Sun-Dried Tomato + Pesto ‘Pasta’ [zucchini noodles]

sun dried tomato pesto zucchini pasta

Looking for something light + tasty after the holidays? This recipe is just that. It’s loaded with veggies and tastes delicious! You almost can’t tell the noodles are made from zucchini!

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is the mandoline. The mandoline has many uses that a lot of people forget about, one being that it makes perfect ‘zoodles’ or zucchini noodles! Zucchini noodles are super versatile. Pretty much any sauce or topping pairs well with zoodles. Just think of them as regular noodles and eat up!

This particular meal is something that I do most of the prep work for on the weekends. I prepare my zucchini noodles and pesto ahead of time and store in them the fridge. That way, when it’s time to cook, dinner can be on the table in 15 minutes!

Check out the recipe + directions below.

Sun-Dried Tomato + Pesto ‘Pasta’ [zucchini noodles]

Servings: about 4

Ingredients

  • 5-6 medium zucchini, washed + cut ends off and cut in half
  • 1 8-oz jar sun-dried tomatoes, drain oil + slice thinly [I like the Mezzetta® brand; I use about ¾ of the jar of tomatoes, but feel free to use less]
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ – 1 cup homemade basil pesto [recipe below]
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes [optional]
  • Sea salt to taste

zucchini

Directions

To prepare the zucchini noodles, first cut the ends off of each zucchini and then cut them in half. Depending on the mandoline you have, the process of making zucchini “noodles” may be slightly different [you can also use a spiral slicer for this if you have one; I prefer the texture of my noodles using a mandoline]. With the correct blade attachment in place, using the hand guard, swipe the zucchini back and forth across the blades until there is only a little bit of the zucchini skin leftover. Discard this piece and repeat.

zucchini and mandoline

Repeat the process for all zucchini. This should make about 6 cups of zucchini noodles. At this point, I like to lay out my zucchini noodles on my cutting board, sprinkle with salt and top with a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture. Let the zoodles sit for a few minutes then use or store for later. This process can be done a few days ahead of time and the zoodles can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge.

zucchini noodles

To prepare the dish, heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add zucchini noodles, sea salt and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Lower heat to medium. Next, add sun dried tomatoes and pesto. Start with ½ cup pesto and add more if needed or desired. Combine all ingredients well and cook for 5-10 minutes until the moisture from the zucchini noodles has lessened slightly. Your noodles should be “al-dente” meaning that that have a slight crunch to them and are not mushy. Serve warm.

For added protein and a heartier meal, you can add diced chicken to this dish. I like to add 3-4 diced, organic chicken thighs.

sun dried tomato pesto zucchini pasta

[Pesto Ingredients + Directions]

Makes about 1 cup. This recipe can be made vegan and paleo by using nutritional yeast to replace Parmesan cheese.

  • 1 tightly packed cup fresh basil leaves, large stems removed
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • Juice from ½ small lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled + chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast [I use the Bragg’s® brand] OR ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

basil and pine nuts

In the bowl of a food processor, add basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon, lemon zest, salt + pepper. Process until finely chopped. Scrape down sides of bowl if needed. Then, while food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until thoroughly combined. Last, add nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese and run food processor until all ingredients are well combined. Scoop into a storage container or mason jar and store in fridge until needed. Will store well for up to one week.

basil pesto3

This pesto can be used in lot of different ways; put it on your favorite gluten free pasta, top spaghetti squash with it, or dip your veggies in it. The possibilities really are endless.

Sun-Dried Tomato + Pesto 'Pasta' [zucchini noodles]
 
Author:
Recipe type: veggies
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5-6 medium zucchini, washed + cut ends off and cut in half
  • 1 8-oz jar sun-dried tomatoes, drain oil + slice thinly [I like the Mezzetta® brand; I use about ¾ of the jar of tomatoes, but feel free to use less]
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ – 1 cup homemade basil pesto [recipe below]
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes [optional]
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add zucchini noodles, sea salt and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Lower heat to medium. Next, add sun dried tomatoes and pesto. Start with ½ cup pesto and add more if needed or desired. Combine all ingredients well and cook for 5-10 minutes until the moisture from the zucchini noodles has lessened slightly. Your noodles should be “al-dente” meaning that that have a slight crunch to them and are not mushy. Serve warm.

 

Related posts from Nutritiously Rooted:

Angela Freed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: