Veggie noodles are a great alternative to pasta – they’re great if you have gluten sensitivity and avoid it or if you want to incorporate more vegetables into your family’s diet. Plus, the kids can help make these, which is always an added bonus! There are many reasons why I love making veggie noodles.
They have been popular for quite some time now, and you can even buy them in stores. But they’re super easy (and fun!) to make at home. My family enjoys experimenting with different vegetables in the spiralizer.
Some of our favorite noodle dishes for quick weeknight dinners are stir-fry, ramen, and other traditional noodle dishes. It’s also a great way to make your favorite takeout versions a little healthier — Asian, Chinese, Italian, there are lots of possibilities.
Even if you’re not gluten-free or eating a low-carbohydrate diet, veggie noodles are a great alternative to traditional pasta or stir-fry noodles. Rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, these vegetables are a powerful alternative or addition to any recipe you already make. And because they’re fun to make, your kids will want to help. When my kids help cook our dinners, they are more likely to try new foods.
A good rule of thumb is to use vegetables that are typically cooked to make hot or steamed noodle dishes. Vegetables served cold make beautiful salads. Veggie noodles are quick to prepare and cook quickly (if they need to be cooked) because you don’t need to boil water or turn on the oven. The total dinner time is quick, making them a great option for quick weeknight dinners.
How to make veggie noodles at home
As I mentioned, you can buy vegetable noodles at the store, and they’re great if you’re short on time. But making them at home is easy and economical.
The easiest way to make noodles from vegetables is to use a spiralizer. There are a few different options to choose from. KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment This is an extremely easy way to get noodles done quickly, especially if you already have a KitchenAid. But This countertop version There is another great option too. Both options come with multiple blades to make different types and sizes of noodles.
To make noodles at home, first prepare the vegetable of your choice by washing and cutting the ends. Some need to be peeled, so do that before spiralizing (sweet potatoes and butternut squash are prime ones).
Next, center the vegetable on the blade and make sure it is secure. Then, let the machine do its work! If you have the countertop version, you simply turn the handle in a circular motion. With the KitchenAid attachment, it does the work for you. It’s so much fun watching a vegetable turn into noodles.
If I’m spiralizing zucchini noodles, I like to set aside a colander to drain them in the sink for a few minutes because they hold more water than other vegetables.
What vegetables can you turn into noodles?
My family wanted a variation on the classic zucchini noodles, and we enjoyed trying different vegetables in our spiralizer. “Noodles” can be made from any round or semi-round vegetable. We’ve experimented with many different types to find our favorites, along with our favorite noodles recipes.
Zucchini noodles are a classic noodle replacement. They have a mild flavor, so you can use them in many noodle dishes. Use zucchini noodles as an alternative to spaghetti and add marinara for a quick low-carb weeknight meal. Fry them lightly but do not cook them for too long as they become soggy quickly. Or, you can use them as a substitute for soba noodles in Easy Beef Ramen Noodles.
Parsnips are quite sturdy and get better when you cook them. I love making Parsnip Shrimp Lo Mein with this vegetable. This Asian dish is a favorite as a takeout option. I don’t use soy sauce but prefer coconut aminos, which pairs well with the slightly sweet flavor of the parsnips.
Another favorite is sweet potato noodles. These root vegetables are sturdier, so use them in cooked dishes. One of our favorite main dishes is Shrimp Carbonara with Sweet Potato Noodles. Or fry the noodles in a pan over medium-high heat in sesame oil (if you have it). Add some of your favorite vegetables for a quick Chinese-inspired dinner. We also love making Sweet Potato Curly Fries with Sweet Potatoes in our air fryer.
Another robust vegetable option is turnips. You might not think of using this root vegetable, but it gives a great immunity boost as it is rich in vitamin C and is also rich in calcium. I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure turnip noodles would be great in this pho recipe. Another great option is to stir-fry some turnip noodles with curry spices for a hearty flavor.
This hearty root vegetable makes great noodles. It is also a great way to get extra vitamin A as carrots are rich in this important nutrient. They work great as garnish on salads to brighten them up. Another favorite is the Shaved Carrot Salad, a light and refreshing noodle salad that adds a little crunch.
Squash noodles are a great option with a mild flavor, similar to zucchini. They can be lightly sautéed, but you’ll want to serve them al dente so they don’t take too long to cook. These chickens work great as a replacement for rice noodles in Pad Thai. I love this recipe, which is topped with cilantro and green onions; It’s a great replacement for Thai takeout. Or you can use squash noodles in place of pasta in the soup recipe for a gluten-free option.
We enjoy roasted broccoli a lot, and we’ve found a way to repurpose the stalks: make noodles! Be sure to peel the stalks first, then shape them into spirals for a great, crunchy broccoli salad. Add RaisinHomemade mayo, a little Honey, and some bacon. Or cook them and top with Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry. Garnish with a little sesame oil, and you have a great option for when you have a sugar craving!
This hearty vegetable is an excellent alternative to noodles. When you choose one, make sure you choose one with a long stem as this is the part you use. Save the lower part and fry it. Its mild flavor means you can use it with pasta sauce, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan for an easy Italian dinner.
Beets are one of the healthiest vegetables, and my kids love them until their fingers turn red! These sturdy noodles are great when lightly sautéed to al dente and served with basil pesto or cilantro pesto for a quick vegetarian dish. Or cook them up with a few cloves of garlic and add some cashews on top for a side dish with some protein.
How to choose vegetables for noodles
Whatever vegetable you want to spiralize, look for vegetables that aren’t too large or too small. This is because you want them to fit on the spiralizer tool. You can chop some to make them smaller, but it would be better if you can find a medium sized vegetable.
For vegetables like carrots and parsnips that may be too thin, be sure to get larger vegetables. Often you can find these in the bulk section or buy a bag of them. Also, look for vegetables that are firm and not soft, as this simply means that they have been lying in the store for a long time and are not that fresh.
Have you ever made vegetable noodles? What is your favorite variety?