Fresh and light, low in calories and gluten-free, eating vegetable noodles instead of traditional wheat pastas is an excellent way to get more vitamins and nutrients into your diet, without sacrificing taste.
And it’s super easy! While a plain old vegetable peeler can do the job of slicing vegetables thinly, this method can be a bit time-consuming. For quicker (and prettier) results, try using a julienne peeler. And for big veggie noodle jobs, a spiralizer would be your new best friend in the kitchen.
The best noodle-making candidates are vegetables that are firm and will hold their shape post-cooking: carrots, beets, turnips, squash, eggplant, sweet potatoes, zucchini, parsnip, and broccoli stems all make for good veggie noodle choices.
Here are our favorite ways to use veggie noodles to make a healthier bowl of pasta:
1. Carrot Noodles with Thai Peanut Sauce
A rich vegan feast with a little bit of crunch, julienned carrots are steamed along with onions, red pepper, bean sprouts, and cilantro, and topped with a delicious red curry peanut sauce and pan-fried tofu. It’s a restaurant-style meal you can easily make at home.
Get the recipe from the Endless Meal.
2. Spinach Parmesan Zucchini Noodles
Ready in just 20 minutes, this recipe calls for spiralized zucchini, minced garlic cloves, spinach, parmesan cheese, butter, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Pan-fried over medium-high heat, toss in the ingredients for a quick and tasty dinner.
See how it’s done at Two Peas & Their Pod.
3. Balsamic Roasted Beets with Brussels Sprouts and Hummus Dressing
Drizzled with balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and olive oil, the beet noodles are oven-roasted alongside halved Brussels sprouts. Cooked and ready in about 15 minutes, the finishing touch is the rich and creamy hummus topping.
Get the full instructions from Inspiralized.
4. Cajun Sweet Potato Noodles
A medley of red peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and chicken, the addition of sweet potato noodles seasoned in Cajun flavors offers a lovely sweet and spicy twist.
Recipe via Get Inspired Everyday.
5. Turnip Pesto Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Kale
Another dead-simple number despite its complex appearance, this turnip noodle dish is pan-fried with kale and artichoke hearts and tossed in a velvety pesto sauce. To finish, serve with pine nuts and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
From the Roasted Root.
6. Butternut Squash Noodles with Sage and Brown Butter
A good way to ease into the veggie noodle lifestyle, this recipe goes for the half-and-half approach: 8 cups of spiralized butternut squash and four ounces of linguine noodles so you get your carb fix. Also included are white beans for a kick of protein, and a nutmeg butter sage sauce topping.
Get the recipe at Sweet Peas and Saffron.
7. Yellow Squash Noodles with Tomato Basil Sauce
A light and summery meal that’s packed with flavor, yellow squash noodles are simmered with roma and plum tomatoes, garlic cloves, fresh basil leaves, fennel, dill, and sun-dried tomatoes.
See the recipe at Healthy Nibbles and Bits.
8. Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Parsnip Spiralized Pasta
Marrying the sweet nuttiness of parsnip noodles with spicy Italian chicken sausage and slightly bitter broccoli rabe makes this dish a wonderful assortment of bold flavors.
Get the recipe at Skinny Taste.
9. Garlic Broccoli Noodles with Toasted Pine Nuts
A fantastic way to use the entire bunch of broccoli, simply remove and set aside the florets and then spiralizer or julienne the stem. Simmer all the broccoli bits with garlic and lemon juice until it’s nice and tender, and finish with toasted pine nuts and romano cheese.
See how it’s done at Inspiralized.
10. Eggplant Pasta
Eggplant is one of the few veggies that shouldn’t be spiralized – it’s way too delicate and the process ends up wasting much of the fruit. For best results, use a mandolin or julienne peeler instead. This simple recipe of garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, basil, parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs can be easily tweaked and customized to your liking.
Recipe via Alton Brown.
11. Raw Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon and Herb Dressing
Using spiralized zucchini as its pasta component, this cold salad is a tasty side dish to compliment summertime barbeques. Add some mixed veggies and a protein like tofu, quinoa, beans, or edamame, and toss in a homemade dressing of basil, dill, and lemon.
Get the recipe at Averie Cooks.
12. Noodle-Less Lasagne
Zucchini and eggplant take the place of pasta in this recipe, sliced long and thin and layered with sausage, ricotta, and mozzarella.
See the recipe from Eating Well.
13. Cucumber Mint Noodles with Ginger Dressing
A cool and refreshing salad ideal for those hot summer days, cucumber noodles are dressed in mint, green onions, fresh ginger, and lemon juice, topped with sesame seeds.
Recipe from Tales of a Kitchen.
14. Asparagus Salad with Sesame Chili Lime Dressing
Served cold, asparagus stems are thinly sliced into ribbons and combined with grated cabbage, fresh mint, and green onions. The dressing – made with garlic, ginger, lime zest and juice, chili paste, honey, rice vinegar, and healthy oils – offers a sweet, sour, and spicy kick.
Get the recipe at The First Mess.
15. Raw Rainbow Noodles
The kitchen sink of veggie noodles, this recipe incorporates orange and maroon carrots, parsnip, and sweet apple shreddings, tossed in a dressing of apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and olive oil. Eat it on its own or as delectable bedding for grilled chicken or salmon.
Get the recipe from Craving Something Healthy.