This healthy Zucchini Pasta Carbonara is everything you want in a fork-twirling pasta and more
Move over heavy pasta carbonara and pants that won’t button
We had you at pasta and carbonara, right?! We feel the same way but hate the way we feel after a big bowl of noodles (read: tired, sluggish, bloated).
Zucchini Pasta Carbonara is our enlightened version of the classic spaghetti alla carbonara. We’ve replaced the button-popping, bloat-inducing, gluten-filled pasta with potassium and vitamin C-rich zucchini noodles — but kept all of the flavor thanks to the bacon, garlic and a healthy dose of good-quality olive oil. Adding shrimp ups the protein and satiety factor (because remember, fat + protein = more satisfaction and stable blood sugars).
Helllloooooooo light and flavorful Zucchini Pasta Carbonara
If you’re looking for a low-carb, Whole30-friendly ‘pasta’ dish that’s light yet satisfying, simple enough for everyday yet stunning enough for company then this is it. We’ve added loads of flavor and extra nutrition with fresh asparagus, lots of onion and garlic and bright, clean parsley. The bacon, however, is what makes the dish so use the best quality bacon you can find and cook it nice and crisp so it’ holds its own when tossed with the zoodles and other veggies.
Oodles of ‘zoodles’, oh my!
If you’ve been asleep the past few years (too many carbs, perhaps?) or are new to real food, you may have missed the ‘zoodle’ or ‘spiralizer’ revolution that’s been sweeping the healthy food world.
A spiralizing tool allows you to cut just about any vegetable into long swirly strands or ribbons of ‘pasta’ that you can top with your favorite sauce or sauté with garlic and drizzle with olive oil for a super-simple side dish. Some of our favorites include: zucchini, sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, celeriac, potatoes, beets, kohlrabi, jicama, cucumber, parsnip and turnip. You can pretty much spiralize everything and we do when we’re in a fork-twirling-tuck-into-a-bowl-of-something-amazing mood.
Something just like this zucchini pasta carbonara.Zucchini + Noodle = Zoodle : A low-carb, grain-free alternative to pasta that you can twirl to your heart's content Click To Tweet
Choosing the best spiralizer for making zucchini pasta
We often get asked which is the ‘best’ this or that – blenders, knives, coconut oil, etc. – and though we do have our preferences when it comes to spiralizing tools, we can only say that the one you’ll use is the best one for you. There’s really just two types: one that sits on the countertop and requires a bit of kitchen real estate to store and a small hand-held version that can easily slip into a drawer. You just need to decide how often you’ll use your spiralizer tool and how much space you’re willing to devote to this handy little kitchen gadget.
Of course, there’s always going to be differences in quality, durability and clean-ability so it’s always a good idea to do your research and read the reviews to find the one that best fits your needs. However, if you’re really want to get a good one and get it right now – Jessica has used this one for years and it’s still cranking (and it comes with 3 different interchangeable blades for both noodles and ribbons).
Okay, no more talking about kitchen gadgets – let’s get to the recipe.
- 4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds), cut into “noodles” with a spiral cutter, julienne peeler or use a regular vegetable peeler to cut into wide ribbons
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 8 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed, thawed and drained if previously frozen
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 6 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan, if desired (omit for dairy-free or Whole30-friendly)
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and zucchini. Cook, stirring often until zucchini are just tender. About 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- To the same pan, add remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and onion. Saute onion until it starts to soften then add garlic and cook, while stirring, for an additional 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add asparagus and stir. Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add shrimp and stir fry with the vegetables for 4-5 minutes or until they’re pink and cooked through (being careful not to overcook them). Stir in crumbled bacon and parsley and remove from heat.
- Toss shrimp and vegetable mixture with the zucchini and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle with additional olive oil and parmesan cheese before serving, if desired.
Helpful Tools to Make This Recipe:
What’s your favorite vegetable to spiralize? Share in the comments below!
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