Tasty, low calorie, low-carb zucchini noodles replace typical wheat noodles in this delicious spicy Sesame Zoodles recipe. It’s a healthy lunch or dinner option you’ll want to make time and time again!
When I first heard about zucchini noodles, aka zoodles, I wasn’t overly impressed. Of course, that might be my first reaction to just about everything new or different. I would not even consider trying guacamole until I was in my early 20s. The idea of eating something that green? No way.
But you know what? I eventually tried guacamole. It wasn’t love at first bite, but the stuff did grow on me until here I am today, obsessed.
The same thing is true for this spicy sesame zoodles dish. How in the world could zucchini sub for noodles? But, let me tell you, it works.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using zucchini noodles instead of wheat noodles makes this both gluten-free, low carb, and low-calorie meal.
- Adding tahini paste creates a creamy texture to the sauce that combines perfectly with the spices
- Using fresh ginger is a flavor booster that will keep you coming back for more!
What Zucchinis are Best?
Select zucchinis that have smooth skin that’s thin. To tell if the skin is thin enough, scrape a little bit with your fingernail. It should come off easily. Zucchinis with pitted skin are older and not as fresh. Select smaller zucchini, around 6 inches in size. Large zucchini may look nice, but they can be bitter and watery.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Zucchinis — You’ll need 2 zucchinis.
- Sesame oil — This stuff is the best and if you can find toasted sesame oil it’s even better.
- Tamari — This is a gluten-free version of soy sauce so if you don’t have issues with gluten, you can substitute soy sauce. Or you can use Bragg or Coconut Aminos.
- Rice vinegar
- Tahini paste — This is sesame butter and you can usually find it in the international section of most grocery stores. You can substitute almond butter or sunflower butter.
- Sweetener — You can use maple syrup, agave, or a low-calorie sweetener like Stevie or Truvia
- Fresh Ginger — We’ll use a bit of finely grated ginger, or you can substitute ground ginger.
- Garlic — use fresh garlic or substitute a couple of tender cloves from garlic confit.
- Hot Sauce — I prefer sriracha or tabasco. If you don’t like spicy you can leave this out.
- Green onion — You’ll need one green onion.
- Sesame Seeds — I like to sprinkle these over the top.
How to Make Sesame Zoodles
You can make these spicy zoodles in less than 10 minutes!
- Make zoodles by running zucchini through a spiralizer to create zucchini noodles. You should have 2 to 3 cups of noodles.
- Add zucchini noodles to a saucepan with boiling water and cook until the zoodles are barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Drain the zoodles and rinse with cold water.
- Create the sesame sauce by stirring together everything from the sesame oil to the chili paste.
- Pour this sauce over the cooked zoodles and toss.
- Transfer to two serving bowls and garnish with green onion slices and sesame seeds.
Making Zucchini Noodles
All you need is a spiralizer. You can get these in so many places now. This Kinzi Tri-Blade Spiralizer (paid link) is a favorite, and it’s so easy to use when you’re making things like pad thai noodles and zucchini.
You can serve the noodles raw, but I find cooking them makes them nice and tender.
- Serve this dish with steamed broccoli on the side.
- Try different noodle ideas, like sweet potatoes, or yellow squash
- Serve this recipe chilled, like a cold zoodle salad!
- Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top for a dramatic presentation.
Zoodles are Healthy
There’s a lot that’s good for you in this recipe, for example:
- Zucchinis are full of Vitamin A, magnesium, folate and so many more needed nutrients
- Sesame Seeds are a great source of calcium, iron, fiber, protein, and more
- Ginger and garlic offer a whole host of nutrients attached to them.
Do you need a dose of healthy in your life? This spicy sesame zoodles dish might just do the trick.
I knew this was going to be good as soon as I started mixing the sauce! Really yummy
Healthy Vegan Recipes
You know, we hope you love this recipe for spicy sesame zoodles as much as we do.
Spicy Sesame Zoodles
- Use a spiralizer (see below) to create 2 to 3 cups of raw zucchini noodles.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the zucchini noodles and cook until barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar, tahini, sweetener, ginger, garlic, and sriracha or chili paste. Stir to combine.
- Pour this sauce over your cooked zoodles and toss.
- Place in two serving bowls and top with green onion slices and sesame seeds
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** If you have trouble with garlic being too “hot”, remove the center green part of the garlic clove. That can help.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.