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Zoodles for Dinner: 3 Quick, Delicious Ways to Serve Zucchini Noodles

By Nutritious Life

By Tatiana Boncompagni, NLC

I love it when the food industry picks up on a healthy trend and figures out a way to make nutritious eating easier for us all. Case in point: Many mainstream grocery stories are now selling pre-spiralized zucchini noodles, AKA zoodles.

Not having to spiralize noodles myself has shredded oodles of time off how long I spend in the kitchen prepping. And since zoodles cook lightening fast, they are a great option for busy weeknights (even if you do have to spiralize them on your own!).

RELATED: Is the Spiralizer the Healthy Gadget Your Kitchen Needs?

Why eat zoodles instead of noodles, though? I love zucchini because it contains plenty of fiber, folate, and vitamin C (FYI, it’s at its peak during summer!).

Plus, it’s so versatile that I call it the “tofu of the vegetable garden”—because it soaks up the flavor of whatever you use to season it. That’s reason enough to get creative. While eating zucchini noodles with marinara or pesto is delicious, I like to use the noodles to recreate my favorite Thai, Mexican, and Indian dishes.

Think of zoodles as your base. You can cook them in a sauté pan, in boiling water for one minute, or roast them in the oven on a baking sheet (if that’s easier), and then go from there, mixing and matching your favorite spices, herbs, protein sources, and healthy fats.

In case you prefer to follow a recipe, I’m sharing three of my current go-tos.

Zucchini Noodles for Dinner, 3 Ways


zucchini-noodles

Thai Zucchini Noodles with Pan-Roasted Halibut

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 15–20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

coconut oil
1 package zucchini noodles (or 3-4 zucchini, spiralized)
coconut aminos or Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 tbsp red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
4 scallions, sliced
½ cup cilantro, washed and chopped
6 oz wild halibut
salt
¼ tsp red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Lightly coat a medium pan with coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add zucchini noodles, curry paste, garlic, and ginger. Cook until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with aminos.
  2. Heat another pan lightly coated with coconut oil over medium-high heat. Place fish skin-side down. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
  3. Turn broiler on in oven.
  4. Cook in pan for 7 minutes and then transfer to oven. Broil for 5 minutes or until fish is cooked through. (Cook time will depend on thickness of fish).
  5. Add scallions and cilantro to noodles and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer to a plate, top with fish, and serve.

Chicken Curry Zoodles

Servings: 1
Prep time: 20–25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp coconut oil
½ white onion, chopped
1 tbsp madras curry powder
1 small chicken breast
¼ cup coconut milk
2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
½ cup frozen peas or spinach
1 package zucchini noodles (or 3-4 zucchini, spiralized)
salt
¼ cup garbanzo beans (optional)
¼ cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
salt
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add oil and onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add curry powder and stir.
  3. Add chicken breast and cook for 5 minutes; flip and cook another 5 minutes on the other side (cook time will depend on thickness of chicken).
  4. Add coconut milk, ginger, spinach, or peas and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add noodles and garbanzo beans (if adding) and cook until tender, about 4 minutes more.
  6. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred with knife and fork. Return chicken to pan, add yogurt and lemon, stir and season to taste with salt. Transfer to plate and garnish with cilantro.

Deconstructed Taco Zoodles

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 15–20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

grapeseed oil
½ onion, chopped
1 tsp chipotle or ancho chili powder
½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup frozen organic corn
2 tbsp pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 package zucchini noodles (or 3-4 zucchini, spiralized)
salt
½ avocado, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
hot sauce (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add oil and onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add chipotle or chili powder, beans, corn, jalapenos, and zucchini. Continue to  cook until noodles are tender, about 4-5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and transfer to plate.
  3. Top with avocado, tomato, and cilantro. Optional: Add seared steak, chicken, fish, or tofu for more protein.

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About Tatiana:
Tatiana Boncompagni is a Nutritious Life Certified holistic health coach, mom of three, and the co-creator of The Model Trainer Method, a nutrition and fitness guide. Her writing about food, nutrition, fitness, and health has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, SELF and Town & Country, among other publications. She is based in New York City and the Hudson Valley. Follow Tatiana on Instagram for motivation and healthy recipes at @tatiboncompagni.