This sun dried tomato pesto pasta with zoodles is a great vegetarian main dish with gooey mozzarella cheese, and an easy recipe to get kids to eat veggies.
Our girls have been a big, fat no on zucchini noodles, or zoodles for this entire past year when zoodles were the most popular thing around. Sometimes I agreed as some of the recipes were bland and boring, but not this sun dried tomato pesto pasta with zoodles.
What are Zoodles?
Let’s start from the beginning, a very good place to start… I think I’ve made that Sound of Music reference 100 times on the blog already. 🙂
Zoodles are zucchini noodles. You take a spiralizer and push the zucchini through to make spiral zucchini noodles. The key is to use an awesome spiralizer as my aunt and three friends have discovered because if you don’t you’ll end up with broken zucchini and sliced fingers. Our favorite, hands down is this Spiralizer with 5 blades. It has little suction feet to keep it tight on the counter while you press through your veggies and 5 different blades so you can enjoy more than just a skinny spiral. Think, beautiful, thin curls of cucumber for cucumber salad and curly fries.
Are Zoodles Keto or are Zoodles Healthy?
One of our most asked questions about zucchini noodles is, are zoodles keto or are zoodles healthy? Zoodles are a much healthier option versus regular pasta. In fact, the calories are so much lower on zucchini noodles that you can have 5-6 cups of zoodles to reach the same calories as ONE cup of pasta. And they really don’t taste like you’re eating a mouthful of zucchini.
Obviously they are low in carbs and higher in fiber and antioxidants than pasta too! Winning!!!
Keto dieters love to use zoodles instead of pasta and they feel they have much more energy by adding zucchini and other leafy greens into their diet.
Are Zoodles Cooked or Raw?
Many people just toss their zoodles into their dish, but we actually prefer them to be sautéed in a pan. Not for long, and in fact in dishes like this one we will just add it to the sauce and then they get cooked just right without becoming soggy. Soggy zucchini noodles is probably due to the fact that you boiled them. Stick to sautéing and you wont have the excess water.
In this sun dried tomato pesto pasta with zoodles recipe the zucchini noodles are cooked in the sauce for just a minute which allows them to get tender and absorb all of that flavor without being raw or soggy.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Sun dried tomato pesto is crazy easy to make. We buy huge jars of Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes at Costco or on Amazon and we keep them in our fridge. The oil packed are far better for us than the dried and so easy to use to make sun dried tomato pesto like in our sun dried tomato pesto panini. You’ll want to hop over there to get the recipe. It’s a cinch to make and we even keep a jar frozen in the freezer that we take a scoop or two out of whenever we need it.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Zoodles
To make this vegetarian main dish, start by spiralizing your zucchini.
Then, just heat up a little oil in a pan with an equal amount of flour, about 1 tablespoon of each. Whisk together as it cooks and then quickly pour in 1 cup of skim milk and whisk, while continuing to cook until the mixture is thick. Add the sun dried tomato pesto and season to taste, we just add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook your whole wheat pasta in well salted water. That salted water is key to a good pasta so that’s it’s seasoned properly.
Add the zucchini noodles to the pan with the sauce and push around with tongs so that the heat cooks them a little and they absorb some sauce. After about a minute add the drained pasta, fresh tomatoes and chopped spinach and stir to combine. Sprinkle in fresh mozzarella that has been cubed and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Zoodles
- 8 ounces Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti Noodles
- 1 Large Zucchini, spiralized *see notes for our favorite device to use
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Flour
- 1 Cup Skim Milk
- 1 Cup Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Large Tomato, Chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups Spinach, chopped (or less if you prefer)
- 1 Cup Fresh Mozzarella, cubed
- Additional salt and pepper if desired
- Prepare the pesto and prep all ingredients.
- Heat a pot of well salted water over medium high heat.
- Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, or per package directions.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is warm add the flour and whisk for 30 seconds or until the flour is golden and nutty in fragrance.
- Quickly whisk in the milk and continue to cook until thickened, whisking continuously.
- Once the milk is thickened, whisk in the pesto and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the zoodles to the sauce and heat for one minute.
- Add the drained pasta, tomatoes and spinach and toss to coat in the sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Add the mozzarella and give everything a gentle toss, then serve immediately.
We like to toss our pasta under the broiler to really melt down the cheese. Just make sure you watch it closely.
Our Favorite spiralizer that wont cut you, holds tight to the counter for easier work and cuts a perfect noodle is this Paderno Model.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 543 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 38mg Sodium: 913mg Carbohydrates: 63g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 16g Protein: 22g