Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Pine Nuts

With its tender flesh and delicate flavor, zucchini is nothing if not versatile — you can grill it, sauté it, fry it, and even bake into breads. However, its mild flavor can be a bit bland, so when my garden bursts with zucchini every summer, I’m always looking for new ways to spice it up.

Here, peeling the zucchini into wide ribbons and discarding the seeds makes it less watery and creates more surface area for the sauce to coat, almost like pappardelle pasta. And pesto loaded with garlic and basil adds vibrant flavor.

What You’ll Need To Make Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

ingredients to make zucchini noodles

How To Make Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Using a vegetable peeler, press firmly and peel zucchini into long, wide ribbons. Work your way around the zucchini and stop when you get to the seeds.
peeling the zucchini into wide ribbons

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini “noodles” to the pan. It will seem like a lot. Don’t worry; they’ll cook down.

zucchini noodles in the pan

Cook the zucchini noodles, stirring gently with tongs, for about 2 minutes, until just softened. Do not overcook.

cooked zucchini noodlesAdd the pesto, Parmesan cheese, toasted nuts, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

adding the pesto, pine nuts, cheese, and seasoning to the zucchiniToss well, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary (be sure to add enough salt to bring out all the flavors).

finished zucchini noodlesTransfer the zucchini noodles to a serving bowl and top with more cheese, if desired. Serve warm or room temperature.

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  • Creamed Zucchini with Garlic & Basil
  • Zucchini & Cheddar Frittata
  • Ratatouille

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