Here’s a delicious one-dish Italian recipe for Italian zoodles and tomatoes. It’s the perfect flavorful recipe for those looking to add some healthier food options to their diets.
This delicious recipe fits the bill for anyone searching for healthy vegetarian or vegan recipes, or simply wanting a way to add some low carb options into their meal planning such as those on a keto diet.
What is an Italian Zoodle Recipe?
Well, technically there is no “Italian zoodle” but there is a “zoodle”. A zoodle is simply zucchini that is used as a substitute for long pasta such as angle hair or vermicelli.. Add some Italian ingredients and love, and you’ve got an Italian zoodle.
Since this recipe is Italian-inspired from my kitchen in my pursuit of finding healthy Italian food options, I call it Italian Zoodles and Tomatoes.
It won’t leave you feeling bloated as regular pasta does, and since it’s cooked over the stove in one pan (more on this further down) you have more control over the cooking temperature thus allowing you to slow cook it for nutrient retention purposes.
Does this Qualify for those on a Vegan Diet?
This recipe is very vegan diet friendly. There is no dairy (the cheese is completely optional), no animal related ingredients, and it’s 100% plant-based.
You probably know that the keto diet is very popular as a low carb, high-fat protocol. While this recipe does not fit the high-fat qualification, it will go very nicely with sliced steak as a side or as a main dish.
Good House Keeping has a good article on the keto diet here.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Italian Zoodles and Tomatoes
Like most of my recipes, you’ll find that the ingredients are simple, easy to purchase at just about any grocery store, and are best used fresh.
All you need are the following:
- Fresh zucchini
- Chopped fresh tomatoes
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh basil leaves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Italian cheese (for those not on a vegan or dairy restricted diet)
How to Prepare the Italian Zoodles
Method One – Boiling
If you prefer the tradition method, simply boil the zoodles for about 4 minutes until desired firmness. Be careful as they can get mushy and become watery if they get too soggy. You might want to drain them and let them sit in a strainer after boiling.
Method Two – Saute Just like Regular Zucchini
Before I proceed with the details of the recipe, I want to explain that unlike many recipes for zoodles, I chose not (yes NOT) to boil or blanch the zucchini strips.
Here’s how I came up with this alternate method (and I’m sure others have too).
One of my favorite pasta recipes is pasta with zucchini and tomatoes. In that recipe I chop the zucchini and cook it by simply sautéing it with the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil. The zucchini cooks down and well… creates a gorgeous light sauce without requiring a “tomato sauce”.
Then the light bulb above my head came on!
Why not do the same except using the zucchini in the form of zoodles instead of chopped zucchini chunks?
Furthermore, I figured let’s eliminate the pasta noodles all together to have a low carb zoodle recipe, just like my zoodles with breadcrumbs and cheese dish.
My experiment worked wonders and came out great and therefore merits a place among my other Italian recipes. 😊
Side Dishes to Compliment Italian Zoodles and Tomatoes
If you’re looking to add some side dishes to this recipe, and for larger eaters I’d recommend it, I’d suggest some toasted bread with an olive oil and kalamata dipping sauce, garlic bread, or a simple salad to keep it extremely low carb.
For a light meal one zucchini works for two people, but for a heartier meal I’d recommend 2 zucchinis. Don’t forget to cut the zucchini as you spiralize it so you don’t end up with one long zoodle!
You can read my article on how to use a spiralizer for zucchini here where I cover exactly how to use a spiralizer to get the type of zoodle you’re looking for.
Enjoy the recipe and here’s to healthy eating!
Zoodles with Tomatoes & Basil One Pan Dish
- 1-2 zucchinis spiralized use angel hair or spaghetti setting
- 1 cup freshly chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves roughly chopped or torn
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over medium heat
- Add the garlic cloves and saute until fragrant
- Add the chopped tomatoes and zoodles
- Simmer for approximately 15 minutes over medium low heat. Cover with a lid to help create steam but remove mid-way to avoid over cooking.
- Stir frequently for even zucchini cooking
- When almost ready, add the basil and stir
- Remove from heat and serve topped with optional Italian Romano grated cheese