Veggie Spaghetti

A wooden table with a colander holding veggie spaghetti, a small white bowl of pesto, and a small dish of lemon wedges.

You can thank British nutritionist to the stars, Amelia Freer, for this veggie spaghetti recipe. No, it’s not actually spaghetti. And no, we don’t propose you attempt to pass it off as pseudo spaghetti because, let’s be honest, you’re not going to fool anyone into thinking summer squash is pasta, no matter how lovely and creative the recipe. We prefer to instead consider what this recipe is rather than what it’s not. And it’s a super simple way to sneak some more veggies into your routine if you’re seeking a way to do just that.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC “Veggie Spaghetti” (And We Use That Term Loosely) Note

Just to repeat ourselves, in case you missed it the first time we mentioned it, this recipe is actually less veggie spaghetti than it is veggie squiggles. So what the heck to do with it? Lotsa things. Make a large batch of these barely cooked noodles and stash ’em in the fridge to use later. They’re handy ingredients in salads, stir-fries, soups, even”spaghetti” (note our use of air quotes, please and thank you) bolognese. Should you need more specific suggestions, we gotcha. Try the below, add your own thoughts, or check out the recommendations from our recipe testers in the notes below.

Brown butter with a squeeze of lemon.
Extra-virgin olive oil, torn basil leaves, grated lemon zest, and maybe some black olives and chopped almonds or hazelnuts.
A simple tomato sauce.
[Your idea here. Just let us know in a comment below.]

Veggie Spaghetti

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 10 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 1
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Special Equipment: Spiralizer or julienne vegetable peeler



Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, make your long strands of “spaghetti”out of summer squash, zucchini, or butternut squash using a julienne vegetable peeler or a spiralizer.

Pour the hot water into a large heatproof bowl. Dump the veggie “spaghetti” in the hot water and let it “cook” for 1 to 2 minutes.

Gently drain the veggie spaghetti, patting it dry with a clean towel if desired to remove all the moisture. If desired, rinse it under cool running water to stop the cooking. Then plop on a spoonful or so of pesto and some olive oil and a little lemon zest to taste and toss. Serve at once.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I liked this recipe a lot. I’ve made veggie spaghetti before but always thought that it got a little mushy. Here, the boiling water is dumped over the cut zucchini and left to soak for 2 minutes. Perfect al dente zucchini spaghetti. And, since I used the serving bowl to “cook” the spaghetti, it was warmed by the hot water. Very cool! I used this spiral cutter. It worked great on zucchini (with the larger cutting side) but it was a bit strenuous with carrots. I served the veggie spaghetti with a plain tomato sauce. Will make this again.

Zoodles. It’s what’s for a healthy dinner these days. I am not a huge fan of “faux foods” that mimic favorites as a trend, but I have to admit, not only do I have a sprializer, but I have had several and even given them as gifts. That means I also have had some I didn’t like much (they are gone). Bulky as the multi-blade one is, it earns a place in the pantry. I have used it for salad and stir-fries, but strangely not as pasta noodles. Zucchini is the easiest thing, and coming in as a close second is cucumbers.

You can use the vegetable noodles with traditional and simple sauces (pesto, garlic-olive oil, Parmesan, even carbonara. I also like to make veggie spaghetti with spicy peanut ginger dressing; cherry tomatoes, scallions, and peppery goat or jack cheese;
mixed 50/50 with actual linguine, grilled vegetables such as summer squash, tomatoes, peas or fava beans, and Parmesan; stir-fried with ginger, garlic, and soy; cooked and then chilled and served like udon with mushrooms and radishes in dashi.

One or two tips: If you have a hand-crank style spiralizer with the removable blades and crank handle (mine is a Paderno), you will note that it has suction feet. If your counter is not a smooth surface (my vintage kitchen has grouted tile), you will be much happier it you set your spiralizer on a rimmed, heavy cookie sheet. Then you can firmly push the suction feet into place and your tool won’t try and walk away from you. The cooke or sheet cake pan also contains your ‘mess’ nicely and captures all the stray spirals and pieces as you crank away. I like this kitchen gadget, and seem to use it in cycles. With firmer veggies, you may have to be a little gentle or persistent. Try and pick tender veggies, especially root vegetables. Even jicama and rutabaga can go thru, if they aren’t rock hard. Sweet potatoes and carrots will seem like they stain your machine, but if you wash it promptly it isn’t a problem and it really doesn’t matter.

I find even the fine spiral blade is never going to approximate angel hair, but you get a nice noodle that will cook quickly, whether you boil it briefly, pout hot water over it as in this recipe, or stir-fry it. If you’re using a mixture of vegetables and traditional grain pasta, you can add the zoodles in for the last 2 minutes of cooking.

If you only need a small amount, I do have an alternative. If you stir-fry, you probably already own a Kinpira julienne tool. It gives you nice, long threads of most any long vegetable, though it won’t give you the curly effect that a spiralizer does. You can find these at Asian markets for under $15. I use it sometimes if I am making a single serving of veggie spaghetti. It’s small and sharp (be careful with any and all of these). I have tried several small “pencil-sharpener” style tools and didn’t keep a single one after the first use. The spiralizer and Kinpira have been great from first use.


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  1. I used my new spiralizer to make zucchini spaghetti. Because I had tomatoes that I wanted to cook & add, I ended up sauteeing the zucchini with garlic, fresh rosemary & basil. Added grated parm. It was delicious. Next time I’ll cut the zucchini strips so they’re easier to eat.

    Veggie Spaghetti Recipe

  2. My wife and I make zucchini and spaghetti squash noodles often, but don’t like to pair them with tomato sauce for the reasons laid out above—they’re just not a great substitute. We like to mash a few garlic cloves with coarse salt using the back of a knife and then mix the noodles and garlic with mashed avocado and then top it with some crumbled feta and chopped chives or scallions. It’s great hot or cold. Delicious.

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