Looking for a hearty, yet fresh pasta dish? This Creamy Lemon Zucchini Pasta is the right recipe for you!
Plant-based, filled with lots of veggies, and covered in a mouthwatering, creamy tahini sauce, this Lemon Linguine – with the option to enjoy with zucchini noodles (AKA zoodles) only and no pasta – is also very quick and easy to make.
My suggestion is to consume it whilst still warm, but you can totally bring the leftovers to work the day after – if there are any! 😉
And for those who are still wondering if it’s possible to follow a healthy diet while eating pasta... well, the answer is yes! You just need to follow some simple guidelines (as I did in this Lemon Linguine recipe).
How to Incorporate a Pasta Dish into a Healthy Diet: My Creamy Lemon Zucchini Pasta!
This Linguine with Lemon sauce is the perfect example of how it is possible to eat pasta whilst still eating a well-balanced, healthy diet. Let’s see how you can do it too!
–Please note that the following guidelines are applicable to any pasta dish of your choice.
1. Choose whole-wheat pasta over white pasta
The first tip is – whenever possible – to use whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta. Whole-wheat pasta is not only less processed but is also richer in minerals, vitamins, and fiber as compared to regular pasta. In turn, eating a diet rich in fiber helps to improve heart health, blood sugar control (as fiber slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream), and even weight management.
The reason is that whole-wheat pasta – and other whole grains for that matter – takes longer to digest than pasta made from refined flour. Because of this, it raises blood sugar more slowly, which helps in turn to cut down those annoying cravings for overly sweet and salty food. In addition, it keeps us feeling fuller for longer, which can help to reduce our overall food intake.
2. Add lots of veggies
The second tip is to halve your pasta serving by adding lots of veggies to your plate. For example, in this Lemon Linguine, I used zucchini noodles (zoodles) and pepper strips to bulk up the volume of the dish.
In this way, you will not only load your plate with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber – which, remember, helps you feel satiated for longer as its slows down the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream – but you also eat more volume for fewer carbs and calories.
If you are following a low-carb diet, another great tip is to swap the linguine with the zoodles: the sauce will make them delicious, and you won’t miss the pasta!
3. Mind the sauce!
My third tip is to be careful with the sauce used in your pasta dish. Many popular pasta sauces, such as Mac and Cheese or Alfredo, are loaded with heavy cream, oil, and butter. This alone adds more calories to the dish than the pasta itself! Plus, they are rich in saturated fats and poor in any valuable micronutrients.
In their place, use sauces made with wholesome ingredients, veggies, and healthy fats, such as those contained in nuts and seeds.
A great example of a healthier sauce is the lemon tahini sauce used in this dish. It is not only plant-based, but also rich in Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids (contained in the tahini sauce), vitamin C (found in the lemon juice), and group B vitamins (of which the nutritional yeast is rich). Delicious and nourishing: a true bang for your buck!
4. Use more herbs and spices
Herbs are a great tool to enhance the flavor of your dishes without the need of adding excessive amounts of salt and fats.
For example, the parsley added to this lemon linguine – bitter and mildly spicy at the same time – is wonderful in balancing the tartness of the lemon dressing.
My tip is to create different herbs and spices combinations that go well with your favorite dishes. In this way, you won’t have to put too much thought into them when you are in a hurry cooking your meal.
That is all! I hope you find my tips useful. If you are re-creating this recipe at home, please tag me and leave a comment down below.
For other great and wholesome pasta recipes, check my Creamy Italian Chickpea Pasta with Sautéed Veggies, Roasted Veggies Chickpea Pasta, and Pesto Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage.
And if you want to learn more about the awesome health properties of lemons, consider checking this article.
Creamy Lemon Zucchini PastaYum
- Salt the zucchini zoodles and wrap in a towel. Let the zoodles sit about 30 minutes to draw out moisture.
- Cook the linguine pasta (if you are using) according to the package directions.
- Heat a pan over medium with olive oil.
- Sauté the onion and garlic until onion becomes translucent. Turn the pan down to a medium low.
- Add more olive oil, if needed.
- Add the zucchini zoodles and sauce paste to the pan.
- As the zucchini heats up, the paste will thin out. Mix thoroughly with the zoodles.
- Cook until the zoodles have softened to your liking.
- In the meanwhile, cook the linguine on a pan with boiling water. Rinse them when the pasta is still "al dente" (it will tak around 8-10 minutes).
- Add the pasta to the zoodles and sauce. Enjoy!
- (For a low-carb option, simply skip the pasta and season your zoodles with the lemon tahini sauce)
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