Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

These Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Chicken are flavorful, delicious, full of good-for-you ingredients. Make it with or without chicken for the perfect nutritious dinner for your family. It’s gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 friendly.

Zucchini noodles with pesto,Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

I think most people are surprised when they try zucchini noodles that they’re actually really good. Zoodles make a great, lightened-up alternate to traditional pasta. It’s healthy, delicious and simple to make! And even more so, it’s super simple to find zucchini noodles already made in most grocery stores now. A few years ago that wasn’t the case!

These zucchini noodles are dressed up with homemade pesto, fresh tomatoes, and some chicken. It’s chicken pesto pasta, zucchini style! Feel free to omit the chicken though, for a really healthy vegetarian meal.

pesto noodle ingredients in a pan.

Tips for Using and Cooking Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles are a great healthy and nutrient-dense substitute for regular pasta. Do they taste exactly the same? No, they’re zucchini. But most people who make this swap are happily satisfied to eat the zoodles, as they are known, topped with whatever sauce you are using. Below are some tips on how to best enjoy zucchini noodles!

  1. You can eat them raw! Eating the zucchini noodles while raw will make for the firmest (and not soggy) zucchini noodles. Just toss with a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper before serving with your sauce.
  2. If you are cooking them, don’t overcook them! The longer you cook zucchini noodles the softer and soggy they become! Cook for just a few minutes and stop cooking them before they actually looked cook. The zucchini will continue to cook a bit once they are off heat.
  3. You can drain the noodles a bit before you serve them. Once cooked, set over a colander for a few minutes.
  4. Sauce the noodles after they are cooked!

Watch the video here:



If you like this classic comfort food lightened up, check out these recipes:

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Print

Creamy Pesto Chicken

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • For the pesto:
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts or cashews
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp lemon
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp pink sea salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fresh pepper, more to taste
  • Optional: red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Optional:
  • 12 drops basil essential oil
  • 12 drops lemon essential oil
  • Everything Else:
  • 4 medium organic zucchinis
  • 1 lb. organic chicken
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
  • Basil for garnish

Instructions

  • Using a spiralizer, a mandolin, or a vegetable peeler, shred zucchini into noodles
  • In a medium size pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and add in zucchini
  • Toss for 3-5 minutes, remove once zucchini is warm (not overly soft), and set aside
  • Chop chicken into cubes and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in your skillet and add in chicken
  • Cook chicken until no longer pink, remove and set aside
  • In your high-speed blender or food processor combine all pesto ingredients and blend until smooth, taste and adjust spices as desired (i.e. add more salt, red pepper flakes, or fresh lemon juice)
  • Return zucchini noodles to your pan
  • Add in pesto, one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired amount*
  • Add in chicken and cherry tomatoes
  • Toss until combined and then transfer to serving plates
  • Garnish with fresh basil, sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and serve hot

Notes

  • *Depending on the size of your zucchini, this may make a lot more pesto then needed/desired. Start with a little, toss, and add more as desired! Leftover pesto can be tossed with additional shredded chicken for a pesto chicken salad!
  • **Can omit cheese for fully dairy-free, but if you tolerate it I highly recommend it!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: As served
  • Calories: 566
  • Sugar: 8.8g
  • Sodium: 93g
  • Fat: 52.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.9g
  • Fiber: 12.7g
  • Protein: 9.8g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg

10 comments
March 30, 2015

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10 Responses

  1. I was wondering if anything could substitute the Parmesan cheese to make it dairy free? Would anything else give it the added flavor element without the dairy? Thanks! It looks fantastic!

  2. This was delicious!! Pretty easy to make and I have a bunch of pesto leftover too for the future. The pesto did taste a little too salty by itself but when added to the zucchini it was perfect. Thanks!

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Author: Lexi

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