Outlines how to make zucchini noodles and how to cook zoodles, with step-by-step instructions for easy cooking methods to try out.
What are zoodles?
Zoodles — Zucchini pasta — is a food trend that has been around for some time now and rightly so! Because the noodles are not only healthy, but also tasty and cheap. The name for the vegetable spirals is made up of “Z” for zucchini and “noodles”.
The strips of vegetables are usually used as a pasta substitute. You can also eat it as a salad, as the zucchini is edible raw. Depending on whether you use a peeler, grater or spiralizer, narrower or wider strips can be produced. After cutting, warm the zoodles in a sauce or cook them briefly.
In addition to vegetable noodles made from zucchini, there is also pasta from carrots, which are mostly carrot spaghetti and pumpkin (spaghetti pumpkin) noodles can also be made.
What is healthy about Zoodles?
For anyone who pays attention to their figure or health, zucchini noodles are particularly attractive, because unlike cereal pasta they contain hardly any carbohydrates, it is only 2.1 g per 100 g. This makes them the perfect low-carb food. In addition, they are particularly low in calories, for comparison: zucchini have 19 kcal, whereas for boiled wheat pasta it is 147 kcal per 100 g. They are also vegan and gluten-free.
They are suitable for those who want to eat more vegetables and less carbohydrates. So they are ideal for a low-carb diet. In general, zucchini spaghetti is:
- Nutritious… and
The zucchini scores with some minerals and nutrients. The benefits summarized: Vitamin C which is important for the immune system, beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, which is good for the eyes. It is also positive for blood formation thanks to iron. Calcium is also found, which is important for your bones.
How to make zucchini noodles
You need a zucchini (also called a courgette) of small to medium size to fit into one of the spiral cutters. Wash and cut off the ends of the zucchini. Then you use a grater, peeler or spiral cutter and make long strips from the zucchini. So that they are easily edible, you should cut off the strips after approx. 20 cm.
How to cook zoodles: Kitchen utensils for preparation
When making zucchini noodles, you have a choice of three different tools:
- Hand spiral cutter
- Vegetable peelers
- Spiral cutting machine
Hand spiral cutters are available in two variants, here is a short comparison:
Number 1 is constructed in a similar way to a pencil sharpener, turning the vegetables in an opening, along the cutting knife, so that long strips are cut off. There’s also a vegetable holder that you’ll fix at the zucchini end to protect your hands. You can choose two different widths for your noodles with the two openings.
On the second device, the vegetables are clamped. Then simply crank on a lever to cut the courgettes. The disc with the knives can be replaced by several attachments. This means that more pasta moulds can be produced than with the first device and the effort is less.
Alternatively, you can work with a peeler, but only wider, short noodles can be produced, because the cutting surface of the peeler is relatively large.
Each of the methods has advantages and disadvantages. So that you can find the best method for yourself, we’ll introduce them to you one after the other.
We start with the hand spiral cutter and end with the spiral cutting machine method, which in our view is the most comfortable way to produce zoodles, but does cost more.
Hand spiral cutter
The hand spiral cutter is a device specially designed for the production of vegetable noodles.
A hand spiral cutter is the best choice for those who rarely eat zoodles. The application is completely straightforward. First, you cut off an end of the courgettes. Then you put this end of the zucchini on the hand spiral cutter and start turning it.
The effort is comparatively large. As a reward, on the other hand, you will receive long vegetable noodles. The lid protects the hands when used.
The size of the hand spiral cutter is one of its main advantages. The spiral cutter for vegetable noodles is small, compact and takes up little space in the kitchen cupboard.
This is what the zoodles you make with a hand spiral cutter look like.
The vegetable peeler is an everyday kitchen tool for fancy ribbon noodles made from zucchini.
A vegetable peeler is standard in every kitchen. To process a zucchini to Zoodles, you follow the procedure as follows:
- Keep zucchini sideways
- Start cutting them into slices (watch out for a finger towards the end)
You get impressive band noodles from zucchini – so to speak “bandzoodles”. Even the vegetable peeler hardly takes up any space in the kitchen. As a rule, every household has one in the drawer anyway.
With a vegetable peeler you can make impressive zucchini ribbon noodles.
Spiral cutting machine
Sure, it’s a little more expensive than a hand-held cutter or a vegetable peeler, but if you have vegetable noodles regularly, from our point of view it’s definitely worth his money. The reason for this is that the electric spiral cutting machine makes the production of zucchini pasta simply so extremely easy:
- cut off the ends of the courgette,
- place in the machine,
- press down,
It takes just a few seconds to process a complete zucchini into fresh zoodles.
How to cook zoodles: best cooking methods
Now that you’ve made some raw zucchini spaghetti, the next question arises: How do I cook zoodles? The 6 most popular types of preparation are:
- Eat raw
- Cooking in water
Let’s start with the simplest method: Leave raw. You want crisp, al dente noodles? Leave them raw! Not cooking at all is by far the fastest and easiest way to cook.
The Zoodles taste as good as warm. Other vegetables, such as cucumber, are usually eaten raw. However, your dish does not have to remain cold. Ideally, you eat the noodles along with a delicious sauce. The warm sauce warms the zucchini noodles.
If you want to have the zoodles ‘al dente’, it is also enough to toss them briefly in a hot sauce. This will make them warm, but not quite soft… rather ‘al dente’ like traditional wheat pasta. If you want to have the zoodles quite soft, blanche them for 1-2 minutes in boiling salted water. Then drain well in a sieve and pat with kitchen paper.
How to cook Zoodles: Microwave
The fastest method for cooked zucchini noodles is to prepare in the microwave. Put into a microwave-suitable container and off you go. Depending on how many zucchini noodles you want to cook, and how powerful your microwave is, you adjust the cooking time in the microwave (absolutely avoid the zoodles cooking too long).
- Start with one minute.
- Gradually increase by 30 seconds until the desired consistency is achieved.
- You can then divide the finished vegetable pasta between the plates and serve with your favorite sauce.
How to cook Zoodles: Frying
If you’re cooking on the stove anyway, it’s a good place to roast zoodles. By frying in the pan, you give your noodles an additional roast aroma. This type of preparation is also particularly practical, as you combine the sauce with the pasta in the pan.
- To fry zoodles, first heat a frying pan on a medium level.
- Then add a tablespoon of oil to the frying pan and fry the zoodles.
How long do you fry Zoodles? We had the best experiences with about 3 minutes of frying time. You should not fry your zoodles for more than 5 minutes.
Frequent stirring in the pan is particularly important.
Tip for even more successful fried zoodles: When frying, the vegetables lose a lot of water. Before adding the sauce, it is best to pour the resulting liquid out of the pan. So you avoid your sauce getting watery.
How to cook Zoodles: Cooking in water
When cooking in the water, your zucchini noodles are prepared the same way as traditional pasta from durum wheat. However, the cooking time in the water is much shorter, it is just one minute! The process remains the same:
- Boil water
- Put zoodles in the boiling water for a minute
- Drain noodles in a pasta sieve
- To dry, pat off the finished noodles with a paper towel or cloth.
How to cook Zoodles: Baking
- When preparing in the oven, you first line a baking tray with kitchen paper.
- Then you spread out the zoodles and sprinkle them lightly with salt.
- The salt removes the liquid from the zucchini while the kitchen paper absorbs it.
- Now bake the zucchini noodles in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 80°C (the temperature is too low for the kitchen paper to start to burn).
- Then you can serve them.
With 10-15 minutes, the preparation in the oven is the most time-consuming of all the preparations presented. Unfortunately, the oven makes the zoodles somewhat tough. Overall, baking is a time-consuming method that is not recommended.
What sauces go well with Zoodles?
Every sauce fits the vegetable noodles, but especially spicy bolognese or tomato sauces make you almost forget that it is not real pasta. But pesto or cream sauces also harmonize with the zucchini noodles.
How to cook zoodles: storage of leftover zoodles
It can happen that not everything is eaten during cooking. Often it is also wanted, after all, you don’t want to cook every day. Maybe you want to prepare zucchini noodles for work? Or you have a few more zoodles left from your last meal and don’t know what to do with it? Is it possible to store zoodles at all? We tried it: And it works! After we have tried it many times, we can tell you exactly… The best way to make go-to zucchini noodles is to:
- To be cut in advance and keep uncooked in the refrigerator.
- As soon as you want to cook them, first pat them dry with a cloth.
Sure, fresh taste zoodles best. However, it can always happen that you have a lot of other things to do and therefore want to prepare them ahead of time. In this case, you should mix your zucchini noodles with the sauce only as soon as you want to eat them. By the way: This also applies if you cook them again right before eating. The zucchini will still release some water. This water should not come into contact with your sauce, otherwise it may become too watery.
Can I freeze Zoodles?
Absolutely not! We tried it: and it doesn’t work at all. If someone finds a method as possible, please send us an e-mail. We would be happy to present a working method in this article. Unfortunately, our attempts have only ever led to a strange mass with peculiar consistency. Yuck!