So… what do you make for dinner that’s twice as fast as take-out? Why Spaghetti Aglio Olio of course – it’s Italy’s version of fast food. It’s made with pantry staples, and can be made in mere minutes – sounds like perfection right?
This version is a departure from the traditional dish because I’ve subbed the pasta with zucchini noodles for a veggie packed, 1-pan kind of dinner. However there are still times when we come back from vacation, (read no fresh produce in the house) and I make this the traditional way with our favorite gluten free pasta.
The concept of this Italian meal is a wonderful one – made with pantry staples – meaning no need to run out and buy 15 different ingredients to accomplish a satisfyingly delicious meal! I’ve gotten into veggie noodles so deep that we now have zucchini on hand like it’s a pantry staple, (that and butternut squash – my other favorite noodle).
Because this meal comes together so fast, it’s best to have your seasonings ready to go before turning on the stove!
You can make zucchini noodles a number of ways. I used a julienne peeler for years before finally breaking down and buying a spiralizer. And you know what? I wish I would’ve bought one so much sooner. I put off buying one because I simply do not need another gadget in my limited kitchen space, and I didn’t know how much I’d actually use it.
But… as it would turn out, I use it almost every day now – from making veggie noodles for dinner, to spiralizing veggies for a quick salad to pack for lunch. And the other great thing about getting a spiralizer is now I can make noodles out of the harder veggies like butternut squash and sweet potatoes, (instead of only zucchini).
At this point I’m going to stop rambling on about my love of all things spiralizer because I’m starting to sound like a commercial (which I’m not… but still).
You can eat these simple zucchini noodles plain…
Sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan…
Or all of the above, and topped with an over-easy egg!
So the next time you don’t know what to make for dinner, I’ve got you covered with this 15 minute wonder!Print
Zucchini Noodles Aglio and Olio
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 1 serving but can easily be doubled for 2 1x
- 12 ounces zucchini, 2-3 small
- 2 Teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground sea salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Optional but delicious:
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1–2 eggs – cooked over-easy, or however you like them
- Wash the zucchini and slice off both ends creating a nice, flat surface.
- Spiralize the zucchini, or use a julienne peeler to create veggie noodles.
- Preheat a 9″ cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
- While the pan is heating, assemble and prepare your other ingredients.
- Add the olive oil to the hot pan, followed by the garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and black pepper. Sauté just until fragrant but not brown – about 30 seconds.
- Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and sauté until just tender, 3-5 minutes.
- Serve the zucchini noodles immediately topped with your choice of toppings.
Since this dish comes together so fast, it can be difficult to sauté the zucchini noodles and fry the eggs at the same time. The way I deal with this is to preheat some pasta bowls in the oven at the lowest temperature – it takes about 5 minutes to thoroughly heat the bowl. Then, I pull the zucchini noodles off the stove after they just begin to wilt but before they start shedding water. They stay nice and hot in the pre-warmed bowl for the 3 minutes it takes to cook an over-easy egg in the already hot cast iron skillet you used for the zucchini noodles!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
12 thoughts on “Zucchini Noodles Aglio and Olio”
Made this for breakfast. Added in a few more dried herbs (oregano and basil). Delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I love making this with Herbs d’ Provence too, especially in the winter when fresh herbs get expensive.
Wow! Quite yummy!
Made this for my breakfast this morning – added just a touch of Italian seasoning when cooking my egg.
What a great non-carb way to start my day!
I still haven’t tried this for breakfast, but I’ve got to get on that right away, and I love your addition of Italian seasoning – yummy!
How do you saute the zuchinni without water starting to come out?
i felt mine was downed in is own water coming out
So far I’ve found that the cooking time varies from batch to batch with most of mine taking only 3 minutes (sometimes even less) to cook. The key is to give them a quick sauté over high heat which helps them keep their moisture in, if they’re cooked too long they’ll release water and start drowning like you mentioned. It took me a bit of practice to know when to pull them off the stove, so keep trying, and when in doubt pull them off when they still look a bit firm because they will continue to cook on the way to the table. I like them best when they’ve just barely softened but are still firm, and it’s also important to get them out the pan you were cooking in because the residual heat can cause them to overcook. Hope these tips help, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!
I’d eat just about anything with a egg plopped on top. Well, not anything but you get my drift. Healthy and yes, I totally know what that feels like, you’re getting home from a great vacation and there’s no food in the house and the milk is beyond thick and disgusting!
I love having a few pantry staples, plus a few frozen items to get you through until you can grocery shop again!
You know you’re speaking my language with this one! Only wish I was speaking in Italian! This looks divine, my friend! Brava!
I wish I spoke Italian too, it’s such a beautiful language! I took a few semesters in college but my Italian is rudimentary at best!
You know what Kari, I was thinking earlier this morning that I wanted to try making Zoodles Aglio and Olio. So I guess great minds think alike…
We should also try ’em with Carbonara and maybe even Cacio and Pepe. What do you think?
Good idea? Bad idea?
You should definitely make some Zoodles Aglio Olio! I think all Italian classics are up for grabs when it comes to zoodles – we’ve made quite a few now and Carbonara and Cacio and Pepe are on the list (so yeah I think it’s a great idea and you’ll probably get around to it way faster than I will)! I’ve been systematically turning each of our favorite Italian foods into veggie packed dinners, I thought it would be harder not to eat pasta all the time but with zoodles around I’m happy!