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Quick Zucchini Pasta | COOKTORIA

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This Quick Zucchini Pasta is made with coconut milk, sweet tomatoes, and zucchini for a delicious combination that’s so simple to put together. You are going to love this rich and tasty pasta recipe.

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Creamy pasta dishes don’t have to be overly heavy and cloyingly rich. They can be light and smooth, with amazing flavor and healthy fats. This Quick Zucchini Pasta uses some olive oil and coconut milk as its creamy base. I then paired it with juicy tomatoes, tender zucchini slices, and al dente penne pasta. 

This dish is easy to make and is a hearty, flavorful recipe to serve for dinner or even lunch. It’s especially great in the summer when you can get your fresh vegetables from farmer’s markets or your own garden. It’s versatile enough that extra veggies are always welcome. This is a fresh and refreshing pasta! Now let’s look at the ingredients in more detail.

Video Tutorial

Main ingredients

  • Pasta. You can use any medium cut of pasta. I chose penne.
  • Olive Oil. Or any other kind.
  • Zucchini. You can also use summer squash or both.
  • Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes work best because of their sweetness.
  • Garlic. Freshly minced is best.
  • Spices. Salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  • Coconut milk. Or you can use unsweetened oat creamer in its place.
  • Parsley. Or substitute fresh basil.

How to make this Quick Zucchini Pasta

1.  Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the directions on the package. When it’s done, drain out the water and set the pasta aside.

cooking pasta

2. While your pasta is cooking, add the zucchini slices to a large, non-stick skillet with olive oil. Cook them over medium heat until they are slightly browned and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes).

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cooking zucchini

3. Add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are nicely softened (5-8 minutes).

adding tomatoes to zucchini

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4.  Now add in the coconut milk and fresh parsley. Let everything simmer for about 1 minute.

adding coconut milk to zucchini

5. Lastly, add the cooked pasta and stir well. Serve immediately.

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adding pasta to zucchini sauce

Quick Zucchini Pasta in the skillet

Tips for the best Quick Zucchini Pasta

  • Leave the zucchini skins on. Don’t peel the zucchini because it acts as a barrier so the zucchini slices don’t fall apart as they cook, or become too mushy. Just clean the skins thoroughly and you’re good to go.
  • Cook the tomatoes to bursting. Allowing the tomatoes to thoroughly soften means they will sweeten and release their juices and lots of flavor into the dish. You want them to be tender and not firm when you serve the pasta.
  • Salt your pasta water. You may be tempted to skip this step, but adding salt to the pasta water helps keep the noodles from sticking together while cooking, and it infuses the pasta with flavor.
  • Drain the cooked pasta well. Less water means a creamier zucchini pasta. Take a few moments to thoroughly drain out any water when the pasta is done cooking for the best texture.
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Variations to this recipe

  • Substitute a different pasta. Penne pasta is great but any medium-sized pasta will work, including bowtie, elbow, farfalle, and fusilli. 
  • Add more fresh vegetables. If you want to add in different veggies, you can try summer squash, broccoli, onion, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, or bell peppers.
  • Try it with another sauce. This creamy zucchini pasta can also be made using a different sauce. Try it with a tomato sauce, alfredo sauce, lemon garlic, or roasted red pepper sauce.
  • Add more heat. If you love your pasta spicy, then kick it up a notch with some crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce added to the sauce. 

How to store and reheat it

Store any leftovers of this Quick Zucchini Pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it either in the microwave or on the stovetop. You can add some coconut milk to help separate any noodles that are sticking together.

How to serve this with

  • Proteins. Pair this Quick Zucchini Pasta with some protein for a more filling and well-rounded meal, such as this Baked Cod, Spinach Stuffed Flounder, or Chicken Breast in Roasted Pepper Sauce.
  • Salad. Start the meal with a Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad, Refreshing Cucumber Salad, Mediterranean Farro Salad, or Roasted Zucchini Salad.
  • Soup. Enjoy a bowl of soup as an appetizer, like this Chicken Stew, Red Lentil Soup, and Creamy Vegetable Soup.
  • Vegetables. For a lighter meal, serve this pasta with some Easy Fajita Vegetables, Garlic Mushrooms, or Quick and Easy Stovetop Asparagus.

Quick Zucchini Pasta on a plate

I hope you love this Quick Zucchini Pasta as much as I do. The great flavors, creamy texture, and easy preparation make it a winner that you won’t want to miss out on.

More tasty pasta recipes:

Creamy Zucchini Pasta

Tania Sheff

This Creamy Zucchini Pasta is made with coconut milk, sweet tomatoes, and zucchini for a delicious combination that’s so simple to put together. You are going to love this rich and tasty pasta recipe.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine American, Italian

Servings 2 servings

Calories 318 kcal

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Ingredients  

1x2x3x

  • 8 oz. pasta (such as penne, shells, bow tie pasta)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. zucchini, sliced thinly into half circles or summer squash
  • 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • ¼ tsp. pepper or to taste
  • tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the directions on the package. When it’s done, drain out the water and set the pasta aside.

  • While your pasta is cooking, add the zucchini slices to a large, non-stick skillet with olive oil. Cook them over medium heat until they are slightly browned and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes).

  • Add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are nicely softened (5-8 minutes).

  • Now add in the coconut milk and fresh parsley. Let everything simmer for about 1 minute.

  • Lastly, add the cooked pasta and stir well. Serve immediately. Garnish with Parmesan, if desired.

Notes

Tips for the best Creamy Zucchini Pasta

  • Leave the zucchini skins on. Don’t peel the zucchini because it acts as a barrier so the zucchini slices don’t fall apart as they cook, or become too mushy. Just clean the skins thoroughly and you’re good to go.
  • Cook the tomatoes to bursting. Allowing the tomatoes to thoroughly soften means they will sweeten and release their juices and lots of flavor into the dish. You want them to be tender and not firm when you serve the pasta.
  • Salt your pasta water. You may be tempted to skip this step, but adding salt to the pasta water helps keep the noodles from sticking together while cooking, and it infuses the pasta with flavor.
  • Drain the cooked pasta well. Less water means a creamier zucchini pasta. Take a few moments to thoroughly drain out any water when the pasta is done cooking for the best texture.

How to store and reheat it

Store any leftovers of this Creamy Zucchini Pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it either in the microwave or on the stovetop. You can add some coconut milk to help separate any noodles that are sticking together.

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 7gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 1308mgPotassium: 1498mgFiber: 6gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 2503IUVitamin C: 99mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 6mg

Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below, I can’t wait to hear from you!

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