Pesto Zoodles

Are you ready to embark on a culinary journey that’s not just delicious but also incredibly healthy? Look no further than Pesto Zoodles! This unique dish combines the rich flavors of traditional pasta with the freshness of zucchini noodles, creating a meal that’s both satisfying and nourishing. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process, from selecting the freshest ingredients to crafting the perfect pesto sauce. So, tie on your apron, and let’s get started!


For the Pesto:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves (You can’t beat the aroma of freshly picked basil)
  • 1/2 cup of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil (Invest in the good stuff for the best flavor)
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (The aged variety adds a delightful depth)
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts (Toasted for a nutty richness)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (For that signature pesto zing)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Enhances all the flavors)

For the Zoodles:

  • 4 medium-sized zucchinis (Go for firm ones to make the best noodles)
  • A pinch of salt (To help draw out excess moisture)
  • Olive oil for sautéing (Extra-virgin, of course)
  • Cherry tomatoes and extra Parmesan for garnish (Because we eat with our eyes too)


1. Pesto Preparation:

Step 1: Start by toasting your pine nuts. Place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast until they turn golden brown. This releases their oils and adds a wonderful depth of flavor to your pesto.

Step 2: In a food processor, combine the fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper.

Step 3: With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed to ensure everything is well incorporated.

Step 4: Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add more salt, pepper, or Parmesan cheese to suit your preferences. Remember, pesto should be a symphony of flavors, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

2. Zoodle Creation:

Step 5: Using a spiralizer, transform your zucchinis into zoodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a julienne peeler or a sharp knife to create thin, noodle-like strips.

Step 6: Place the zoodles in a colander and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Allow them to sit for about 10-15 minutes to draw out excess moisture.

Step 7: After the zoodles have rested, gently pat them dry with a paper towel to remove the moisture.

Step 8: Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zoodles and sauté for 2-3 minutes, just until they start to soften. Be careful not to overcook; you want them to have a slight crunch.

3. The Perfect Marriage: Pesto and Zoodles

Step 9: Toss the sautéed zoodles with your freshly made pesto. Start with a couple of spoonfuls and add more to your liking. Mix until the zoodles are evenly coated in that vibrant green goodness.

Step 10: Plate your pesto zoodles and garnish with halved cherry tomatoes and a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

Tips for Perfection

  • Quality Counts: Use the best ingredients you can find. Fresh basil, high-quality olive oil, and authentic Parmesan cheese make all the difference.
  • Customize Your Pesto: Feel free to add a twist to your pesto by incorporating ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or even a handful of baby spinach for extra green power.
  • Mind the Zoodles: Don’t overcook your zoodles. They should be tender but still have a pleasant crunch. Overcooked zoodles can become mushy.
  • Leftovers? No Problem: Pesto zoodles are delicious cold, making them an excellent option for meal prep. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a quick and healthy lunch.

Variation: Creamy Avocado Pesto Zoodles

If you’re looking to take your Pesto Zoodles to the next level, try this creamy avocado variation. It’s perfect for avocado lovers and adds a delightful creaminess to the dish.

Ingredients for Creamy Avocado Pesto:

  • 1 ripe avocado (Creamy and nutritious)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Juice of one lemon (For a zesty kick)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for Creamy Avocado Pesto:

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

Step 2: Follow the same steps as above to prepare your zoodles.

Step 3: Toss your zoodles with the creamy avocado pesto, garnish with cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, and enjoy a new twist on this classic dish!

Pesto Zoodles are more than just a meal; they’re a culinary experience that combines the vibrant flavors of summer with the comfort of pasta. Whether you opt for the classic basil pesto or the creamy avocado variation, you’re in for a treat that’s as satisfying as it is healthy.

So, the next time you’re craving pasta, why not take a detour from the usual and give Pesto Zoodles a try? With a burst of freshness in every bite, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make this delightful dish sooner. Happy cooking and bon appétit!

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