Anyone who has ever grown their own zucchini knows that before summer is over, you’re going to be looking for new ways to use it. This guide details all the steps to follow on how to make zucchini noodles.
When my kids were smaller, they really enjoyed taking vegetables and turning them into their favorite noodle shapes. I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s fun for the whole family.
There are days that I want to eat pasta, but my body is already in carb overload. Zucchini noodles are lighter than traditional noodles, but with a similar neutral flavor, making them a good option.
It’s worth noting that the freshest, ripe produce always has better flavor and will get the best results in the kitchen. If you’re not harvesting them yourself, here’s what to look for at the store:
First, select zucchinis that are firm, but not too large. The longer it grows past full ripe, the more likely it will be bitter. Then, feel them. The freshest ones will have a bristle of tiny hairs on the peel. Last, avoid any obvious nicks or damage.
How To Make Zucchini Noodles
But, once you’ve got a kitchen full of zucchini, you still need to know how to make zucchini noodles. Well, if you’ve never heard of a spiralizer, this is your lucky day.
I’ve tested several different models. Some were great, many not so great. (Definitely skip the dinky little hand held style. In my experience, that’s a sure fire way to waste a lot of zucchini.) I recommend this sturdy one if you want a tool designed exclusively for this task.
All you have to do is clean and trim the stem off the zucchini. Then place it in the spiralizer with the cut end facing the blade. Turn the handle, and like magic, you’ve got zucchini noodles.
How To Make Zucchini Noodles Without a Spiralizer
Still, not everyone has a spiralizer. And, who wants to sink money into a new kitchen gadget before even knowing if you’ll like what it makes? So, here’s how to make different types of zucchini noodles without a spiralizer.
For spaghetti-like noodles similar to the results with a spiralizer, try using a julienne peeler. Slide the peeler down the length of the squash to create the noodles.
The majority of the time, this is my go-to method for evenly sized, quick noodles with a minimum of hassle or cleanup. This is the style of julienne peeler I’ve used for many years.
For flat noodles similar to lasagna, try using a mandoline slicer. You can also use a regular vegetable peeler, but the results likely won’t be as uniform.
For noodles similar to fettuccine, you can do that too. Just stack the flat noodles as you slice them. Then, use a chef’s knife to slice them into narrow strips.
While you can certainly create all of these noodles simply using a chef’s knife, if you have a julienne peeler, vegetable peeler, or a mandoline in the kitchen already, it will make quicker work of it.
Can I Eat Zucchini Raw?
I had a friend ask me once, “Can I eat zucchini raw?” Absolutely!
It is safe to eat uncooked zucchini, we love this zucchini ribbon and pine nut salad as well as this zucchini corn salad. But, pay attention to the taste. Zucchinis can be particularly bitter if they are high in cucurbitacins.
While they can give you a bit of stomach trouble, cucurbitacins are concentrated primarily in the ends of the vegetable and in the peel, so trim them off if you’re planning to eat them raw. Still, err on the side of caution if you get a particularly bitter one.
If you find raw zucchini bothers your stomach, peeling the zucchini before slicing or spiralizing it usually will help avoid that.
How To Cook Zucchini Noodles
If you’re like me, you prefer to eat your zucchini cooked most of the time. So, here’s how to cook zucchini noodles. It’s going to take less time than you think.
My favorite way to cook zucchini noodles is to saute them. Heat up a pan or skillet on medium-high heat for a minute. Then, add a bit of oil and the zucchini noodles.
Note: Zucchini has a very high water content. You can quickly end up with a pan full of mush if you overcook them.
Don’t overcrowd the pan, but leave them plenty of room to breathe. After about 60 seconds, you should be able to flip them once.
Then, give them a taste test. If they aren’t ready, check again in 30 seconds. They are finished when they are tender-crisp.
After making the zucchini noodles, you can have these Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles ready to eat in just minutes – perfectly seasoned with just butter and herbs or topped with your favorite pasta sauce.
How To Make Zucchini Noodles without a Spiralizer
- For spaghetti-like noodles similar to the results with a spiralizer, try using a julienne peeler. Slide the peeler down the length of the squash to create the noodles.
- For flat noodles similar to lasagna, try using a mandoline slicer. You can also use a regular vegetable peeler, but the results likely won't be as uniform.
- For noodles similar to fettuccine, you can do that too. Just stack the flat noodles as you slice them. Then, use a chef's knife to slice them into narrow strips.
- While you can certainly create all of these noodles simply using a chef's knife, if you have a julienne peeler, vegetable peeler, or a mandoline in the kitchen already, it will make quicker work of it.