These playful noodle-shaped spirals made from vegetables combine in a healthy, colorful, and crunchy salad
Have you tried zoodles? The playful noodle-shaped spirals made from vegetables are getting lots of attention as wheat-free substitutes for pasta. You don’t have to stick with the popular zucchini or sweet potato (a.k.a. swoodle) varieties either. Any hard vegetable like roots, squash, cabbage, and bell peppers or fruit like apples can be spiralized. You can cook these veggie “noodles,” or eat them raw.
In the Test Kitchen, we like them raw in colorful spring salads like this zoodle salad. It’s full of carrots, beets, watermelon radish, and zucchini to create a crunchy, vibrant dish. The light sesame dressing tastes like takeout sesame noodles, but without the excess calories or carbs.
All you need is a spiralizer, found at kitchen stores and online, and firm vegetables. Though you can find handheld spiralizers for as low as $10, it’s worth it to spend a little more for a spiralizer that lets you control the thickness of the zoodles. Our favorites: Benriner Cook Help (easiest to use and clean) and Paderno 4-Blade Spiralizer. We used the thickest julienne blade on the Benriner and the fine-shredder blade on the Paderno Spiralizer. You can also use a mandoline or a julienne peeler for straight-cut veggie noodles–we promise they taste just as good as the spirals.
Start by trimming the ends off the vegetables and cutting them into pieces if necessary to fit into the spiralizer. Crank them through until you have spaghetti-size coils. Tear your veggie noodles into more manageable lengths if necessary to make the salad easier to dress, serve, and eat. Toss the zoodles with chopped cilantro and the sesame dressing before digging into your spring-filled bowl.