How to Make Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini noodles are a fun take on a classic noodle and are great for anyone following a gluten-free, grain-free, or paleo diet, or simply looking to add more veggies to their diet. Not only are they simple to prepare, but they are extra simple to make, so here is a quick guide on how to make zucchini noodles.
Zucchini noodles, or “zoodles”, have become really popular in recent years so much so that you can now buy pre-cut zucchini noodles in many grocery stores. Although there are lots of fancy gadgets and gizmos out there, you don’t need much to make zucchini noodles at home. There are many different ways that you can peel, cook and serve zucchini noodles, you just need to find the method that works best for you.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
When it comes to making zucchini noodles, there are a couple of different options that work. Depending on your budget, and the type of noodle you want to make, here are a few different options to choose from.
This is my personal favorite option. In addition to fancy machine spiralizers, you can find small handheld spiralizers for about $20 at most kitchen stores. This tool is incredibly simple to use; you simply treat it like a pencil sharpener, turning your zucchini in a spiralizer to create long noodles. Spiralized noodles are the most similar in shape and texture to classic spaghetti noodles.
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can also use a classic kitchen peeler to help create wide ribbon-style noodles. Depending on the size of your zucchini, you can create thinner or wider noodles, similar to a tagliatelle noodle. These noodles are much quicker to cook than the spiralizer noodles, because they are much thinner, and also make great noodles for serving in a raw dish or salad. If you happen to have a mandoline, you could also use it to make ribbon-style noodles, just be sure to cut the zucchini on the smallest setting.
3. Julienne Peeler
If you have great knife skills, you can julienne the zucchini in thin strips to create noodles, however, a julienne peeler works just as well. This method will create thinner strips than the spiralizer, almost like a spaghettini, and they really quick to cook. When buying a julienne peeler, look for one with a sturdy handle and sturdy blade as this will help to ensure you get thick julienne strips.
How to Cook Zucchini Noodles
When it comes to cooking zucchini noodles, there are many methods to choose from, it merely depends on how you intend to eat them. Because zucchini is 95% water, zucchini noodles don’t require much cooking as overcooking can lead to wet, soggy, and unpleasant noodles. The intention is merely to heat them up gently before serving.
Sautéing zucchini noodles is my favorite way to cook them. Simply add them to a pan with a little drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt (it brings out some excess water) and simmer them on low until warm and slightly tender. Once cooked, simply transfer the noodles to a plate or bowl and top them with your sauce of choice.
Blanching the zucchini noodles is another way to cook them very gently, you just want to be as fast as possible with this method to ensure the noodles don’t get overly wet. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil, add zucchini noodles, wait 30 seconds, immediately remove them from the water and transfer them to a bowl of cold ice water to stop the cooking process.
This is a great method to use if you want to add the noodles to a soup, sauce or mixture of ingredients you already have cooking in a pot. Simply add the noodles 30 seconds to 1 minute before serving to ensure the noodles still have a little crunch. This is a great option to use as an alternative to noodles in a soup or if you have a tomato sauce simmering on the stove, simply add them right to the pot.
In addition to cooking, zucchini noodles can be eaten raw for crips and crunchy noodles with an al dente bite. Simply spiralize or peel zucchini into noodles, season with a pinch of salt and serve as is. You can top them with a warm tomato sauce to help heat them up a little, or simply serve them cold in a salad with a rich and creamy dressing.
In addition to zucchini, there are many other vegetables that make great noodles; carrots, sweet potatoes, and even beets can all be peeled or spiralized into long ribbon-like noodles. Not only can these options be made at home, but they are available in many grocery stores, so you simply need to bring them home and cook them up.