This truly is a wonderful spring dish! Zucchini ‘noodles’ in a garlic-infused cauliflower cream sauce twirled around tender bits of asparagus. It’s flavor packed, low in carbs, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan and full of nutrients! SO GOOD!
If you are pasta lover, but trying to avoid grains or simply want to include more vegetables into your diet, this Garlic Cream Zucchini Noodle recipe is perfect for you!!
The Creamy Garlic Sauce is made with cauliflower instead of cashews which are traditionally used to make dairy free sauces. Yes, that’s right, cauliflower. The sauce has a creamy texture and a lush light garlicy taste. It gently coats the zucchini noodles and spring asparagus.
How to Make the Garlic Cream Cauliflower Sauce
The sauce is made by heating a full bodied olive oil and gently sautéing a few sprigs of thyme with garlic and shallots to flavor the oil. Then add cauliflower rice, coconut milk and salt. Cover and cook 8 minutes until soft. DON’T LET IT BROWN, you want the sauce to be white.
Remove the thyme and blend the cauliflower with nutritional yeast, lemon and enough stock to get a smooth creamy sauce. Taste to adjust salt. You want it to be a little salty to flavor the zucchini noodles.
Ingredients for Garlic Cream Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus
Simple ingredients make the best meals, and this one is no exception.
Here’s everything you’ll need to prepare this dish:
- olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- coconut milk
- riced cauliflower
- nutritional yeast
The noodles are made with spiralized zucchini. Once spiralized, ‘sweat’ them to remove some of the water, which allows the sauce to cling nicely to the noodles.
To ‘sweat’ the zucchini noodles, place them in a colander in the sink or over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss. Let sit for about 10 minutes – then wrap in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much water as possible.
The zucchini noodles will have a firm texture. Once briefly sautéed they will be al dente.
How to Make Garlic Cream Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus
First saute the cut asparagus until just crisp tender, 2-3 minutes and sprinkled with salt and black pepper to taste. Then set aside.
In the same pan saute the zucchini along with a few olives to give the dish a salty tanginess. Once the zucchini are bright green, 2-3 minutes, add the asparagus back to the pan and toss gently to combine.
Stir in about 1 cup of the Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Sauce and mix to coat the vegetables evenly. Cook a few minutes until every thing is warm.
Serve with a few dollops of the sauce on top and a sprinkle of parsley.
Though it is an absolutely lovely vegan dish as is, I like to add a protein. I’ve tried all of the choices below and loved it and you will too!
- 4-6 slices nitrate free bacon cooked until lightly crispy. Drain on paper towels and cut into 1” pieces
- 4-6 ounces grilled chicken, cut into slices
- 6-8 grilled shrimp
- 2-3 ounces cubed and sautéed pancetta
If you eat nuts top with vegan parmesan.
This dish is a perfect balance between rich and light so it really does feel like comfort food with a fresh spring taste.
I hope you LOVE this Garlic Cream Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus. It’s creamy, flavorful, light, fresh, comforting and super nutritious.
This would make the perfect weeknight dinner, or meal for hosting guests. I made this recently for friends – who were not on any special diet – served it with bacon and chicken they loved it.
If you give this recipe a try, please let us know what you think! Give it some stars or leave a comment. ♥
If you like this recipe, try these other delicious diary free, gluten free noodle dishes:
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Zucchini ‘noodles’ in a garlic-infused cauliflower cream sauce with tender bits of asparagus.
For the Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Sauce
- 1 ½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 shallot small, thinly chopped
- 3 cups cauliflower rice
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 4 Tablespoons full fat coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ Tablespoon lemon or apple cider vinegar
- 4–6 Tablespoons of stock
For the Noodles
- 4 small-medium zucchini, spiralized
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound asparagus woody ends removed and cut into 1” pieces
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- Celtic sea salt and fresh pepper (leave out for AIP)
- 4–6 slices nitrate free bacon cooked until lightly crispy. Drain on paper towels and cut into 1” pieces
- 4–6 ounces grilled chicken, cut into slices
- 6–8 grilled shrimp
For the Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Sauce
- Heat the olive oil on medium low in a medium size sauté pan.
- Add the chopped shallot and the whole sprigs of thyme to season the oil. Cook 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Remove the sprigs of thyme.
- Add the cauliflower rice, salt and coconut milk and mix well.
- Cover and let it cook on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes. Keep watch, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t get brown. You want the sauce to be white.
- Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a high speed blender, add in the nutritional yeast, lemon juice and 3-4 tablespoons of stock. Blend on high, adding more stock as needed until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.
- Taste to adjust salt, you want it to be a little salty. Set aside.
For the Noodles
- Prepare the cauliflower garlic sauce and set aside.
- Cook the bacon, chicken or shrimp if using.
- Spiralize the zucchini, place them in a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss. Place the colander in the sink or over a bowl. Let drain in while you prepare and cook the asparagus.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the cut asparagus and sauté until just crisp tender, 2-3 minutes, sprinkling with salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer to a plate.
- Wrap the zucchini in a kitchen towel, and squeeze the water out. Make 1 or 2 cuts so noodles are not so long.
- In the same pan you cooked the asparagus, heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium low, until hot. Add zucchini and olives, raise heat to medium-high, cook turning a few times with tongs for 3 minutes until they begin to turn bright green.
- Add cooked asparagus and stir to combine evenly.
- Add 1 cup of the Garlic Cauliflower Sauce and toss with the noodles and asparagus. Cook for 1-2 minutes until everything is warm.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Place a few dollops of the Garlic Sauce over the noodles and top with protein choice, if using.
- Garnish with parsley and serve right away with extra sauce on the side.
The recipe makes 2-3 servings without the protein, 4 servings with the additional protein.
The nutritional information is without any additional protein.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: Low Carb, AIP, Vegan, Nut Free, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Whole30
Keywords: AIP Noodle Recipe, Vegan Noodle Recipe, Gluten Free Noodle Recipe, AIP Pasta, Gluten Free Pasta, Paleo Pasta