Zucchini Noodles with Basil and Pistachio Pesto (Zoodles)

Freshly cooked zoodles are topped with the creamiest basil and pistachio pesto. The tender and subtly crunchy zoodles are definitely made to be paired with this heavenly pesto sauce.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword alternative recipe, gluten free, zucchini noodles recipe, zucchini noodles with pesto
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 418kcal
Author Barbara Bianchi


  • For Zoodles
  • 6 medium zucchinis
  • ΒΌ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • For Basil Pesto
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups basil leaves lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 ⁄3 cup pistachio nuts unsalted and shelled
  • 1 ⁄2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • *if you are concerned about nuts manufactured on shared equipment with gluten containing products prominently labels which products of theirs are certified gluten-free.


  • Cut zucchini into zoodles using a spiralizer. Place the spiralized zucchini in a colander and toss with the salt until coated. Place colander in a shallow bowl for 20 - 30 minutes while zoodles release their moisture, then pat dry with paper towels.
  • Meanwhile Prepare Basil Pesto: Mash the garlic and salt together in a small dish. Place in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the large chopping blade. Add the basil, parsley, and pepper. Secure the cover.
    Process until the mixture has a paste-like consistency, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Cover. Now with the motor running, add the nuts and parmesan through the small feed tube.
    Finally while continuing to run the motor, add the oil in a slow steady stream, thickening the mixture.
  • Cook Zoodles: When the zoodles are ready to cook, pat them with paper towels. Then heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add zoodles (zucchini), and cook about 2 minutes. Stir and cook for one more minute.
    Then let the zoodles sit for a few minutes to allow any excess water to be released, drain. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Top drained zoodles with basil pesto sauce and gently toss. Serve immediately.


Pesto sauce may be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.6g