Zucchini Noodles & Lemon “Ricotta”

Zucchini Noodles & Lemon "Ricotta" / loveandlemons.com

In a few weeks, Jack and I are headed to Rome where we will unapologetically eat gelato and pasta every day. We’ll tell ourselves we’re “walking it off,” and that “walk” will most definitely be on our way to the next meal. Until then, I’m making an effort to lighten things up. Conveniently, zucchini is in season so “zoodles” make for a fun vegetable-focused spin on regular pasta…

Zucchini Noodles & Lemon "Ricotta" / loveandlemons.com

First off – you don’t need to go out and buy a spiralizer to make these. If you’re going to invest in a gadget, I highly recommend the julienne peeler because it’s inexpensive, works great, and is small enough to fit in your utensil drawer. But if you really want curly noodles (and you have an extra shelf to spare), spring for the spiralizer. I have both for no good reason at all.

This recipe is pretty simple – zucchini, tomatoes, and olive oil. I made a lemony sort-of-ricotta out of sunflower seeds and macadamia nuts. It’s delicious to serve on the side and scoop onto the noodles as you like. If you have extra, store it in the fridge over night and slather it on toast the next morning.

Zucchini Noodles & Lemon "Ricotta" / loveandlemons.com

4.5 from 2 reviews

zucchini noodles & lemon "ricotta"

Serves: serves 2 with extra sauce
  • 2-3 large zucchini
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • hemp seeds & microgreens, for garnish (optional)
lemon-macadamia ricotta:
  • ½ cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked at least 4 hours
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked at least 4 hours
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice + ½ teaspoon zest
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • handful of fresh herbs - basil, mint, oregano or tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup water, more as needed
  1. Drain and rinse your macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds that have been soaking. Add them to a high speed blender with hemp seeds, lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, and water. Add a little olive oil, if necessary, to get your blade moving.
  2. Use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to cut the zucchini into noodle-sized shapes. (You could also use a regular vegetable peeler - peel thin strips and then slice them vertically.)
  3. Toss zucchini "noodles," with a few spoonfuls of the ricotta, the tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Serve with extra ricotta on the side.
  4. Extra ricotta will keep in the fridge for about 1 day. If it gets a little watery on day 2, give it a stir until it's cohesive again.
substitution options:
option 1: replace macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds with all sunflower seeds.
option 2: replace macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds with an equal amount of raw cashews.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Victoria

    Looking forward to try it. Gonna share it at affmity.com

  2. Sue from spiralizerreviews.com

    Nice to see a ricotta dressing on the zucchini noodles instead of the typical tomato sauce – going to give this a go!

  3. I have heard about using courgette/zucchini as noodles and never given it a try – this recipe has inpsired me! Looks so fresh!

  4. Carol from theotherhalfofcarol.blogspot.pt

    Looks delicious!

  5. SUCH a good idea. The “ricotta” looks creamy and delicious, a perfect balance for the zucchini noodles. I’m thinking lunch tomorrow!

  6. Sunny Drohan

    I have a spirilizer, which I purchased and have used several times. Still testing the waters.
    I have been wanting to do this type of recipe for a while. Do you think I would be able to sautee the zucchini first in garlic olive oil then continue on with it. I think I prefer cooked zucchini. Thanks

    • jeanine

      Hi Sunny,

      You could try – I actually prefer it raw because when it’s cut into such thin strips it gets limp and mushy quickly when cooked. The raw “noodles” have a nice al dente bite.

      • Sunny Drohan

        Thanks Jeanine. I wouldn’t mind them being raw. But my husband might. Just thought a real quick sautee. I would put the tomatoes in first with the garlic and then add the zucchini with the herbs. If I do it, I will let you know how it turns out.

        • Jason

          I like to put my zoodles in a bowl with a couple tbls of water and nuke them for two minutes. Comes out “cooked” just enough for us.

      • Debbie

        I wondered the same thing – about maybe just blanching the zucchini. Then I thought that perhaps any warmed up or hot topping put to it would be enough given how thin the strips are. Can’t wait to try it.

  7. How fun! Cannot wait to follow your adventures (and eats) on Insta. And this light veggie pasta sounds ah-mazing. (zoodles?! cutest new word ever)

  8. Kid you not, I just ordered a “noodler” and it’s scheduled to arrive tomorrow! Pretty excited and can’t wait to use it. I’ll definitely giving your recipe a try!

  9. sharon from mauigirlcooks.com

    Wow, this looks & sounds delicious! I’ve never tasted zucchini “noodles” but I am looking forward to trying them soon. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I’ve made your sunflower cheese before so I can only imagine how good this ricotta is, especially with the macadamia nuts and hemp seeds. Really need to make this noodle bowl this summer!

  11. What a fresh summer recipe! Looking forward to trying the macadamia nut ricotta – I never have those in the pantry, but I guess I should start!
    Half of traveling is eating and half is getting from one place to eat to another. Enjoy!

  12. Mareen from chocolateandclouds.blogspot.com

    I am on a ricotta kick lately. so that sounds just perfect to me.

  13. Laura from thefirstmess.com

    Hope you guys have a great time hopping from meal to meal! Mac nut ricotta?? Yep. xo

  14. Oh wow-that “ricotta” recipe looks so good!! I must get ingredients and try it, especially now that I have lotsa zucchini to use from our CSA!!

  15. Kelsey

    Do you think you could use macademia nut butter and sunflower seed butter instead of soaked nuts for this?

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.