Zoodles AKA zucchini noodles can be used in place of regular pasta. Zucchini noodles are low calorie, low carb, and high in fiber, which means they’ll leave you feeling full without all the calories.

Plus, zoodles also have a subtle taste that makes them easy to mix with just about anything-including meatballs!

zucchini noodles or zoodles with bolognese sauce in a bowl
What are zoodles (and the best tools to make them).

Making zoodles can help you stay on track and conquer those carb cravings when you are doing low carb or keto. You’ll be able to enjoy al dente noodles without any guilt!

These are incredibly delicious and work in recipes or just tossed in olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt and pepper as comfort food.

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Plus, I’ll even give you one of my favorite recipes to make with them so you can get started ASAP! Watch the quick cooking video how to make the perfect, healthy, quick, family meal.

If you have ever wondered what are zoodles, and why zoodles are so incredibly versatile. They are the perfect side dish for chicken, beef, pork and can be served hot, warm, or cold.

So, What Are Zoodles?

Zoodles = zucchini noodles. Depending on where you live in the world, they may also be known as Courgetti = courgette spaghetti.

Zoodles are zucchini that have been spiralized, and can therefore be used in the same way as pasta. The possibilities are endless with zucchini noodles, as you’ll quickly find out in this post!

Zoodles are an incredibly fresh and healthy alternative to pasta. Plus, zucchini noodles are a fun way to increase the number of vegetables we eat, especially for children.

Children just love the spiral shapes (and they love using the spiraliser to help make zucchini noodles too!). 

The Benefits of Zoodles

Zoodles are incredibly nutritious and a healthy alternative to highly processed wheat pasta or gluten free pasta. In fact, the only processing is when you crank the handle. 😉 Here are just a few of the benefits of zoodles:

  • a great way to increase vegetables in your diet
  • a great alternative to pasta
  • gluten-free
  • grain-free
  • wheat-free
  • low-carb
  • healthy and nutritious
  • cheap and easy
  • unprocessed

How many Carbs are in Zoodles?

One cup of zucchini noodles contains 3.5 grams of carbs – 1.1 grams of fiber = 2.4 grams of net carbs.

Pasta vs Zoodles

Pasta 1 cup cooked = 221 calories and 43g carbs

Zucchini 1 cup = 25 calories and just 2.4 grams of net carbs. Plus, there are so many additional vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants not found in processed pasta.

How to Make Zucchini Noodles

There are generally two ways to make zoodles.

1. Make Spiralized Zucchini

Making zucchini noodles is easy with a spiraliser machine. There are many different options on the market, but I highly recommend the one below. It has a handle that you turn to create the ribbons of zoodles, and also has suction cups that allow it to stick to the kitchen counter.

This spiralizer also comes with various blades so you can make thin strips or a larger zucchini noodle.

2. Use a Vegetable Peeler 

Alternatively, there is a smaller and cheaper alternative – a handheld spiraliser(vegetable peeler). This peeler is the one I take away on vacation with us.

While I do let my children use the spiralizer (with observation, of course), I don’t allow my children to use this one. The blades are incredibly sharp and I wouldn’t want their fingers to get shredded in the process.

To make zucchini noodles this way, I hold the zucchini/courgette with a fork at one end, then run the julienne cutter down the length of the zucchini/courgette.

How To Prepare Zucchini?

To make zoodles, just wash and trim the ends of your zucchini. Place the zucchini between the spiked handle end and the blade, then turn the handle and wonderful ribbons of zoodles will appear.

You can change the size of the zoodles with the 4 blade attachments. Zoodles can be eaten raw, or lightly steamed.

They can be used as a replacement for pasta or in salads. I love anything that makes vegetables more fun for children to eat. Watch this video to see how easy it is to use the spiraliser.

How to Cook Zoodles

Now that you know how to make zucchini noodles, let’s talk about how to cook zucchini noodles! While the exact method may differ depending on what recipe you are using and how you want them to cook, this is a general idea:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with salt.
  2. Carefully add in the zucchini noodles.
  3. Cook over medium heat for about 1 minute.
  4. Drain the hot water from the zoodles.
    • HOT ZOODLES – allow as much of the steam to escape as possible,. This prevents soggy pasta as well as soggy zoodles. Serve with your meal or stir through a hot sauce.
    • WARM ZOODLES – you may not even need to cook using the instructions above. You cna simpey heat your sauce and stir the raw zucchini strips through. he heat from the sauc ewill be enough to soften and warm your vegetable pasta.
    • COLD ZOODLES – once cooked, remove the zoodles and place in a bowl of ice water to help them cool down quickly. Toss and serve with your favorite sauce!
    • RAW ZOODLES – many people love the crunch of raw zucchini inside a deliciosu healthy summer salad. No cooking required.

Recipes to Try with Zoodles

My favourite meal by far to use zoodles is low-carb spaghetti Bolognese with zoodles, watch the quick cooking video above to learn how to make the perfect healthy quick family meal. Low-carb spaghetti Bolognese is magic because it turns a 56g carb meal into a 13g one packed with nutrition and vegetables.

This keto alfredo sauce would be amazing with chopped broccoli for a low-carb meal. It’s quick and easy to make, and tastes so creamy and delicious – everyone in the family loves it! Plus, you can add extra ingredients like chicken or shrimp if you want to bulk it up. I’m definitely making this one again soon!

Cool low-carb magic trick huh?

A bowl of spaghetti Bolognese meat sauce served on zucchini noodles and shredded cheese on top

Why are my zucchini noodles soggy?

Zucchini pasta is definitely not delicious if it’s mushy and soggy. Thankfully, it’s easy to prevent!

The most common cause of soggy zucchini noodles is cooking zoodles for too long. 1-2 mins cook time is the very max total time you should be cooking your zucchini noodles for.

Make sure to remove them from the pan and from heat. Also, try the ice water trick I mentioned below to quickly cool the noodles down. Otherwise, they will continue to cook! Some people have also said that salt helps as well, so make sure you salt the water as you boil it.

Which vegetables are great for vegetable pasta?

Which vegetable you use, will depend on how strictly you need to monitor your carb intake and how much some foods will affect your blood sugars. I generally make the zoodles with zucchini, and my kids love to use carrots, depending on which is in season.

If you need to be stricter with your level of carb restriction, use low carb vegetables such as zucchini and avoid carrots which are a sweeter root vegetable.

The following are just a few ideas for vegetables that may be used to make zoodles, and how to serve them. Some can be eaten raw in salads or cooked/steamed for a warm meal.

  • zucchini/courgettes, cooked or raw
  • cucumbers, raw in salads
  • beetroot, raw in salads (note: this is high in carbs but nutrient dense)
  • carrots, cooked or raw
  • pumpkin, cooked
  • broccoli stems, cooked or raw

One last alternative you may wish to try is spaghetti squash. Watch the video which shows you how to cook spaghetti squash.

It is a creamy delicious plant alternative to wheat pasta.

I show you all the other methods such as cooking spaghetti squash in the slow cooker or the microwave. This may just become your favorite pasta!

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  1. i like the idea of curly sweet potato fries … curly rutabaga and turnip fries too i bet! those are good sliced and roasted already 🙂

    1. Yes children seem to love them. I think it’s because they’re fun shapes and cranking the handle turing a boring vegetable into the longest spiral they can (everything is a competition in our house).

      My zoodles are always waayy watery, no matter what I do. The excess water dilutes any sauce I pair them with and ruins the whole dish. 😞
      I never exceed 1-2 minutes cook time, as you instruct. I’ve tried sautéing and air frying with and without salt, and simply salting and letting them sit to (unsuccessfully) reduce the water content. None of that works. I’M DESPERATE. ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS, PRETTY PLEASE??

  2. Dear Libby – I just wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you for your amazing website. My children love zoodles and always ask for more courgette (yahoo!). We also had an amazing Halloween thanks to your tips on swaps and making the “treats” not about sweets (a treasure hunt and small set of fireworks proved a super trade). Of course, my husband is a much harder nut to crack re low carb, but we are all benefiting hugely from your fantastic advice and recipes – and my friends here in the UK are all checking out your site too. More big thank yous! All the best, Gemma

    1. Gemma I am overwhelmed by your lovely comment you have left me. This makes me want to do more and more. The biggest thrill for me is when I hear children eating their veggies and asking for more, mums finding new family favourites and making real meals. Hmm the husband issue is a hard nut to crack as you say, I hear that all the time which is why I try to make my recipes as ‘normal’ as possible but with subtle changes to make them low carb and wholesome. I am so happy you have found my website, enjoying it and are sharing it, thank you, Libby x

  3. What can you use if you don’t have the fancy tools?

  4. These are great thank you! We use them instead of pasta with a tomato and sardine sauce

  5. Why do you asssume I wouldn’t want my childrens’ fingers to get shredded in the process?

  6. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your website. You have made banting so much easier for me and my husband, and as a result, we both are feeling the incredible benefits of eating this way.

  7. Looks Awesome, well worth a try!! Thanks for the fantastic ideas. I will also be trying zuccini parmesan dish that I found on the internet. So many great things can be done with healthy vegetable alternatives!

  8. I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my zoodles, they always seem to go too soggy and I end up with a pool of water at the bottom of my bowl. I was cooking them slightly so I tried to just use them raw instead but even adding a hot sauce seems to be enough temperature to cook them and cause a lot of water to come out in the bowl. Any tips for this?

    1. I tend to use just a splash of water, and once cooked, drain as much of the water as possible, then leave the lid off to allow all the steam to escape.

      1. Before I topped my zoodles with sauce I microwaved them for a minute, then drained off the liquid. It help. My sauce did not get watery.

    2. Art Lofton says:

      Feeling bamboozled ?
      — buy a pet poodle
      — eat apple stroudle
      — scribble and doodle
      — massage your noodle
      — reheat your zoodle
      Then your mood will be oodle
      And kit and kaboodle Better

    3. You can squeeze out extra moisture in a clean white cloth or cheesecloth, You can also lay them out on paper towels or a baking rack, sprinkle with salt and bake at 200f for 30 to 40 minutes and then squeeze or at a higher temperature with the oven door slightly ajar. I’m still experimenting with other ways to dry them out.

      1. RL VanNostrand says:

        I have success by making my zoodles well in advance of when I will use them. I can use them after a day or two up to as much as 10 days (so far) kept refrigerated in a plastic bag. When prepared in this manner they will not be soggy. Previously I had multiple instances of wet or soggy zoodles when using them immediately no matter how much I squeezed them. This is a very easy fix that yields zoodles much like fresh pasta.

        1. Sandie Smith says:

          After I have noodled, I leave them in a sieve over a bowl and sprinkle a little salt over them. After 20 minutes you will be surprised how much extra liquid has escaped into the bowl through the sieve. Then they will cook in a little butter and not come out soggy. Hope my tip helps.

  9. If zucchini noodles are called zoodles, would carrot noodles be coodles? Then maybe potato noodles would be poodles. All seriousness aside, why not just use spaghetti squash? It has better texture than zucchini noodles and no special tool is needed to make it.

  10. Two questions, first, can you use yellow summer squash in place of zucchini for this? Next can you pre zoodle? and freeze? I just bought a basket of both zucchini and yellow squash from an Amish stand and can’t use it up fast enough.

    1. Yes you can zoodle pretty much anything. Pumpkin, beetroot, carrots, zucchini – as long as they fit within your carb allowance. Good question about the freezing, I’ve never tried it. I wonder if anyone else here can comment if they have tried??

  11. Spaghetti Squash is higher in carbs per serving than zucchini. If you’re watching your carb intake, that can be a game changer. I like both but avoid SS for the aforementioned reason. Thank you for the recipe. I try to stay within a 20 carb limit for myself so 13g of carbs is still a lot but if one plans accordingly, it can be done! 🙂

    1. That may be so but better than using outright pasta. This is a carb reduction meansure not an elimination measure. If you’re on Dr.Simein’s HCG Protocol and are on P3, the Squash won’t be allowed but the zucchini would be.

  12. Jesse Ellyson says:

    Buyer beware! Most of these spiralizers are cheaply made and break shortly after purchase. It’s the handle. A piece of plastic simply not meant to last. A spiralizer is a great addition to your kitchen but spend the money and get a good one.

    Also, these are not terribly effective for thin, narrow veggies like carrots. As mentioned in the article above, buy a julienne peeler. These are fairly cheep, around ten bucks or so. They won’t do spirals but you’ll get your zoodles.

  13. Thanks Libby for introducing me to zoodles! I bought a Paderno Two Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer from Amazon about 2 years ago. I must have paid approx. $15 (USD) and I’ve used it hundreds of times, without every hurting myself. It’s a very good, cheap alternative if you have a tiny kitchen like I do. I’ve only used it for zucchini and squash, but I imagine it would work with other veggies as well.

  14. Mattie Scott says:

    I appreciate your work, you are doing a great job..!

  15. Very informative. Thanks for this!

  16. This is so awesome, i’ll trying this for my family for the dinner tonight although i just use some hand tools. Love your site

  17. Richard Tunner says:

    Hello Lib and thank you for these wonderful recipes! I made Saute Zucchini Noodles a few days ago and all my family (even my pickiest eater) loved this recipe! I’ll definitely make this again soon!

  18. I keep coming back again and again to this recipe – thanks! I love how easy this dish is, and because I’m a ketoer, it’s a regular dish in my house!

  19. I love the spiralizer- and then microwaving for a few minutes, quick and easy. Added a little Himalayan salt. Good to go.

  20. That’s so amazing!. Thanks for sharing. I saved it in my wall

  21. the perfect, healthy, quick, family meal.

  22. LaTanya Cox says:

    Hello Libby. My name is LaTanya. I completely love everything that you have presented. I am an overweight (by about 80lbs.), 64 year old, Type 2 Diabetic, with some complications brewing. I have also been a vegetarian since age 17, but eating too many carbs and sugars- which is so very unhealthy. I hate to put myself and my business out here like this, but I am desperate, and need help fast. I don’t know of any private way to contact you. I am overwhelmed by the ads and other stuff in your presentation, and can’t figure out how to maneuver through it. I read both the nasty and nice comments from viewers about your ads. I’m sorry for the ignorance of the nasty folks; I understand why you have the ads, as I read your response to the nasty folks. Shame on them. I am not rich by any stretch, but am willing to pay for your information (maybe a menu book or other channel), minus the ads and stuff in order that I can start my health journey with your recipes. I think you are brilliant and thank you for providing this information to us. Hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Hi LaTanya, I completely understand how difficult it is to reach a point when “enough is enough” and your health goals and weight have to become a priority. I would absolutely love to help you. I would suggest you join my group coaching and low-carb course inside Ditch The Carbs PRO. You get everything you need to start low-carb or keto straight away. You get a 4-week course, cheat sheets, templates and weekly Q&A sessions. We do mini-challenges and cover weekly topics too. I cannot give medical advice but I do cover every aspect of living low-carb, how to eat out, how to cook family meals, how to stop snacking, how to stop baking failures, motivational weeks, egg fast, carnivore challenge, tracking challenge … and so much more. You can join Ditch The Carbs PRO here. I’ll see you inside.

      P.S. Ditch The Carbs PRO website is entirely ADVERT FREE!!!! Yay.