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Low Carb Zucchini Noodles Recipe with Easy Meat Sauce

Published: 10/31/22 2:15 pm
By Catherine Newman

Zucchini noodlesMakes: 2 servings

Total carbohydrates: 12 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Put the sauce on to simmer and then spiralize your zucchini (if you’re DIYing the zoodles). It all comes together pretty quickly and the finished dish is so hearty and good. “It’s not spaghetti,” my husband said. “But it definitely has a spaghetti vibe.”

If you’re looking to:

Lower the carbs: Skip the onion in the sauce.

Lower the fat: Use low-fat ground beef or turkey.

Lower the salt: Use less salt.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound zucchini noodles (also called zoodles) or 1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), spiralized


¼ recipe Easy Meat Sauce (below)

Grated parmesan 


  1. Heat the oil in a wide skillet (ideally nonstick) over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the zucchini and sauté, tossing gently with tongs as it cooks, until it is just barely tender. This will take around 3 minutes, and you should stop before you think it’s completely cooked because it will keep cooking and you don’t want it suddenly sitting in a flood of water. Likewise, don’t salt it until you’re done cooking it, since the salt also will pull water from it.

  3. Salt and sauce as you like. Top with grated parmesan.

Easy Meat Sauce

This makes about eight servings. You won’t use it all, but it freezes beautifully—or feel free to make half the recipe (or, alternatively, to double it). If you really can’t live without the classic Italian herbs, like oregano and basil, feel free to add them—but I love the simplicity of this sauce just the way it is. 


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)


1 pound ground beef or turkey

1 (28-ounce) can tomato purée or crushed tomatoes

Black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion and garlic with 1 teaspoon salt until the onion is translucent, around 10 minutes.

  2. Turn the heat to high, add the meat, and break it up with a spatula while it sears. 

  3. When the meat is browning and looks cooked, add the tomatoes and a robust grinding of black pepper, bring to a simmer, and cook on low, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and delicious, around 30 minutes. Taste for salt and add more if it needs it.

What do you think?

About the authors

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop... Read the full bio »