Servings: 4 Prep: 5 min Cook: 2 min Total: 30 min
Zoodles! I just love saying that. It’s impossible to say the word “ZOODLES!” and not crack a smile. Try it. I dare you! Did you smile? Told you! ☺
A while back, I wrote a fairly extensive blog post on pasta and various forms of noodles (about halfway down the post). At the time, I hadn’t actually made zoodles for my website, and felt a bit silly having not. So, I set out to make them as a recipe! Zoodles are just zucchini cut into strips. They approximate the sense of pasta in that they’re roughly the same shape, they don’t have a lot of flavor on their own and they serve as a fantastic vehicle for “sauce” and other goodies.
Traditional pasta has gluten holding it together. While it’s possible to overcook it, it’ll still be a noodle when you’re done cooking it. It IS possible, however, to overcook zoodles. If you were to throw a handful of freshly cut zoodles into a cauldron of hot gurgling sauce, the zoodles would release all their water and break down in just a few minutes. They would become “one with the sauce” and won’t really be very zoodle-y, any longer.
This is where some of these little tricks come in.
First, you need to cut the zoodles. There are all kinds of tools for this. The most basic is a standard vegetable peeler. Just peel the zucchini, deeper and deeper. You’ll create a series of imperfect, but flat wide “zoodles”, which will resemble green pappardelle. Alternately, you can use something like the Spirooli. I personally don’t like these much and prefer to go with a more standard flat mandoline.
In the photos, you’ll see that I cut mine with a flat mandoline. In my case, I created thick strips of zucchini, then stacked the strips upon one another, then cut them into 1/3 inch strips with a knife. This approach gives me a heartier zoodle, with a bit more texture and bite. However, you can make them thinner, thicker, etc. It’s all personal preference.
Once you’ve got the zoodles cut, many will simply pop them into a microwaveable container and nuke them for a minute or two. This will create a hot bed of zoodles. This is, without question, a way you can go!
My method is a little different, but tends to have a little more flavor and … love … cooked into it. It takes a little longer, but I feel the results have that little something extra.
Once you’ve got your cooked zoodles, top them with any number of sauces. How about some nice Marinara Sauce or a nice thick goopy alfredo sauce?
Zoodle FettuciniPrint Rate
- 4 each small green zucchini and/or summer squash cut into zoodles
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits
- 1 tbsp light flavored oil (like light olive oil ghee or bacon fat)
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- If you haven't already, cut your zoodles, using any method you would like (several methods are mentioned in the notes).
- Once your zoodles have been cut, season them with salt and pepper. Toss them around, so that they are evenly coated with the seasoning. Set them aside for about 20 minutes, while you focus on other things. The salt will pull some of the moisture out of the zoodles and will also macerate them. They will become soft and pliable, all on their own, without any cooking, at all.
- Heat up a large non-stick sauté pan, over medium-high heat.
- I personally don't use oil for this. I have a big favorite non-stick pan I use, but you can add something like a light olive oil, bacon fat or ghee. I almost always having bacon bits lying around. I'll throw those into the pan, where some of the bacon fat will render out.
- Once I see the bits starting to "fry", I will evenly spread my zoodles around the bottom of the pan. Toss them in a the pan to mix the bacon and bacon fat into them, then spread them flat on the bottom of the pan. Let them "sear" for about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Toss them one more time, spread them out, let them sear for about 30 seconds longer, then ... serve!
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25 thoughts on “Zoodle Fettucini”
Sorry to hear you don’t like your Spiroli. I use mine all the time, though mostly for salad-type things. Almost nothing actually needs noodles. I prefer the sauces on their own if they are heavy. Then they are like a stew.
Hi Barbara, it’s not that I didn’t like it. I actually thought it was really cool when I first got it. I just found that I always gravitated towards my standard mandoline. The spirooli just sat, collecting dust. Finally, I took it into my chef job, where it was used for a specific dish. Then, the dish came off the menu and the spirooli once again sat and collected dust. I later wanted to use it again, and found it had been thrown away. I never replaced it. I really do see things like zoodles as a vehicle for sauce and VERY often will do as you’ve suggested and just make the sauce. Although, I’ll tend to make it less "saucy" and have the same flavors, but without as much liquid. Alternately, I’ll make it like soup and … call it soup! 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
I LOVE these and I REALLY love the creative name you came up with!!! I am going to share these with my readers for their healthy lunch today ( Makethebestofeverything.com)
Great! Thanks, Kristen! (although, I can’t take credit for naming them … I have no idea who named them Zoodles, but … it’s a fun one, for sure!) ZOODLES!
Howdy – you mentioned a favorite non-stick pan. What’s yours? I’ve tried caphalon and the green pan and am not impressed with either. Thanks in advance!
LOVE zoodles! I always heard them referred to as zucchini pasta, then wrote about them on my post in 2010, dubbing them Zoodles. http://lorettasjourney.blogspot.com/search?q=zoodles
I’m not claiming to have invented the term, I just don’t remember reading it anywhere. Who knows, maybe I did, and it stuck in my subconscious! Anyway, three cheers for the humble zuke!
Hi Anita, I’m never happy with non-stick pans. The best set of pans I owned was a set made by All-Clad. They’re not "non-stick", but … if used properly, nothing really sticks to them. They’re just really well made and almost indestructable. I lost them during a move and haven’t pulled together enough money to buy a new set. Instead, I tend to just go through cheap pans and burn them out. I’ve gotten some life out of T-Fal pans, but they tend to warp fairly quickly (I cook at REALLY high heats). Currently, I’ve got a huge Winco pan that seems very thick and solid, but I’ve already damaged the teflon with my metal tongs. I also recently bought a set of NEOFLAM pans, which I’ve been treating like babies. I wipe them out with a clean towel, never touch them to soapy water and wrap them in towels before putting away. Only wood and rubber can touch them. I haven’t had them long, but so far so good! I’m actually really quite happy with them, so far! Sorry I don’t have a great answer for you. I tend to beat my pans to death. Only All-Clad has really lived up to my abuse!
Hi Loretta! I don’t know the first time I heard the term "Zoodles". I did just do a quick Google of the terms and found uses of it in 2009, but not related to Zucchini-Noodles. Who knows?! Perhaps you ARE the creator of that particular sniglet!
Thanks DJ for your response about the pans. You’re right about the All Clad being so pricey. Yikes! I am like you – I go through pans so quickly. I’ve tried to really get into the stainless steel, but I haven’t been able to do that yet. The Green Pan was damaged in less than a week, and I was REALLY careful with that one. I’m trying the cast iron again. I’ve seen people use these just as if they were non-stick. Dunno how many years of seasoning I will need to do, but hopefully it will be my last pan. 😉 Thanks again!
DJ — if you haven’t replaced your All Clad pans yet, have you tried Homegoods, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s … different branches carry different lines, but I’ve gotten my entire collection of All Clad there are amazingly discounted prices. Only one I didn’t like was a non-stick — it wore out within a year — but as you said, they are the very best pans and virtually nothing sticks to them.
Not to be redundant, but just discovered your site this morning thanks to a friend and really have learned so much and enjoyed so much already. Thanks!
Hi Esme! Thanks for the kind words. Welcome! 🙂 I haven’t replaced them and am planning to move back down to Mexico in a few months. I’m going through a downsizing phase at the moment, but … once I’m down there, I may start eyeing such a thing. I DO miss my All-Clads! It’s what I was first trained to cook on! Thanks for the thoughts. Maybe if I have some time, I’m dawdle in to one of those stores and see what’s what. For a good deal, it makes sense to pick them up and haul them across the border!
I tried this and loved it. I used olive oil to sautee the zoodles, added bacon bits, garlic, salt and tarragon. Delicious!
Sounds fantastic, Unknown! Tarragon is a nice touch!
I have been LC since May, 2000. I only this week discovered your site and cannot believe how wonderful it is! Thank you! On this topic I just wanted to ask about cast iron. I have used cast iron all my life and it is the best. Is there a particular reason why you didn’t include it in your recommendations?
Hi Rosemary, thank you for the kind words! I suppose it just comes down to familiarity. I started working in restaurants at about 14 years old. Restaurants don’t really deal in iron skillets … probably for a few reasons. They’re heavy, clunky and tend to have squared off bottoms. A lighter pan, that heats quickly, with curved edges and allows for easy pick up and movement makes more sense for that kind of environment. As a result, I’m VERY well tuned to the behavior of saute pans and can handle many of them, doing a variety of different things … all at the same time. I’ve VERY rarely used iron in my career. While I understand some of the benefits, I just don’t have a lot of experience with them … and my preferences and familiarities lie elsewhere. I think a lot just comes down to my own personal life experiences, I guess … Does this help?
Thank you for your reply. That all makes perfect sense! While I am totally at home with cast iron, having used them for more than 60 years, I would be hard pressed to master tossing veggies in a light-weight sauté pan. I am so happy to have found your site and expect to visit it very often! I have so many recipes I want to try!!!!
Thanks, Rosemary … and welcome! Please let me know if you have any future questions! 🙂
I also use a mix of zucchini, yellow squash & carrots stripped down the same way; add sliced onions, garlic, salt & pepper. It makes for a great dish with or without sauce.
Sounds delicious, Bethany … and I’m sure it’s STUNNING to look at, as well! 🙂
My husband isn’t a fan of zucchini, and he ended up stealing part of my portion because he liked it so much! (It was okay with me, because I wasn’t too hungry). Completely delicious and easy to work into the meal prep. Thanks!
Sounds perfect, Kathy! A good way to get that guy to eat his green things, huh? 😉
i just bought a PADERNO SPIRALIZER to make zucchini noodles, it is wonderful
and easy to use…….
I recently bought a Vegetti. A small and simple tool that does spiral cutting, just twist. I love it. Not only to I made zoodles, but summer squash and eggplant. I don’t even miss my pasta now.
Thanks for sharing DJ Foodie! It super tasty & so easy to fix! Hubby & I love them! I have both of your books, they’re awesome! Wish you had some cooking YouTube videos (I know you’re very busy, just wishful thinking on my part!). I’m not confident in the kitchen and I have attempted some of your recipes and hubby really liked them! Hubby’s the cook in our family but when I got us started on LCHF last Sept 2018, he said ok, but you gotta help with the recipes and I’m doing just that! So far, hubby’s lost 62 lbs and I’ve lost 52 lbs! So very happy I found your books! Thanks again! Grace & Jim
Thank you for the kind words … and CONGRATULATIONS, Grace and Jim! I would love to start doing videos, but admit I keep shying away from it. My excuse is usually related to equipment and complexity of videos/video editing, but the underlying truth is probably more closely related to shyness. I’m not huge on being the center of anything … hence a cartoon character taking most of the credit. I will do it, though. In my heart of hearts, I know it would be fun and worth doing, but … I keep giving myself excuses.
Someday, I’m sure! 😀