Zucchini Noodle Caprese
Zucchini noodle caprese is made from my favorite gluten-free pasta alternative, zucchini noodles, and inspired by one of my all time favorite salads, caprese. Not only is it beautiful, but it tastes amazing!
Every time I make a new zucchini noodle “zoodle” recipe I say that it’s my favorite. I think it’s quite evident that I just love zoodles or any form of zucchini pasta. If you’ve watched my videos on how to make and cook zucchini noodles or 10 vegetables to spiralize, you surely know that.
But this one, yeah, this zucchini noodle caprese may just be my favorite.
I’ve traveled extensively through Italy twice and I’ve always said that if there’s one country in the world I could easily live in, it would be Italy. The first time I traveled Italy was during a European study abroad in college and the second time was about 10 years later with my mom. For the record, I may have left my heart in Positano.
Both of those trips to Italy were before my celiac diagnosis, so everything in sight was edible. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do my fair share of indulging. I did. But given all the pizzas, pastas and everything I could eat, I kept going back to caprese. My favorite Italian salad. A salad that’s so simple, crisp, flavorful and beautiful.
Making Zucchini Noodle Caprese
So today I decided to give the traditional caprese salad a zucchini noodle boost, resulting in this delicious zucchini noodle caprese.
What’s great about this salad is the freshness and flavor from a few key, simple ingredients. Namely, basil, zucchini and tomatoes. The basil, combined with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts and cashews makes for a highly addictive basil pesto that you’ll literally want to slather on anything and everything.
The cherry tomatoes and creamy buffalo mozzarella balls are perfectly bite-sized. And I love that you can twirl the zucchini noodles just like traditional pasta.
For more zucchini noodle recipes
- Zucchini Noodles with Chicken, Spinach and Parmesan
- Mexican Chicken Zucchini Noodles
- Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Garlic Shrimp
- Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Bolognese
- Carrot and Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Cucumber Sauce.
Zucchini Noodle Caprese
- 4 medium zucchini
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 8 ounces small balls of buffalo mozzarella, in water
- 2 tbsp raw pine nuts, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
- toasted pine nuts
- fresh basil leaves
- Toast the pine nuts in a skillet on medium low heat for 5 minutes, tossing gently. Then place them in your food processor.
- Toast the cashews in the same skillet for 10 minutes, tossing gently. Then transfer to your food processor.
- Add the remaining pesto ingredients into your food processor except the olive oil. Pulse until the ingredients are mixed. Turn your food processor on while slowly pouring the olive oil. Process until your pesto is smooth and creamy, then set aside.
- Cut the ends off each zucchini and use a spiralizer to create zucchini noodles. Place these into a large bowl.
- Cut your tomatoes in half and place into the bowl with the zucchini. Cut your mozzarella balls in half and place in the same bowl.
- Using a spoon or spatula, remove all of the pesto from the food processor and add to the bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined. Serve immediately.
- For help spiralizing zucchini, watch my video on making zucchini noodles. And the spiralizer I use and love is the 6-Blade Paderno Spiralizer.
- Zucchini noodles do become watery over time, so if you make this salad ahead of time you may find some liquid pooling in the bottom of your bowl. Simply tip the bowl over the sink to drain any excess water.
This recipe was originally posted October 2014, but updated to include new photos.