Calling all fans of pesto, this summery recipe for Zoodles with Basil Almond Pesto might just be your new favorite healthy “pasta” recipe. And it can be served as a main dish or side.
What are “zoodles” you ask? Zucchini that are cut into noodle shape. But, if squash is an allergen in your family, you can substitute your favorite pasta or other veggie noodle.
You can buy vegetable noodles premade in the produce aisle. However, if you have a few extra minutes, they are much fresher and tastier if you make your own. To make zoodles, start with fresh zucchini that you shred on a mandolin such as this OXO. Or you can use a spiralizer for pasta shapes.
While great raw, you can also sauté zoodles or mix with cooked pasta to sneak in an extra serving of veg — er, fruit…Yes, did you know that zucchini is actually a fruit and not a vegetable!? It’s also high in vitamin A and antioxidants.
For this pesto I went with mostly basil, but then added in a handful of other fresh herbs ~ parsley and mint. But you can keep it 100% basil if preferred or add a handful of raw baby spinach.
And rather than going with traditional pine nuts, I used almonds. You can use whatever nut or seed is best tolerated in your family ~ almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, or sunflower seeds would also work very well in this recipe.
Important note: If using almonds, use sliced or slivered almonds, because using whole almonds would make the pesto too chunky.
I like to keep this dish rather simple, but if you want to add some extra flair feel free to add other ingredients.
You can also add:
· Olives or capers
· Grilled eggplant
· Charred grape tomatoes
· Your favorite grilled protein
Zoodles with Basil Almond Pesto
Raw zucchini “noodles” with basil pesto
Course: Dinner, lunch, antipasti, side dish
Servings: 2 as a main, 4 as a side
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
4 medium size zucchini
2 cloves garlic sliced § 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds (or nut or seed of choice)
½ cup packed fresh basil
½ cup raw baby spinach or mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley or mint or you can omit and just use all basil
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Using a mandolin spiralizer, make zucchini into “noodles” (about as thin as spaghetti), place in a large mixing bowl
2. Make pesto by combining garlic through olive oil in a food processor or blender, whiz a few times until smooth, then season to taste with salt
3. Add desired amount of pesto to zoodles, then top cheese of choice (dairy-free or dairy if tolerated)
Recipe serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side.
Original recipe created by Jerran Boyer www.healthnutchefs.com
This post is written and contributed by Jerran Boyer. Jerran began her career as a private chef in 2003 after completing a culinary arts and pastry degree program. Since then, working with a wide range of clientele in New York, California, Palm Beach and Jupiter Island. Over the years, working with individuals with dietary restrictions and/or health issues has helped Jerran cultivate a deeper understanding of and appreciation for how the foods we choose directly impact our health and wellness. Jerran is also an FPIES Foundation volunteer.