This Pesto Zucchini Spaghetti Recipe with Cherry Tomatoes & Mushrooms is one of my favorite zoodle dishes! It’s not just because it takes only 20 minutes to make, is vegan, gluten-free, healthy, and low-carb… it’s also because it’s insanely delicious!! Perfect texture with just the right amount of flavor, this exciting zoodles recipe will soon become a summer-time favorite to take to all those beach days, BBQs, potlucks, and picnics!
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post a zoodle recipe (and I also can’t believe it’s already JUNE!!!).
I bought a counter-top simple spiralizer years ago, used it a few times and loved it, but somehow forgot about it and managed to push it all the way to the back of my pantry. But back in January, I did The 30 Clean program for 30 days. A few friends had joined the vegan challenge, and the diet made sense for clean, healthy eating. So I also thought it’d be a fun way to start the new year.
Among other things, I was avoiding gluten all month and was supposed to stay away from most grains. I love pasta so in efforts to figure out a way to keep enjoying my favorite Italian dishes, I dusted the cobwebs off my spiralizer and brought it back out. I started spiralizing zucchini and yellow squash like no other, making more zucchini spaghetti recipes then I ever thought I would! I mean don’t get me wrong…I like using zucchini in recipes, but unless it’s cooked right or turned into zoodles, it’s sort of a boring raw vegetable.
What are zoodles? Before I keep going, for those of you that don’t know what zoodles are, they’re basically noodles made purely out of zucchini. They’re an incredibly fresh and healthy alternative to traditional pasta and a great way to increase the amount of vegetables we eat. They can be made in a variety of different sizes and shapes, spaghetti to flat ribbons. My favorite is the spaghetti-like shape.
What does Zucchini Spaghetti taste like? The best part about zucchini is that it has a mild taste with a hint of vegetable sweetness. It also absorbs flavors very well. It’s versatile and perfect for almost any cuisine. I’ve never been big on enjoying large raw slices of zucchini, but once it’s spiralized into pasta, it so much more enjoyable even raw (yes I feel like a kid where you need to cut my veggie into a particular shape for me to enjoy it raw…ha)!
How do you make Zucchini Spaghetti? My number one method is by using this awesome counter-top spiralizer. There are many brands out there, and I picked this one because it had good reviews. It’s easy to use, mess-free, and quick when it comes to set up and clean up. It also comes with 4-5 different blades to spiralize different thickness and shapes.
Although a spiralizer is my preferred method, you can just as easily make zucchini noodles without a spiralizer. I found this quick video that shows you how to make zucchini noodles using a peeler, box grader, or mandoline slicer. They’re all great alternatives, but in my honest opinion, nothing beats using a spiralizer, even if it’s a simple hand held one.
How do you prepare zucchini spaghetti recipes? I typically spiralize a bunch of zucchini or yellow squash at once and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge to use throughout the week. I enjoy them in raw salads, seasoned with a little home-made dressing or seasonings. They can be uesed in place of noodles/pasta in any dish by sauteing them quickly for 3-5 minutes before adding the sauce. Make stir-fry, add them into soups, or incorporate them into baked dishes or casseroles. They will not go unused…I promise!
Zucchini Spaghetti Recipe
So coming back to this past January…I was going crazy in the kitchen spiralizing every single zucchini I had into zoodles. I started making many delicious zucchini spaghetti recipes and adding them to all sorts of dishes, some raw and some cooked, to the point where I really didn’t miss the carbs and loved knowing that I was enjoying so many veggies.
Zoodles are also a great option when you’re craving that Italian pasta dish but want to keep the carbs out, keep it gluten-free, or make a lighter version for dinner. One quick go-to zucchini spaghetti recipe is using my Creamy Carrot Tomato Sauce over quickly sauteed zucchini noodles. Or you can even do a combo of zucchini noodles and your favorite pasta to make a lighter dish and get those veggies in.
And for those of you wondering about the Clean 30 Challenge I did that month? It was great, but doesn’t really fit my regular life-style. The diet was pretty easy for me to follow since most of it was things I already tried to incorporate into my normal diet , but the zero sugar (even in sauces, etc.) and avoiding certain grains made it really tough at times.
Eating at home and cooking for myself was pretty easy, but going out to restaurants and going away for vacation was a challenge since some small amount of sugar is incorporated into everything these days. It required a lot of pre-planning, cooking at home for most every meal, and salads as a last resort when going out (substituting the dressing).
Even as someone who enjoys cooking, I need a break every now and then and don’t really want to or care to limit every meal. We’re pretty healthy when we eat at home (which is most of the time), so when I’m out, aside from being strictly vegan, I don’t like to limit myself and feel like everything is okay in moderation. Despite this, the challenge was great and I’d totally do it again sometime. Although I was already pretty aware of what I put in my body on a daily basis, the challenge was a nice reminder.
That being said…did I push my spiralizer back into my pantry after the challenge was done? Nope! I use it regularly now and it’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets!
My favorite recipe using zoodle is this Pesto Zucchini Spaghetti Recipe with Cherry Tomatoes & Mushrooms! I created it back in January and am just now getting to share it with you guys. Even my husband now tells me to make this for him instead of the carb-filled version. Yes it’s healthy, but that’s not why we love it so much…it really just TASTES incredibly delicious and comes together in just 20 minutes!! Quick cooked zucchini noodles, some home-made pesto from the freezer, and my favorite add-ins of cherry tomatoes and mushrooms (or any other veggie you prefer).
For this dish, I prefer to quickly cook the zoodles so that they are slightly tender, but not cooked through and maintain their crisp texture. This dish tastes great served hot or cold, so it’s perfect to pack for lunch, take to a picnic, potluck, or BBQ over the summer. I can’t wait till our gigantic zucchini plant fruits. Hoping for some 3-5 lb zucchinis again this year because I know this Zucchini Spaghetti Recipe is going to be one of my go-to meal for those long hot beach days I have planned with my kids over the summer!
Tell me…have you spiralized zucchini or any other veggie before? If so, what’s your favorite way to make and use them?
Pesto Zucchini Spaghetti Recipe (Zoodles)
- 2 medium zucchini , spiralized (see notes below)
- 1/3 cup vegan pesto , + more if needed
- 1/2 red onion , thinly sliced and halved
- 6 mushrooms , thinly sliced (cremini or white button)
- 10 cherry tomatoes , halved
- 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
- 2 teasp olive oil
- salt , to taste
- freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- red crushed pepper (optional)
- cashew cream (optional drizzle), see notes below
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat.
- Add the minced garlic, sliced onions, and sliced mushrooms. Add about 1/4 teasp salt.
- Saute until the veggies are cooked and tender, yet still remain crispy. Note that all the water released from cooking the mushrooms should burn off while sauteing the vegetables. Set aside.
- Quickly wipe down the pan with a wet napkin.
- Heat 1/4 cup pesto, add the spiralized zucchini spaghetti, and saute on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes to quickly cook.
- Add the sauteed onions/mushrooms and cherry tomato halves.
- Add the remainder of the pesto. Feel free to add more pesto than the amount indicated above if needed.
- (optional) Add a drizzle of cashew cream if using.
- Saute for another 1-2 minutes, tossing frequently.
- Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red crushed pepper (if using) to taste.
- Enjoy hot or cold! Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge.
This recipe is everything… Fast, easy and looks absolutely delicious. Been wanting to get a spiralizer for some time now, for the same reason, zucchini zoodles but never got a chance to but that needs to change. I have to try this! I think I would love it. So proud of you for doing the 30 day challenge, its never easy but you did it… Well Done and atleast this recipe was born 🙂
The rating stars are no longer visible so I cant rate this recipe, is there any reason why?
Take care xx
OH MIGOSH – I CANT DEAL, this looks like the perfect recipe, HANDS DOWN!
I need to get my hands on a spiralizer ASAP!
Yes, i have never been able to rate the recipes 🙁
Oh no!! So sorry trying to figure out why. That’s so odd! Have you tried logging out and then commenting again? Well thank you so much for the comment…and yes you totally need a spiralizer! Let me know if the rating thing works for you.
This recipe is everything… Fast, easy and looks absolutely delicious. Been wanting to get a spiralizer for some time now, for the same reason, zucchini zoodles but never got a chance to but that needs to change. I have to try this! I think I would love it. So proud of you for doing the 30 day challenge, its never easy but you did it… Well Done and atleast this recipe was born :)The rating stars are no longer visible so I cant rate this recipe, is there any reason why?Take care xx
OH MIGOSH – I CANT DEAL, this looks like the perfect recipe, HANDS DOWN! I need to get my hands on a spiralizer ASAP! Yes, i have never been able to rate the recipes 🙁
Love when healthy stuff tastes good as well. Zoodles can be so good when cooked right. Love that this post is not just a recipe, but loaded with information about almost everything I would want to know about zoodles. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you!! so glad you loved it…I learned a bit about zoodles too!
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
I think I have the wrong spiralizer. Mine never turns out good looking zoodles like yours. I mean, it’s fine just to eat, but I want it to look as good as this!
Oh yes, then you totally need another spiralizer! I shared the one i have and I love it! nothing fancy, still manual and countertop, but works so well! Totally mess-free too…let me know if you try this!
This looks like the perfect use of zoodles, great dish!
I am a firm believer that if you have pesto, you can make anything taste better. This looks delicious.
AGREED! Pesto makes everything better ha!
Zoodles looks great..very tempting and perfect for summer lunch, straight forward recipe.
Thank you! they’re so easy and and it comes together pretty quickly!
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit
PESTO! My all time favorite thing to pair with zoodles, the flavors together just. work. Although your tomato carrot sauce sounds delish with them too. I think I could eat this for lunch every day and never get bored? You are absolutely right though, zoodles will never go to waste. I usually find myself wondering why I didn’t buy twice as many zucchini to start with they disappear so fast in fun noodle form! I actually still haven’t tried it cooked, but I bet just lightly sautéing makes for a great texture. More spiralizer love sounds like a lovely and unexpected outcome of the month long challenge 🙂
Thanks Natalie! I was going crazy (and still am) with the zoodles! I like slightly sauteing them on really high to get that raw edge off, and also season with salt and pepper at the same time…so good! And you’re right they really do disappear so fast in noodle form!
Melissa | Vegan Huggs
I love zoodles! Such a healthy, yet satisfying meal. Looks so delicious with your pesto sauce. YUM!
Thanks Melissa! It’s just something about that shape that has me craving zoodles!
Your zoodles are beautiful! And I love the combination with the pesto. Thanks for this recipe.
Thank you Sarah!
Mel | avirtualvegan.com
Yum1 It looks and sounds so delicious. I go through fits and starts with my spiralizer. Mostly it’s at the back of the pantry like yours. You have inspired me to dig it out again!
Awesome Melanie! Yeah, me too, but now I go through zucchini like no other ha!
Ah! My spiralizer is a bit dusty too! Time to brush it off and put it to work! This zoodle dish looks delicious—I love pesto! Perfect for summer!
Thanks sarah!! Mine was a bit dusty too but now i’ve more than made up for it with this recipe alone!
Deryn | Running on Real Food
Yes. Pesto EVERYTHING! Zoodles are pretty much all we eat at my house too, I can’t remember the last time I had pasta, actually. I just love the huge portion I can enjoy with zucchini noodles. I almost always eat them raw but sometimes cook them up for minute or two. My favourite 5-minute meal is zoodles, pasta sauce and tons of nooch! This looks great too, thanks for sharing!
Thanks Deryn! I typically always cook them for 1-2 minutes especially if i’m subbing it for pasta, but I have a feeling i’ll be enjoying the raw form more this summer! That sounds like a great 5 minute meal also!
Melissa @ Insider The Kitchen
This looks soooo yummy! I love healthy, easy, summer dishes (and especially those that incorporate more veggies). Going to make this–thanks!
Thanks Melissa! Let me know if you do, you’ll love it!
I made this for dinner last night and it was AMAZING! Even my son who’s a very picky eater enjoyed a small serving. 1 small sub is that I roasted Roma tomatoes in the oven and added on top at the end. Keeping this one in my recipe book 🙂
That’s so great to hear!! And if your picky eater enjoyed this recipe, then that’s a huge win! Roasted tomatoes sound awesome in this recipe!
How many servings does this make? How many cups in a serving?
New to keto, trying vegan… kind of overwhelming trying to calculate macros!
Nevermind! I see that it serves 3! I’m so sorry! ^_^
No worries! Hope you were able to try the recipe!
Made this recipe tonight. As I had no basil, I used homemade tomato sauce and it was utterly delicious. Will try it w/pesto as soon as I get some balicico
So great to hear! Glad you loved it…it’s a great light alternative!