Zucchini Noodles Vs Pasta
What is the difference between zucchini noodles vs pasta? Let’s explore the difference between zucchini noodles and regular pasta as well as some of the main reasons why you might want to seek an alternative to your traditional pasta.
If you’re looking for a healthy diet alternative, specifically a low-carb diet, or low-calorie alternatives, then these are some of the main reasons why you might want to try zucchini noodles rather than your basic pasta noodles. The grams of carbs are so much lower, for zucchini noodles compared to regular pasta.
What are zucchini noodles?
First, before we jump into all of the details in regards to traditional pasta and zucchini pasta, let’s explain what zucchini noodles actually are. Essentially, zucchini noodles are zucchini that have been shredded into fine noodle-like shapes.
Zucchini noodles are actually just plain zucchini, without any other ingredients added. Of course, you can add other ingredients as they are cooked, or you can eat the zucchini noodles raw if you prefer. Because zucchini noodles are just shredded zucchini, the texture of the zucchini noodles, or the texture of zoodles as they are nicknamed, is that of your basic zucchini.
Zucchini pasta can be eaten raw, after it has been made into noodles, and added to things like salad, or they can be cooked and used as direct pasta replacements in many different types of recipes.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what zucchini noodles are, let’s look at some of the nutritional facts in regard to zucchini noodles compared to traditional pasta.
We are going to give a quick overview of some nutrition facts for zucchini noodles versus pasta noodles.
Please keep in mind that these nutritional facts are based on raw zucchini noodles with no other ingredients added, compared to your basic pasta that has been cooked but no other ingredients added. When we say traditional pasta, this is the type made with eggs.
Keep in mind that you may want to reference your specific box of pasta, for your specific details. Each type of pasta is slightly different, but this will give you a good baseline to compare to.
Estimated Nutrition Facts Zucchini Noodles (Raw Zucchini)
Serving Size: 1 cup
Total Fat 0.2g
Sodium 12 mg
Total Carbohydrate 4.2g
Dietary Fiber 1.4g
Total Sugars 2.2g
Vitamin D 0mcg
Vitamin C 0mcg
Vitamin B 0mcg
Vitamin A 0mcg
Estimated Nutritional Facts Homemade Pasta with Eggs (cooked)
Serving Size: 1 cup
Total Fat 7.9g
Total Carbohydrate 107.3g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Total Sugars 0g
Vitamin D 0mcg
Vitamin C 0mcg
Vitamin B 0mcg
Vitamin A 0mcg
Regular pasta comes in many different shapes and sizes. Pasta noodles can be used in all kinds of different recipes as well. Usually, they are boiled in water until they are al dente, then the pasta can be added to all different types of recipes. Some common dishes with pasta include pasta salad, spaghetti, alfredo, and much more.
Pasta noodles are a great option, because they are traditionally low-cost, and can be used to make a quick and easy meal. However, there are some dietary needs that might require you to seek an alternative to your regular pasta noodles.
Zucchini pasta is made with zucchini, which is a type of summer squash. This is a nutritious vegetable that has all different kinds of nutritional value to it. Not only does the zucchini taste good, but it is also good for you to eat.
In addition to the nutritional facts outlined above, let’s look at some of the benefits to eating zucchini, instead of pasta. First, zucchini pasta contains some dietary fiber, which is good for you. It also has a high water content, can help with weight loss, is a low carb food, and contain significantly less calories than the regular pasta alternative.
Diet and Allergy Friendly
Zucchini noodles are great as they pass the alternative because of their diet-friendly attribute. The zucchini noodles are a great alternative, especially for those with gluten intolerance, or if you’re trying to stick to a low-carb diet like the keto diet.
Those with gluten intolerance may enjoy eating zucchini noodles because you can still make your dishes as you would with traditional pasta, but not have to worry about an expensive alternative to your traditional pasta.
Although you can find gluten-free pasta, it is often pricey, whereas zucchini can be grown right in your garden, or purchased usually for a reasonable price at the grocery store.
Zucchini noodles are also ideal for those on a keto diet because they are such a low-carb food source. Not only are zucchini noodles good for you, but they are especially keto diet friendly.
A medium zucchini typically equals approximately 1 cup of zucchini noodles. We have estimated that one cup of raw zucchini noodles will contain approximately 4.2 g of total carbohydrates, which can significantly decrease your carb intake when compared to the 107.3 g of total carbohydrates that traditional pasta includes.
These zucchini veggie noodles can be made by hand or purchased at the grocery store. You can often find the spiraled zucchini noodles in the freezer section at the grocery store, or you can easily make them at home, with a kitchen gadget and a fresh zucchini.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini noodles are a great alternative to traditional pasta, especially if you have dietary concerns. You can purchase zucchini noodles from the grocery store or make them by hand. There are several different ways you can make spiralized vegetables, at home, using different types of spiralizers.
Essentially, you are wanting to cut your zucchini into thin strips to make the zucchini noodles. They can be straight strips or spiral strips.
One of the most basic methods you can use to make zucchini noodles at home is to use a vegetable peeler. There is a specific type of vegetable peeler you can purchase, which will slice your zucchini into zucchini noodles.
Another option is to use a countertop spiralizer which will cut it into the shape of noodles. Another fancier option is to use a Julian peeler, which can also cut your zucchini into noodles shapes.
There are many different kitchen tools you can pick up at the store or buy online which are specifically designed to make zucchini noodles. They also range in price, depending on what specific type you’re looking for.
How to Use Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini noodles can be used as a direct replacement for pasta noodles in your main course. In addition to using zucchini noodles as a replacement for your traditional pasta, there are other different ways you might consider using zucchini as well.
Some of the basic ways to use zucchini noodles as a replacement for your traditional pasta would be to make zucchini spaghetti, topped with tomato sauce.
Also, you can take zucchini noodles, toss them with olive oil, and cook them on your stovetop for a delicious basic meal. No matter if you are choosing to add pasta sauce, or simply replace your traditional pasta with zucchini noodles, they make a delicious and healthy alternative.
Another option, which is a popular alternative, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy Keeney slices is to use raw zucchini, in dishes such as salad, or mixed with other vegetables for a delicious option.
This is a great use for your spiral slicers to make zucchini spirals, or to make your own zucchini noodles, and add them to your salad simply as they are, or as raw zucchini. You can then top the raw zucchini with other shredded vegetables and add your favorite dressing.
Are Zucchini Noodles Prepared like Pasta?
If you are using zucchini noodles as a direct substitute for your traditional pasta, yes they can be prepared like pasta, however, you do not need to boil zucchini noodles like pasta.
Instead, you can add your zucchini noodles to a frying pan, with a little drizzle of olive oil, then cook them over medium heat, or medium-low heat, until they are tender.
The cooking time may vary for your zucchini noodles depending on what specific dish you were making. Ideally, you simply want the zucchini noodles to be tender, but not overcooked.
Other Pasta Substitutes
In addition to using zucchini noodles as a pasta substitute, there are a few other options to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the more common options that you may enjoy using as well.
Spaghetti Squash. Spaghetti squash is another great option when you are looking for a pasta alternative. Spaghetti squash is usually used as a replacement for regular spaghetti noodles but has other uses as well.
Yellow Squash. Yellow squash is another type of summer squash, that you might enjoy using as a substitute for your regular pasta. Whether you choose to mix yellow squash with zucchini to make noodles, or completely replace the zucchini noodles with yellow squash noodles, yellow squash makes a fabulous alternative that you might enjoy using as well.
What is the Best Way to Use Zucchini Noodles?
There are two main ways that are best to use zucchini noodles. Those two ways include using zucchini as a pasta substitute, or as raw zucchini noodles. Let’s look at both of these in detail.
Pasta Substitute. You can use zucchini noodles as a direct replacement for your traditional pasta. Zucchini noodles do not have to be boiled like pasta does.
Instead, they can be cooked on the stovetop in a skillet, then mix with your other ingredients as you would with your regular pasta. Zucchini noodles are a great alternative, especially if you are requiring special dietary needs.
Raw Zucchini Noodles. My favorite, which I think is the best way to use zucchini noodles, is to use raw noodles in salads and other cold dishes.
Keep in mind this is a matter of personal preference, but it just tastes so good it’s hard to resist these delicious raw zucchini spirals or noodles added to your dish in place of pasta.
Zucchini Noodles and Pasta: The Healthy Alternative
When comparing zucchini noodles and pasta noodles, there are several different reasons why you might want to choose zucchini pasta as a healthier alternative.
While traditional pasta definitely does have its place, it is good for many different recipes, there are a few reasons why you might enjoy using zucchini noodles to mix things up, or as a substitute.
I hope that this has helped you understand the difference between zucchini noodles and regular pasta. Now that you know some of the differences, it’s time to determine what you would like to use for your next recipe.