Light and flavorful Zucchini Noodles with Meat Sauce is an easy recipe made with spiralized zucchini. Ground turkey simmered with pasta sauce and served over zucchini is an easy low-carb dinner.
Zoodles recipes are one of my favorite ways to enjoy some of my favorite pasta recipes without all the carbs. Substituting zucchini noodles for spaghetti and tossing them with meat sauce is a healthy twist on this classic dinner that won't leave you feeling overly full or weighed down.
What Are Zoodles?
Zoodles are fresh zucchini that have been prepared, so they look like noodles or pasta. You can sauté the zoodles and then toss them with a sauce like you would noodles. Or, you can enjoy them as a side dish or in salads.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is with a spiralizer. There are lots of different kinds that you can use, but all of them do basically the same thing: they cut the zucchini, so it looks like curly noodles.
Technically, you can use a vegetable peeling to make zucchini noodles, too, but they are usually too thin and tend to fall apart when you cook them. I make zoodles enough that it was worth buying a tool. Plus, you can also "zoodle" other vegetables like potatoes, different kinds of squash, carrots, and even some fruit like apples.
There are many ways to use zucchini noodles, and one of my favorites is serving them with meat sauce. This is just like a simple spaghetti Bolognese but low carb since you leave out the pasta and use zucchini instead.
Ingredients for Zucchini Noodles with Meat Sauce
- Olive oil
- Lean ground turkey
- Diced yellow onion
- Crushed garlic cloves
- Red pepper flakes
- Italian seasoning
- Pasta sauce – your favorite jarred brand or homemade pasta sauce
- Spiralized zucchini
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil
How to make the meat sauce: Brown the turkey in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and cook until the onions are soft. Add the pasta sauce and simmer until hot.
How to cook zucchini noodles: In a separate skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the spiralized zucchini and sauté them until they are tender. This usually only takes about two minutes.
Place the cooked zucchini on plates and top it with the meat sauce. Garnish each serving with grated cheese and fresh basil.
Do zoodles taste like pasta? No, they don't taste like pasta, but they are a fun way and healthy way to substitute pasta. They remind me of pasta because of the shape and take on the sauce's flavor as pasta does.
Can you eat them raw? You can eat them raw, but when I serve them with sauces, I prefer them cooked.
Can you boil them? Yes, but if you do, they only need to cook for about a minute. I prefer to sauté them because the olive oil flavors them, and they also don't break and fall apart.
Why are my zucchini noodles soggy? To avoid soggy zoodles, don't overcook them. You only need to sauté them for a couple of minutes. If you've been looking for a new zucchini noodles recipe to try, I think you will like these zoodles with meat sauce. It's a light, healthy, and delicious dinner. Enjoy!
More Healthy Alternatives You'll Enjoy
Zucchini Noodles with Meat Sauce Recipe (Zoodles)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 2 pounds ground turkey at least 93% lean
- 2 tablespoons diced yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 cups prepared pasta sauce jarred or your favorite kind
- 1 ¼ pounds zucchini spiralized into zoodles
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese for garnish
- Fresh Basil for garnish
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and cook until cooked through and no longer pink.
- Once the turkey is cooked, add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and cook until onions are soft, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and cook until hot and bubbly, about 4-5 minutes.
- Place a separate skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add zoodles and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.
- Portion zoodles onto plates and top with meat sauce. Sprinkle each with ½ tablespoon parmesan and garnish with basil.
For Optavia users: use Rao’s or Trader Joe’s approved pasta sauce. Per serving: 1 leanest, 2-2.5 greens, 3 condiments, 1 healthy fat.
These Zucchini Noodles with Meat Sauce are a healthy twist on this classic dinner that won’t leave you feeling weighed down at all.
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.