This summer I’ve been busy making recipes using some of the herbs from my two-tiered herb planter. Today I’m sharing this Zucchini Noodles with Parsley Pesto recipe from Zucchini noodles are a staple in our keto diet so I’m always looking for new ways to prepare them. I also have an overabundance of parsley so this recipe was the perfect find!

pesto dish on a fork

Zucchini Noodles

Let’s first chat about zucchini noodles, otherwise known as “Zoodles”. My husband I follow a keto diet and do our best to keep our daily Net carbs under 20 grams. Traditional pasta is very carb-heavy and replacements are often needed stay within the keto guidelines. Enter zucchini noodles! With a few simple steps you can add zucchini noodles to soups, hot pasta dishes and pasta salad dishes like this yummy zucchini noodles with parsley pesto.

a bowl full of zucchini noodles

How to make Zoodles

Many grocery stores carry zucchini (and other vegetables) already spiralized. You can usually find them in the produce aisle. To make sure they are fresh, you will need to check the expiration date as the fresh zucchini noodles do not not last long. You can also find zucchini noodles in the frozen food aisle. We eat them so frequently that I decided to invest in a Kitchen Aid Spiralizer Stand Mixer Attachment to make my own. This attachment makes spiraling so easy!

The attachment comes with 5 different blades to make different styles of zoodles. To be honest I’ve only used the spiraling one so far but look forward to trying others. If you don’t have the kitchen aid spiralizer, no worries there are other less expensive options. Love and Lemons outlines some options in this post.

a kitchen aid spiralizer with zucchini noodles

Cooking Tips for Zucchini Noodles

If you are making zucchini noodles for a salad you do not have to cook them. In fact if you are pouring a hot cooked sauce over them or adding them to soup you don’t have to cook them. Typically the heat from the sauce or soup will soften them.

If your recipe calls for cooked zucchini noodles there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your zucchini noodles do not end up mushy and/or soggy – a common problem. Zucchini are over 90% water by weight so some sogginess is expected. However after cooking them for several years I’ve learned a few strategies to make sure I end up with crisp fresh zucchini noodles every time.

Here’s How

  • After spiralizing the zucchini, pat the zucchini noodles down with a paper towel before cooking. This will soak up some of the moisture.
  • Cook in a dry fry pan. Yup, I said a dry pan! No oil, no butter or cooking spray. The zucchini noodles have enough moisture so you do not want to add more.
  • Cook the zucchini noodles quickly while tossing with tongs. No more than 2-4 minutes.
  • If too much water begins to pool in the pan, strain the zucchini noodles in a strainer then return to the pan. Continue to toss and cook.

I’ll be sure to share more cooked zucchini noodles dishes in the future. In the meantime, here’s a very comprehensive collection of zucchini noodle recipes from Goodhousekeeping.

Today’s Recipe

This Zucchini Noodles with Parsley Pesto recipe is served cold, so no cooking involved. The pesto is made with parsley instead of basil which is more common. Added is chopped arugula and instead of pine nuts, it’s made with pistachio’s. This unique combination makes for a delicious and refreshing cool zucchini salad.

Zucchini Noodle Salad served with Pan Seared Salmon with Lemon Dill and Capers
a small bowl of zucchini noodles with parsley pesto

Zucchini Noodle Salad with Parsley-Pistachio Pesto

A fresh summer-y side dish using Zucchini noodles.
Servings 4 people
Calories 190 kcal


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 cups Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lg garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • Spiralize zucchini using the kitchen aid spiralizer or other spiralizing tool. Pat the zucchini noodles dry with a dry paper towel and transfer to a bowl.
  • Combine parsley, arugula, pistachios and garlic in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until coursely chopped. Add the parmesan, vinegar and lemon juice and pulse until combined. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until pesto is thick and smooth. Taste and add salt, pepper and additional lemon juice if needed.
  • Add the pesto to the bowl with the zucchini noodles and toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with chopped pistachios and parmesan. Serve immediately.


Notes: I used shredded parmesan cheese because that is what I had on hand. I’d suggest using grated so it adheres better to the zucchini noodles.
  • Calories 190
  • Fat 18.6 g (28.6%)
  • Saturated 2.6 g (13.1%)
  • Carbs 5.6 g (1.9%)
  • Fiber 2.0 g (8.0%)
  • Sugars 3.1 g
  • Protein 2.2 g (4.4%)
  • Sodium 22.3 mg (0.9%)
  • NET carbs: 3.6 g
Note: Nutritional info is provided as a courtesy only. Although strives to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. 
zucchini noodles made with parsley pistachio pesto

Tools used for this recipe

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I hope you give this recipe a try! If you like pesto you may also like my Roasted Zucchini with Pesto and Parmesan.

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