We’ve all heard of noodles. The pieces of carb-rich heaven that serve as a vehicle for sauce and cheese… Yes, those noodles. Served in the form of fettuccini, linguini, spaghetti, orecchiette, and more, pasta is one of those easy, comforting dishes that pleases almost every palate.

But have you heard of zoodles? Not to be confused with doodles, the latest is noodle trends are actually vegetables. In this case, in the modest zucchini. Spiralized, soup-ed, sometimes sautéed, and always mixed with amazing and healthy add-ins, zucchini noodles are a great alternative to pasta when you’re looking for something lighter.

Though special spiralizers are the easiest way to get your zoodle on, you don’t need fancy kitchen tools to create veggies noodles. Simply use a veggie or julienne peeler or finely slice the squash, and you’re good to go.

Pistachio Kale Pesto with Zucchini Noodles and Cherries
Photo: Edible Perspective

1. Pistachio Kale Pesto With Zucchini Noodles and Cherries

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 back to your mouth any time of year. Tip: Use dried cherries in place of fresh if the fruit isn’t in season.

2. Thai Peanut Zucchini Noodles

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 may 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.

3. Healthy Zucchini Pasta Carbonara

The recipe creator isn’t kidding when she says the flavor will “make your heart swoon.” Full of all the amazing ingredients that make carbonara so decadent (and delicious), the zucchini 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.

Zucchini Noodles with Figs, Arugula, and Pancetta
Photo: Tasty Yummies

4. Zucchini Noodles With Fig, Arugula, and 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. (And it’s totally fine if you do.)

5. Zucchini Noodles With Pesto

This recipe just might be the easiest meal you’ll ever make. Though it uses homemade pesto, it tastes just as great with store-bought varieties, taking the prep time to less than five minutes. Top with cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper, and enjoy.

6. Ginger Zucchini Noodle Egg Drop Soup

When cold season rears its germy head, few things sound better than a hot bowl of noodle soup. Instead of turning to a can or takeout, try whipping up your own batch. Easy, inexpensive, and perfect for leftovers, this Asian twist on zoodle soup will have you feeling healthier in no time.

Avocado-Basil Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Corn
Photo: Inspiralized

7. Avocado-Basil Zucchini Noodles With Chile-Lime Shrimp and Corn

Light, healthy, and a good source of lean protein, this zoodle dish is an easy and delicious lunch or dinner option. Though avocado and corn are best during summer months, it’s easy to adjust the flavors for any season. Our fall favorite: subbing pesto for avocado and sun-dried tomatoes for corn. 

8. Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two

There’s kung pao chicken, and there’s kung pao chicken zoodles. Made with the same amazing flavors of the Chinese favorite (like peanuts, scallions, and ginger), this recipe adds a veggie base and sticks to homemade sauce to keep things healthier. Plus, cooking is way more fun than dialing for takeout.

9. Zucchini Spaghetti With Lentil Marinara

Marinara sauce is delicious, but it can also get boring—and fast. An easy and healthy option, homemade lentil marinara is a delicious alternate that provides more protein and fiber. Made with herbs, lentils, diced tomatoes, garlic, and a hearty pile of zoodles, spaghetti will never be the same. (In a good way.)

Every week, the Greatist Team scours the Web for tasty, trendy, and (mostly) healthy recipes to help open both minds and palates to the wonders of food. Tune in next Wednesday to see what else we have in store!

9 Reasons You Should Familiarize Yourself With Zoodles, Stat

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