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Natalie's Zucchini 'Pasta' with Pesto

Natalie's zucchini pasta with pesto
A finished dish by Natalie Morales.Matt Toder / TODAY

Chef notes

Like most other people, I try to maintain a healthy diet. This dish came about as a way to satisfy pasta cravings in a more nutritious way, and this recipe is a product of trial and error. It's one of my favorite original recipes!


Zucchini noodles
  • 4 yellow and green zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
Vegetable saute
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 Italian chicken sausages
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cans cannelloni beans
  • 1/4 onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 cups fresh basil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Cut the ends off the zucchini and put through a spiralizer or use a vegetable peeler so you get long spaghetti-like strands. Set aside.

Natalie makes Zucchini Pasta
Matt Toder / TODAY

Add garlic, basil, pine nuts and olive oil into a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. COOKS NOTE: Most pesto recipes call for you to add parmesan at this point, but I like to add it at the very end so you can really taste the parmesan and use less of it.

Heat up a skillet on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook chicken sausage until browned, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Add mushrooms, tomatoes and onions to sausage in the skillet. Stir until combined.  It will create almost a stew. Once vegetables are cooked through, add beans and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat another large skillet and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once heated, add the zucchini noodles, stirring occasionally. Saute until zucchini is slightly softened, about 6 minutes.

Add pesto to zucchini and stir until noodles are evenly coated. Add parmesan cheese to zucchini and a touch of salt, if desired. Lower the heat.

Natalie Morales cooks a homemade dish
Matt Toder / TODAY

Put noodles in a large serving dish and top with vegetable mixture. Give it a toss, and top with more parmesan cheese, if desired.