I am a huge fan of eating lots of vegetables to feel healthy and happy. Vegetables provide the nutrients our cells need to function optimally. The challenge is finding vegetable dishes that are easy and taste great. Zucchini Noodles with Garlic and Basil tastes amazing and only has 3 ingredients. It’s a super simple dish to make.
The zucchini are sautéed quickly in olive oil, garlic, with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Fresh basil and salt are added at the end to make each bite irresistible and satisfying.
- Choose small to medium zucchini. Large zucchini have a higher moisture content and release too much water. Long thin zucchini have fewer seeds and less water.
- Pick zucchini that are firm and the skin is smooth.
If your zucchini are medium to large I recommend “sweating” the spiralized zucchini before adding them to the pan. To “sweat” the zucchini noodles, place them in a colander, then place the colander in the sink or over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss. Allow them to sit for about 20 minutes – the longer it sits, the more water is drawn out. After the 20 minutes or longer, squeeze all the water out with a kitchen towel.You can make your own spiralized noodles or buy them in the grocery or health food store. They have become so popular most stores carry them.
I love my spiralizer. I use the Paderno. It has a 4.5 star rating from 6,000+ reviews on Amazon. I’m not a gadget person but I find this tool worth having. It’s easy to use and you can spiralize may different vegetables; zucchini, peppers, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and more.
Children love spiralizing. Avery is having fun spiralizing zucchini noodles for this dish.
After spiralizing the zucchini I like to make a few cuts in the noodles. They’re easier to eat when they’re not 3 feet long.
It’s important to use a large sauté pan. I use an All Clad 12 “ Saute Pan. You want the noodles to sauté quickly not steam.
Garlic and basil are the primary flavors in this dish.
The ‘noodles’ come together in 5 minutes.
To infuse more flavor into the dish, garlic is cooked briefly in the olive oil to soften and enhance the taste.
The “noodles” are then added to the pan and sauteed over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes until tender. The green skin on the zucchini will get brighter. Like pasta, the zucchini noodles should be al dente.
Once done, remove from the heat and stir in the fresh basil and salt.
NOTE: Do not season with salt until the end of cooking to prevent a mushy texture. Once the zucchini is cut the cell walls of the plant are open, exposing the water contained inside the flesh. Salt draws out the water from the noodle because more surface area is created.
The ‘noodles’ can be topped with parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan. Toasted pine nuts are also nice. But most of the time I enjoy them without any topping.
Make this on nights when you need a quick and easy vegetable side dish and you don’t have a ton of time to spare. I’ll say that’s most nights.
You can even serve it to your guests, it’s so fresh and elegant.
It’s so good you’ll likely to make it a regular in your vegetable rotation.
“When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat.”
~ Gwyneth Paltrow
- 8 cups spiralized zucchini (from 3 –4 small/medium zucchini, 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 12 basil leaves cut into ribbons.
- Celtic sea salt to taste
- Spiralize your zucchini into noodles.
- Make 2 or 3 cuts so the noodles are not super long.
- Heat a 12” sauté pan on medium.
- Add olive oil. Once warm add garlic and red pepper flakes (if using). Sauté 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
- Add zucchini noodles and sauté 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until al dente.
- Remove from heat, stir in basil leaves and salt.
- Serve alone or topped with parmesan, vegan parmesan or toasted pine nuts.
Do not season with salt until the end of cooking to prevent a mushy texture.
If your zucchini are medium to large I recommend “sweating” the spiralized zucchini before adding them to the pan. To “sweat” the zucchini noodles, place them in a colander, then place the colander in the sink or over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss. Allow them to sit for about 20 minutes – the longer it sits, the more water is drawn out. After the 20 minutes or longer, squeeze all the water out with a kitchen towel.
- Category: Vegetable Side Dish
- Cuisine: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Keywords: Italian Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Dairy-Free, 15 minutes or less
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