Zucchini Noodles – Easy, Tasty, and Gluten-Free!

Be Healthy, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian May 2, 2012
Zucchini Noodles

When you first go gluten-free, you are tempted to try out all of the gluten-free substitutes for the foods you know and love.  Bread, pasta, cookies, cereal.

Just give me the gluten-free version!

But then you realize that #1. It just doesn’t taste as good or #2. Even if it tastes good, it costs 2-3 times as much as the regular version.  While I have found a few items that are worth paying extra for (such as Mary’s Gone Crackers products and Canyon Bakehouse breads), I am learning to live without some of these things altogether.

I had been wanting to try making zucchini noodles ever since finding out that the gluten-free pasta I prefer costs basically $6 per pound.  Ouch.  The zucchini “noodles” were simple to make, and will be perfect for a quick summer meal.  Zucchini is in season all summer long making it super affordable.  I used my new julienne peeler to cut the noodles, but that proved to be a bit messy.  I’ll probably use the mandoline next time.

Zucchini Noodles - Easy, Tasty, and Gluten-Free! via InspiredRD.com

You can top these noodles with anything.  I think they would be perfect with just a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  I was in the mood for red sauce, so I treated my zucchini noodles like spaghetti.

Zucchini Noodles - Easy, Tasty, and Gluten-Free! via InspiredRD.com

Zucchini Noodles - Easy, Tasty, and Gluten-Free! via InspiredRD.com

Once summer hits, I will be showing you how to make your own tomato sauce (it’s so easy!), but this time I took the easy way out and used some jarred sauce we had in the fridge.  If you have celiac disease, make sure to choose a gluten-free sauce.  For the rest of you, look for the simplest sauce you can find with no added sugars and not too much sodium (many have 600mg or more per serving!).

Zucchini Noodles - Easy, Tasty, and Gluten-Free! via InspiredRD.com

If you’re making this for more than one person, just average about one zucchini per person.

Zucchini Noodles - Easy, Tasty, and Gluten-Free! via InspiredRD.com

Zucchini Noodles - Easy, Tasty, and Gluten-Free! via InspiredRD.com

You can tell I didn’t enjoy it at all…

This would be a perfect meal to fix for a friend who has celiac disease.  Make sure to use clean surfaces to avoid cross contamination, and line your colander with a paper towel.

Zucchini Noodles
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
A simple and affordable alternative to gluten-free noodles.
  • 2 zucchini, rinsed and trimmed of both ends
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  1. Using a julienne peeler, mandoline, or sharp knife, cut the zucchini into long skinny slices. Cut down the sides of the zucchini until you reach the seeds. Discard the center.
  2. Place zucchini slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let sit about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse well and pat dry, making sure to squeeze out all of the excess water.
  4. Serve with tomato sauce or desired topping.


What gluten-free products have become your favorites, and what have you learned to live without?

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  • Reply Melanie @ Nutritious Eats May 2, 2012 at 6:42 am

    We ordered a dish like this at an Italian restaurant and I’ve been wanting to re-create it! Too funny! I was waiting on my mandolin. Your photos are gorgeous. This is such a great vegan, lo-carb meal!

    • Reply inspiredrd May 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Oh good! It’s a really easy dish. Be careful with the mandolin, I have cut the end of my thumb off with mine before!

  • Reply EA-The Spicy RD May 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

    These look so pretty Alysa! I do enjoy Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta {and my family likes it too, and the cost is a little more reasonable}, but this is a great alternative, and I love how easy it is. Now I just need to buy a mandolin!

    • Reply inspiredrd May 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      I prefer the quinoa pasta, but the packages are 1/2 the size of normal pasta packages and twice the price…so I don’t buy it too often!

  • Reply Julie M May 2, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I also love carrot ribbons sauted as “noodles” topped with sauce or just a little parmesean cheese.

    • Reply inspiredrd May 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Sounds delicious!

  • Reply Carissa @Fit2Flex May 2, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I’ve never tried zucchini noodles, but I do spaghetti squash frequently. I wish more restaurants served them.

  • Reply Eileen May 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

    mmmm looks awesome!

    Probably an obvious answer, but why the suggestion to line one’s colander with a paper towel?


    • Reply inspiredrd May 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      No not obvious at all. Most people strain pasta or other gluten-containing things with their colander, and the gluten tends to stick in the tiny holes, even with a good washing. Lining with a paper towel will protect against cross-contamination.

  • Reply Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry May 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I need that tool!!

    • Reply inspiredrd May 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      It’s great, but a little messy. I was flinging zucchini everywhere!

  • Reply suzie May 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I a have a kind of silly question… but do you boil these in water, or just eat them cold?

    • Reply inspiredrd May 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Nope! Just eat them at room temperature.

  • Reply Jill May 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Genius – I have heard that you can do this with asparagus too.

  • Reply Jackie May 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I still LOVE spaghetti squash! :) But I am sooo super eager to try THIS one! :) Thanks!

  • Reply Amy June 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Yay for yummy gluten free recipes! Espcially one’s that aren’t complicated! I’m going to try this very soon. I looove pasta. I’ve tried sauce on rice noodles (ick!), quinoa noodles (good but $$), on fancy-cut green beans (pretty good), I couldn’t make myself try the squash though (too weird). P.S. Pampered Chef sells a Julienne peeler for those looking for one

  • Reply April Decheine August 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I have seen so many recipes that I never thought of! I have zucchini coming out of my ears, great idea!

    • Reply inspiredrd August 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      It’s that time of year!

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