Zucchini pasta, as in pasta with zucchini, is a creamy and easy one-pot recipe to have as a tasty weeknight dinner for the whole family.

You can make it with grated zucchini, fresh herbs, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, and a dollop of creamy greek or non-dairy yogurt.

Zucchini Pasta in a bowl with fork

Check out our best pasta recipe collection!

Our zucchini pasta is pasta with zucchini, not zucchini noodles or zoodles. This pasta dish is easy; you can make it in one pot with little effort.

This recipe is a great way to eat more vegetables without realizing it.

We first sauté the zucchini for 5 minutes with olive oil, onion, garlic, and herbs to make them flavorful.

Then we add the pasta and vegetable broth. The grated zucchini melt into a creamy sauce that hugs the pasta, making it super creamy and delicious.

We finish the dish with grated parmesan cheese and a dollop of greek yogurt for extra creaminess (substitute dairy-free cheese and yogurt to make it without dairy).

The dish comes together in about 20 minutes; it’s nutritious, creamy, and fulfilling, yet light, fresh, and zesty.

Zucchini Pasta with pine nuts and basil

Ingredients

Zucchini pasta ingredients

Zucchini

We make this recipe with green zucchini, but any other type would work.

For example, try globe zucchini, yellow crookneck, yellow squash, yellow zucchini, and grey zucchini.

Pasta

Use a short pasta type such as rotini, fusilli, penne, rigatoni, or other.

Choose Italian pasta with 100% semolina (durum wheat) and water.

We have not tried this recipe with gluten-free pasta, but it should work fine.

Olive oil

We use extra virgin olive oil to fry the onion and garlic and make a tasty flavor base for the zucchini.

Onion and Garlic

We use a medium size yellow or white onion and fresh garlic.

Fresh herbs

We recommend using fresh oregano and basil. They are an excellent flavor match with zucchini.

You can also use lemon thyme, thyme, and mint.

Vegetable broth

We use vegetable broth instead of water to cook this zucchini pasta recipe and add more flavor.

You can use reduced-sodium vegetable broth if you prefer.

Salt and pepper

Add some salt to make this dish taste great. We generally use sea salt or kosher salt.

Freshly ground black pepper adds a pleasant aroma. If you like this dish spicier, add red pepper flakes.

Lemon zest

Add grated lemon zest right before serving the pasta. You can also add some freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Parmesan & Yogurt

Finish this recipe by adding a handful of grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano and a couple of dollops of greek yogurt for added umami and creaminess.

For vegans, you can substitute non-dairy cheese and unsweetened non-dairy yogurt and add a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Pine nuts

Pine nuts are optional. We toast them on a pan for a few minutes and add them to garnish the dish.

They add a pleasant toasted nutty flavor that goes wonderfully with the zucchini and basil.

Zucchini Pasta with fresh basil leaves

Instructions

Grate the zucchini with the large holes of a box grater.

grated zucchini

Warm up the olive oil in a large skillet, then add finely chopped onion and fry it for 3 minutes.

Add grated garlic and fry for one more minute.

Next, add the shredded zucchini, season them with salt and pepper, and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Skillet with grated zucchini

Add the pasta, vegetable broth, and oregano, and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the pasta is creamy and al dente.

pasta and grated zucchini in a skillet

Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the dish.

If the pot dries, add more liquid until the pasta is ready. Cooking time varies between pasta shapes. Therefore, the longer the cooking time, the more liquid is required.

pasta, zucchini and vegetable broth

When the pasta is creamy and al dente, turn the heat off, taste, and adjust for salt.

Next, add grated parmesan cheese (or dairy-free cheese), greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt), and a handful of chopped fresh basil.

yogurt, parmesan cheese and zucchini pasta

Stir gently until cheese and yogurt melt into the zucchini pasta.

Zucchini Pasta ready to serve

Serve immediately with grated lemon zest and optionally toasted pine nuts.

Zucchini Pasta with a fork

Variations

Zucchini Pesto Pasta

Love zucchini and pasta together? Then you’ve got to try our zucchini pesto. To make this variation, boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water as instructed on the package.

Drain the pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, and add the pasta to a large bowl.

Add a few tablespoons of zucchini pesto and toss the pasta until thoroughly combined. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water.

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

vegan zucchini pesto with pasta
Farfalle with zucchini pesto.

Sautéed Zucchini Pasta

To make this delicious zucchini pasta dish, you must sauté some zucchini first. Here’s a quick recipe on how to sauté zucchini.

Blend half of your sautéed zucchini with 2 to 3 tablespoons of pasta cooking water until you get a smooth zucchini pasta sauce.

Transfer the zucchini sauce back into the pan with the remaining sautéed zucchini.

zucchini cream and pan fried zucchini

Add in the pasta cooked al dente (we recommend spaghetti for this recipe), a ladleful of pasta cooking water, and finish cooking on medium heat, stirring often, for about 1 minute.

Serve with some extra virgin olive oil on top and fresh basil leaves.

pasta with sautéed zucchini
Spaghetti with sautéed zucchini and zucchini sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Pasta with zucchini is a fulfilling, nutritious main course you can serve alone or with a light salad on the side.

Pair it with any of these fresh sides for added greens:

Or get more veggies on the table by pairing the pasta with these vegetable sides.

Make Ahead & Storage

Make ahead: this one’s not a good recipe to make ahead as the pasta loses its oomph soon after it’s cooked.

Refrigerator: let the pasta cool down completely at room temperature, then transfer it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for two days.

Reheat: warm leftovers in the microwave. Do not reheat multiple times, as the pasta will overcook.

Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.

More Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini is great for a variety of savory and sweet recipes:

Or check out any of these zucchini recipes and get inspiration for using those surplus zucchini.

More Easy Pasta

Get more weeknight-friendly dinner ideas with these easy and quick pasta recipes:

  • Broccoli pasta (broccoli, red pepper flakes, orecchiette pasta, garlic, etc.)
  • Artichoke pasta (jarred artichokes, green olives, pine nuts, mint, lemon, etc.)
  • Asparagus pasta (bowtie pasta, lemon, garlic, asparagus, basil, parmesan or vegan cheese, etc.)
  • Red pepper pasta (jarred bell pepper, almonds, tomatoes, parsley, garlic, etc.)
  • Hummus pasta (hummus, sauteed mushroom, rigatoni pasta, parsley, garlic, etc.)

For many more pasta ideas, check out our pasta category page.

Zucchini pasta with pine nuts and fork

Zucchini Pasta

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 4 votes
Zucchini pasta, as in pasta with zucchini, is a creamy and easy one-pot recipe to have as a tasty weeknight dinner for the whole family.
You can make it with grated zucchini, fresh herbs, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, and a dollop of creamy greek or non-dairy yogurt.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main
Cuisine: American Italian

Equipment

  • Box grater

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 cups (27 oz) zucchini grated with the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces pasta rotini, fusilli, farfalle, penne, or other
  • 3 cups vegetable broth start with 2 cups or 500 g and add more if necessary
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated, or dairy-free cheese
  • ½ cup greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
  • ¼ packed cup basil leaves

Garnish with

  • 1 medium lemon the grated zest
  • 2 tablespoons pinenuts

Instructions 

  • Grate the zucchini with the large holes of a box grater.
    6 cups (27 oz) zucchini
    grated zucchini
  • Warm up olive oil in a large skillet, then add finely chopped onion and fry it for 3 minutes.
    Add grated garlic and fry for one more minute.
    Add the shredded zucchini, season them with salt and pepper, and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 yellow onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
    Skillet with grated zucchini
  • Add pasta, vegetable broth, and oregano, and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the pasta is creamy and al dente.
    1 teaspoon oregano, 12 ounces pasta, 3 cups vegetable broth
    pasta and grated zucchini in a skillet
  • Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the dish.
    If the pot dries, add more liquid until the pasta is ready.
    pasta, zucchini and vegetable broth
  • Turn the heat off, taste, and adjust for salt.
    Add grated parmesan cheese (or dairy-free cheese), greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt), and a handful of chopped fresh basil.
    ½ cup parmesan cheese, ½ cup greek yogurt, ¼ packed cup basil leaves
    yogurt, parmesan cheese and zucchini pasta
  • Stir gently until cheese and yogurt melt into the zucchini pasta.
    Zucchini Pasta ready to serve
  • Serve immediately with grated lemon zest and optionally toasted pine nuts.
    1 medium lemon, 2 tablespoons pinenuts
    Zucchini Pasta with a fork

Video

20-minute Zucchini Pasta

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate for 1 large serving of zucchini pasta out of 4 servings.
VARIATIONS
Check out the “variation” chapter above for more zucchini pasta ideas.
SUBSTITUTIONS
Green zucchini: sub globe zucchini, yellow crookneck, yellow squash, grey zucchini, or other.
Pasta: you can use any pasta shape.
Extra virgin olive oil: sub another vegetable oil.
Oregano: sub dried oregano, fresh or dried thyme, or Italian seasoning.
Vegetable broth: sub water and more salt.
Parmesan: sub pecorino romano or a non-dairy cheese.
Greek yogurt: sub non-dairy yogurt, butter, or non-dairy butter.
Pine nuts: sub pistachios, chopped almonds, or walnuts.
MAKE AHEAD & STORAGE
Make ahead: this one’s not a good recipe to make ahead as the pasta loses its oomph soon after it’s cooked.
Refrigerator: let the pasta cool down completely at room temperature, then transfer it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for two days.
Reheat: warm leftovers in the microwave. Do not reheat multiple times, as the pasta will overcook.
Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 528kcal, Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Potassium: 683mg, Dietary Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 398IU, Vitamin B6: 0.4mg, Vitamin C: 39mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 20µg, Calcium: 208mg, Folate: 56µg, Iron: 3mg, Manganese: 2mg, Magnesium: 94mg, Zinc: 3mg
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If you liked this zucchini pasta, you might also enjoy the following:


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So, so good! I used nonfat Greek yogurt, whole wheat rotini pasta and a mix of Parmesan and pecorino Romano. I did have to add a little more veggie broth to give the noodles more time to cook. Whole family loved it. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. That sounds fantastic, Danielle! I love the pecorino cheese idea, we need to test that.
      Thank you for taking the time to write a comment, and have a great day.
      Kindest,
      Louise

    1. Hi Joe, thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment. We’re delighted that you and your wife liked the pasta. Have a great rest of your weekend. Kindest, Louise