This quick homemade basil and pine nut pesto with zucchini noodles is just so unbelievably fresh yet creamy and delicious I just had to share it with you. It’s also so easy to put together that I’ve been having it at least once a week. Fresh + plant based + creamy + delicious + warm + quick = ideal dinner.
Zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” are a major trend in the health food world, and for good reason. I never paid much attention to zucchini before, but transforming it into the spaghetti shape suddenly makes all the delicious difference. You actually feel the vibes that you’re eating spaghetti, yet you don’t get the heavy feeling you may get from a grain based pasta. It’s kind of amazing.
If you don’t yet have a spiralizer, do yourself a favor and get one. They’re not that expensive and anything that makes you want to eat more vegetables is well worth it for the benefits you’ll get in how you feel. And it’s fun to turn the handle and magically see spaghetti noodles come out! Yes, I am a food nerd and this is what I do for fun! 🙂
The zucchini, basil, lemon and garlic in this are packed with vitamins and nutrients, and the pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil add nourishing fat that helps you absorb all the good nutrients you’re eating, promotes glowing skin and hair and will make you feel super satiated.
I eat this on its own and love it, but organic chicken or turkey meatballs would go really well with this. If you eat dairy, you can add some parmesan cheese to the pesto mix or on top. (I mostly avoid dairy but sometimes I’ll have a little parmesan; it’s relatively low in lactose.)
20 minutes prep and cook time, serves two
Ingredients to gather:
- 2 cups of basil (you can fill in with spinach if you run out of basil)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 zucchini
- 1/2 a lemon
Equipment to gather:
- Spiralizer (link goes to the one I happen to have). You can also use a julienne peeler.
- Large frying pan
Start with the pesto
In a blender or food processor, add the basil, pine nuts, one clove of garlic, and the juice of half a lemon. Pulse until mixed and then add the olive oil and blend until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge if you make this ahead of time.
Spiralize your zucchini
Rinse your zucchini and cut off the ends so that you have a smooth surface to work with in the spiralizer. Spiralize all three zucchini and set noodles aside.
Heat the frying pan on medium and add 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. When fragrant, add in the spiralized zucchini and two cloves of chopped garlic. Add some sea salt and pepper. Cook on medium for four to five minutes until the zucchini has cooked down a little bit and there’s some excess water. Strain the noodles in a strainer to discard the water.
Place in a bowl and mix with your pesto. Garnish with more fresh basil and olive oil as desired.
Yummm. If you try this please let me know your thoughts!!