These Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce are quick + super healthy. Pan sautéd in olive oil, tossed with toasted pine nuts and finished with a cashew-based, vegan tomato sauce and fresh basil. When lots of zucchini pops up in your garden or market, this zoodle recipe makes an easy meal.
In just 15 minutes of prep time you can create a cheery + healthy summer meal packed with lots of fresh flavors! Since zucchini noodles become soggy when refrigerated, I like to make just enough to eat for 1 meal – no leftovers.
What is the easiest and best way to do that? Here’s what I do!
The Best Way to Cook Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)
First off, let’s start with this rule – zucchini noodles are never any good cut ahead of time. They get soft and soggy – nobody wants that.
Zoodles can be prepared quickly with a spiralizer (I finally bought one!) But for a 1-2 portion serving, a julienne tool – like the one pictured below – works just fine.
How long should I cook Zoodles?
Zoodles cook FAST! One to three minutes in a sauté pan with olive oil is all you need to heat them up. Any longer than that and you’ll end up with soggy, watery noodles that break apart don’t work well with any sauce.
The best zoodle recipes are the ones that require very little cooking time. Simple is better for zoodles.
BONUS Recipe: Zoodles with Cherry Tomatoes
An even simpler preparation that I make often is zoodles with the cherry tomatoes from my garden. I’ll grab a bunch, slice them in half then sauté the zoodles with them in plenty of olive oil. That’s a delicious recipe in itself.
How to Make Vegan Tomato Sauce
Since my garden tomatoes were not ripe and my zucchini are small but ready to eat, I developed this Vegan Tomato Sauce using sun-dried tomatoes.
This tangy sauce is easily made ahead of time and can be stored for at least a week in the fridge. Which means you can harvest a zucchini each day and toss the noodles in your prepared sauce.
Once the zucchini start flooding your garden or farmer’s market, you’ll be happily munching away on these easy zucchini noodles!
Super healthy zucchini noodles with a vegan cashew based creamy tomato sauce. Healthy comfort food!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
- 3 whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes from a can
- 3 small sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 1/2 lemon juiced (about 1 Tb)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
- 1 Tb water +/- to thin sauce
- freshly ground pepper, to taste (I use Aleppo pepper - it adds a bright + complex flavor.)
- 4 small/medium zucchini spiralized or julienned
- 1 Tb avocado oil or olive oil
- 4 Tb pine nuts
- fresh basil to top
- kosher salt and pepper
Drain the cashews. Place in a high speed blender and grind until almost smooth.
Add tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend until it's as smooth as your blender can make it!
Thin with water if needed. Taste and adjust any seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat a large 14" sauté pan over medium heat. Add pine nuts and sauté them until they start to turn golden ~ approx. 2 min. Watch them carefully as they start to turn quite quickly.
Remove from heat into a bowl and set aside.
Add avocado or olive oil to the pan.
Add zucchini noodles. Toss to coat in oil. Mix them well and add a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 min and then add the creamy tomato sauce. Mix well for another minute or 2 - just until heated through.
Top with pine nuts and serve with Aleppo pepper (or any spicy pepper you'd like!) and fresh garden basil.
This recipe is easily scalable. The sauce makes 1 cup, 4 servings. So if you want to store the sauce and make 1 or 2 servings, the rule of thumb is one zucchini, 1 Tb pine nuts and 1/4 cup sauce per serving.
6 Ultimate Zoodle Recipes You’ll Love
- Cold Zoodle Salad with Cilantro-Cashew Dressing
- Chicken Zucchini Noodle Caprese
- Elote Style Zucchini Noodles
- Thai Drunken Noodles with Spicy Honey Chicken
- Vodka Sauce Chicken Zucchini Noodles
- Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles
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I love spiralizing! I highly recommend getting yourself a spiralizer! This sauce looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it on some zoodles!
Thanks Stephanie! I might just add a spiralizer to my birthday list! It’s coming up soon!! Enjoy the zoodles!
Wow this is the best recipe I’ve ever seen for zucchini! I need to figure out how to make these noodles and/or get a spiralizer. I love the sauce made with cashews. I adore cashews, and love to make sauces with it. Perfection! I want to make this!
Let me know how it goes when you do! I’ve got two more giant zucchini waiting for more deliciousness! I ate at a restaurant today that gave me some new ideas for cashew sauces on zucchini noodles. Yum!!
This sounds and looks delicious. I have a spiralizer and use it quite frequently and love it. I love your recipe for the sun dried tomato sauce – sound so healthy. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & tweeted!
Oooh, I love Zucchini noodles! Thy’re so light, and fresh! I’m loving the sun dried tomato sauce too! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
I love the sound of this zucchini and sun-dried tomato, so healthy and easy to make.
Nico @ yumsome
Spiralisers are great, and actually quite fun to use (especially if you have minons…. umm, I mean kids…. to help)! And spiralised courgettes are so versatile too. I love having them in salads with an Asian-style dressing and loads of sprouts (not of the Brussels variety!).
This looks like a lovely recipe… if it’s anything like my sun-dried tomato pesto, then it’s a fantastic recipe! LOL!
Yes Nico! It took me forever to convince myself to buy a spiralizer – so glad I did!