This zucchini spaghetti with zoodles and a delicious marinara sauce is a bright, fresh meal!
It's easy to make spiralized zucchini noodles (zoodles). They're a healthy option if you want a low-carb alternative to pasta or you just enjoy zucchini (like me)!
I love making zoodles because they're a great use for zucchini when you end up with lots of it in the summer.
Why You'll Love these Zucchini Noodles
These spiralized zucchini noodles taste fresh and light but have enough sauce that they're a hearty meal.
This recipe is successful for a couple of reasons - good whole tomatoes, lots of garlic, dried herbs, and a quick sauté of the noodles.
I like making this recipe on the weekend and portioning it out for a few lunches over the week. You can eat it cold or heat it up.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
I used a spiralizer to make these zucchini noodles and I highly recommend getting one if you think you'll make zucchini noodles more than once. You can also spiralize carrots, apples, and all sorts of other food, but I mainly use mine for zucchini.
All you need to do is cut the ends off the zucchini, affix it to the spiralizer, and turn the handle. Most spiralizers come with multiple plates that allow you to cut your vegetables to varying thicknesses. I generally use the medium noodle size for everything.
If you've never used a spiralizer before, get an extra zucchini just to test on. The most important part is not to crank the handle so hard you break the noodles or tip over the machine.
If you get really long noodles, you can just cut them or break them into smaller pieces.
What You'll Need for this Recipe
You don't need much to make this great meal. Here's what you should get:
Zucchini - You'll need 2 pounds of zucchini. This was about 4 medium to large zucchini for me. Zucchini is typically available in grocery stores year-round but it's at its peak in summer. Look for dark green zucchini that feel firm and don't have any slimy residue.
Canned Tomatoes - You'll need a 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes. I highly recommend any of the following brands: Bianco DiNapoli, San Merican, or San Marzano. San Merican and San Marzano can be found at most grocery stores.
Garlic - You'll use 6 cloves of garlic for this recipe. Besides the tomato, this is the most important flavor in the marinara.
Olive Oil - You'll use a ¼ cup of olive oil in this recipe. Half will go towards cooking the garlic and the other half will be used to sauté the zoodles.
Seasonings - You'll use a teaspoon of kosher salt, a ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and a ¼ teaspoon dried oregano to season the sauce. You'll also use a sprig of basil to add some flavor at the end of cooking the sauce.
Optional Toppings - You can use ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese or some fresh herbs to top this dish.
More Zucchini Recipes to Try
- Creamy Zucchini Pasta with Lemon - a rich and creamy sauce with half zucchini noodles and half pasta noodles
- Shaved Zucchini Salad - ribboned zucchini with creamy cheese, lemon, and pine nuts
- Baked Zucchini Fries - zucchini sticks baked with cotija cheese and breadcrumbs
- Zucchini Tartlets - puff pastry zucchini tarts with goat cheese and microgreens
- Kousa Mahshi (Stuffed Zucchini) - stuffed zucchini with rice and ground beef
Tips for Making this Recipe
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Cooking Tips - Don't forget to use a spoon or spatula to break apart the tomatoes while you're making the sauce. They will naturally break down as they heat up, but you'll need to assist them to get to a good consistency for the sauce!
Specialty Ingredients - For this recipe, you'll need a 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes. Because they form almost the entire base of the sauce, it's important to get good tomatoes! I recommend San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes or Bianco DiNapoli Organic Whole Peeled Tomatoes.
Recommended Tools - I highly recommend getting a spiralizer if you don't already have one. They're inexpensive, fun to use, and make great veggie noodles. I recommend this spiralizer from Paderno.
Storing Tips - You can save this dish in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating it on the stovetop. Using a microwave will make the zucchini noodles mushy.
Diet/Allergy Alternatives - If you'd like to make this recipe vegan, use a vegan parmesan for the topping or just leave it off and use fresh herbs.
We hope you love this awesome veggie noodle spaghetti!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28 ounces) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large sprig of basil
- 2 pounds zucchini*
- optional - ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh herbs
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and let it cook till it sizzles.
- Before the garlic browns, add the peeled tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, and oregano along with 1 cup of water. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and use a spoon to break apart the larger pieces of tomato.
- In the last 3 minutes of cooking the sauce, add the sprig of basil, leaving the end sticking out of the sauce so you can pull it out and discard it when the pasta is done cooking.
- Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini or ribbon it using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and when hot add half the zucchini noodles. Toss them to coat them in oil and allow them to cook for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and repeat cooking the remaining zucchini noodles.
- Serve the zucchini noodles topped with tomato sauce. Top with optional fresh herbs or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
*This was 4 medium zucchini for me.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 550mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 7g