Whether you call them “Zucchini Noodles” or simply “Zoodles,” these healthy vegetables not only look like pasta, but they are a low-carb delight! We found beautiful zucchini at the market today and we knew the Spiralizer was coming out and our Saturday night meal was going to feature tasty zucchini pasta. Our choice for our sauce was a classic Alfredo. It is definitely LCHF. Our Alfredo sauce is creamy and loaded with Parmigiano Reggiano. For our protein we decided to stick with the garlic flavor and top our low-carb pasta with a simple garlic shrimp.
Zucchini noodles are the favorite pasta substitute on the Internet. Clearly, with the help of a good Spiralizer you end up with a pasta-like noodle that is healthier than wheat pasta and much lower in carbs. One cup of regular wheat pasta has 40 grams of carbohydrates. A similar one-cup measurement of zucchini noodles will drop the carbs to only 5 grams! In addition, using zucchini noodles is an easy way to add more vegetables to your diet. You will also add more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients which can to help prevent cancer, heart disease, eye problems, and diabetes.
Our Spiralizer choice is from Paderno World Cuisine. It is consistently rated as one of the top Spiralizers on the Internet. We use Model Four which actually folds within itself for easy storage and holds all four blades inside for safety. You can find this model here. It is a very worthwhile addition to your kitchen!
Heavy cream and cheese are the base ingredients for any simple Alfredo sauce. They are often thickened with a flour/butter mixture that has been whisked to a roux. Our cheese choice is Parmesan (Parmigiana Reggiano). The nutty flavor and ease in melting works perfectly in any Alfredo sauce. Our secret ingredient that enhances the creaminess of the sauce is cream cheese. Make sure it is softened and blended thoroughly in your sauce. When blended vigorously with heavy cream you will have a perfectly thickened sauce.
However, you can use an almond flour butter based roux prepared after heating the garlic in the butter, if you want a thicker sauce. Just add more butter and almond flour (50-50) to the pan and stir as it thickens. Whisking vigorously will thicken the sauce further after the heavy cream has been added and, especially after adding the cream cheese. An emersion blender or hand mixer will hasten this process. Removing your sauce from the heat and allowing it to cool will also thicken the sauce considerably.
We added a simple butter-based garlic-infused shrimp to top our pasta dish. Normally our standard garlic shrimp recipe has a few more ingredients and steps (recipe to follow), but this recipe has enough steps – keep this one simple and tasty!
We used 16-20 size uncooked shrimp for our recipe. They should be peeled and deveined and the tail removed so they will be ready to share your fork with the delicious Zoodles, all without any fuss. Our tip is the same one we preach with any shrimp recipe – do not overcook! Two minutes per side is plenty; when they curl and turn pinkish they are done. We do sprinkle smoked paprika over the shrimp before removing them from our skillet. We then top the entire plate with fresh parmesan. This will blend that smoky flavor with the nutty cheese – delicious!
The garlic shrimp is so tasty it can also be used as a wonderful appetizer or even a meal in itself!
A main cooking tip is to stir fry the noodles rather than boiling. Zucchini will contain a lot of water to begin with. Boiling will just add more and may break down your Alfredo sauce. Your recipe will be less than perfect. If you prefer an “al dente” consistency then we recommend cooking the noodles for 3 minutes, For a softened “spaghetti-like” consistency, 4 to 5 minutes should be perfect. Heat does vary on ranges so taste them to be sure and avoid overcooking. That will render mushy noodles.
Since the zucchini noodles will give off moisture and impact the sauce consistency, we do suggest using less sauce than normal. We did for our dish. The flavor will still be there with less sauce. You be the judge!
Finally, a parmesan garnish just finishes the entire dish with that wonderful flavor on the shrimp.
You do not need to give up pasta dishes when you maintain a low-carb lifestyle. Zucchini noodles are delicious, look like pasta, have more healthy nutritional features, and with the right sauce and protein they taste great! Try our Zucchini Noodle Alfredo with Garlic Shrimp and you will be hooked on a perfect low-carb pasta!
Zucchini Noodle Alfredo with Garlic Shrimp
- 3 medium Zucchini (spiralized)
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 2 tablespoons Cilantro (chopped)
- In a medium saucepan melt butter then add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Add all of the other ingredients except for the parmesan cheese and stir vigorously until cream cheese melts and sauce is smooth (Can use an emersion blender here).
- Add the parmesan cheese and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until it is melted and just starts to thicken. Stir often until smooth, then remove from the heat to thicken more before serving.
- In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic cloves and red pepper flakes and sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Salt and pepper the shrimp and then add to the garlic butter and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
- Sprinkle with smoked paprika, toss, and set aside.
- In same saucepan as you cooked the shrimp, add 1/4 cup butter and then the zucchini noodles, Toss for 3 to 5 minutes. Taste noodles to determine consistency - 3 minutes would be "al dente" - 5 minutes would be softened like "spaghetti."
- Add the hot alfredo sauce, toss lightly, and remove from the heat.
- Plate the zucchini with alfredo sauce and top with shrimp. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley, extra parmesan, and serve.