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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Zucchini noodles are a nutritious pasta alternative

Plate of Zucchini noodles in a pan on a cutting board

This blog post was written by Illinois State University student, Hannah Gold.

Zucchini is a great source of antioxidants and nutrients, but it might seem like there are only a few ways you can prepare it, such as eating it plain or with minimal seasonings. A fun new way to eat zucchini is in the form of noodles, paired with your favorite pasta sauce or protein.

Zucchini is a vegetable that is part of the cucumber family and is in season during the months of May through August. Due to its abundance during the summertime, zucchini can be one of the cheaper items in the vegetable section, averaging at around $1.40 per pound. It can be roasted, grilled, fried, or even served raw. Zucchini has a slightly watery taste, making it a refreshing dish to enjoy during the summer months. Because of its mild flavor, zucchini makes for a great base to experiment with new flavors and combinations. Zucchini is low in fat, sugar, and calories, and high in vitamin C and fiber, making it a great substitute for traditional pasta noodles. Fiber helps to regulate bowels and maintain good digestive health, and vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect cells. Additionally, zucchini is high in potassium and magnesium, which are good for muscles and nerves. The dark green skin of the vegetable provides many of the nutrients, so try enjoying zucchini without peeling it.

Zucchini noodles (also known as zoodles) are a great low-carb or gluten free substitute for traditional wheat pasta. Zoodles can be made a few different ways using either a spiralizer, julienne peeler, or mandoline. They can also be prepared in multiple ways such as microwaved, sauteed, baked, boiled, or eaten raw. Since zucchini has a soft and mild flavor, it will pair well with many sauces that you would otherwise put on wheat pasta such as marinara, pesto, or Pad Thai. Zucchini is typically paired with flavors like parmesan, lemon, olive oil, or just plain salt and pepper, so these toppings would work great as well. Try spicing up pasta night with these delicious and nutritious noodles!

Garlic Lemon Zucchini Noodles

2 medium zucchinis

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons butter

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop off ends of zucchini and pass through spiralizer to make noodles. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine garlic, butter, lemon juice, and cilantro. Add zucchini and cook for 4 minutes, stirring regularly until zucchini is cooked, but still crisp. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with fresh lemon.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 140 calories, 12 grams fat, 170 milligrams sodium, 8 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein


(2020, June 10). Produce Spotlight: Zucchini. Oklahoma Nutrition Information Education.

How much do Americans pay for fruits and vegetables? United States Department of Agriculture.