Lemon Zucchini Pasta Sauce!
Given this vegetable is in my grocery trolley every single week, how could I not publish this zucchini pasta sauce with lemon and feta?
There are so many ways to use this glorious vegetable; you can grill it, panfry it, boil it, eat it raw, bake it… you name it, it will most probably work. Nevertheless, being this such a fresh and easy vegetable, I wanted to share a recipe that enhances the flavor and texture of zucchini, while pairing it with a simple lemon dressing, and contrast its delicate nature with the salty rich texture of feta… obviously in as little time as possible and while still offering a complete and healthy, weight-loss friendly meal!
~~ Did you know that zucchini is a low-carb vegetable? There are many versatile and low in carbohydrates vegetables that are easy to add to most diets; find a great list here: The 18 Best Low-Carb Vegetables.
Let’s talk nutrition!
Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a summer squash that, although botanically is a fruit, is mostly considered and used as a vegetable.
This squash is very low in calories (only 21 per cup/124 g), while still being extremely rich in minerals and vitamins.
One cup of zucchini contains up to 40% of the RDI of Vitamin A, which helps support the immune system and vision.
While cooked zucchini is richer in Vitamin A than raw zucchini, the raw version is richer in Vitamin C, as this vitamin tends to reduce while being cooked.
~~ How to lose weight without being hungry? To fill full for longer it is important to chose the right foods, preferring the ones rich in proteins and fiber, but, how can one bulk up a meal without breaking the calorie bank and choosing nutritious ingredients? 20 Low-Calorie and Incredibly Filling Foods Quick and Easy to Prepare
How to make zucchini pasta?
This lemon zucchini pasta sauce with crumbled feta is not only easy to prepare, it is also ready in 20 minutes!
To start, bring a large saucepan filled to the water to the boil, salt it and use it to cook your pasta following the package’s instructions.
To prepare the lemon zucchini pasta sauce, wash and chop the zucchini in bite size chunks; in order to allow the pieces to mix well with the pasta, it is best to chop the zucchini about the same size (or slightly smaller) than the pasta. In order to keep as much volume as possible, try not to go too small.
Warm up a pan with the olive oil on medium and once warm add the zucchini; cook the zucchini for about 8-10 minutes or until they are cooked, but still maintain a bite, then dress them with half the lemon juice.
Now the base for this simple lemon zucchini pasta sauce is ready, add the cooked pasta to it and season it with some salt and pepper and the remaining lemon juice; mix the pasta with the zucchini sauce and sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on it just before serving. Enjoy!
How to cut zucchini for pasta?
As the aim is for the zucchini to mix well with the pasta shapes, it is important to try and keep the chunks of the summer squash about the same (or slightly less) size of the pasta, when cooking it with short pasta.
If you’re looking to cook long pasta, such as spaghetti or tagliatelle, then perhaps creating a smooth sauce, such as a puree’, or spiralizing the zucchini may be a better choice.
~~ If you like zucchini, you’ll love this Grilled Zucchini and Flavored Ricotta Platter… a fresh and quick meal idea, perfect for summer!
How to make zucchini pasta salad?
To turn this recipe in a pasta salad, simply follow it as it is, but add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pasta and do not add the crumbled feta cheese until the pasta has cooled off completely.
To bulk it up, you can add some other vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, corn or grilled peppers.
How to reheat this zucchini pasta sauce?
You can reheat this in multiple ways, such as using the microwave, but the best is in a pan.
If you are planning to cook multiple portions for future use, I’d recommend not to add the crumbled feta cheese to it until you are ready to serve the meal; this is to allow you to reheat the pasta without the feta losing its consistency.
Put the pasta in a pan with a teaspoon of water and mix it well, then put a lid on the pan; warm up the zucchini pasta on a low-medium flame, so that the steam from the evaporating water heats up the pasta.
This should take not more than 4-5 minutes, after which you can serve the pasta with the crumbled feta cheese.
A few notes:
- As our stomachs do not read calories but volume, try not to over-mush the zucchini; this will help you feel fuller.
- If you do not like (or have) feta, you can easily swap it out for some mozzarella or parmesan cheese.
- If you ever have the chance, try this recipe with Morelli’s Lemon and Black Pepper Pappardelline; this is one of my favorite pasta shapes and my mother always buys a pack for me from Italy when she comes to visit!
You will love this lemon zucchini pasta sauce recipe with crumbled feta cheese!
This is a great mid-week healthy dinner recipe, that is ready in 20 minutes, is tasty and nutritious, while it also keeps you full until the next meal!
For more quick (30 minutes tops!) and easy healthy meals, have a look at:
Lemon Zucchini Pasta Sauce with Crumbled Feta was first published on January 10th, 2021 and updated on August 29th, 2021.
Feta and Lemon Zucchini Pasta Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 medium Zucchini
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 60 g Short Pasta I used Pappardelline a.k.a. short Pappardelle
- 50 g reduced-fat crumbled Feta Cheese I used Apetina
- Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
- Put a large pan of water on the stove to boil; once it boils, salt it and cook your pasta in it following instructions on the package regarding the time.
- Meanwhile, wash your zucchini, remove the top and bottom and chop them in bite-sized chunks; try to keep the zucchini bite size, avoiding pieces bigger than the pasta, as you want the lemon zucchini pasta sauce to mix well with the pasta.
- In a frying pan, add the olive oil and warm up. Once this is warm, add the zucchini to the pan and mix well.
- Allow the zucchini to golden on a medium-low flame, and after 8-10 minutes they will be ready.
- Once the zucchini are ready, dress them with half the lemon juice.
- Once the pasta is ready and the zucchini are cooked (they can have a bit of a bite to them), drain the pasta from the water and add it to the pan with the zucchini. Dress it with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, add the crumbled feta, mix well and serve. Enjoy!
If the zucchinis taste bitter, do not eat them as they can be harmful. Choose the pasta shape you prefer, although, for this recipe, I’d choose a ‘short’ pasta, such as penne, mezze penne, rigatoni, as they grab onto the sauce.