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This delicious and healthy recipe for Zoodles with Breadcrumbs and Romano Cheese takes less than 20 minutes to make and serve. This recipe is full of Italian flavors from the Italian cheese, toasted breadcrumbs and the fresh basil we toss in at the end.
Zoodles with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Romano Cheese
Using spiralized zucchini (aka zoodles) instead of pasta doesn’t take away from any Italian flavors, but instead it adds to it! It’s so simple to make and served alongside some bread can be very satisfying.
I typically make this type of recipe when I either have too many zucchini or simply want an alternative to pasta. This recipe couldn’t be simpler and can be made in about 15 minutes. Not kidding.
You can watch my video below near the recipe card where I step you through it.
Let’s get started.
Ingredients for Zoodles with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Romano Cheese
To make this healthy Italian dish you’ll need the following ingredients.
- Whole zucchini – one per person
- Spiralizer – technically you can cut by hand but I recommend a spiralizer which is very affordable. You can check them out here on Amazon or read my post about how to use a spiralizer for zucchini.
- Toasted breadcrumbs – If you don’t have any on hand, I’ll explain how to make homemade breadcrumbs really quickly.
- Grated Romano cheese – Parmesan is okay too if that’s what you have. I prefer Romano as it’s got more flavor and ‘less is more’.
- Chopped fresh basil – this is optional, not everyone is a fan of basil.
Using Spiralized Zucchini in the Recipe
To make this recipe, you need to use spiralized zucchini, just like my zoodles with tomatoes recipe. This is not like some of my other zucchini recipes that use sliced zucchini in the form of half-moons. We want the zucchini to resemble spaghetti.
When using the spiralizer, I recommend using the medium blade setting that gives a width of regular spaghetti or even linguini. If you use the blades with the smallest holes, they’ll turn out like angel hair pasta, which has less form, but can still taste fantastic.
The reason I prefer the medium setting is that it allows me to have the “spaghetti” experience – twirling the pasta, I mean zoodles, just like I normally would. Once cooked down, if it’s super thin, the skinny noodles won’t have as much form or bite.
One final tip – make sure to cut your zucchini noodles to proper lengths otherwise they will be so crazy long!
Using Toasted Breadcrumbs with Zoodles
You want the breadcrumbs to have the texture and size of panko breadcrumbs. You can either buy them or make your own breadcrumbs as I do.
If you make your own, take some bread slices and tear them into small pieces. Place them in your blender and pulse until the right breadcrumb consistency is achieved. This should take just a few seconds.
Then spread the breadcrumbs evenly in an oven proof pan and bake at 375F in a traditional oven or 350F in a convection oven for 4 – 5 minutes. They will toast quickly and can also burn quickly! So, keep an eye on them and remove from the oven as soon as they turn light brown in color.
Not all of the breadcrumbs need to look toasted.
Now they are ready to be used in the recipe. See, I told you it was easy!
Steps for Making Zoodles with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Romano Cheese
Once you have your zucchini and breadcrumbs ready we can get moving with the recipe.
The first step is to heat the garlic and olive oil in a medium size frying pan over low-medium heat.
Once the garlic is fragrant and begins to sizzle (not burn), add in the zucchini right away. Move the zucchini around using a spatula, spoon, or fork so that all of it is coated with the olive oil.
At this point you can turn the heat to medium, but no higher.
Let the zucchini noodles cook out most of their moisture content since we don’t want them to taste like watery noodles. You’ll know when it’s ready when it starts to slightly stick to the pan. This takes about 7 minutes.
But don’t let it burn. If it starts to stick too much – just stir it or add in a very small drop of water.
At this point all you have to do is add in the toasted breadcrumbs, cheese, and basil (optional). Mix it so it is fully incorporated with the zoodles.
Serve warm and enjoy!
How to Store Leftovers
I recommend storing any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can reheat it over the stove in a frying pan over low heat. You can also reheat using a microwave.
What to Serve With this Recipe
I will not lie, if you’re used to eating huge pasta bowls full of spaghetti and meatballs, this dish is not going to fill your belly the same way.
So I recommend serving some additional side dishes that compliment the flavors of your zoodles.
Here are some ideas.
- Bread – serving artisan bread is always a good choice. You can serve it as garlic bread to complement the garlic in the dish.
- Salad – Any type of salad would go with this. You can use a fresh green salad, bean salad, or an Italian garbanzo bean salad.
- Chicken – If you’re not opposed to meats, this recipe would be great served with my Italian chicken cutlets or breaded and baked chicken.
- Italian Zucchini pizza boats – these are a fun way to serve zucchini with the flavors we love in our pizzas.
Types of Zucchini to Use
The best type of zucchini is going to be those that are oblong in shape and mostly the same width top to bottom. They should be wide enough to use in a spiralizer. Black beauty is what I’ve used many times, but generally it’s because it’s what I have on hand.
I recommend picking zucchinis that are still young and about 6 to 7 inches. When picking them at this size, they are typically sweeter in taste depending on the variety.
You don’t have to peel the zucchini either unless they are starting to go bad or are not organic.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Zoodles with toasted breadcrumbs and Romano cheese as much as I do. Please let me know your feedback in the comments, and especially if you customized the recipe to suit your own tastes!
Zoodles with Breadcrumbs and Romano Cheese
- 2 spiralized zucchini (zoodles) estimate one small zucchini per person
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- 1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs (panko style preferred) see note on toasting breadcrumbs
- 1 Tablespoon grated Romano cheese or other flavorful Italian cheese
- chopped fresh basil optional
- Heat the olive oil and garlic over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant.
- Add in the spiralized zucchini – make sure the zucchini is cut at spaghetti lengths (6-8 inches in length).
- Coat the zucchini with the olive oil and garlic.
- Cook down over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until most of the moisture is evaporated from the pan.
- Add in the toasted breadcrumbs and cheese along with the fresh basil and mix so it is well incorporated with the zucchini.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- This recipe is based on 1 to 2 zucchinis, and I estimate 1 zucchini per serving. However this depends greatly on how much you want to allocate per person. So adjust quantities accordingly. I would double the ingredients for every 2 servings. Meaning, for 4 servings/people, use 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, etc. etc.
- Toast your breadcrumbs at 375F for 4 to 5 minutes until light golden brown. No need to coat with oil or add herbs. If you don’t have any breadcrumbs, blend some slices of bread in a blender. See my paragraph above for more specifics.
- Fresh basil is not always in season so feel free to omit as the recipe tastes great even without the basil.
- As I always say, I prefer Romano cheese because it has more flavor and less is more. But if you use Parmesan that will still taste good. Add a dash of salt to enhance the flavor if needed for the Parmesan.
- This recipe will store in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat over low heat on the stove or in a microwave.