An easy keto zucchini noodles recipe that closely mimics the experience of eating real pasta. The cheesy, garlicky strands are unbelievably good!
Zoodles with butter and parmesan are amazing. The first time I made them I was delighted – they are so close to the experience of eating buttered noodles!
I’ve been making this nutritious recipe often over the past few years. It’s delicious. Savoring the cheesy, garlicky strands, I always think to myself, well, it’s not EXACTLY like real pasta, but it’s surprisingly close!
The ingredients needed for making zucchini noodles
You will only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
Fresh zucchinis: Try to find young, firm zucchinis.
Butter: European butter tastes best.
Garlic: Mince it yourself or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, reduce the amount you use.
Red pepper flakes. They add flavor and color. They don’t actually make this dish spicy. But you can omit them if you’d like.
Grated Parmesan: It’s best to use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded.
How do you create the noodle shapes?
I started making this recipe back in 2014. Back then, I used a sharp knife to thinly slice fresh zucchinis into noodles. I was frankly too scared to use a mandoline slicer. I’m on the clumsy side, and it didn’t seem worth the risk.
Later, I learned that one can buy a spiralizer, supposedly a safer instrument for spiralizing vegetables. Stubbornly, I continued slicing the zucchinis by hand.
As I write here to update this recipe, in 2019, I am so happy that grocery stores now sell packaged zoodles (I get mine at Whole Foods). So convenient! And sliced much more evenly than my hand-spiralized zucchini.
How to make buttered zucchini noodles
Given that you can now use packaged premade zoodles, which wasn’t an option a few years ago, this is a very easy recipe. It’s literally ready in ten minutes. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Start by making the noodles – you can cut them by hand or use a spiralizer. Or buy them already spiralized! That’s easiest, of course.
Next, cook the strands and some minced garlic in butter. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and parmesan. That’s it!
Is it just like eating pasta?
No, of course not. Like many other substitutes, this is an excellent one, and I do find it’s very close to the real thing. But it’s still a substitute, making it appropriate for those willing to compromise a bit in order to eat a better diet.
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftover zucchini noodles in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 3 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
More zucchini recipes that you might like
If you have zucchini in the fridge and would like more ideas for using it, try this amazing low carb zucchini lasagna. It’s an involved recipe that requires quite a bit of work, but it’s really, really good.
A much easier, and very good recipe is this recipe for balsamic grilled zucchini. It’s the perfect summertime side dish!
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Zucchini Noodles Recipe
- 2 medium zucchinis, unpeeled, ends trimmed (total weight 14 oz, 400g)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice each zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, as thin as you can. Slice each of those slices into thin, noodle-like strands. Don’t worry about it if your slices aren’t even.
- Alternatively, make your life easy and buy packaged zucchini noodles at the grocery store. I get mine at Whole Foods.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When melted and foamy, add the zucchini noodles. Cook, stirring often, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 more minute. Turn heat off.
- To the cooked zucchini noodles in the skillet, add the salt, pepper, pepper flakes and Parmesan. Mix and serve.