Recipe: Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms, Garlic Marinara, and a Homemade Basil Pesto

Sometimes, I get more produce in my CSA bin than I can logically begin to work through in a week.  Sometimes I think I should go to every-other-week….but then the thought of not getting my fresh fruits and veggies makes me sad.  So, I try to come up with clever ways to use some of it up.  Last week’s bin had a yellow summer squash and a zucchini inside…and this week’s bin…two zucchinis.  I needed to use some zucchini up stat.

Also…I hate some large portobello mushroom caps, two of which were a little busted up…so making my portobello mushroom cap pizzas were not going to be an option.  So I thought…what can I do with this?  And then I thought…pasta.

But pasta made from zucchini…giving a bit of a low carb option (not that I worry about carbs!).  I was going to coat everything in a pesto, but my homegrown basil was…not enough to do that.  So I only had a small amount.  So, I could garnish the pasta with it.  And thankfully I had a jar of RAO’s Homemade Roasted Garlic Sauce in the pantry.  Yes!  Rescued by a manager’s special!  HA!

This recipe was super-easy to make and put together.  Even better…super good for you.  And, even if you don’t want to mess with making a pesto, the dish won’t lack anything if you leave it out.  Or, you can do what I originally had planned and skip the marinara and go with just the pesto!  It’s up to you.  I’ll put up the recipe for the full pesto recipe just in case.  I had to cut mine down to 1/4 the original recipe as I only had 1/2 cup of fresh basil.

That being said…

Recipe: Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms, Garlic Marinara, and a Homemade Basil Pesto

Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms, Garlic Marinara, and a Homemade Basil Pesto
Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms, Garlic Marinara, and a Homemade Basil Pesto

Servings: 2
Time: Prep 15 minutes; Cook 15 minutes

Ingredients for Pesto:

  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Ingredients for Pasta:

  • Olive oil
  • Chopped/minced garlic
  • Seasoning of choice (I used herbs de provence)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 zucchini
  • 3 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced
  • 6 oz of marinara (or 4 ounces of pesto)
  • Dab of homemade pesto (if not using as the sauce)



Make the pesto.

Place the basil, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the S blade.  Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.

Turn the motor on and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream.  Add the sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, and pulse a few more times to combine.
Make the pasta:

Use your julienne peeler, spiral slicer or mandolin to create noodles out of the zucchini.  I used a mandolin and made long, thin strips of zucchini for noodles.  It’s really up to you!  Zucchini is usually full of water, so take a paper towel and squeeze them to get out some of the water.  Place them in a bowl and set aside.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and heat for a minute at medium heat.  Add 1 clove of minced garlic and sauté for one minute.  Add your mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to release their juices and have browned up beautifully.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Rinse out your skillet (or wipe it down to get out any mushroom residue) and place another tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, allowing it to heat for one minute over medium heat.  Add your zucchini noodles to the pan and begin to heat them up.  In order to not turn them to mush, do not stir them.  Just move them gently around the pan.

Once the zucchini noodles are heated, add the musrhooms back into the pan and season with your seasonings of choice.  Definitely add a bit of salt though.

Toss together and then add the sauce (be it marinara or pest0).  Continue to toss in the skillet until it is heated through.  Transfer to bowls and top off with pesto, if you didn’t use it for your sauce of choice.  Or don’t…if you didn’t want to fuss with it.



This was so packed with flavor and so delicious.  Honestly, it was super delicious.  I’d love to make this again and serve it up in the way I intended…with the pesto sauce, but the marinara added great flavor and worked so well with the zucchini and mushrooms.  A delicious, low calorie, low carb meal that doesn’t take too long to prep or cook.  Dinner…couldn’t be easier.

Give it a shot.  I hope you like it!


One Reply to “Recipe: Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms, Garlic Marinara, and a Homemade Basil Pesto”

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