the ease of growing zucchini can be both a blessing and a curse—you can get a lot of zucchini out of a single plant, but you might also end up with a major excess of zucchini that you’re not sure what to do with!
Turning excess zucchini into “zoodles” is a fantastic way to put your bumper crop to good use, so let’s dive in and talk about what they are and why you’d want to make them.
What Are Zoodles?
Zoodles are shorthand for zucchini noodles, and these aren’t some sort of pasta with zucchini in them. They’re literally just spiral-cut zucchini, and they’re a great way to cut out some carbs and calories from a meal while adding more veggies.
They’re also a great gluten-free noodle option for pasta dishes, especially for those who would rather boost their veggie intake than find a decent gluten-free pasta. You can also use zoodles in place of part of the pasta in your favorite pasta dishes to get the best of both worlds!
How To Make Zoodles
The easiest way to make zoodles is using a spiralizer. I’ve had mine long enough that I can’t recall what brand it is or where I got it (probably Amazon, but I’m not certain), but this one from Nuvantee is very similar.
Which Spiralizer Should I Get?
Manual spiralizers are the most affordable, but they also require the most elbow grease to use. This one from Veggetti is only $10 and takes up hardly any space, while this larger OXO spiralizer is quicker to use, but a bit bulkier.
If you’d prefer an electric option, the Hamilton Beach Electric Vegetable Spiralizer and Slicer works quickly, but will cost you about $50. This KitchenAid mixer attachment is one of the priciest options at $90, but if you think you’ll use it often, its power and dependability could make it worth the cost.
And last but not least, you can learn how to make zoodles using your trusty old box grater in this post from Top With Cinnamon.
So now that you know how to make zoodles, it’s time to talk about the best part — eating them! Here’s a recipe I’ve been loving lately.
Pesto Zoodles With Shrimp Recipe
Adapted from Skinnytaste
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 of medium white onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2-1 cup prepared pesto
Start by turning the zucchini into zoodles using a spiralizer or another method. (Follow the instructions included with your spiralizer, as not all of them work exactly the same.)
Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add a couple teaspoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp to the pan, season it with salt and pepper, and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes.
Add the onion and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes. Add half the garlic and cook for another minute or until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through. (Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, or they’ll turn out rubbery.)
Transfer the shrimp, onion, and garlic mixture to another dish and set it aside, then add another teaspoon or so of oil to the pan, along with the rest of the garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the peas and zoodles and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until the zoodles soften slightly. (They will turn to mush if you cook them too long, so keep a careful eye on them!)
Return the shrimp mixture to the pan and add the tomatoes and pesto, then stir everything together just until it’s heated through. Then dig in!
Notes About This Recipe
- This isn’t a recipe that hinges on using the indicated amounts—in fact, it’s very forgiving! Don’t be afraid to throw in any other veggies or protein you happen to have on hand.
- You can go the extra mile and make your own pesto (especially if you have a bunch of basil to use up), or you can use your favorite jarred or frozen pesto.
- Not a pesto fan? Nix it from the recipe and add a big splash of lemon juice instead.
More Tasty Ways To Eat Zoodles
What is your favorite way to eat zucchini?
Pesto “Zoodles” with Shrimp
- 2 zucchini
- 8 oz shrimp peeled and deveined
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup peas frozen
- 1/4 white onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup pesto or to taste
- Start by making your zoodles with a spiralizer.
- Put a large pan over medium-high heat and add half the coconut oil. When it's hot, add the shrimp, season it with salt and pepper, and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add half the garlic and cook for another minute or until the shrimp is opaque, then set the shrimp, onion, and garlic mixture aside.
- Add the other half of the coconut oil and garlic to the same pan and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the peas and zoodles to the pan and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes or until the zoodles start to soften.
- Add the shrimp, tomatoes, and pesto to the pan, stir, and heat until warmed through, then serve warm.