Give your standard bowl of veggie noodles a makeover with these delicious tips and flavor combos.

By Marnie Soman Schwartz and Laura Rege
Updated October 09, 2020
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When you're craving a big bowl of noodles but aren't so excited about the cook time — or the carbs — spiralized vegetables are your BFF.  Plus, veggie noodles are an easy way to add more produce to your day. So the only question is: What's the best way to nosh on veggie noodles?

A simple drizzle of olive oil and handful of Parmesan cheese is sure to satisfy, but if you want to transform your veggie noodles into something spectacular — without too much effort — we've got a few ideas.

1. Give your traditional cacio e pepe a healthy upgrade.

Instead of pasta, use veggie noodles or riced vegetables in this dish. Rutabaga works especially well — the butter and cheese complement its earthy flavor.

To make the veggie noodle dish, melt butter or oil in a skillet, and add freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring, until toasted, about 1 minute. Add veggie noodles or riced rutabaga, and cook, adding water by the tablespoon and letting it evaporate, tossing until tender. Stir in freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino, and serve with more cheese on top. (Related: Cauliflower Rice Recipes You Can Make In Less Than 15 Minutes)

2. Stir the veggie noodles into soup.

Swap your spaghetti and macaroni for veggie noodles in chicken soup, ramen, and pho. And if you're ricing your veggies instead, incorporate it into minestrone, lemon rice soup, and pasta e fagioli. Just add the veggie noodles or rice into the broth at the end of cooking, and simmer until they reach desired tenderness. Zucchini and cauliflower will take just a few minutes; root veggies need a little longer.

3. Add excitement to your eggs.

For a fun spin on breakfast, bake eggs in swirls of veggie noodles, like zoodles. To make the veggie noodle breakfast bake, toss 1 pound spiralized zucchini with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper, and divide into nests or circles on an oiled rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for about 5 minutes, then make a well in the center of each nest and crack an egg into each well. Return baking sheet to the oven, and bake until the eggs are just set, with the yolks still runny, about 10 minutes. Want to use riced veggies in your morning meal instead? Sprinkle them into frittatas and omelets.

4. Create bold flavors.

Start with a base recipe by sautéing garlic in olive oil and adding cherry tomatoes until they just start to burst. Stir in veggie noodles or rice, and cook for a few minutes until tender. Then have fun experimenting with variations. Add a curry spice blend, ginger, and chiles, and top with toasted coconut flakes for a take on Indian fare, or toss in chopped capers and red pepper flakes, and top with some Parmesan and toasted almonds or pine nuts for a Mediterranean twist.

But the possibilities don't stop there for your veggie noodles. Here, Ali Maffucci, the founder of Inspiralized, shares her favorite creative veggie noodle pairings for whatever vegetable you may have on hand. Each includes a veggie noodle base, a sauce, a protein, and extras like additional vegetables, nuts, or seeds.

And remember, it pays to get a spiralizer (Buy It, $26, amazon.com) if you’ll use it frequently. If you don’t have one (and don't want to buy one), use a vegetable peeler and peel the veggie into strips.

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If you have zucchini... make a combo of zucchini noodles, pesto, chicken, cherry tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts. It's a classic combo that's received a low-carb makeover.

If you have beets... make a combo of beet noodles, honey Dijon, bacon, crumbled Gorgonzola, and pecans. Sweet beets and salty bacon make a perfect flavor match.

If you have carrots... make a combo of carrot noodles, tahini dressing, edamame, broccoli, and scallions. Look for large carrots at the farmers market; they'll spiralize easier than thin ones.

If you have cucumber... make a combo of cucumber noodles, miso vinaigrette, tofu, mushrooms, and sesame seeds. Then, give this Asian veggie noodle combo an extra punch of flavor with a drizzle of sesame oil.

If you have sweet potatoes... make a combo of sweet potato noodles, Parmesan garlic sauce, a fried egg, asparagus, and red pepper flakes. An egg on top takes any noodle dish up a notch.

If you have broccoli... make a combo of broccoli noodles, teriyaki sauce, shrimp, water chestnuts, and shredded carrots. Spiralize the broccoli stalk then toss the florets in with the dish.

If you have daikon radishes... make a combo of daikon radish noodles, pad Thai sauce, chicken, peanuts, and sliced bell peppers. This veggie-packed dish is sure to rival Thai takeout.