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Serve Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles as an easy, gluten-free, low-carb side dish for any dinner or occasion!

Overhead photo of Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles.

Got an incredibly tasty summer side dish for you today: Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles!

Translation: zoodles (zucchini noodles) sauteed in homemade garlic-herb butter topped with a mountain of freshly grated parmesan cheese. You’re welcome.

This week I’m excited to share two fresh and summery side dish recipes with you (I cannot WAIT for Friday’s!) In the summertime, when it’s too hot to function and the brain cells I have left thanks to pregnancy-brain are nearly all used up by 1pm, thinking of something clever to serve with dinner can be challenging. That’s why I’m such a fan of 1-bowl meals like Sesame Chicken Fried Rice or Crispy Gnocchi Skillets because they contain protein, fats, carbs, and vegetables all in one recipe, eliminating the need for extra side dishes.

Aka Mama can use her one remaining brain cell left at the end of the day to choose between watching Naked and Marooned or The Real Housewives of Wherever after the kids go to bed. It’s a very good thing.

Anyway, one bowl dinners aren’t always in the cards but it’s not a bad thing because Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles are such a cinch to whip up, and so tasty too.

Photo of Garlic-Herb Butter

Since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes I’ve been been using my Spiralizer more then ever. I say this every time I share a spiralized recipe, but changing the way you serve healthy foods is a great way to remain/get excited about eating them. Aka, turning plain ol’ zucchini into curly “noodles” is a heck of a lot more fun to eat then soggy sauteed slices served next to grilled chicken.

Speaking of soggified zucchini – in addition to this recipe I’m sharing 5 tips for avoiding watery zoodles, because nothing takes the wind out of my wispy zucchini blossom sails quite like dishing up a plate of zoodles only to find them wading in a pool of their own liquid before I get the chance to dig in. I will say that eliminating extra liquid entirely when making zoodles is pretty much an impossible feat, but follow my 5 tips below for the best possible results.

Lastly, let’s talk ways to use up the extra Garlic-Herb Butter you’ll have after making these zoodles, omgggg…! Here are a few ideas:

  • Use to saute shrimp or salmon
  • Slather onto hot and sizzling grilled steak
  • Melt then toss with air-popped popcorn (<< personal fave)
  • Spread onto bread / use for grilled cheese
  • Use to saute fresh vegetables
  • Freeze to have on hand forever and always

Alright my friends, place a stick of butter on the counter to soften then raid your garden or farmer’s market for super skinny zucchini (see Tip #1 below!) and let’s get to cookin’!

Fork twirling Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles

5 Tips for Avoiding Watery Zoodles

Tip 1: Use long, thin zucchini

Fat zucchini have more seeds/guts which means more water. Save those babies for zucchini bread, opting for long, thin zucchini to spiralize instead.

Tip 2: Break up the zoodles

Everybody loves a giant plate of long zoodles to twirl around their fork, but if you leave too many long spirals, the zoodles will steam in the skillet vs saute. That said, trim the zoodles to 3-4″ish after spiralizing.

Tip 3: Salt the zoodles

Place the trimmed zoodles into a colander set atop a bowl then sprinkle with salt and toss with your fingers to make sure all the zucchini is coated with a few salt granules, which will suck out a ton of water. Let the zucchini sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour after salting.

Tip 4: Press the salted zucchini

After letting the salt draw out excess moisture from the zoodles, place them on a kitchen towel or bed of paper towels then firmly press with another kitchen/paper towel to remove the moisture that’s risen to the surface. I would avoid wringing the zucchini out like you would with frozen >> thawed spinach, as the zoodles would break, but pressing is harmless.

Ok, back to the recipe – after spiralizing 3 long, thin zucchini, mix up the Garlic-Herb Butter which gives this side dish all it’s yummy, summery flavor. You can do this several days or even weeks in advance, as the butter freezes really well.

In a bowl mix together 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter that’s been softened to room temperature plus 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1 Tablespoon each finely minced fresh rosemary and thyme, 1 clove garlic that’s been minced or pressed, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, plus a big pinch of steak seasoning. We bring home a jar of homemade steak seasoning from a butcher shop near my in-law’s house every time we visit, which I recreated here, OR you can use whatever blend you love/have on hand.

When it’s time to cook, add 2 Tablespoons Garlic-Herb Butter to a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat then add the zoodles.

Tip 5: Don’t overcook the zoodles

Zoodles will never replace regular pasta noodles so I saute them for just a couple minutes until they’re crisp-tender. Any longer and they get soggy, which not only results in watery zoodles but it also dilutes the flavor of the Garlic-Herb Butter…which you should definitely add more of to the skillet at this point. :)

Once the zoodles are crisp tender, remove the skillet from the heat then grate in as much parmesan cheese as your cheese-loving heart desires (mine usually desires quite a bit. YUM.) Swirl onto plates with the protein of your choice then dig in! I hope you love this simple, seriously delicious little side dish – enjoy!

Fork holding a bite of Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles

Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles


Serve Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles as an easy, gluten-free, low-carb side dish for any dinner or occasion!


serves 4 as a side dish

  • 3 long, thin zucchini
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • For the Garlic-Herb Butter
    • big pinch steak seasoning (store bought or see notes for recipe)
    • 1 stick salted butter (1/2 cup,) softened to room temperature
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
    • 1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme
    • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
    • squeeze fresh lemon juice


  1. Spiralize zucchini using the fattest noodle blade to create zoodles then add to a colander set atop a bowl. Lightly salt then toss with your fingers to coat and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to drain excess liquid. Remove zoodles from refrigerator then pat very dry with kitchen or paper towels.
  2. Meanwhile, add ingredients for Garlic-Herb Butter in a small bowl then stir to combine and set aside. Can be done several days ahead of time, or even several weeks as the butter freezes well.
  3. Once zoodles are drained and pressed dry, heat a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons Garlic-Herb butter then, once melted, add zoodles and saute until crisp tender, 2-3 minutes, adding more Garlic-Herb Butter if desired. Turn off heat then grate in parmesan cheese to taste. Serve immediately.


This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Parmesan Garlic-Herb Zoodles photo collage.