Zucchini is a naturally gluten-free, low-carb, and flexible ingredient. The veggie is the perfect candidate for countless diet-friendly recipes, this "zoodle" salad included.
Our zucchini noodle salad recipe is light, refreshing, and served best with a sweet and savory almond butter soy garlic dressing.
It also serves perfectly as a side dish or can be prepared into a balanced meal with an added protein source. (More on that below!)
So without further delay, let's jump into the recipe!
Asian Zucchini Noodle Salad Recipe
Yield: 9 (1 cup) servings
Nutrition per serving: 120 calories, 8 g fat, 4 g protein, 8 g total carb, 3 g fiber
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
• 3 large zucchinis (about 9 cups)
• 1 cup shredded carrot
• 1 bell pepper, diced
• 2 scallions, thinly sliced
• 4 Tbsp almond butter, unsalted
• 3 Tbsp soy sauce, reduced-sodium (or tamari for gluten-free*)
• 2 Tbsp sesame or olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/2 lemon, juiced
• 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
• Fresh basil and cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
*Prepared with soybeans, tamari is often considered to be a gluten-free option. But always verify whether or not wheat has been added and it is certified gluten-free.
1. Using a spiralizer, spiral the zucchinis to create the long "noodles." A vegetable peeler can work as well, just include the peel for maximum nutrients! Shave down until the center with the seeds.
2. Add the spiralized zucchini noodles, shredded carrots, diced bell peppers, and sliced scallions to a large bowl.
3. For the salad dressing, add almond butter, soy sauce, oil, minced garlic, and lemon juice into a medium bowl. Gently mix until fully combined. Drizzle dressing atop the zoodles and other veggies and toss to coat.
4. Garnish with sesame seeds and more fresh herbs as desired and serve chilled.
Build-Your-Own Zoodle Salad
This zucchini noodle pasta salad recipe is delicious when followed to a T. However, the zoodle salad can be tweaked to accommodate dietary preferences and needs.
The recipe can also be simply made with ingredients already stocked to avoid a grocery run, including veggies, protein sources, and fresh herbs.
Bulking with vegetables adds volume and nutrients without amplifying overall calories.
Veggies are also staples in salads, and they go beyond leafy greens. (Although they still make great additions!)
The following veggies make great additions to the salad:
• Baby corn
• Bell pepper
• Black olives
• Bok choy
• Grape tomatoes
• Green beans
• Shittake mushrooms
Protein & Healthy Fat Sources
Adding a protein source can help round out the dish while making it more filling. Some protein sources, including salmon and nuts, also contain healthy fats that lend their own set of health benefits.
Many animal and plant-based protein sources that pair great with this chilled salad, including:
• Canned tuna and salmon
• Hardboiled egg
• Pea varieties, including sugar snap peas
• Peanuts, cashew, almonds, and other nut varieties
• Sirloin steak
• Tempeh and tofu
Spices & Herbs
Mixing and garnishing with herbs, spices, and some sauces* are a great way to boost flavor without introducing calories.
Delicious flavor additions to this salad include:
• Chili paste
• Green onion
• Lime juice
• Oyster sauce
• Red pepper flakes
*Sauces are often a hidden source of added sugars and other unwanted ingredients. When selecting a sauce, look for one with recognizable ingredients and try to avoid ones with corn syrup or sugar added.