Sun-Dried Tomato + Basil Pesto Zoodles (Whole30, Dairy Free, Paleo)
In just 10 minutes, you can have a rich, filling and healthy bowl full of Sun-Dried Tomato + Basil Pesto Zoodles. This simple dish is Whole30, Dairy Free, Paleo + Vegetarian friendly!
Every once in awhile I get a craving for a pasta-like dish. While some might think it's impossible to satisfy that craving in a Paleo lifestyle, I would really beg to differ. There are plenty of alternatives to a traditional noodle that can be made with different veggies. For instance, spaghetti squash. I really love baked spaghetti squash, especially when it's paired with a homemade meat sauce, but if I'm really hungry or lazy then I don't usually want to wait for it to cook. Spaghetti squash is a pretty hands-off meal. You just slice it, scoop out the seeds and then bake it in the oven. What makes it feel like a lot of work is the fact that it can take 35-45 minutes for the squash to cook. When that doesn't sound appealing to me, that's when I look to spiralize some veggies myself.
You can spiralize pretty much any vegetable - seriously! Carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, squash, cucumber... and one of my personal favorites, zucchini. Zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) might be the greatest idea on the planet. Using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer, they take just 10 minutes to spiralize. Then, you can toss them all in one pan and make a full meal without a sink full of dishes. I like to toss mine in a pan with just a few tablespoons of water and then throw a lid on it to help steam them. It takes about 5 minutes to get them the way I like them, which involves them being almost fully softened. Minimal crunch is how I like it! Once they are cooked, I just add my sauce directly into the pan. Just like I do with this recipe for Sun Dried Tomato
+ Basil Pesto Zoodles.
Now, if you've ever heard my ramblings of why I think tomatoes are the most disgusting addition to any meal, in any form, you're probably confused about why I am willingly adding some to this dish. Well you know what, I'M CONFUSED TOO. Sun-dried tomatoes have a nice little balance between acidity and sweetness. So to me, they don't really taste like tomatoes (thank god!) I actually like to eat them on their own as a snack. I've even taken them with me on backpacking trips as part of my food stash. Instead of eating them alone this time though, I paired them with the zucchini noodles.
Since I don't really like red sauce (because tomatoes) the star of this dish is really the pesto. I've always been a pesto lover and now that I know how easy it is to make, it make a frequent appearance in our house. This particular dish uses my 5 minute dairy-free pesto. What's not to love about a sauce that tastes bomb and is ready to go in less than 5 minutes? Pairing the zucchini noodles with the sun-dried tomatoes and pesto is a beautiful enough dish on it's own, but you can also toss some chicken or salmon into this dish whenever you want some protein. Plan for this recipe for a weeknight dinner that will give you all the flavor and satisfaction without all the time or effort. You won't regret the 10 minutes!
- 4-5 lg zucchini
- 1 cup dairy free pesto *more or less to taste
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt + addtl to taste
- 1 lb baked chicken *optional
2. Using a spiralizer or julienne peeler, turn your zucchini into noodles. Leaving the skin on is optional.
3. Melt 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan on low to medium heat. Toss in your zucchini noodles and cover with a lid. Allow to cook/steam for 8-10 minutes until softened to your liking. Be sure to stir occasionally for even cooking.
4. Remove from heat and strain the zoodles if there is any excess water. Add zoodle back to pan. Mix in the pesto and salt to your liking.
5. Mix in sun-dried tomatoes and chicken (if using.) You could also serve the chicken on top of the zoodles, rather than mixed in, if you prefer. Plate and serve.