Zucchini spaghetti tossed in an herbaceous and meaty red sauce, this zucchini spaghetti is so hearty and comforting and is one of our family favorites. Top these zucchini noodles in freshly grated parm, and trust me when I tell you: you won’t even miss traditional pasta!
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Ingredients For Zucchini Spaghetti
You’ll need some zucchini noodles, plus a collection of ingredients for the keto spaghetti sauce–this meat sauce is my family’s recipe, my Mom has been making it for us our whole lives. Here’s what to gather:
- The noodles: Zucchini noodles! Opt for fresh noodles, rather than frozen (they always come out soggy). You can make your own or buy pre-sliced noodles in the veggie section of your grocery store.
- The meat: A combination of ground beef and Italian sausage. So, so, so good.
- The herbs + spices: Bay leaves, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, basil, and oregano.
- Everything else: Crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
Swaps + Subs
Looking to switch some ingredients around? Here’s how to make this zucchini spaghetti your unique family recipe:
- Noodle substitutes: If zucchini noodles aren’t your thing, feel free to other keto spaghetti options such as spaghetti squash, butternut squash noodles, almond flour pasta, or shirataki noodles.
- Meat swaps: You can use ground turkey instead of beef, just know you’ll need a bit more oil and seasoning to add flavor to the sauce.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
You can shape your noodles a handful of ways for this zucchini spaghetti. My go to method is a spiralizer, but here are all your options:
- With a spiralizer, just slice off the ends, and be sure to cut the zucchini noodles in thirds, so you don’t get super long zucchini spaghetti strands.
- With a veggie peeler, for long thin noodles.
- With a mandoline, for long thin noodles or small medallions. I typically prefer this method when making zucchini lasagna, zucchini lasagna roll ups, and zucchini ravioli, but you can slice them super thin and they’ll work here as well.
- With a cheese grater, for more of a zucchini rice dish.
- *OR* buy them from the store, just skip the frozen ones.
Does zucchini spaghetti taste like spaghetti?
Zucchini spaghetti is best seen as a pasta substitute. It doesn’t taste like traditional pasta, however, it has a very subtle taste, which allows the pasta sauce to really shine. We absolutely love it as a substitute, as most of my recipes are really all about the sauce. (See my keto alfredo sauce and spaghetti squash carbonara to see what I’m talking about).
How to Make Zucchini Spaghetti
Now that your zucchini pasta is ready to party, the rest is easy. Our spaghetti sauce develops more as it simmers on the stove, so I recommend low heat for a longer time to marry everything together. Only toss your zucchini spaghetti in at the very end (more on that below!). And be sure to top with freshly grated parm.
How do you make zoodles not soggy?
Zucchini noodles can go from delicious to soggy in a matter of minutes. There are a few tricks to keeping your zucchini spaghetti crisp and delicious. Here’s how I do it:
- Never use frozen zucchini pasta.
- Only cook the zoodles as long as needed. I typically like tossing them in a warm sauce, rather than cooking them. If you must cook them, try to keep the time down to 1-2 minutes.
- Combine leftovers to reincorporate any liquid that has eeked out. No matter what, your zucchini pasta recipe will release liquid as it stores. Just mix everything back together before you serve it.
See how to make this Zucchini Spaghetti on TikTok.
More Zucchini Noodle Recipes
Zucchini SpaghettiPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 zucchinis spiralized
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- fresh parmesan grated
- fresh basil sliced
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the beef and sausage, and brown. Drain excess oil from the pot–I do this by tilting the pot to the side and using tongs and paper towels to soak it up.
- Add all other sauce ingredients and stir. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and allow the sauce to cook this way for 20-40 minutes. (this helps the sauce to develop more flavor!)
- Meanwhile, spiralize your zucchini and set aside.
- Remove your pan from heat and twirl your zucchini into the warm sauce. Serve immediately (zucchini will get soggy over time) with freshly grated parmesan and sliced basil on top. Enjoy!