Going on a keto diet means a no-flour diet. No pasta, no bread, and no rice. The low-carb diet can only be properly executed if you prepare your meals beforehand. This may occur as a revelation, but zucchini can substitute many high-carb ingredients in your homemade meals. Wondering how to make zucchini noodles easily? Well, you can cook them in the microwave!
Use various toppings and sauces to build that gourmet taste once you have successfully replaced spaghetti with zucchini. This helps increase the number of vegetables in your diet while simultaneously reducing carbs. Making zucchini spaghetti is as easy as ABC, especially when using a microwave to do so. It also helps save time when you’re low on stove space.
Why are zucchini noodles a good substitute
The reason behind the popularity of the zoodles is the epic taste that people have been missing out on. It surprisingly has a similar texture and shape as pasta and holds together all the flavors of the different sauces used in preparing it.
The stellar nutritional value and the gluten-free nature make it all the more viable option. To be honest, all this talking won’t be enough to persuade you. You do need to taste it before you make up your mind.
There are a bunch of handy tools available in the market to help you make spaghetti out of zucchini. After experimenting with the lot, my favorite is the Spiral Veggie cutter. It’s a small concise tool that makes great zoodles.
Most people don’t have enough experience with microwaves, however, there is a lot you can do with it. This piece is dedicated to all the new weight watchers learning how to cook zucchini noodles in the microwave.
Recipe to make zucchini noodles in the microwave
STEP 1: Cutting zucchini to get noodles
A spiral slicer works smoothly when cutting the zucchini into the shape of noodles. All you need to do is place the zucchini into a slicer and twist it all the way. The result is perfectly spiraled strands of zucchini. If you don’t have the spiral cutter then use an ordinary vegetable peeler or grater. Even a julienne cutter works.
You can even use a food processor with a grating blade for this purpose. However, this incurs shorter pieces.
STEP 2: Preparing the zucchini noodles
Before you can cut the zucchini, it is important that you prep it for optimal results.
- Salt the zucchini so it extracts all the water. The concentration of water can make the vegetable soggy when you cook it.
- Once salted, allow it to sit for an hour and a half or longer.
- After waiting for an hour or so, rinse the salt away. With the help of a colander, press the zucchini between paper towels to extract any excess water.
- When all the water is nicely drained, place the zoodles in a microwave-safe tray.
STEP 3: Cook the zucchini noodles in the microwave
- Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes, depending on how you cut them.
- Cook time: 2-3 min
- Nutrition value: 33 kcal
Things you’ll need to cook zucchini noodles in the microwave
- Microwavable bowl or tray
- Zucchini cutter
- 1 zucchini
- 1 tablespoon of water
- Extra vegetables
- Your favorite sauces
You can also opt for the pre-cut zucchini available at the grocery store.
- Wash out the fresh zucchinis with water and cut at either end.
- Use the vegetti or any other option mentioned above, with the help of the thick setting, to cut the zucchini into the shape of the noodles. Since zucchini cooks quickly, it is preferred that you avoid the thin setting.
- Some zucchinis may be left at the end that may not be spiralized. If you don’t want it to go to waste, then finely chop them and transfer all the zoodles into a microwave-safe bowl.
- In the microwaveable bowl of zoodles, add a tablespoon of water and give it a nice stir. Adding more water will make them soggy so a tablespoon should be enough. Zucchini is already concentrated in water, adding more to it would only turn it mushy.
- Cover using a lid or a damp paper towel to allow the steam to cook the zoodles quickly and maintain their taste.
- Now, microwave the zoodles for 1 and a half minutes to approximately 3 minutes. Don’t worry, you can taste them after a minute of cooking to check for the texture. The longer they are left to cook, the more tender they will be. I prefer them to be slightly crunchy and 1.5 minutes is just enough time for them to cook to perfection
- To check for doneness, look at how easily it bends with some resistance. Make sure it does not break from crispness.
- You can pop the zoodles out of the microwave and let yourself be astounded by how beautifully cooked they are. You can now add your favorite toppings, vegetables, and spices just the way you like. Add some sauce and garnish the dish with lemon juice, parsley, pepper, garlic, or sesame seeds if you like.
For more than one zucchini, allow them to cook for two minutes on high heat. After each thirty-second interval, stir and check if it’s done. If you’re cooking larger portions, then increase the cooking times accordingly and increase the stirring time as well.
Toppings for your zucchini noodles
Marinara, Alfredo, or even Pesto all pair up pretty nicely with zucchini spaghetti. Meat sauce or meatballs in low-sugar homemade sauce for a keto version works great for a fancy low-carb meal. Sautéed vegetables in olive oil and garlic are some of my top favorites to toss in some microwaved zucchini. Adding parmesan crisps can give you that extra bit of balance that you’re missing from garlic bread.
Why you should microwave zucchini noodles instead of boiling them
The best thing about replacing noodles with zoodles is the post-pasta bloat that does not happen. They have been trending worldwide, especially after the great success of the keto-based diet. Sauteing or boiling zoodles are some typical methods that have been commonly followed. However, this has often resulted in overcooked zoodles due to the high heat involved.
The overcooked zoodles barely look appetizing and are often sad-looking and limp. If you’re a college student living dorm life where you’re often running late, you usually don’t get the time to prepare your meals at all. Lucky for you, cooking zoodles in a microwave does not make them mushy, rather they are perfect and pretty easy to cook.
FAQs related to microwave zucchini noodles
How do you steam zoodles in the microwave?
Place the zoodles in a microwavable bowl with a tablespoon of water and cover. Microwave it for at least 2-3 minutes and savor!
Can you heat up zucchini noodles?
Use a skillet on a medium-high flame, splash some olive oil, or use a cooking spray once the skillet turns hot. (check by flicking some water, it sizzles). Toss some zoodles on top and stir until all the zoodle have cooked through.
How do you make zucchini noodles not soggy?
To avoid your zoodles from getting soggy or watery, try the following tips:
- Prepare the zoodles first and add the toppings later.
- Drain the zoodles once cooked in a colander
- Avoid using hot sauce or thicken it before use.
- Do not cook zoodles for a longer time.
- Eat it fresh.
Do you cook zoodles before eating?
The best method of cooking zucchini noodles is to meal prep. Spiralize them beforehand and store them in the fridge uncooked. Whenever you plan on making zoodles, just pop them out of the fridge and they are ready to cook.
Make sure you pat them dry first. Do not cook zoodles ahead of time or mix them in sauces. This will turn the zoodles into a mushy mess which is unappetizing to even look at. You can prepare the elements beforehand but do not combine them if you plan to eat them at a later time.
Some recipes suggest eating the zoodles raw. That is without going through the whole process of boiling and steaming. Not only are raw zoodles healthier, but they are easier and faster to cook too. They are rather delicious when served cold than warm
How long do cooked zucchini noodles last?
Once your zoodles are ready to serve, you can store them in a plastic or glass container for 3-4 days. When you prepare them for storage, make sure to line the container with a paper towel so that it can absorb all the extra moisture. The paper towel will also prevent the zoodles from turning soft.
Zucchini noodles are nutritious and can strengthen your muscles as you try to work out to lose weight. It is rather important to make healthier food choices as we grow older. The amount of preservatives that we have incorporated into our diet is making us weak against new forms of diseases. Zoodles are a great alternative, and it is far easier to learn how to cook zucchini noodles in a microwave too!
Try these microwave zoodles and share the delicious recipes you love the most. Cheese pesto, Asian spice, lemon, and garlic are only some of my favorites. List down yours in the comment section below.