Foolproof Vegetable Noodle Recipes
Zoodles are the new penne.
In case you haven’t heard, veggie-based noodles are really, really hot right now. They’re healthy for you (low-carb, high-nutrient), and they taste great. But how do you ditch regular old pasta for vegetable noodle alternatives? I mean, let’s be real, few of us have a spiralizer laying around.
But you can still grab premade zucchini and sweet potato noodles from the produce section in the grocery store, giving you a super easy meal. Here are three recipes to get you out of your ramen rut.
Sweet Potato Noodle Carbonara
Tender sweet potato, salty pancetta, Parmesan cheesy goodness, and runny egg yolk. Drooling yet?
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup cubed pancetta
2 whole large eggs
1 package of premade sweet potato noodles
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pepper, to taste
Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds. Mix in the onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion softens. Then add the pancetta cubes. Cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
In a separate pan, crack two eggs, and let them cook until the whites set.
While your eggs are cooking, add the zucchini noodles to the pancetta. Season with pepper, and toss to combine. Stirring frequently, let cook for about 2-3 minutes and then add in the Parmesan cheese. Toss the noodles with the cheese and then plate into bowls.
Top each bowl with one of the eggs. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Inspiralized.
15-Minute Garlic Shrimp Zoodles
This recipe is your new go-to for busy weeknights. It only takes 15 minutes to make, and you only need one pan. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I love more than easy clean up.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 package of premade zucchini noodles
3/4 pounds raw medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and zest to a skillet on medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add the shrimp.
Cook the shrimp for one minute per side, until pink. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional minute, stirring often.
Add the zucchini noodles and stir/toss constantly for 2-3 minutes until they're slightly cooked and warmed up. (Pro-tip: don’t cook them for longer! They’ll get mushy and gross.)
Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Salt & Lavendar.
Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash
This one’s perfect for Sunday night dinner with your roommates! The recipe takes a little longer to make, but it yields more servings (think leftovers for the week).
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
1 medium/medium-large spaghetti squash
3/4-1 cup pesto (I buy mine premade to save time)
1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, thin sliced or pounded to 1/2" thickness
2 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee, or other cooking fat to saute the chicken
Salt, pepper, and onion powder to season chicken (optional)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, using a large, sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds and strings using a large spoon, then place face-down on a foil lined baking sheet.
Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the squash can be pushed from the outside a bit with your finger. Do not overcook, or it will be mushy! Once you remove the squash, lower the oven’s temperature to 400 degrees.
After allowing the squash to cool, use a fork and move lengthwise down the squash, removing spaghetti strings from both sides of the squash. Place in a large bowl.
To "drain" the squash, squeeze once or twice between paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
While the squash rests, cook the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat, and add your cooking fat. Sprinkle the chicken lightly with salt, pepper, and onion powder on both sides, then add to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until no longer pink in the center.
Move the chicken from the pan to a plate, and allow to cool a bit. Once cool enough to handle, chop into bite size pieces.
In a casserole dish, gently toss the spaghetti squash with the chicken and pesto to fully coat.
Put the casserole dish in the oven for about 10 minutes (enough time to fully heat through and blend everything). Remove and serve.
Want to take it up a notch? Top with crumbled bacon or lightly roasted cherry tomatoes.
Recipe adapted from Paleo Running Momma.
Your veggie noodle options are endless - carrot, cucumber, beet, butternut squash, you name it. Have you ever tried swapping traditional pasta for a vegetable alternative? What is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below or on social media at @AuburnCampusRec.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Kyleigh M