If you haven't hopped on the spiralizing bandwagon yet, now's the time. The device, which turns vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, sweet potatoes, and carrots into thin spiral shapes, is a favorite gadget of nutritionists. It's beloved by those who are looking to cut gluten out of their diets for its ability to create vegetable "noodles" (here's a tip: A "zoodle" is a zucchini noodle). That said, you don't have to be gluten-free or a health nut of any sort to become a spiralizing fanatic.
Think of it as you would a mandolin or a shredder—a kitchen gadget that's anything but gimmicky. From an Italian-inspired classic made with sweet potato noodles to a vegan version of a Thai takeout staple made with strings of carrots, these delicious recipes will put that spiralizer to good use. Read on for eight spiralizer recipes that will convince you to give up pasta (yes, really).
Sweet Potato Noodle Carbonara
This classic Italian dish, typically made with spaghetti, gets a spiralized twist with sweet potato noodles instead of traditional pasta. While you don't have to boil any water, you do have to cook the sweet potato noodles in a skillet to soften them up a bit. "You want the noodles to be soft, but still have the slightest bit of bite left in them so they have texture and hold their shape," says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Don't cook the noodles longer than 10 to 12 minutes," she advises.
Zucchini Noodles With Creamy White Lentil Sauce
This 30-minute meal is perfect for busy weeknights. Top spiralized zucchini with a thick and creamy yet bright and fresh white lentil sauce made with green onions, basil, miso, and lemon for a quick and easy dinner. "[The sauce] appears a little thick at first (kinda like smooth guacamole), but I think this saucing strategy works best for zucchini noodles," says Laura of The First Mess. We think the hearty sauce pairs well with the crunchy zucchini noodles, making for a healthy meal that's actually satisfying.
Noodle-Free Pad Thai
Low-carb lovers, rejoice. This noodle-free pad thai is packed with delicious veggies. Toss carrot noodles, collard greens, thinly sliced bell peppers, and cabbage with a savory-sweet-spicy sauce to make this Thai-inspired dish. "For more 'oomph,' I added a bit of crumbled tofu to mock the egg in traditional Pad Thai, but this is completely optional, especially if you're soy-free," says Dana of Minimalist Baker.
Add the protein of your choice to take it from a side to an entrée.
Sweet Potato Noodle Salad With Creamy Chipotle Miso Sauce
In this spiralizer recipe, sweet potato noodles provide the base for a whole lot of delicious toppings. Seriously, this is the ultimate pasta-free pasta salad (and it's vegan-friendly, too). "Once you sprinkle in some wisps of fresh basil, golden toasted almond slivers, sprouts, and shelled edamame, you've got a bowl of very colourful and happy food," says Laura of The First Mess.
Garlicky Sweet Potato Noodle Pasta
This garlicky alfredo spiralizer noodle pasta uses sweet potato to create a healthy creamy alternative to carbonara. The sauce uses cashews and almond milk so it's 100% vegan while still being filling and indulgent. "This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you’re craving something healthy but satisfying," says Dana of the Minimalist Baker.
Grain-Free Zucchini Pasta Recipe With Tahini Sauce
For the ultimate twist on a summer salad, try this zucchini pasta with tahini sauce and avocado. The recipe is fresh and insanely healthy. "While you can certainly find pre-made tahini sauce at the store, it’s really easy to make, and we all know that fresh is best," says Stephanie Gerber of Hello Glow. "This is a great dish for a warm summer day when you don’t want to pack on extra carbs before hitting the pool, too."
Indian Salmon Curry Zucchini Noodles With Coconut Milk
While we may typically associate zucchini noodles with twists on classic pasta dishes, an Indian-inspired dish also works really well with a spiralizer. Try this Indian salmon curry with coconut milk noodles, for examples. "This Indian salmon curry is the kind of quick and easy dinner recipe that you just whip out of your back pocket on super busy weeknights when you wanna eat something yummy and satisfying," says Taylor Kiser of Food Faith Fitness.
Zucchini With Greek Yogurt Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
It's hard to believe this creamy zucchini pasta dish is under 300 calories, but it is. Better yet, you can make it with a spiralizer or a mandolin. "These zucchini noodles are covered with a creamy Greek yogurt roasted red pepper pasta sauce for an easy, protein-packed, meatless dinner, that is under 300 calories," says Taylor Kiser of Food Faith Fitness. Top the creamy zucchini pasta with the roasted red pepper sauce, crumbled feta cheese, and fresh basil.
Next up: 4 healthy one-pot pasta recipes anyone can cook.
This story was originally published on July 8, 2015, and has since been updated.