Easy Zero Waste Zoodles With Heirloom Tomatoes and Pesto

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 Zero waste recipe for zucchini noodles

If loving carbs is wrong, I don’t want to go right. Bread, pizza, pasta, these are my best friends… and I’ve got the thunder thighs to prove it. However, I do still want to fit in my jeans, so sometimes a girl has to reign herself in a bit. (I went through a “low carb” phase of eating pimento cheese with a spoon. It counts.)

I’ve been super curious about the “zoodles” trend - zucchini cut into noodle-like shapes, usually using a spiralizer, for those of you not hip to foodie lingo - and frankly, I’ve been struggling to keep up with my zero waste routine. Selling your house and moving can seriously temporarily disrupt an eco-friendly lifestyle!

Suddenly it hit me: zoodles are a great zero waste shortcut! 

I love the idea of being zero waste, but it can be nearly impossible to avoid all forms of packaging waste when preparing a meal, and I think it’s important to remember that not everyone lives in a community where bulk stores are available. From produce stickers to safety seals and plastic linings, pretty much every meal you eat has an impact… so here’s a quick and easy 5 ingredient (nearly) zero waste recipe!

 Zero waste recipe for zucchini noodles

Want to make this recipe completely zero waste?

  • Buy your mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini at the farmers market to avoid stickers.

  • Bring your own produce bags and market tote.

  • Purchase bulk salt in your own containers where possible or select cardboard packaging.

  • Choose your pesto in a glass jar with a metal lid without a plastic seal and recycle or reuse the jar.

  • Consider investing in a corked olive oil and compost the cork with CompostNow, if available in your area.

  • Buy bulk pine nuts in your own container or using paper bags from the coffee or bakery section and compost the packaging.

 Zero waste recipe for zucchini noodles

Easy Zero Waste Zoodles With Heirloom Tomatoes and Pesto 


  • 4 medium zucchini

  • 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 cups chopped cremini mushroom caps

  • 1/2 cup basil pesto

  • Olive oil

  • Salt

  • Pine nuts (optional)


 Zero waste recipe for zucchini noodles

How to make zoodles with heirloom tomatoes and pesto:

  1. Grate or spiralize your zucchini into thin noodle shapes, as desired.

  2. Lightly toss your zucchini with a small amount of salt, then let your zoodles rest and drain in your colander or kitchen sieve.

  3. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add your tomatoes. Cook until your tomatoes begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes, and add in your mushrooms and cook until soft and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.

  4. Stir in your pesto and let simmer until flavors have melded and your sauce has thickened somewhat. 

  5. Pour off the excess liquid from your zucchini and blot with a clean towel, if necessary. This will prevent you from having watery noodles. 

  6. Divide your zoodles among your bowls and top with sauce. Add toasted pine nuts for additional flavor and crunch, if desired!

I love this recipe. It’s quick, it’s easy and great for weeknights, it’s low carb. It’s also an awesome low or zero waste recipe to keep in your arsenal for those stressful periods when you might be struggling to avoid takeout and packaged foods! 

Easy Zero Waste Zoodles  With Heirloom Tomatoes and Pesto
Easy Zero Waste Zoodles  With Heirloom Tomatoes and Pesto