Whip up this easy and delicious vegetarian zucchini pasta with a creamy and fresh lemon-basil sauce in just 30 minutes! Great summer weeknight dinner idea.
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About two months ago I bought one of those herb plant starter kits at Target, found in the dollar spot. And after much patience waiting for it to grow, I finally used it for the first time in this recipe. And now it needs to grow faster because I want to use it all the time! Fresh basil is he best.
Thankfully my parents have a bunch in their garden so I can avoid hacking mine down to much. It’s still just a little thing. I even used tomatoes from my parents garden. I am really going to miss having access to a garden once my time in Knoxville comes to an end.
Fast forward to 9 years later and now I have a house with my own vegetable garden which includes more basil, tomatoes, and zucchini than I can keep up with! Thankfully I remembered this recipe and made it with the most recent harvest of all three of those items.
Thanks to all the fresh homegrown items, this zucchini ribbon pasta is a great vegetarian summer dish. It is light, fresh and full of vegetables. That creamy lemon-basil sauce certainly helps too. Don’t skimp on the garlic either!
If you loved this, check out my shaved asparagus ricotta pizza or tortellini spinach bake with creamy Meyer lemon sauce.
Tools to cut zucchini pasta:
The only thing I did differently this time around was using my mandoline to help make slicing up the zucchini easier. But you can feel free to cut old school by hand if your kitchen is not stocked with such a tool. A spiralizer would work as well.
Funny side note: this post was written before “zoodles” were a thing. Who could have predicted the trend that would blossom later on?
Post updated 7/12/21, photo above is the original.
- 8 oz. fettuccine
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 10 oz. cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- 3-4 cloves finely minced garlic
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup very loosely packed basil, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, more if desired
- Prepare a pot of water and cook pasta according to package instructions. Cut ends off zucchini and slice along the long direction, cutting the zucchini into about ⅛-inch slices (or use a mandoline or spiralizer). Cut each of those slices into long pieces, about the same size as the fettuccine. When pasta is just about done, add zucchini strips to pot (so they’re cooking with the pasta). Boil for about 2 minutes, or until tender. Drain zucchini and pasta, set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, place a medium size skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add tomatoes and give them a little sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes, or until they start to burst and look blistered. Remove tomatoes from pan and place in a small dish, cover, and set aside.
- Add another 1 teaspoon olive oil to the empty pan and add garlic. Stir constantly on medium-low heat for about 30-60 seconds or until fragrant. Add vegetable broth*. Bring to a simmer and use a spatula to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 1-2 minutes and then reduce heat to low.
- Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Ladle in a couple spoonfuls of the broth mixture into the cream cheese and stir to combine. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to the pan with the remaining broth mixture and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add chopped basil and lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine pasta and zucchini with sauce. Gently toss in tomatoes, or simply add them on top of each serving. Garnish with additional basil if desired.
*Can also use chicken if not vegetarian.
Source: Adapted slightly from Our Best Bites.