This Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Tastes Just Like Pasta

Cutting carbs? You need zucchini noodles in your life.

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Spiralizers have completely changed the pasta game. This handy gadget can transform a variety of vegetables into spaghetti-like dishes: squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, and more.

Zucchini is by far the most common vegetable to spiralize. This veggie is perfect for a pasta swap thanks to its neutral flavor and natural “al dente” texture. It’s so beloved that it even has its own nickname: zoodles. Zucchini noodles can be used any way that pasta can—with marinara, pesto, vodka sauce, and so on.

In this episode of Happy Belly, dietitian and author Frances Largeman Roth, RD, creates an easy and delicious zucchini noodles recipe with sauteed chicken. This recipe will cut carbs and up your veggie intake, but you’ll still feel like you’re sitting down to a bowl full of pasta.

What makes this zucchini noodle recipe unique is how gut-friendly it is, making it perfect for anyone trying to manage IBS.  First of all, lean protein like chicken (or seafood) is less likely to cause upset stomach thanks to its lower amount of saturated fat, and zucchini is easier to digest than traditional pasta. Additionally, this recipe does not use onion or garlic, which are surprisingly common trigger foods for many people with IBS. (Here are more diet tips for managing IBS, according to a dietitian.)

The major seasoning of this dish is cilantro. If you’re not a cilantro fan, don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe. Swap it with finely chopped fresh basil and you’ll have a dish more reminiscent of pesto instead. (Here’s how to chop fresh leafy herbs in a flash.)

There are a few ways to spiralize zucchini. The easiest way is with an automatic spiralizer, which is a fairly small appliance that does all the work for you. A manual spiralizer is the next best option, which is what Frances uses in this video. With this gadget, you twist the zucchini by hand through the spiralizer. To save money and space, you can also use a julienne peeler, which is a handheld tool that will cut the zucchini into uniform, spaghetti-style strips with each stroke. (Cutting the zucchini noodles yourself with a knife is not recommended as it is nearly impossible to get the right, consistent size and shape.)

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1½ pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium lime, juiced
  • ¾ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Cooking spray
Using a spiralizer or mandoline, make zucchini noodles, transfer into a large bowl and set aside. You can also chop zucchini into any size pieces, if you don't have the gadgets for making zucchini noodles. Preheat large deep skillet on high heat and add chicken. Saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ground black pepper towards the end along with apple cider vinegar, stir and cook for another minute. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe clean or wash and pat dry the skillet and return to the stove on high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add zucchini noodles. Saute for 1½ minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add previously cooked chicken, remaining salt, lime juice and cilantro. Stir gently and serve hot. Serves 4

Nutrition Information

Recipe Serves: 4
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
Calories 23711%
Fat 5gr7%
Cholesterol 105mg35%
Sodium 676mg29%
Carbohydrates 7gr5%
Fiber 2gr8%
Sugar 4gr8%
Protein 40gr78%

*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dietary Needs

Dairy Free
Dairy Free
Gluten Free
Gluten Free
Lower Carbohydrate