Zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles, are a great alternative to wheat-based pasta. Whether you’re following a gluten-free diet or want to drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake, zoodles provide a tasty solution when you want to enjoy classic dishes like pasta or soup. To get zoodles, you will typically need to make them yourself using either a spiralizer, julienne peeler or mandoline. Once you’ve got your zoodles, you can use them to create many different kinds of zoodle-based soups.
EditChicken Zoodle Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup diced celery
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 (14.5 ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 pound cooked chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pinch dried thyme (optional)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3 zucchini squash, cut into “zoodles”
EditMaking Zucchini Noodles
- Use a spiralizer. This is the preferred tool for many people because it’s the fastest and easiest to operate. Unfortunately, it’s also the largest and most expensive. To use it, simply wash your zucchini and slice the ends off. Place the zucchini next to the blade and spin. The zucchini will be reduced to thin spiral slices in less than ten seconds. 
- You can buy spiralizers in stores that sell cookware and small kitchen appliances. You can also order one online.
- If you’re on a budget or have little kitchen space to spare, consider buying a handheld spiralizer. They are much cheaper, and while the quality of the zoodles won’t be as consistent, it will get the job done.
- Try a julienne peeler. Julienne peelers are small and relatively cheap, but it will take a bit longer to get zucchini noodles when you use one. It will create thinner noodles than the spiralizer, so if you like very delicate noodles, you may prefer using this tool. Wash your zucchini and cut the ends off. Hold the vegetable against the blade and rotate it to create the zoodles.
- Operate with caution, since you can easily cut yourself with a julienne peeler if you aren’t paying attention.
- You can buy one of these tools at any store that sells kitchen utensils.
- Use a mandoline. Mandolines slice zucchini quickly and easily, but they are fairly large. They’re also extremely sharp, so be careful and always use the safety guard or a cut-resistant glove. Slice the ends off of your rinsed zucchini and nestle the vegetable into the plastic holder. Push the plastic holder from one end of the mandolin to the other repeatedly. The sharp blade will do the rest of the work.
- You can buy mandolines at most stores that sell kitchen utensils.
- Don’t underestimate the sharpness of a mandoline! Use caution.
- Look for pre-packaged zoodles. Some grocery stores are starting to carry pre-packaged zoodles, especially health-oriented establishments like Whole Foods. While most people still tend to make zoodles themselves using one of their kitchen tools, pre-packaged zoodles may be a good option for you if you want to test out the taste before committing to buying an expensive tool.
- Check the noodle section for pre-packaged zoodles. In some cases, you may find them in the refrigerated section of the produce area.
EditCooking Zucchini Noodles
- Leave them raw. If you prefer noodles that are crisp, with an al dente texture, don’t cook your zoodles at all! Simply combine them with the warm ingredients (whatever broth or soup you intend to eat them with) and serve them immediately. The heat from the broth will quickly heat up the thin slices of zucchini and your zoodles will have a similar quality to al dente noodles.
- This is by far the easiest and most versatile way to make any kind of zoodle soup that you wish. Simply prepare the broth you want and ladle it over your zoodles.
- Microwave them. For those who prefer noodles that are softer than al dente, this technique is quick and easy. Place your zoodles in a microwave safe dish. Cook them for about one minute. If you’re cooking a big pile of zoodles, you may need to cook them for longer. Do so in 30 second increments so that the zoodles aren’t overcooked. Once heated, combine them with your broth or soup.
- Sauté the zoodles. If you don’t have a microwave or prefer to use your stovetop, sautéing your zoodles is a great option. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a pan. Heat it up, add the zoodles and sauté them for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove them from heat, combine them with your broth and serve immediately.
- Boil them. This will create the softest noodle. Bring a pot of water to boil, add the zoodles and let them boil in the water for about one minute. Remove them from heat and drain them with a colander, exactly as you would with traditional noodles. Combine them with the broth or soup of your choice and serve.
EditMaking Chicken Zoodle Soup
- Make your zoodles. Rinse off the three zucchini. Slice both ends off of each one. Use your spiralizer, julienne peeler or mandoline to reduce the zucchini to a pile of zoodles. Divide the zoodles into six bowls. Set these aside for now.
- If you prefer, you can remove the skin from the zucchini before creating the zoodles. However, most people leave the skin on.
- Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in a large pot. Add olive oil to a large pot and heat it up over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and celery to the pot, as well as the minced garlic. Sauté them together for about five minutes, until they are tender and the onions appear to be slightly translucent.
- Add the broth, carrots, chicken and spices to the pot. Pour the chicken broth into the pot and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Then add the sliced carrots and chicken. Stir again. Measure out and add the basil, oregano and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir the mixture well to incorporate all ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the soup at this heat for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Ladle the broth over the zoodles and serve. Remove the soup from the heat once the vegetables are tender. Taste the broth and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Carefully ladle the soup mixture over each bowl of zoodles. Serve the soup immediately.
EditThings You’ll Need
- Spiralizer, mandoline or julienne peeler
- Large pot
- Six bowls