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Favorite 15-Minute Zoodles Marinara
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5 from 1 vote

Favorite 15-Minute Zoodles Marinara

This is truly my favorite 15-minute zoodles marinara recipe. I've made it countless times (often multiple times each week) over the last three years, and it's my go-to recipes when I'm craving something comforting yet veggie-packed. To make it, you'll simmer some of your favorite store-bought marinara sauce along with cherry tomatoes, chili flakes, and garlic powder. About five minutes later, add two spiralized zucchini to the pan and continue to simmer until your zoodles reached desired doneness. I like to up the richness by adding a simple splash of cashew cream, but you can't absolutely skip that part if you'd like. Serve these rich vegan zoodles marinara with a generous sprinkle of nut or seed parmesan.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Pasta, Zoodles
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, plant-based, Vegan
Servings: 1


  • 1 to 1 ½ cups of your favorite marinara sauce, to taste (depending on how saucy you like your pasta)
  • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • Few shakes garlic powder, to taste
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium-large zucchini or 3 small zucchini, ends trimmed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked (optional)
  • cup filtered water (optional)
  • Vegan parmesan*
  • Basil leaves, thinly sliced (optional)


  • Add the marinara, tomatoes, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to soften.
  • Meanwhile, use a spiralizer fitted with the thin "spaghetti" attachment to spiralize the zucchini into noodles. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini into long, ribbon-like noodles (but do keep in mind that this dish is much, much tastier and more enjoyable with spiralized zoodles).
  • For the optional creamy pink pasta sauce: Add the cashews and filtered water to a high-speed blender, and blend on high until a completely smooth cream forms, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Set within reach of the stove. 
  • Add the zoodles to the pan along with a pinch of sea salt. Then, increase the heat to medium, and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the noodles soften to desired doneness, stirring occasionally. (Note: If you're using the cashew cream, add it to the pan just a minute or two before the zoodles finish simmering.)

To Serve

  • Taste and season with sea salt, if desired. 
  • Sprinkle with as much vegan parmesan as desired (store leftovers in the refrigerator) and fresh basil (if using).
  • Serve immediately.


*Feel free to use store-bought vegan parmesan or homemade—your choice. If you'd like to make your own, add ¼ cup raw nuts or seeds (think cashews, almonds, hemp seeds, etc.) to a small food processor along with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 clove garlic (peeled), and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Process until ground into a grated parmesan texture. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.