Ever since zoodles hit the scene, we’ve been obsessed. Not only do they let us eat all our favorite pasta dishes in a healthier way, zucchini noodles add an extra dose of veggies in our life and we’re always down for that. At this point, though, we’ve done all the basic stuff. It’s time to step up our zoodle game, and these recipes are helping us do just that. Whether you’re spiralizing, julienning, or just slicing your zucchini reeaaally carefully, here are nine of our favorite ways to serve zoodles.
Talk about a tasty way to get those greens. Made with homemade pesto, antioxidant-rich cherries, lemon zest, and raw zoodles, this simple dish brings summer flavors to your mouth any time of year. Tip: Use dried cherries in place of fresh if the fruit isn’t in season.
Instead of turning to takeout, try this simple recipe. With the best of Thai flavors (peanut butter, cashews, chili, and cashews) and a refreshing touch of basil, mint, and cilantro, you might just break up with delivery for good. Though the dish is awesome as is, it also tastes great with an added protein like chicken or tofu.
The recipe creator isn’t kidding when she says the flavor will “make your heart swoon.” Though it’s full of all the amazing ingredients that make carbonara decadent (and delicious), this zoodle version is a perfect way to lighten up the rich classic. To make it even healthier, try turkey bacon or chicken sausage in place of the pancetta.
Though this recipe is relatively low carb, it’s as filling and satisfying as a dish with actual pasta. Made with fresh figs, arugula, basil, pancetta, and pecorino Romano cheese, it’ll be hard not to demolish the entire bowl. (But hey—it’s totally fine if you do.)
This recipe will be one of the easiest meal you’ll ever make, even if you’re making pesto from scratch. If you opt for a store-bought variety instead, the prep time will be cut down to less than five minutes. Top with cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper.
Any time we feel slightly sick or sneezy, few things sound better than a hot bowl of noodle soup. Now instead of turning to a can or takeout, we whip up our own batch. It’s easy, inexpensive, and perfect for leftovers, so this zoodle-y twist on a classic egg drop soup is one of our all-time faves.
Light, healthy, and a good source of lean protein, this zoodle dish is an easy lunch or dinner option. Though avocado and corn are best during summer months, it’s easy to swap them out for whatever is in season (or whatever is left over in your fridge).
There’s kung pao chicken, and there’s kung pao chicken zoodles. This recipe is made with the same amazing flavors of the Chinese favorite (like peanuts, scallions, and ginger), and it adds a veggie base and sticks to the homemade sauce to keep things healthier. It’s a good reminder that cooking is way more fun than dialing for takeout.
Marinara sauce is delicious, but it can also get boring. Homemade lentil marinara is a delicious alternate that packs in extra protein and fiber. Spaghetti will never be the same (in a good way).
Originally published November 2014. Updated March 2017.
When matcha started popping up on everyone’s Insta feed a few years back, some were skeptical it would stick around. But the fragrant green powder, which is made from ground green tea leaves, isn’t going anywhere. You can still find it on the menus of trendy coffee shops and chains, and it’s certainly available for purchase online. But don’t think it stops with matcha lattes. The fresh, earthy powder can be added to breakfast bowls, smoothies, iced drinks, or even savory meals like spaghetti, and adds an instant caffeine boost to your meal (answering our midday prayers <3). Time to jump on the matcha bandwagon, friends.
Is this chia pudding too pretty to eat?! Maybe, but that won’t stop us. Make it before going to bed and wake up feeling like a superstar already. Best of all, it only requires six ingredients and takes around 15 minutes to make. Blend Greek yogurt with coconut milk, raspberries, and maple syrup, then stir in chia seeds. Repeat, swapping matcha powder for raspberries, and layer the two.
Stash these homemade energy bars in your purse or car for a last-minute energy boost when you need it most. Made with nuts, dates, pure vanilla extract, matcha powder, and coconut flakes, these bars are naturally sweet and way better for you than the store-bought kind—plus totally unique thanks to the matcha.
Mint, pistachio, and matcha powder are probably not what comes to mind when you think “green juice,” but we are all about this all-green flavor combo. Coconut milk and ice help thicken it up and make it taste like a milkshake
. What’s better?
Give your usual pasta recipe a break—savory matcha sounds weird, but spaghetti, hot chili flakes, garlic, and fresh Parmesan balance each other out in the best way possible. Serious bonus points if you really make your own noodles like this blogger does.
Think outside the box the next time you plan brunch and try these green tea-flavored waffles instead of the plain kind. Don’t worry—they are still plenty sweet thanks to banana, honey, and vanilla extract, and the recipe even comes with a matcha green tea syrup. We’re so into them.
If you’ve had matcha already, there’s a good chance it was in the form of a latte. This DIY version is so simple, you’ll forget about buying it out again… just mix almond milk, honey or pure maple syrup, matcha, and a splash of pure vanilla extract, and you’re good to go.
This matcha banana bread is just what we need to enjoy a sweet treat first thing in the a.m. and get a caffeine buzz going. Mix almond flour and a gluten-free flour blend, ripe bananas, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, sugar, and matcha powder, and bake for 25-30 minutes in a loaf pan. The color is a little funky, but the sweet, fresh taste more than makes up for it.
Is is summer yet? This smoothie bowl has us dreaming of palm trees. Light coconut milk, spinach or kale, matcha powder, pineapple, and banana are an A+ combination, and only get better when topped with chia seeds, coconut flakes, slivered almonds, or fresh berries.
If you’re trying to swap out soda or juice for something lighter, or just tired of plain ol’ H20 all the time, this citrusy summer drink is screaming your name. Use a cocktail shaker to mix ice, water, and matcha, then pour it over ice with muddled mint leaves and lemon and lime slices. If you want it to be sweeter, add in a little pure maple syrup and stir well.
By now we know that most of the world consumes way too much sugar. But it’s not like our sweet tooth cares—when a dessert craving hits, it hits bad. Many turn to alternative ways to satisfy it, using less-refined sugars like agave, honey, and coconut sugar, but we’re going a step further this time, with treats that use no added sweeteners whatsoever. From tarts to mousse, these sugar-free recipes still manage to make dessert even sweeter.
This fruity treat doesn’t just come without added sugar, it also uses a simple food processor instead of a fancy ice cream maker. If that wasn’t enough, there are only two ingredients in here (neither of which involves dairy), and it takes a mere five minutes to whip up. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Want to impress guests without stressing yourself out? This apple tart should do the trick; it looks fancy, but a premade pastry crust, a simple layering pattern, and unsweetened applesauce make it super simple to put together.
Chocolate cake without sugar? When puréed dates and unsweetened baking chocolate are involved, it’s possible. Mixed with eggs and coconut oil, these naturally sweet ingredients make for fudgy results that taste anything but sugar free.
There’s a reason dates are called “nature’s candy”—they lend so much sweetness without any added sugar. These gooey bars make the most out of the chewy fruits, using them for both the crust and the top layer, while a touch of sea salt adds a slightly savory element, and walnuts provide a complementary crunch.
While regular creamsicles are almost too sweet, this thick and fluffy pudding goes for a much more subtle flavor. The rich coconut milk and the clementine segments add just enough natural sugar.
Who needs heavy cream and sugar when dates and avocados can do just as good a job of producing a killer chocolate mousse? With zero added sweeteners and a good amount of healthy fat, this isn’t just a perfect dessert, it could pass off as a filling breakfast too.
Make sure your raisins and nut butter have no added sugar to make these cookies totally free of sweeteners. Almond meal keeps them gluten-free, while coconut oil instead of butter and eggs means they’re completely vegan too.
Football is entertaining to watch, but let's be real… the best thing about the season is the food. Spicy wings, loaded pizza, and bar bites galore—all paired with an ice-cold beer and team camaraderie. Sounds like the perfect Sunday, no? If you're trying to avoid total gut-bombs, fortunately there are plenty of ways to enjoy healthyish game-day grub. The best part: There’s no need to skimp on flavor. These nine nacho-average recipes are proof.
The toughest problem to tackle when it comes to eating nachos is that once we start, we can’t stop. These mini pizzas throw a Hail Mary pass by providing pure satisfaction in just one serving. Made with whole-wheat English muffins, vegan cheese, beans, and tons of veggie toppings, they’re sure to keep you full through halftime.
Zucchinis are making a comeback. They first stole the stage as low-carb noodle substitutes
, and now they’re stepping in for the beloved tortilla chip. Top with melted cheddar cheese, black beans, and the usual nacho fixings. You won’t even miss that corn chip crunch.
Sometimes the smallest changes yield the biggest results. That’s the case with this recipe, which keeps traditional ingredients such as cheese, corn, and pico de gallo, and makes small adjustments (like using black beans and grilled chicken for extra protein) to create a similar flavor with way more health benefits.
Made with multigrain tortilla chips and sweet potato wedges, this spicy spin on nachos is enough to fuel you through a full marathon (running or movie, we’re down for both). It also comes with a side of cheese sauce to drizzle on top or dip in. Need we say more?
Dessert is best when shared, and this sweet plate is definitely good enough for a group. Make your own base with multigrain flatbreads: Cut two into triangles, sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut sugar, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Then top with a cashew-based cheesecake drizzle, and pick a few toppings, such as fresh berries, cacao nibs, or toasted coconut. This one takes a little more work than the others, but it’s worth the effort, especially for vegan or dairy-free eaters.
Sick of the same old melted cheese and ground meat combo? Try these Greek-inspired nachos instead for a fresher take on the bar-food favorite. They’re made with pita chips instead of tortilla, and are loaded with feta cheese, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, olives, and a tahini dressing.
You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate (though this recipe would taste great with almond or cashew butter too). Simply melt your nut butter of choice, drizzle it over small slices of juicy apples, and top with dark chocolate chips. Yum.
Sunny-side up eggs are a great addition to basically any savory dish, and these nachos are no exception. Add them on top of blue corn chips, sweet potato slices, black beans, and cheese, then throw on some diced tomatoes, onions, and avocado (duh). These hearty nachos are definitely filling enough to be a meal, and with the runny eggs, your best bet is to eat them with a fork.
For those who want to cut back on carbs but don’t love zucchini, there’s still hope. Bell peppers make the perfect vehicle for nacho toppings, and unlike chips, the sturdy peppers won’t crumble when loaded. Spice up your night (and life) with this buffalo chicken version, which requires just five ingredients (plus mini peppers, of course): shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, blue cheese crumbles, green onion, and shredded white American cheese.
Originally published September 2014. Updated January 2017.