Need a delicious way to use up some zucchini? Enjoy this recipe for dairy-free pesto zoodles. It’s a classic adapted from an old issue of Vegetarian Times. The pesto is actually made with sage and parsley, but you can certainly substitute basil if you have it on hand. The recipe makes enough pesto to cover additional vegetables and your favorite protein. It’s perfect for lunch bowls or a light dinner. And the zucchini noodles offer a grain-free break from pasta. We originally shared this recipe way back in 2006, but have since updated it with more options.
Dairy-Free Pesto Zoodles made Purely from Plants
These delicious “noodles” are made simply from zucchini or summer squash. You can use a spiralizer, peeler, or mandolin to make them. A spiralizer will give you spaghetti-style noodles, while a peeler cuts them into thinner ribbons. A mandoline can cut thin or thick sheets, which you can stack and then slice into thinner strips.
The pesto is a versatile recipe that you can adapt to taste. Feel free to use fresh basil, instead of the sage, if you prefer a milder pesto. Pine nuts provide the creamiest flavor, but you can use other nuts, if you prefer. Cashews, macadamia nuts, almonds, and walnuts each lend their own unique character. For nut-free, we like sunflower seeds in pesto.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Pesto Zoodles
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, optionally paleo, and suitable for keto diets.
- 2 medium to large zucchini or yellow summer squash
- ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
- ½ cup packed fresh sage leaves (can sub basil leaves)
- ¼ cup packed fresh parsley
- ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cooked white beans
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup corn kernels
- Spiralize or ribbon the zucchini or summer squash using a mandolin or knife. Here is a great guide to creating different types of zucchini noodles.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the pine nuts, sage, parsley, ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Process until the pesto is smooth.
- Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash ribbons, any of the optional add-ins, and 1 heaping tablespoon of the pesto. Sauté until the squash is tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer the zoodles to a bowl, and serve with the remaining pesto on the side.