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The Best Way To Cook Zucchini Noodles

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Zucchini noodles are a great option for those following a healthy low-carb or keto diet. Ever since I went keto, I was trying to find easy swaps for common high-carb foods.

Zucchini is one of the best vegetables for a low-carb diet, and it is also one of the best sources of potassium which is especially important for those who are new to the keto diet when keto flu is more likely to be an issue.

This is my foolproof guide to preparing and cooking zucchini noodles (aka zoodles). Don't expect them to taste like pasta but do expect better, more pleasant texture that's not mushy or watery. I don't cook zoodles any other way!

When using zucchini as a side dish on a keto diet, these are my recommended serving sizes:

  • 1 small zucchini (150 g/5.3 oz): 3.2 g net carbs, 4.7 g total carbs
  • 1 medium zucchini (200 g/7 oz): 4.2 g net carbs, 6.2 g total carbs
  • 1 large zucchini (250 g/8.8 oz): 5.3 g net carbs, 7.8 g total carbs

I always try to keep my meals below 10 grams net carbs, or up to 15 grams of net carbs as part of my occasional intermittent fasting routine. The rule I follow is that I use a small zucchini in dishes that include other vegetables and aromatics such as tomatoes, mushrooms and onion, as they tend to be higher in carbs. I use a medium or large zucchini when I serve it as the only vegetable and I know the meal will easily fit in my carb allowance.

You can use our KetoDiet App to make any adjustments in your meals and instantly see how they impact your macros, especially net carbs.

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Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 1 cup

Allergy information for The Best Way To Cook Zucchini Noodles

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free
Pescatarian
Low FODMAP
Vegetarian
Vegan
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Nutritional values (per serving, about 1 cup)

Net carbs4.2 grams
Protein2.4 grams
Fat7.4 grams
Calories94 kcal

Calories from carbs 18%, protein 10%, fat 72%

Total carbs6.2 gramsFiber2 gramsSugars5 gramsSaturated fat1.1 gramsSodium598 mg(26% RDA)Magnesium36 mg(9% RDA)Potassium522 mg(26% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

  • 2 medium zucchini (courgettes) or yellow summer squash (400 g/ 14.2 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, ghee or avocado oil (15 ml)

Instructions

  1. To make zucchini noodles, you can use any summer squash — green and/or yellow. Use as many pieces as you make servings. The Best Way To Cook Zucchini Noodles
  2. Use a julienne peeler or a spiralizer to turn the zucchini into thin or wide “noodles.” Chop the soft cores. The Best Way To Cook Zucchini Noodles
  3. Place the noodles in a large bowl or a baking tray. Add the chopped zucchini cores. (Try to keep them in one place as you'll be cooking these first.) Sprinkle the noodles with salt and let them sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Use a paper towel to pat them dry and remove excess moisture. Set aside. The Best Way To Cook Zucchini Noodles
  5. Grease a skillet with olive oil (or ghee or avocado oil). Add the chopped zucchini cores and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for 2 to 5 minutes. (I prefer mine lightly cooked, al dente, so I only cook them for a minute. You can even eat them raw.) Alternatively, you can keep them in the baking tray and cook in the oven preheated to 175 °C/ 350 °F (fan assisted), or 195 °C/ 380 °F (conventional) for about 15 minutes, tossing half way through the cooking process. The Best Way To Cook Zucchini Noodles
  7. If you're not planning to eat the noodles immediately or on the same day, it's best to store them uncooked in the fridge in a sealed container for 2 to 3 days. Cook just before serving. The Best Way To Cook Zucchini Noodles

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 1 cup)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Zucchini (summer squash, courgette)
4.2 g2.4 g0.6 g34 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g6.8 g60 kcal
Total per serving, about 1 cup
4.2 g2.4 g7.4 g94 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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