Pasta salads can be heavy—especially when it’s hot outside.
Luckily, there’s an easy and healthy way to make great salads without the pasta bulk.
Many traditional pasta salads can be made with zucchini noodles instead.
I decided to give it a try: A zucchini base with tomatoes, pickled onions and mozzarella cheese – and a tangy basil dressing.
This is the lightest salad that won’t weigh you down.
Clean out your fridge: Do you have leftover mushrooms, red peppers or cauliflower? Slice them up and toss them in this salad.
I use a hand held spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. I don’t use it enough to justify buying a large machine.
savings tips: Don’t buy pre-coiled zucchini noodles at the grocery store. They are heavily marked. Rather buy a portable spiralizer for $10.00-$15.00.
Zucchini is one of the most budget-friendly vegetables out there. Incorporating more of these versatile veggies into your diet is great for your waistline and wallet.
How to make pickled red onions
- Halve a medium-sized red onion. Cut each half into thin crescents, cut-side down. Pour into an appropriately sized Mason jar. Add some pickling spices if you like.
- Bring 3/4 cup vinegar (I use a combination of white wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar, but any will do), 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Pour hot vinegar over the onions. Leave for 30 minutes and ready to eat.
- Onions will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
Here are some of my other favorite salad recipes:
1 large green zucchini squash
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese chunks, diced
1/3 cup pickled red onion (recipe above)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
10 basil leaves
1 garlic clove, chopped
salt, to taste
- make dressing: Pulse the basil and garlic clove in a food processor. Mix the oil and vinegar and slowly pour into the processor. Add salt to taste.
- Spiralize zucchini: Pass the zucchini through a vegetable spiralizer. Cut into bite-sized pieces if the spirals are too long.
- Combine: Combine zucchini, tomatoes, mozzarella, and pickled onions in a serving bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to form an even layer. Surcharge.