• Sally Miller, B. S., N. E.

Oodles of Zoodles

Zoodles make the perfect alternative pasta: Butternut squash, red and yellow beets, zucchini and yellow squash.

Butternut Squash zoodles, red and yellow beets, zucchini and yellow squash

Zoodles are on the rise. The term “zoodles” comes from zucchini, and “swoodles,” if made from sweet potatoes. You get the idea.

In Britain, where zucchinis are recognized as courgettes, they have been called “coodles.” All of these oodles have become part of mainstream marketing. You can find them in your grocery deli and produce section.

There are oodles of informational websites sharing the pros and cons, as well as recipes. I refer to all of the spiraled pasta, noodles and ribbons as zoodles.

Zoodles are incredibly healthy alternatives to cooked pasta. They are a fun way to increase the vegetables we eat, and children love them.

I have been using a Paderno triblade spiralizer to create vegetable pasta, noodles and ribbons for more than 10 years. I have taken them to bring-a-dish events with various toppings. Most recently, I presented them as an alternative pasta at our church spaghetti dinner.

I first began arriving with this alternative several years ago. The appeal was not as great back then as it is now. The number of people trying the vegetable alternative has grown.

I began to sense a change in thinking. More people were interested in the machine that I was using to create the pasta. I received more questions about how to prepare them, what tool was best to use and if they should be eaten raw or cooked. I am always happy to supply the answers.

What are the benefits of spiralizing?

Spiralizing is a great way to increase your vegetable intake with minimal effort. You can get the feeling that you are eating a more substantial meal without consuming a lot of calories and unhealthy carbohydrates. One cup of cooked pasta has 221 calories and 43 carbohydrates. One cup of zucchini has 25 calories and 4.6 carbohydrates, plus additional vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants not found in pasta.

Those who subscribe to a vegan, vegetarian, paleo or gluten-free diet will find them to be filling and give added variety to the diet.

According to the recommendations of choosemyplate.org, nutritionists and health care providers believe an average daily intake of 2.5 to 3 cups of fresh vegetables and fruits are required for the maintenance of optimal health and wellness. This value is based on a 2,000-calories-per-day diet plan. According to the Centers for Disease Control, less than 27 percent of people comply with this recommendation.

High intake of fresh vegetables and high-quality fiber optimizes your energy levels and keeps your appetite satisfied for longer periods of time. Most veggies are rich in water content as well as antioxidants that facilitate the process of tissue detoxification. Your body will flush out more toxins with tissue-hydrating vegetables like zucchini.

You can create your mix of vegetables to your and your family’s liking. Not everyone likes zucchini. You can spiralize family favorites in a matter of minutes.

Overcooking can destroy the nutrient value of vegetables. Nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins are extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Spiralizing vegetables and serving raw or slightly warmed will help save the nutritional value of your meals.​

What vegetables can be spiralized?

Almost any vegetables or fruit that is hard enough to stay secure between the blade and the hand crank can be spiralized. Here is a short list of recommendations:

  • zucchini and squash

  • cucumbers

  • beetroot

  • carrots

  • butternut squash

  • sweet potato

  • broccoli stems

  • apple

  • pear

All of the above can be served raw. All but the cucumber can also be roasted or sauteed.

It is recommended to sautee for two to three minutes or roast on 400 degrees for five to 10 minutes, depending on your preference.

Zucchini and cucumbers are very water-filled. Put the zoodles in a colander and drain for 30 minutes after spiralizing.

Blot the zoodles with paper towels before serving. Placing paper towels in a container for storage will also help cut down on the liquid and maintain the shape.

Explore the possibilities and have fun with this new approach to food preparation.


Chow Mein Zoodles

Serves 6-8


4 cups butternut squash or yellow squash noodles

6 or more fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced, or 1 package baby portobello mushrooms

1 tablespoon ginger juice (grate ginger and squeeze juice out with fingers or through a mesh bag)

1 large clove garlic

1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari or Nama Shoyu soy sauce

1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

3 tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil

4 green onions, finely chopped

½ cup cilantro leaves

3 tablespoons pine nuts, for garnish

sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


Toss the squash spirals with the mushrooms, ginger juice, garlic and soy sauce.

Add the sea salt and olive oil to taste.

Top with green onions and cilantro leaves.

Garnish with pine nuts and sesame seeds, if using.

Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Alfredo Sauce

Serves 2-4


2-4 cups zucchini zoodles

1 ½ cups whole raw cashews or cashew pieces

½ cup pine nuts

6 tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic

1/3 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2/3-1 cup fresh water as needed

1-2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt

¼ cup finely chopped parsley


Soak cashews in 2 cups fresh water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Blend cashews, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, sea salt and 2/3 cup of the water into a smooth cream. The sauce should be thick but pourable. Add more water as necessary for desired consistency.

Fold in finely chopped parsley.

Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley, paprika and black pepper.

Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

You can also make a marinade from 3 tablespoons first cold-pressed olive oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and 1-2 cloves minced garlic. Add 2 chops of a variety of chopped vegetables and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Spoon the marinated vegetables on top.

Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara

Serves 4


2-4 cups mixed zucchini and yellow squash zoodles

2 cups tomatoes, chopped

1 clove garlic

½ cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed

¼ cup cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil

½ lemon or lime, juiced, about 1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon pitted dates

1 teaspoon oregano, fresh or dried

½ teaspoon rosemary, fresh or dried

1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (soaked for 1 hour)


Blend fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, dates, oregano, rosemary and salt until smooth in a blender or a food processor.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and blend until mixed well. The sun-dried tomatoes will absorb moisture and make your marinara thicker.

Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Basil Pistachio Pesto

2-4 Servings


2-4 cups mixed zoodles

1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves

½ cup shelled raw pistachios

1/3 cup first cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon water (optional)


Put the basil, pistachios, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until well blended. For a thinner pesto, add the water and briefly process again.

Check your seasonings and add a squeeze of lemon juice or a pinch of salt if needed.

Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Seeded Zoodle Sauce

Serves 2


2 cups butternut squash zoodles

1 cup chopped zuchinni

1 tablespoon tahini

2 limes, juiced

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1 teaspoon poppy seeds


Mix the tahini with lime juice in a small bowl until watery.

Add the seeds, our over the zoodles and enjoy!

Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Zoodles and toppings

28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All