Parmesan Zucchini Noodles

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These Parmesan Zucchini Noodles are the perfect low-carb side dish. Ready in just 15 minutes, these garlicky and cheesy noodles are a great keto alternative to pasta.

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If you haven't tried zucchini noodles yet, they are delicious, especially when paired with garlic, Parmesan cheese, and a touch of red pepper flakes. These are one of my absolute favorite side dishes and will quickly make you forget about the pasta you were craving and are a great low-carb alternative to spaghetti squash.

A girl can only eat so much spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles a really delicious alternative. Plus they make a great canvas for so many different dishes and work with almost any protein including this Balsamic Chicken and Pesto Shrimp.

In terms of preparing the zucchini noodles, you will need a spiralizer, mandolin, vegetable peeler, or a sharp knife and some patience. I prefer using the KitchenAid spiralizer or this one from Paderno. They both work great on all kinds of veggies and are a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to eat more veggies. I use mine all the time for veggie noodles, salads, and even desserts with spiralized fruit.

How to Make Zucchini Noodles

There are many different ways to make zucchini noodles and you can even buy premade noodles in the freezer and produce section. Here's how to make them at home

  • Spiralizer: Cut off the ends of the zucchini and place them in the spiralizer. Turn the crank (or the zucchini for handheld models) and watch the zucchini turn into thin noodles. 
  • Mandolin:  Use a mandolin to cut the zucchini into thin planks. Then run your knife through the planks to create long, thin noodles.
  • Julienne peeler: This type of peeler has small blades that turn vegetables into thin strips. Simply run the julienne peeler over the zucchini to create the noodles.
  • Knife: Carefully cut the zucchini into thin planks. Then cut those planks into thin noodles. Try to keep the noodles the same size so they cook evenly. This is the hardest part about using a knife to make zoodles.

Recipe Ideas

Here are some delicious ways to customize this recipe.

  • Add more vegetables: Consider adding some extra vegetables to this dish.  It is great with halved cherry tomatoes for color or throw in some fresh spinach to add extra nutrients and greens.
  • Add extra flavor: Boost the flavor of these noodles by adding extra garlic, butter, olive oil, or fresh herbs. Basil or oregano is a great way to finish these noodles. Or add some fresh lemon juice and lemon zest before serving.
  • Add protein: Turn this into a main dish by adding sausage, meatballs, salmon, or shrimp. We love making these Garlic Parmesan Sausage Zoodles for a full meal.
  • Add fiber: If you aren't eating low carb, this dish is great mixed with some regular pasta to make a heartier, veggie-packed side dish. 

Storing Leftover Zoodles

Zucchini noodles will last 2-3 days in the fridge, but they may get soggier as they sit. Sometimes it can help to store them with a paper towel to keep them fresher. 

It is best not to freeze fully cooked zucchini noodles since they tend to disintegrate when reheated. To freezer raw zucchini noodles, quickly blanch the noodles for 1 minute in boiling water. Let cool on kitchen towels, blotting out any excess liquid. Then freezer in airtight containers. 

Let defrost naturally overnight in the fridge and then cook in a hot skillet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions about making these tasty zucchini noodles.

This recipe works great with pre-made zucchini noodles. For frozen noodles, make sure to drain out any excess water from the package after cooking the noodles. I also recommend cooking them for less time than the package recommend since they tend to get very soft and watery. For packages of zucchini noodles in the produce section, follow the recipe as written.


This recipe is also delicious when made with spaghetti squash and other vegetable noodles. Simply make the garlic and olive mixture, adding extra if needed. Prepare the noodles, toss with the garlic-infused olive oil, and add the Parmesan cheese on top.

Many times zucchini noodles get watery when they are cooked too long and the zucchini releases too much water. If this happens, drain off the excess water or dry the noodles with a paper towel to remove some noodles.

Another trick is to salt the zucchini noodles. Place the spiralized noodles in a colander. Sprinkle them with kosher salt and toss. Let sit in the colander for 15-30 minutes. Then rinse the noodles and dry well. This removes some of the moisture from the zucchini and will result in a better texture. 

Another great technique for removing moisture from zoodles is baking them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spread the zoodles out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until tender. Pat with a towel to soak up any moisture. Then toss with the garlic-infused olive oil and top with Parmesan cheese. 

The Recipe
Parmesan zucchini noodles with shredded Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in a wooden bowl.

Parmesan Zucchini Noodles

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  • 3 zucchini
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)

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Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, make the zucchini noodles.


Heat the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Once fragrant, add the zucchini and cook until just tender.


Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on Parmesan.


This equipment section may contain affiliate links to products we recommend.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 91
Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 133mg
Total Carbohydrate 8g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 6g
Protein 6g

* 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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