Everything You Need to Know About Zucchini Noodles + 5 Super-Satisfying Recipes

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Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show Aired October 03, 2016

By Jeanette Donnarumma

Love pasta but hate that full, tired feeling? Miss noodle dishes when you’re trying to eat lighter? Trying to get more veggies in your kids’ diets? Zoodles are the answer! And trust me, you’ll have as much fun eating zoodles as you do saying their name.

What Are Zoodles?
One of my favorite ingredients can be easiest explained using this simple equation: Zucchini + Noodles = Zoodles. A healthy and quick alternative to any regularly carb heavy noodle, zoodles are refreshing, light, and fulfilling.

How Do You Make Zoodles?
To make zoodles, you need a spiralizer tool (an inexpensive tool I might add), which is  easily purchased online or even at your local grocery store. You can make similar zoodle shapes with the shredding tool on your mandoline, or by making long thin strips with a veggie peeler, however, I find a spiralized zoodle to be a very satisfying shape; not to mention, the spiralizer tool is extremely safe to use when you properly follow the package directions.

How Do You Cook Zoodles?
Once you’ve cranked, twisted or shredded your way to perfectly made zoodles, it’s time to eat! One of the best things about zucchini is that it’s a mild flavored vegetable which takes on the flavor of whatever dish it’s in. And you don’t even have to cook them at all! Sometimes their raw, crisp, cool crunch adds a welcomed bite to dishes. When I’m craving a warm dish, 2 to 3 minutes in a hot saute pan (over high heat with 1-2 tablespoons of EVOO or coconut oil) helps soften them ever-so-slightly and primes them to soak up the flavor of the dish a bit more. Boiling zoodles is a technique that works, but it’s not my favorite. Zoodles are wet by nature, so when you boil them, I find the texture becomes soggy.

How Do You Eat Zoodles?
The basic answer is however you want! Think of these babies as majorly versatile strands that let you twirl, swirl or slurp your way to healthy eating. Swap zoodles for spaghetti, linguine or pappardelle in your favorite Italian dishes (think topped with marinara and meatballs or your favorite bolognese sauce). Or, give this round-up of our favorite zucchini noodle recipes a try:

Antipasto Zoodle Salad

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show

Ever crave all the flavors of a loaded pasta salad but wanting to watch your waistline? This recipe trades zoodles for pasta and with the addition of a little ‘girl math’, is more figure friendly than its carb-filled counterpart.

No Cook Peanut Zoodles

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show

Not only does this recipe swap out zoodles for spaghetti or rice noodles, it also requires no cooking at all! Try this satisfying recipe to keep your kitchen cool and your effort minimal.

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show

This comfort cool weather dish just amped up it’s health factor 10 fold. Using a rotisserie chicken, this meal can be on the table in mere moments...and I wouldn’t tell if you had a soda on the side.

Zoodle Stir-Fry

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show

Making your own takeout has never been more fun and jam packed with veggies! Packed with protein and flavor, you’ll think twice before you reach for the phone on takeout night.

Mexican Grilled Chicken and Veggies

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show

This recipe was created for a surprise challenge on Facebook Live. Our viewers chose the ingredients and was I ever grateful to see zucchini in the mix. This definitely proves how simple, quick, and easy zoodles are!

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