Lighten up with this zucchini noodles with pesto and cherry tomatoes salad. A quick 10-minute meal that is gluten-free and vegan for the perfect summertime dinner.
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It's time for another zucchini recipe, my friends!
A couple of weeks ago I shared these double chocolate zucchini muffins (which, if you haven't yet tried, you should!) before that it was this super simple vegan zucchini bread (which you guys are loving!) and today, in a continued attempt to use up all that zucchini growing in the garden, I've got this zucchini noodles with pesto salad for you.
It's a light and refreshing summer salad that can be made in just 10 minutes and is packed with all kinds of good vitamins and minerals that your body will love.
Great taste + great for you. I think you're gonna love it!
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
This recipe is light, refreshing, and delicious. You’re going to love the combination of zucchini with homemade vegan pesto and cherry tomatoes. So good! Better yet, this recipe is made with just 5 simple ingredients.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Oil – Any high heat oil will do. I recommend coconut or avocado oil.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Vegan Pesto - Homemade pesto is highly versatile. You can use a variety of nuts or seeds such as hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, cashews, or pine nuts. You can also switch up the greens. Consider adding arugula or kale for a spicy and earthy variation of traditional pesto.
- Toppings (optional) – Fresh basil, red pepper flakes, vegan parmesan
Most importantly, you will need a spiralizer. I love my spiralizer because:
- They don’t take up a lot of room. Yay for tiny kitchens!
- They are simple to master.
- And they turn almost any vegetable into beautiful ribbons or noddles.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles w/ Pesto
Step One - Spiralize the Zucchinis
Cut off ½" on either end of the zucchini and spiralizing it according to your spiralizer's instructions.
Next, sauté the zucchini noodles bring out their naturally sweet flavors and give them a tenderness that is both easier to eat and digest.
To do this, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or cooking oil of choice) to a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, gently sauté the noodles for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and tender.
Refrigerate to cool.
Step Two - Make the Pesto
This pesto is a delightful combination of fresh basil, hemp seeds, and lemon juice. In lieu of parmesan, I add nutritional yeast which gives this pesto a creamy and nutty flavor. However, if you would like a bit more of the classic taste, you could substitute nutritional yeast with my vegan parmesan cheese.
Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil, in a food processor and blend until smooth. With motor running, slowly add the olive oil until it's completely incorporated.
Step Three - Toss it together
Toss the cooled zucchini noodles with the pesto. Add halved cherry tomatoes and top with fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and vegan parmesan.
Serving and Storing
Make in advance. This meal can be made ahead 2-3 hours before serving. Keep noodles in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Serve these noodles with fresh bread or vegan tomato soup.
Store the zucchini noodles and pesto separately. Pesto can be stored in an airtight container the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Zucchini noodles should be eaten within one day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I substitute another vegetable for the zucchini?
Why, yes you can! Try swapping out zucchini noodles for beet, carrot, or sweet potato noodles. If you have questions on how to spiralize these vegetables, check out this guide to spiralizing any vegetable.
Is this recipe keto-friendly?
More Vegan Zucchini Recipes
- Vegan Zucchini Fritters
- Mexican-Style Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Classic Zucchini Bread
- Vegan Zucchini Noodle Lasagna
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
- Cut ½" off the ends of the zucchini. Follow the instructions on your spiralizer to spiralize the zucchini.
- Heat coconut oil in a skillet and lightly sautéd noodles for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Make the vegan pesto according to these instructions.
- Toss the cooled zucchini noodles with the pesto. Add halved cherry tomatoes.
- Divide the salad between 2 plates and top with fresh basil and red pepper flakes.