Easy spiralized Zucchini Noodle recipe with homemade bolognese sauce.
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 2 cups hearty red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups water
- 4 large zucchinis
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional), for garnish
- In a food processor, pulse carrots, celery, garlic, and onion together to chop everything into very small, fine pieces – it should look kind of like you’ve grated everything through a very small cheese grater.
- In a large, flat-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add your carrot-celery-onion mixture to the pan and sauté – stirring only occasionally – for 10-15 minutes until veggies have softened and started to brown.
- Add salt, pepper, and ground beef to pan and break the beef apart with a spoon or spatula. Sauté for another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until beef is cooked through and lightly browned.
- Add tomato paste and stir to combine.
- Add 1/2 cup of the red wine to pan to deglaze, and be sure to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan (that’s where all the flavor is!)
- Add the remaining red wine and the bay leaves and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook until wine has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
- When wine has reduced, add 1 cup of water and stir to combine. Bring the sauce back to a simmer and cook until water has reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
- Add the last cup of water to sauce and stir to combine. Bring back to a simmer and reduce the liquid by about 3/4 (you want a relatively low liquid content because zucchini contains so much water). This should take about 25 minutes.
- While the sauce reduces for the final time, slice or spiralize your zucchini. I use my mandolin fitted with the smallest slicing blade to get noodle-like slices, but you could also use a spiralizer (<–affiliate link).
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the zucchini noodles and a pinch of kosher salt.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes until zucchini has just begun to soften, then transfer noodles to a colander and let them drain for a few minutes while you finish the sauce. I find this quick pre-cooking helps release some of the water in the zucchini so they’re less soggy (but still taste al dente!) and don’t release too much water into your bolognese sauce.
- When the sauce is ready, remove the bay leaves and discard.
- Place drained zucchini into serving dishes and top with bolognese sauce. Top with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Not a zucchini noodle fan? Use regular spaghetti!
For a vegetarian option, swap sliced portobello mushrooms for the beef in this recipe.
Zucchini noodles release a lot of water, so make sure you’ve drained them as instructed in the recipe before serving.
- Calories: 549