Aug 29, 2013

Zoodles and Meatballs (zucchini noodles)


 

The weather is changing, and I kind of like it. I'm looking forward cooler weather, but I'm not quite ready for zucchini season to end – we've been eating "zoodles" all summer long!


This is sorta a two part recipe, I made a pot of my Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs at my toddler's request but rather than eating mine with pasta, I served it over zoodles (zucchini noodles) for a lighter low-carb alternative (perfect for using up zucchini from your garden).


A good rule of thumb is one medium zucchini per person, since you lose some when you cut them and the shrink a bit when they cook. To cut them I used my OXO mandolin with my julienne blade and I stop right about when I get to the seeds, then I rotate and slice. A word of advice, please be careful when using a mandolin, the blades are VERY sharp.


You can also use a spiralizer instead to make them more spaghetti-like. I'm going to be making these as much as I can as long as I can find zucchini at my local farmer's market!




Zoodles and Meatballs
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 3 • Size: 1 cup zoodles, 4 meatballs • Old Points: 7 pt • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 325 • Fat: 15 g • Carbs: 25 • Fiber: 7 • Protein: 25 g • Sugar: 4
Sodium: 715 mg • Cholesterol: 34 g

Ingredients:

  • 12 leftover crock pot turkey meatballs and sauce (1/2 batch)
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (8 oz each) zucchinis, cut into long julienne strips (with a mandolin or spiralizer)
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Directions:

Make the meatballs in the crock pot according to directions here.


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot add the oil, onions and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.


Increase heat to medium-high and add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook about 1 minute. Give it a stir to mix everything around and cook another 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through yet firm.

Divide the zucchini between 3 bowls and top with 4 meatballs and sauce, add some grated cheese and enjoy!

74 comments :

  1. I just got my first Mandolin, and I'm not sure how to use it to make the zoodles. Can you explain in a little more detail?

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    1. Does yours have a julienne blade? As long as you use that blade, the zucchini comes out like pictured above.

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  2. I cannot wait to try this! I've been searching for a noodle alternative!

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  3. A nice alternative to spaghetti squash.

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  4. You've done it again! Looks delicious. I have some of your spinach meatballs frozen so I will try those over the zoodles! :)

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  5. Yep, mandolins are definitely dangerous... The second time I used mine I sliced half my finger off and had to go to the emergency room to get it sewn back on... Then the next week my boyfriend went to just simply move it off the counter and he barely touched the thing and his thumb got sliced open, and BAM, back to the emergency room we went.. He made me throw it out after that, stating no one should have anything that sharp in their kitchen without chain mail gloves haha..

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    1. Oh boy! I luckily didn't have accidents, but I know they sell special gloves on amazon that prevent cuts.

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    2. My husband did the same to his thumb! It took two years to convince him we needed another one...

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  6. Replies
    1. There are breadcrumbs in the meatballs, so no it's not.

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    2. Use gluten free breadcrumbs. My daughter is g-free and I substitute the breadcrumbs all the time. Looking forward to trying this recipe.

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    3. Yes, gluten-free crumbs should work.

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    4. I ground some oatmeal instead of using breadcrumbs. Worked just fine.

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    5. Suzanne Whatley2/24/14, 12:50 PM

      great idea and healthier!

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  7. I made your other zoodle recipe with the yellow squash and carrots. Instead of dragging out the mandoline, I used my julienne peeler. No muss, no fuss.

    $10 bucks. http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Julienne-Peeler/dp/B0000CCY1S/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1377801224&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=julinenne+peeler

    I can't wait to do the zoodles with the meatballs. I've never tried them! I know what's going into the crock pot this weekend! We get lucky in Texas, zucchini keeps producing a lot longer than it does "up north".

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  8. Just purchased my first mandolin...works fantastic and yes VER SHARP - use the special handle thing when using it it really help. I also purchased a hand help OXO thing that make the zucchini in strands sort of looks like a carrot peeler. really easy too.

    This looks good. I did make some zoodles and cooked them too long but they were still edible!

    Thanks Gina...
    Diane

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. @ UNKNOWN thats the small tool I bought..

      THE OXO JULIENNE HAND HELD PEELER.
      WORKS GOOD TOO.

      DIANE

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  9. I totally forgot that my mandolin had a julienne blade. Hm... I need to find that!

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  10. I totally forgot that my mandolin had a julienne blade. Hm... I need to find that!

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  11. Love zoodles!!! I need to get myself a mandolin. I try cutting them myself with a knife, and they just don't come out as "noodly" or pasta like.

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  12. This looks delicious! I recently made lasagna w. zucchini in place of regular noodles and loved it. Will definitely have to get a mandolin and try this.

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  13. Ooh I love these! Such a good idea.

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  14. I'm making something so similar tonight. Using the same OXO mandolin (which I'm still trying to figure out) for the zuccchini strips and cooking it with some spaghetti, shrimp, lemon and pine nuts. This with meatballs looks wonderful for the Fall!

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  15. I bought a spiral vegetable cutter when I saw your earlier zucchini noodle recipe and just love it. It makes perfect zucchini noodles, sweet potato curls, and I'm going to spiral cut apples all fall! This looks like another incredible zucchini recipe. Thanks, Gina!

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  16. WoW! I've never thought of zucchini as pasta! I tried it tonight with a bit of pesto, a chicken thigh, a bit of onion, some roasted peppers and a few beet tops. All i can say is wow. I didn't miss the pasta AT ALL! I took 2 points for the olive oil and 3 points for the chicken. 5 delicious points instead of 10 for a "regular" pasta meal!I'm hooked! Thanks for the idea Gina!

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  17. Oh this is just great! All the other zoodle recipes out there giving directions for microwaving and yours is perfect. I have added to my paleo recipes on pinterest.

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  18. Okay your recipes are usually pretty darn good, but Zoodles, that's genius right there. PS I have a beautiful stainless steel French Mandolin which I keep in it's box. I use the one I got at K Mart all the time, simple is best with this tool, my little one makes great julienne.

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  19. The Rikon Kuhn brand makes a wonderful julienne peeler. It is much safer than a mandolin and I first saw the zoodles on the nom nom paleo website. I love your photos and directions.

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    Replies
    1. I'm going to order that, I always used my mandolin. Will see how it works!

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    2. I just ordered that yesterday from Amazon! Can't wait to try the zoodles! :)

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  20. Such a big fan of veggie alternatives for noodles so keep it comin'!! :) I actually wanna thank you- I recently lost 26 pounds and I feel like it's largely because I was able to be so successful on my diet thanks to some of your recipes!! I was still eating what I would crave, I'd just always pop by here and see if there was a "skinny" way to indulge! Now I always refer people to your site! You rock!! :)
    *Krystina
    By the Seat of My Shorts

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  21. I've been following your blog for a while, and never left a note so thought I'd send you a quick THANK YOU to say how much I just love your postings. So delicious, so healthy and always a favorite with my family and friends. I've become famous for your zucchini lasagna recipe :) Keep the great posts coming!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Claudia – yay, I'm making that tonight!

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  22. This looks so good ! I'm afraid to to make it though I have a mandolin and the only 2 times I've used it I have cut through my finger lol

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  23. This looks delicious, and I love pasta alternatives! I just posted a spaghetti and meatballs alternative this morning like you, and posted a zucchini pasta recipe 2 weeks ago ... great minds think alike! I don't have a mandolin (just rely on my spiralizer) but I've been eyeing them, so that may change soon :).

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  24. I LOVE that you call them zoodles. That totally cracks me up and those meatballs are so perfect!

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  25. This is such a great idea!

    http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com

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  26. So scrumptious! I made zucchini noodles recently and they really are all they're cracked up to be... love the idea of combining these "zoodles" (ha!) with meatballs. Mouthwatering recipe!

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  27. Loving all these great zucchini recipes!

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  28. The fact that you can make noodles out of zucchini makes the world a better place. I need to try this soon! Thank you for sharing!

    xx
    youngmildandfree.wordpress.com

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  29. I just really love your blog! Your recipes are so inspiring :)
    Thanks for this zucchini recipe, I will have to try it soon as I have a huge zucchini in the fridge right now :)

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  30. Thank you so very much for this wonderful recipe. My husband is not quite two months out from gastric bypass surgery and I made this tonight and it is the best thing he has had since the surgery and we both loved it. I did cut back to a teaspoon the oil for the sauce and leave the fresh garlic out of the "zoodles" and just used one clove in the sauce and it was still wonderful. I am inspired to make his favorite dishes sans noodles and use the "zoodles". This was so easy and so good.

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  31. Hi Gina, this looks yummy! Question - can you make "zoodles" in advance? Is there a good way to keep them fresh? Or is it best to make them same day? Thanks!

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    1. You can cut them a day or two in advance and wrap them tight with plastic until you are ready to cook them.

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  32. This looks amazing! Definitely going to have to try this.
    Also, random thought but would you consider making a lighter tiramisu? That's really the only desert I miss since switching to eating healthy

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  33. Oh my gosh I have got to try this. I have used zucchini to replace some linguine in the past, but love this with the meatballs too!

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  34. Oh. My. Gosh... Just found your blog and I'm seriously about to put every recipe on my to-make list. This is dangerous!

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  35. Gina, I'm so glad you gave zucchini noodles the spotlight! Thanks for spreading the healthy message! Love that you call them "zoodles," very cute!

    Check out my blog sometime, I started a food blog dedicated to spiralized cooking and have so many zucchini noodle recipes! I'd love for you to take a look. Inspiralized.com!

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  36. You wouldn't believe how expensive zucchini are here in SW Florida now. Over $2 a pound! But I'll save this idea for the winter when we have our growing season.

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  37. I made the turkey meatballs with spaghetti squash for supper tonight. SO good!!! Looking forward to eating the leftovers and will definitely make them again soon. So easy and delicious.

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  38. As a beloved italian and spaghetti coinseur (sp?) these were fantastic!!!! My only recommendation is to actually use more zuccini, we all wanted more, my 1 year old had a helping all to himself!

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  39. This is on my "to get" list. Easier than a mandolin. http://www.amazon.com/Paderno-World-Cuisine-A4982799-Tri-Blade/dp/B0007Y9WHQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378951964&sr=8-1&keywords=vegetable+spiral+slicer

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  40. Do you salt the zucchini and let it sit to pull out some of the moisture? I've seen that in some zoodle recipes.

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  41. The zoodles turned out good. I'd recommend one large zucchini per person. We have a little bit leftover. The zucchini does release a lot of moisture/liquid, so I'd recommend draining the cooked zoodles over a colander before serving. I only cooked ours 2 minutes, as we like our veggies tender-crisp.

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  42. This is an awesome recipe for those cumbersome large zucchini. I used the "zoodle maker" from amazon and it worked great. Rave reviews from the hubs and now I'm looking for other things to use with our zoodles.

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  43. I have been following and making your amazing recipes for over a year and this is my first post. This recipe is genius and delicious! I bought a mandolin and cannot believe that the "zoodles" are even better than pasta! My 7 year old made the meatballs and the whole family devoured the dinner! Thanks for another great one, Gina!

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  44. We finally got a mandolin today so I could make zoodles! We had some chicken meatballs in the freezer so I made some sauce with the garlic, crushed tomatoes and tossed in some mushrooms. I knew I would love them but was so pleased that everyone else ate them all up! Thanks to low point zoodles, I was able to indulge in a wonderful 5 point dessert and stay within my points for the day! (Dessert was a pumpkin roll with peanut butter cream cheese filling...oh so good but I need a lightened up version of it hint hint ;)

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  45. I just made this and it's AMAZING!!!

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  46. Simply and deliciously delightful. I cooked the zoodles through in the sauce and the kids swore it was better than pasta (at first they didn't believe that it wasn't, I attribute this to my handy zucchini cutting skills) It's a bit more work than just boiling a bunch of pasta, but I'd gladly make the switch any day. This is definitely going to make a regular appearance on our dinner table.

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  47. can you julienne the zucchini and freeze for later?

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    1. They do not freeze well. When you defrost them they are a mushy mess. Sweet Potato and Butternut squash noodles freeze well. You can julienne zucchini and store it in the fridge for 3-5 days. You will just have to pat them down with a paper towel because they get a little bit of moisture build-up.

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  48. That was so good! Everyone loved it……4 boys and they even ate the Zoodles! A victory for Mom - vegetables consumed at dinner!

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  49. Another wonderful recipe. The meatballs were so moist and delicious! I Was so excited to use my new spiralizer today! My husband LOVED it! He said he enjoyed it more than spaghetti. Thanks again Gina! I've lost over 15 lbs in 2 and 1/2 months thanks to your wonderful recipes! I even pulled a size 8 dress out of the back of my closet and was so excited when I put it on and it fit beautifully,. (My husband has lost weight and looks great too!)

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  50. i have recently found your site and have used it daily for dinner recipes! thank you so much for helping me eat and feed my family healthier meals! also, thank you for the easy to follow recipes and for the easy to find ingredients (so far)!

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  51. I bought that gadget "Vegetti" at my local drug store. I'm sure they have it in Walmart or other large stores. I put the zucchini in one end and twist it, the "vegetti" has little blades that cut the zucchini into perfect ribbons. They also have a safety guard to protect your fingers. It's the best little tool I've used.

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  52. These were fantastic! Both myself and my boyfriend loved them. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

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