Creamy Ricotta Zucchini Noodles

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Creamy Ricotta Zucchini Noodles make the perfect low carb side dish with fresh zucchini noodles, creamy ricotta, garlic, and lemon.

259 CAL 15g CARBS 15g FAT 18g PROTEIN
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If you are looking for a new way to serve zoodles, these zucchini noodles in a creamy ricotta sauce with fresh lemon and garlic are the perfect dish. Serve them with some yummy Italian Pesto Chicken or Pan Seared Salmon for a delicious, low-carb meal.

A few weeks back I shared this creamy ricotta spaghetti squash recipe that we have been eating constantly. It makes such a delicious low-carb side dish since it tastes indulgent, but is surprisingly low in calories. Inspired by that yummy spaghetti squash, I decided to try out another version using zucchini noodles and it came out just as delicious. You can play with the spices to match the main dish and I love adding some red pepper flakes to the oil to make things just a tad spicy.

These noodles also make a really great start to making a low-carb pasta dish. All you need to do is add your favorite protein on top and add some extra veggies if you like.

For example, these ricotta zoodles would be delicious with some quick garlic shrimp and sauteed mushrooms. For an easier option, add some rotisserie chicken and sundried tomatoes. 

Looking for more easy low carb zucchini recipes? Try this delicious Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna or Garlic Parmesan Sausage Zucchini Noodles.

Ingredients for ricotta zucchini noodles including fresh zoodles, basil, garlic powder, ricotta cheese, and lemon zest.

Main Ingredients and Easy Swaps

  • Zucchini noodles: This recipe works with almost any kind of vegetable pasta including zucchini, summer squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, or sweet potato. It will also work with low carb heart of palm noodles. Just adjust the cooking time based on the vegetable you use.
  • Ricotta cheese: This adds the creamy and cheesy element to this dish. If you aren't a fan of ricotta cheese, you could swap in cream cheese or cottage cheese. 
  • Lemon zest: To add some brightness to the dish, lemon zest is the perfect addition. It can be skipped, but it won't have the same bright flavor. Lemon pepper seasoning would be a good substitute.
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder, minced garlic, or fresh garlic will all work in this recipe. Make sure to saute the garlic in the oil if using fresh garlic cloves.
  • Fresh basil: To finish the dish, add some freshly chopped basil or parsley to the dish. 

How to make zucchini noodles?

Zucchini noodles are the main ingredient in this dish. You can make your own noodles at home using one of the methods below or you can buy premade noodles in the produce or frozen food section of the grocery store.

  • Spiralizer: If you have a spiralizer, simply cut the end off of the zucchini and place it in the spiralizer. Then crank or turn the spiralizer to create the noodles. 
  • Vegetable peeler: Use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini into long strands. Then use a sharp knife to slice the larger strands into thinner, spaghetti-like strands.

Zucchini noodles being made with a spiralizer.

Recipe Ideas and Tips

Here are some tips to make sure these ricotta zucchini noodles come out perfectly every time.

  • Make sure not to overcook the zucchini noodles or they will become soggy and the extra liquid will cause the sauce to be watery. If you find the zucchini if releasing too much water, drain it off before adding the ricotta cheese.
  • Make this dish spicy by adding some red pepper flakes to the olive oil.
  • For even more garlic flavor, swap in minced fresh garlic cloves and saute them in olive oil when starting the dish.
  • For an added burst of flavor, add some sundried tomatoes to the dish. Roasted red peppers also taste delicious in this dish.
  • Add protein to this dish by adding some cooked shrimp, salmon, chicken, or tofu cubes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions about preparing this recipe.

Absolutely! Any vegetable noodles will work with the creamy ricotta sauce. Favorites include spaghetti squash, sweet potato, heart of palm, and butternut squash noodles.

This recipe will also work with cream cheese or cottage cheese, although the flavor will change slightly. If you like a smoother sauce, use cream cheese and then add fresh Parmesan cheese.

These creamy ricotta zucchini noodles are best eaten immediately after being prepared since the zucchini will become soggy as it sits in the sauce. If you plan on making this in advance, prepare the sauce and noodles separately.

Creamy zucchini noodles with ricotta cheese and lemon in a white bowl with fresh basil.
The Recipe
Creamy ricotta zucchini noodles with creamy cheese sauce, lemon, and basil leaves.

Creamy Ricotta Zucchini Noodles

259 CAL 15g CARBS 15g FAT 18g PROTEIN
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  • 4 cups zucchini, cut in noodles
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil (or parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

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Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, make the zucchini noodles. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the zucchini and cook until just tender.

Zucchini noodles being cooked in olive oil in a skillet.

While hot, stir in the ricotta, garlic powder, lemon zest, basil, salt, and black pepper.

Ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and basil being added to zucchini noodles in a skillet.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.25 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 259
Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
Saturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 38mg
Sodium 765mg
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 7g
Protein 18g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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