5 from 3 votes
Home » Recipes » Main Dishes » Arrabbiatta Zucchini Noodles Recipe (Healthy Noodle Recipe)

Arrabbiatta Zucchini Noodles Recipe (Healthy Noodle Recipe)

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Everyone will love this zucchini noodles recipe with sauce! This Zucchini Noodles with an Arrabbiata Sauce is my favorite way to eat fresh zucchini that’s low carb and delicious! If you’re a fan of zucchini pasta, this is the easiest way to make this pasta sauce and curly noodles.

Zucchini noodles garnished with parsley and grated parmesan.

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The best part about this easy zucchini noodle recipe is that it just takes a couple of minutes to make the best zucchini noodles ever! This just might be one of my favorite pasta recipes, and it doesn’t even include pasta!

Want more delicious zucchini recipes to try?  If you loved this healthy recipe and you’d like some more recipes made with zucchini, you could try this delicious Italian sausage and zucchini galette. Or for another simple recipe, make your own zucchini fritters with this easy to follow recipe.

If you love recipes like this, you may also enjoy this Italian Sausage & Zucchini Galette With Tomatoes & Ricotta as well!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe…

  • This zucchini recipe replaces traditional pasta with healthy, delicious zucchini noodles, so you can indulge often without any guilt.
  • Spiralized zucchini noodles are one of the best methods for cutting carbs without feeling like you’re missing out.
  • You can easily change up the flavor by adding red pepper flakes or chili powder for spice.

What Are Zucchini Noodles?

Zucchini noodles, often termed “zoodles,” or zucchini spaghetti, are a healthier alternative to traditional pasta noodles. Made by slicing zucchini into thin strips or spirals, they mimic the shape and texture of regular spaghetti or noodles. This is achieved using a spiralizer, a kitchen tool designed specifically for this purpose, although a vegetable peeler or a knife can also do the job for smaller batches. 

Zoodles are an excellent option for those seeking to reduce their carbohydrate intake or those seeking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet. Not only are they low in calories and carbs, but they also provide a good source of vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin A, along with dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestion. 

Zucchini noodles can be served raw, sautéed, or lightly steamed, making them a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide array of dishes, from salads to main courses.

What’s In This Zucchini Noodles Recipe

Ingredients for zucchini noodles with sauce including fresh tomatoes and red pepper flakes sitting on a white countertop.
  • Zucchini: The star of this dish, fresh zucchini transforms into noodles, offering a crunchy, nutritious base that’s perfect for soaking up the Arrabbiata sauce. Opt for medium-sized zucchinis for the best texture.
  • Olive Oil: We prefer Extra virgin olive oil for its rich, fruity flavor, which enhances the garlic and tomatoes and adds a smooth texture to the dish. It’s a heart-healthy fat that’s a staple in Mediterranean cooking.
  • Peeled Garlic: The essence of any great Italian dish, minced or fresh garlic infuses the recipe with a bold, aromatic flavor that’s both spicy and sweet, elevating the overall taste experience.
  • Sea Salt and Pepper: These seasoning staples bring out the natural flavors of the zucchini and tomatoes, with the salt enhancing sweetness and the pepper adding a subtle heat.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: An optional addition, but highly recommended for those who enjoy a spicy kick. It introduces a layer of complexity to the sauce and can be adjusted based on your heat preference.
  • Tomato Paste: Thickens the sauce and enriches it with a concentrated, tangy tomato flavor, acting as a foundation for the Arrabbiata.
  • Fresh Tomatoes: Whether you choose cherry tomatoes for a burst of sweetness or larger tomatoes for a more robust flavor, they add freshness and a juicy texture to the dish.
  • Oregano: This classic herb provides a slightly bitter, earthy flavor that perfectly complements the tomatoes and garlic, reminding you of Italian countryside cooking.
  • Garlic Powder: Doubling down on the garlic ensures the zucchini noodles are packed with a garlicky punch, making every bite as flavorful as the last.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions And Variations

  • Butternut Squash: You can also use this recipe with butternut squash as well!
  • Seasoning: Use a little bit of Italian seasoning as part of the seasoning. This will add a whole new flavor.
  • Carrot Noodles: For a sweeter twist, try using carrot noodles in place of zucchini. Their vibrant color and slightly sweet taste can offer a delightful contrast to the spicy Arrabbiata sauce.
  • Spinach: Add some fresh or frozen spinach to the sauce for an extra boost of nutrients. Spinach will enhance the health benefits and give the sauce a richer, deeper color and flavor.
  • Creamy Arrabbiata: For those who prefer a creamier sauce, add a splash of coconut milk or almond milk towards the end of cooking. It will soften the spiciness and add a luxurious texture to the dish.
  • Protein Boost: Incorporate grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu to turn this into a more filling meal. Add the protein on top of the noodles just before serving to maintain its texture and flavor.
  • Cheese: Sprinkle with grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast (for a dairy-free option) before serving for added flavor and a touch of decadence.
  • Lemon Zest: Add a bit of lemon zest to the sauce for a refreshing twist. It will brighten up the dish and complement the spicy and savory flavors beautifully.
  • Mushrooms: Sautéed mushrooms can be a great addition to this dish. They offer a meaty texture and an umami flavor that pairs well with the zesty Arrabbiata sauce.

How To Make Arrabbiata Zucchini Noodles (Step By Step Directions)

  1. Start by warming the olive oil in a spacious skillet over a medium flame. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes and wait until they emit their spicy aroma.
  2. Turn down the flame to medium-low. This is the perfect time to stir in the tomato paste and fresh tomatoes, along with the oregano and garlic powder. A pinch of salt and pepper can be added according to your taste preferences. Allow the mixture to simmer gently until the sauce slightly thickens, which should take around 20 minutes. Don’t forget to stir every now and then to ensure even cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, transform the zucchini into noodles by using a spiral slicer. Aim for thin, long strands, and cut them down to manageable lengths of about 10-12 inches with kitchen scissors. Lay these noodles on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to draw out any moisture. Setting them aside helps in ensuring they don’t turn soggy when cooked.
  4. In another large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat before adding the garlic. Sauté until it turns a golden brown, which should take around 4-5 minutes. Once achieved, use a slotted spoon or fork to remove and discard the garlic, reducing the heat to medium.
  5. Now, introduce the zucchini noodles into the skillet. Spend about 2 minutes sautéing them, making sure to use tongs to gently turn them over so that they warm up evenly. Season with salt and pepper as deemed necessary.
  6. After removing the skillet from heat, merge the zucchini noodles with the previously prepared warm arrabbiata sauce. Execute this step gently to ensure the noodles are well-coated but still retain their structure.
  7. Transfer the saucy noodles to a platter. Elevate the dish with a garnish of sliced basil and, if desired, an extra sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese right before serving to add a burst of flavor and a touch of elegance.
A white plate of zucchini noodles topped with fresh parsley.

Recipe Tips

  • Spiralizing Zucchini: For the best texture, choose medium to large zucchinis. Their size makes them easier to handle and spiralize, and they’re less likely to become mushy when cooked.
  • Sauce Consistency: If you find your Arrabbiata sauce too thick, don’t hesitate to thin it out with a little bit of water or vegetable broth. Add it slowly, stirring constantly, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Avoiding Soggy Noodles: To prevent your zucchini noodles from releasing too much water and becoming soggy, make sure to pat them dry after spiralizing. Cooking them for a short duration also helps retain their crunch.
  • Balancing Flavors: Taste your sauce as you cook. If it’s too spicy, a little bit of sugar or honey can help balance the heat. Similarly, if it’s too acidic, a pinch of baking soda can neutralize the excess acidity without altering the taste dramatically.
  • Garnish: Garnishing with fresh herbs not only adds a pop of color but also enhances flavors. Don’t limit yourself to basil; consider parsley, cilantro, or even mint for a unique twist.

Storing Tips 

If you have remaining zucchini noodles, add to an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Eat within 2 days and reheat for another delicious healthy dinner.

Freezing this Arrabbiatta Zucchini Noodles dish isn’t recommended. Zucchini is largely composed of water, and freezing can significantly alter its texture, leading to a mushy consistency when thawed. The sauce, however, can be frozen separately. 

If you have leftover sauce, pour it into a freezer-safe container or bag, leaving some space for expansion. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw the sauce overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat gently on the stove. Combine it with freshly prepared zucchini noodles for the best texture and taste experience.

A white plate of zucchini noodles topped with fresh parsley, chopped chili, and grated parmesan.

Serving Suggestions

Pairing the right side dishes with Arrabbiatta Zucchini Noodles can turn a simple meal into a memorable dining experience. Consider the following suggestions for a well-rounded feast:

  • Garlic Bread: A simple pull-apart garlic bread serves as the perfect companion to the zesty, spicy Arrabbiata. It’s great for mopping up any leftover sauce and adds a satisfying crunch to your meal.
  • Caesar Salad: Complement the robust flavors of the sauce with a fresh, creamy Caesar salad. The crisp greens and creamy dressing provide a refreshing contrast to the spicy noodles.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Enhance your meal with a side of extra vegetables such as asparagus, or eggplants. Grilling brings out a smoky flavor that pairs wonderfully with the tomato-based sauce. Or go for something like stuffed peppers for a more filling option.
  • Italian Meatballs: For a protein-rich addition, consider serving spicy Italian meatballs alongside your zucchini noodles. Choose traditional beef meatballs, or for a lighter option, turkey or chicken meatballs.
  • Tomato Salad: Another great pairing is something like the Heirloom Tomato Salad I made with balsamic dressing and feta cheese.

Recipe FAQs

How do you make zucchini noodles not soggy?

When you cook the noodles, keep stirring them and don’t let them sit too long to get mushy.

What is the easiest way to spiral zucchini?

All you need is a vegetable spiralizer! It’s the best tool to make this easy weeknight dinner – or any veggie noodle dish!

Can I add protein to this dish?

Absolutely! While this recipe focuses on the simplicity and freshness of vegetables, adding a protein can turn it into an even more hearty meal. Grilled chicken, sautéed shrimp, or pan-seared tofu are excellent choices that blend well with the Arrabbiatta sauce and zucchini noodles. Simply cook your protein of choice separately, then mix it in when combining the noodles and sauce.

Is there a way to make this recipe vegan?

Yes, making this recipe vegan is quite straightforward. The primary change needed is to omit the Parmesan cheese used for garnishing or substitute it with a vegan Parmesan alternative available at most grocery stores. Ensure that the rest of your ingredients, including the Arrabbiatta sauce, are free from any animal products, and you’ll have a delicious vegan version of this dish.

More Vegetable Recipes We Love

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Zucchini Noodles in an Arrabbiata sauce on a white plate.
5 from 3 votes

Arrabbiatta Zucchini Noodles Recipe (Healthy Noodle Recipe)


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes
Yields 4 Servings
You're going to love these zucchini noodles recipe! The perfect low carb recipe to replace regulat pasta with so much more flavor!

Equipment

Ingredients 

Zucchini noodles.

  • 4 zucchini large firm peeled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 3 peeled garlic crushed
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Arrabbiata Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra-virgin divided
  • ½ tbsp red pepper flake crushed
  • ½ cup (131 g) tomato paste
  • 2 cup (298 g) tomatoes fresh, chopped and seeds removed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Start by warming the olive oil in a spacious skillet over a medium flame. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes and wait until they emit their spicy aroma.
  • Turn down the flame to medium-low. This is the perfect time to stir in the tomato paste and fresh tomatoes, along with the oregano and garlic powder. A pinch of salt and pepper can be added according to your taste preferences. Allow the mixture to simmer gently until the sauce slightly thickens, which should take around 20 minutes. Don’t forget to stir every now and then to ensure even cooking.
  • Meanwhile, transform the zucchini into noodles by using a spiral slicer. Aim for thin, long strands, and cut them down to manageable lengths of about 10-12 inches with kitchen scissors. Lay these noodles on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to draw out any moisture. Setting them aside helps in ensuring they don’t turn soggy when cooked.
  • In another large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat before adding the garlic. Sauté until it turns a golden brown, which should take around 4-5 minutes. Once achieved, use a slotted spoon or fork to remove and discard the garlic, reducing the heat to medium.
  • Now, introduce the zucchini noodles into the skillet. Spend about 2 minutes sautéing them, making sure to use tongs to gently turn them over so that they warm up evenly. Season with salt and pepper as deemed necessary.
  • After removing the skillet from heat, merge the zucchini noodles with the previously prepared warm arrabbiata sauce. Execute this step gently to ensure the noodles are well-coated but still retain their structure.
  • Transfer the saucy noodles to a platter. Elevate the dish with a garnish of sliced basil and, if desired, an extra sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese right before serving to add a burst of flavor and a touch of elegance.

Notes

  • Spiralizing Zucchini: For the best texture, choose medium to large zucchinis. Their size makes them easier to handle and spiralize, and they’re less likely to become mushy when cooked.
  • Sauce Consistency: If you find your Arrabbiata sauce too thick, don’t hesitate to thin it out with a little bit of water or vegetable broth. Add it slowly, stirring constantly, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Avoiding Soggy Noodles: To prevent your zucchini noodles from releasing too much water and becoming soggy, make sure to pat them dry after spiralizing. Cooking them for a short duration also helps retain their crunch.
  • Balancing Flavors: Taste your sauce as you cook. If it’s too spicy, a little bit of sugar or honey can help balance the heat. Similarly, if it’s too acidic, a pinch of baking soda can neutralize the excess acidity without altering the taste dramatically.
  • Garnish: Garnishing with fresh herbs not only adds a pop of color but also enhances flavors. Don’t limit yourself to basil; consider parsley, cilantro, or even mint for a unique twist.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1Serving Calories: 267kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 17g (6%) Protein: 5g (10%) Fat: 22g (34%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 15g Sodium: 296mg (13%) Potassium: 1058mg (30%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 11g (12%) Vitamin A: 1817IU (36%) Vitamin C: 53mg (64%) Calcium: 64mg (6%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

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