Lemon Garlic Zoodles are a healthy and easy side dish recipe made with fresh zucchini noodles, lemon, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. It takes less than 10 minutes to cook, making an excellent side for weeknight dinners or, you can add a favorite protein to make it a complete meal.
Zucchini noodles are a great low-carb side dish and easy to make, too. For this recipe, I combine spiralized zucchini noodles with lemon for a light and flavorful dish.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that zoodles taste like pasta, but you can pair them with many pasta sauces, and they do resemble actual noodles. The texture and flavor are pretty different, so keep that in mind.
But, if you're trying to eat lighter dishes, zoodles are a great choice. They pair with so many different flavors that you can create all kinds of zoodles recipes and never have them the same way twice.
Making zucchini noodles is fun and, because zucchini cooks fast, you can have this lemon zoodles recipe ready to serve in about 20 minutes.
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh lemon juice
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley and lemon zest for garnish
How to Make Zoodles
The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is to use a spiralizer. It's a kitchen tool that cuts the zucchini into a thin corkscrew shape resembling noodles. There are many brands of spiralizers you can buy. Some are simple handheld tools, and others are bigger ones that sit on the counter.
If you don't have a spiralizer (or don't want to buy one), you can use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini strips. Of course, the shape and texture won't be the same, but it works.
How to Cook Zucchini Noodles
Once you've made your zoodles, they're very easy to cook.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and, while stirring, cook it for about one minute, or until it's fragrant.
Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and saute them with the garlic for about four to five minutes.
You only need to cook them long enough to soften them, but they should still have a little bite. If you cook zoodles too long, they will be mushy.
If you use a vegetable peeler to make zoodles, the cooking time will be a little less.
If you notice excess water in the pan (released from the zucchini), drain it before adding the lemon juice, red pepper, cheese, salt, and pepper. Toss it all together to combine, and then transfer the lemon garlic zoodles to a serving plate.
Sprinkle the fresh parsley and lemon zest over the top for serving.
Because it doesn't take long to cook, it's a good idea to have all of your ingredients prepped before you start cooking.
If you love lemon flavor, feel free to add more lemon juice. The same goes for the garlic. Sometimes I add an extra garlic clove for more flavor.
This dish is best when it's served right away, so don't let it sit too long. Otherwise, the zucchini will get a little soggy.
You can add other vegetables to this dish like cherry tomatoes, chopped broccoli, or sliced green onions. For the tomatoes and broccoli, be sure to cook them first and then take them out of the pan while you cook the zoodles. Combine them at the end before serving.
You can switch the fresh parsley for another fresh herb like cilantro or chives.
A few pinches of dried herbs work well, too. Add them to the lemon mixture before adding it to the pan.
Sometimes I make a small batch of pasta and combine it with the zucchini noodles to make zucchini spaghetti. It's a lot fewer carbs than a whole serving of spaghetti, but you still get that pasta texture and flavor.
You can make lemon garlic chicken zoodles by adding some shredded chicken when you add the lemon juice. Or, try cooked shrimp.
Do you have to drain cooked noodles?
You don't have to drain them in a colander, but sometimes they release water while they cook. So, if I notice water in the pan, I just drain it off before adding the other ingredients.
How long do zucchini noodles last?
You can make them ahead, but I recommend undercooking them by a minute or so. That way, when you reheat them, they don't end up overcooked. Cooked zucchini noodles will last for two to three days in the refrigerator.
Can you spiralize zucchini ahead of time?
I don't recommend doing that. The zucchini will dry out and could brown while it sits in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze them?
Technically, you can, but they tend to get mushy and break down when you thaw them. I hope you give this easy lemon garlic zoodles recipe a try. It's great with steak, chicken, or pork and the flavors are light and delicious. Enjoy!
Other Low Carb Recipes You'll Enjoy
Lemon Garlic Zoodles Recipe
- 2 Medium Zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- Juice from ½ lemon
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley for garnish
- Lemon zest for garnish
- Use a spiralizer to cut zucchini into a noodle texture
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute and the smell of the garlic is released.
- Add zucchini noodles and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until zucchini noodles have softened just a bit. Don’t over cook them or they can become soggy.
- Add lemon juice, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Combine and then remove from heat. Garnish with lemon zest and parsley and serve!!
- These zoodles make a great side dish for almost any meat or fish.
- If you like a strong lemon flavor add a bit more lemon juice. Likewise if you like a strong garlic flavor add another clove.
These Lemon Garlic Zoodles take takes less than 10 minutes to cook and are a healthy alternative to regular pasta, making an excellent side for weeknight dinners.
Mel is an IT guy turned blogger and is discovering his love of cooking and photography. If you ever have Fantasy Football questions, he's your guy.