Move over, spaghetti. Veggie noodles (or voodles, if you will) are taking the world by storm! You can’t make it through a single Insta session these days without stumbling into someone’s perfectly-plated zucchini noodles. But veggie pasta is more than a picture-ready, Whole30 standby. It’s a great way to up your veggie intake without feeling like you are sitting around munching on bland vegetables all day. Veggie noodles are also a great way to sneak a little extra veg into kids’ meals. Plus, when you have guests over for a soiree, you don’t have to worry about who is gluten-free or low carb or paleo. Hello, new party dish.
While it seems easier to just open a box of dried pasta and dump it in the water, spiralizers like this extremely popular model make it simple to quickly turn your veggies into long strands. If you don’t want to add another gadget to your kitchen, you can also make veggie noodles with a julienne peeler, a regular vegetable peeler, a mandoline, or some serious knife skills. Let’s dig in.
1. Sweet potato noodles with garlic and kale
Sometimes you want your pasta slightly sweet without having to feel guilty about the sugar in your pasta sauce. The sweet potato in this dish adds some sweetness while the kale and garlic help even it out. Plus, it’s so pretty you won’t even care that you are eating loads of veggies instead of your favorite dried pasta.
2. Red bell pepper pasta with sundried tomato cream sauce and andouille sausage
Some veggie noodle dishes can leave you hungry soon after. This bell pepper pasta dish packs a protein punch with andouille sausage. It also helps you feel like you are eating a hearty meal so you don’t dream about chewy carbs all night.
3. Noodle-free pad Thai
You don’t need any fancy tools for this dish. Grab a julienne peeler or chef’s knife and whip up this pad Thai in 30 minutes flat. I bet your takeout can’t beat that.
4. Beef pho with beech mushrooms and sweet potato noodles
Pho isn’t just for hangovers. This veg-heavy dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner or anytime that you need some comforting broth in your life. Slices of beef and thick sweet potato noodles add lasting power to your bowl.
5. Creamy roasted red pepper zucchini noodles
You won’t miss the calorie bomb of traditional alfredo with this creamy sauce. Roasted red peppers and a touch of goat cheese combine to make a sauce that feels rich without the extra calories or sodium.
6. Parsnip spiralized pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage
Spiralized parsnip looks identical to al dente spaghetti. This slightly spicy dish takes advantage of hearty parsnip noodles and pairs them with chunks of Italian sausage.
7. Butternut squash noodles with a chorizo spaghetti sauce
This isn’t a delicate little dish. Hearty squash combines with a filling, chunky sauce to create a comforting bowl of hot pasta. You’ll get all of the benefits of the squash without feeling like you are eating the same boring dish.
8. Slow cooker lasagna
Who said you need sheets of noodles to make a filling lasagna? This beautifully layered dish is made with slices of zucchini and eggplant. Even better, it all goes straight into the slow cooker so you don’t have to stand by while it cooks.
9. Chicken parm over zucchini noodles
Chicken parm doesn’t have to be ridiculously unhealthy. This version uses zucchini noodles to cut down on the carbs and add vegetables. It also calls for whole wheat breadcrumbs and very little oil to lighten up the chicken parm portion.
10. Turnip noodles with beef ragú
When was the last time you had turnip? Let’s update that answer with this dish that you will actually enjoy. The beef ragú keeps this dish just familiar enough to make the turnip noodles seem like they’ve always been there.
11. Rainbow vegetarian pad Thai
Let’s not go too crazy — you don’t have to give up all pasta. This recipe uses half brown rice noodles and half veggie noodles to create a filling (and nutritious!) pad Thai
12. Spiralized beet noodles with whipped feta
You can’t beat the color of these noodles. Eaten raw or cooked, beet noodles hold up surprisingly well. The creamy feta cheese dressing adds flavor to the beet and tones down the earthiness. Bonus: You don’t have to roast your beets forever in the oven only for them to turn unexpectedly to mush.
13. Spiralized daikon radish noodle bowl
Say hello to your new favorite spring recipe. This dish is loaded with veggies and flavor. Daikon radish noodles add a satisfying crunch and make the perfect base for the tamari-lime and creamy cashew sauces.
14. Kohlrabi sesame takeout noodles
While the veggie looks like something out of Winnie the Pooh, its family ties with cabbage mean it’s loaded with health benefits. This recipe combines kohlrabi noodles with a creamy sesame sauce for a satisfying, non-greasy noodle dish.
15. Rainbow veggie dragon noodles
Why stop at one vegetable? You already have the spiralizer out, so you might as well keep going with this four-veggie delight. Zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, and purple cabbage combine with a sweet-spicy sauce for a refreshing side or a light meal.
Voodles are a fun way to change up your meals and add a serious wallop of nutrition. They’re way less complicated than they look, too. Think you’re too busy to make dinner? Many grocery stores like Whole Foods now sell fresh spiralized vegetables — no crazy assembly or intricate tool cleaning required.
Mandy Ferreira is a writer and editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is passionate about health, fitness, and sustainable living. She’s currently obsessed with running, Olympic lifting, and yoga, but she also swims, cycles, and does just about everything else she can. You can keep up with her on her blog and on Twitter (@mandyfer1).