Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Lemon-Parsley Chicken and Tomatoes

dairy freegluten freemeat & poultry
Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

I remember when I first started “eating healthy” as a teenage girl. One of my friends lost a bunch of weight one summer and even though I had never thought I needed to lose weight, I started noticing her eating patterns and the clothes she was buying and the way those clothes fit, and I started mimicking her.

First stop: chicken caesar salads.

On repeat.

Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

There were so many emotions that went along with those caesar salads – when I’d eat out with friends who were still on the chicken fingers and fries train or eating big sandwiches for lunch, I felt a little ashamed or embarrassed.

Girls. We’re so funny, aren’t we?

Anywho, eventually, in college, I started reading about nutrition. I became very fascinated by the way our bodies respond to not only the movements and stresses of our days, but by what we put in our mouths.

Long story short, I discovered that Caesar salads are low on the health totem pole – usually anything creamy is. Typically loaded with way too much cheese, the Caesar dressing paired with croutons and more cheese garnish can yield a salad with an extremely high sodium content and of course, a high calorie count.

Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

Pretty much, I was better off eating a bag of potato chips.

Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean.

EVENTUALLY, when I started cooking and experimenting in the kitchen as a vegan, I perfect a vegan Caesar salad dressing (that I used in this recipe already.) Now, it’s okay to throw in some croutons or a little dusting of Parmesan cheese on top, because you’re eliminating all of those fats from the cheese-y version.

Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

Seriously, make a big batch of this and use it on your salads all week – you’ll get that same creamy, delicious, Caesar-like taste, without making you feel like you just had a cheeseburger.

This chicken is also a keeper – a simple splash of lemon juice and dried parsley makes for a tangy, savory chicken breast.

You’ll never order a Caesar salad at a restaurant again after making this zucchini noodle version!

Unless it’s the Tuscan kale Caesar with sourdough croutons at Razza. Pretty irresistible.

Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

On a totally separate note, yesterday, I entered Intuit Quickbooks’ Small Business Big Game Challenge. Basically, small businesses can enter to win a chance for their own commercial spot during the 2016 Superbowl. Uhm. Talk about HUGE. Talk about life-changing. Talk about monumental.

I’m usually a pessimist when it comes to contests – “Oh, I’ll never win that, I never win anything” or “there are so many more qualified people entering, I’m not even going to waste my time.” I actually said all of those things until I thought, “Wait. My business’s message is to make the world a healthier place. I deserve a chance at putting that up on the big screen!”

Immediately after, I logged onto their website, built my profile and then said to myself, “if anyone can do this, it’s your followers – they’ve helped everything happen thus far, why not ask for their help?”

Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

So, here’s the scoop: you can vote once a day everyday from now until August 17th – more votes, more judges’ eyes on me when they go to pick the Top 10. Then the Top 3. Then the winner.

From now until August 17, I’m going to end each post with the below banner – so, if you remember, please please please click it and vote (it literally takes 5 seconds.) No registering, no nothing – just click “Vote”!

Thank you in advance. If Inspiralized is on the big screen in 2016, you know who I’ll be thanking in a BIG way.

Nutritional Information & Recipe

Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 7 points


Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 3
Gluten-Free Caesar Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Lemon Chicken, Tomatoes and Breadcrumbs


  • For the dressing:
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 30 minutes and drained
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For the salad:
  • 1 slice of gluten-free bread cut into cubes
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • For the chicken:
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (thin cut)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl, add in the lemon juice, parsley, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil and let heat. While the oil heats, dip the chicken breasts in the marinade. Once the oil heats, add in the chicken breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip over, cook another 3-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. When done, transfer to a cutting board. Slice the chicken into pieces.
  • Meanwhile, place the slice of gluten-free bread into a toaster and toast to crispy. Once crispy, slice into cubes and set aside. Also, slice the zucchinis halfway lengthwise and then spiralize them, using Blade D. Place the zucchini noodles into a large mixing bowl with the tomatoes and bread cubes and set aside.
  • Place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until creamy. Taste and adjust to your preference, if necessary. Set aside.
  • Once chicken is cooked and sliced, pour the dressing over the zucchini noodle mixture and toss to combine.
  • Divide the noodles onto plates and top each with chicken breast slices. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.


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Anonymous says:
Voted! Will be voting every day!!!
annie says:
This looks great. I think I'll make it tonight. Question though.... Why do you slice the zucchini in half? Won't that make 'c's? And my spiralizer only has three blades - thin noodles, fatter noodles and ribbons.
Ali Maffucci says:
Yes! It makes more macaroni-style pasta, it's a nice change from the spaghetti sized noodles and makes it more fun (and manageable) to eat!
Adele Franks says:
The photo looks like spaghetti sized noodles
H says:
Voted! How exciting!! I wasn't sure, being in the UK, whether I could vote but it seemed to work. Good luck! Great recipe too :-)
annie says:
Also, will it taste the same if I use cashew milk?
Ali Maffucci says:
Instead of almond milk? Yes!
Eggo says:
You left the olive oil out of the ingredients list. No doubt I could figure it out. But still, you likely will want to correct that oversight. Did you consider oil when calculating nutrition info and calories?
annie says:
Where do you see olive oil? In the other recipe link? That was not for the dressing in that recipe.
Just voted! Best of luck! I'd love to see an Inspiralized commercial during the Superbowl!
John M. says:
Ali- Congrats on the Wedding, congrats on the h'moon, congrats on the website, and the new and varied recipes you keep coming up with. You've inspired (not inspiralized- well, at least not in this instance!) me to start up an online internet business of my own, believe it or not Planned unveiling is Sept. 1st. It will be a personal services business related to my field, music, using video conferencing. More later. Thanks. (i've already got a killer name for the biz- well, I think it is...) Family vacation all during July. Read you in August.
Ali Maffucci says:
Congratulations!!! That's very exciting and I wish you all the success. Thank you for your support!
Kathleen Corrigan says:
Soak the cashews in water? In the Almond Milk?
Lori Holmes says:
The standard method is to soak the cashews in water, then drain prior to adding to other ingredients. However, I use a Vitamix, so in this recipe I soaked the cashews in almond milk right in the blending container. I then added the other dressing ingredients to the container and blended until smooth. I also let the Vitamix run a couple extra minutes to warm the dressing prior to tossing with the zucchini noodles. To avoid noodles and dressing getting mushy and watery as leftovers, I kept all chicken, noodles, and dressing separate. I can then warm dressing and/or chicken as I prefer in coming days, then toss with noodles. This is a very flavorful recipe, especially the simple chicken prep. The cashew cream is a winner for preserving a rich taste in otherwise dairy (cream or cheese) laden, less healthy recipes.
Mary Beth says:
l'm a little confused, too. The photo does show spaghetti size noodles, right? I like the idea of a macaroni style, though. Do you slice the zucchini completely in half, or just half-way through? Also, the directions say to place the zucchini in a bowl with the tomatoes and the breadcrumbs. Did you mean "bread cubes?" Anyway, this sounds great. And I can't wait to see you on the Superbowl!!!!
Ali Maffucci says:
The picture must be misleading - they are C circles, just thin (used Blade D.) To slice it halfways, this image may help:
Mary Beth says:
Ah, yes! I remember discussions previously about this technique, but I wasn't sure. The picture makes it clear. Thanks! I'm particularly eager to try that dressing! I will make a double batch and keep it in the fridge -- hoping is will last for several days. Here's hoping you've begun to get back into the swing of your daily activities after that beautiful honeymoon!
Bonnie says:
For the dressing, do you drain the soaked cashews or include the soaking liquid when blending? Thanks!
annie says:
Good question. I'm making this tonight. Need to know....
Ali Maffucci says:
Yes, drain them!
Anonymous says:
Thank you!
Bonnie says:
Eating the dressing right is amazing!
Katie says:
Yay- how exciting! Voted (from Ireland)!!! And the recipes looks to die for..yum! Must stock up on cashews for the dressing... ;-)
Susan says:
Could I cook the zucchini noodles and make it more like a pasta dish instead of a salad. I'm not a fan of raw zucchini?
Ali Maffucci says:
Yes, of course! The sauce may thin out when the moisture releases from the zucchini, but it will still taste great.
Liz says:
Olive oil used in cooking recipe is not mentioned in ingredients. Soak raw cashews in the almond milk used in recipe or in water which you discard? Picture reflects spaghetti rather than C circles (although that shouldn't matter) - a bit sloppy here in the posting of this recipe. Gluten free bread NEVER!
Ali Maffucci says:
Liz - yes it is, it's right below the chicken seasonings! The picture uses C circles, as it was spiralized using a sliced zucchini and therefore yielded circles. They are thin strips, used with Blade D, so they aren't going to look thick in the pictures. Also, anytime one refers to "soaked cashews" it mean water, but I'll clarify moving forward (didn't know that it wasn't clear.) Sorry for any confusion the recipe caused you.
Kathleen Corrigan says:
Thanks Ali for clarifying about soaked cashews. I guess they have not been a big part of my cooking repertoire, I know to soak beans in water! I should have made the guess (but the almond milk, which I also don't tend to use, threw me.) I will be trying this recipe this week for sure. I also thought you would chuckle to know that last night I made a double batch of zucchini with sunflower seeds and proscuitto (I add red pepper and red onion and feta). It is an awesome recipe. I had not added the seeds, feta or dressing, I was waiting for morning. I intended to use it for lunches. Well this morning I discovered that my son had decided it would be perfect grilled along with his chicken at 10:30 at night! (He said it was delicious)
Ali Maffucci says:
So happy to hear it, Kathleen!
Hillary says:
Voted!!! Congrats Ali. And this recipe looks FANTASTIC!!! BTW loveed the honeymoon recap. Thanks for including your readers :) Love seeing the snaps too~!!
Ali Maffucci says:
Thank you Hillary, you're so sweet! Glad you like the recipe!
Ashley Renee says:
oh man, I just wanted to take a sec to tell you that I REALLY appreciate all you do here. I love your cookbook and your blog really inspired me to start spiralizing (whichhhhh has changed my life - obvi) - I just wanted to take a second to tell you because sometimes I read the comments on your posts and am really surprised when I see negativity/harsh criticality (and I don't mean those asking politely for clarification, I totally understand that!). I think sometimes people don't remember that there is a person on the other side of the blog (and that doing this is a TON of work) plus the anonymity of the internet probably makes them a little bolder - but who knows! I just hope you know how much we really appreciate everything you do. I know i'll be doing my part to get you on my screen during the superbowl! Also: I can't WAIT to try this dressing (I'm always looking for a dairy/anchovy free recipe for Caesar!) :)
Mary Beth says:
Well said, Ashley! I agree 100% with your thoughts on negative comments. Ali, your fans do appreciate everything you do for us!
Ali Maffucci says:
Thanks Mary Beth! I'm happy you're loving the blog!
Ali Maffucci says:
This absolutely made my day. Thank you for your kindness, Ashley! It means a lot. Truly. So glad you're here!
H says:
Pam says:
VOTED!! Good luck! Will try this and the recipe and I apprecate you sharing on Snapchat. I really really do :-)
Ali Maffucci says:
Thanks for your support!
annie says:
OK, I made this tonight. It was great. I doubled the dressing, used cashew milk rather than almond. I used two large zucchinis and used up almost all the doubled dressing. My husband is cutting carbs, so instead of the croutons I used toasted pine nuts for some crunch. It was a winner dinner! PS, I'm voting too. As a fellow Jersey girl, Central Jersey to boot, I want to see you go all they way to the Superbowl and beyond!
Ali Maffucci says:
Sounds DELICIOUS! Love the use of pine nuts, so glad you liked it! #jerseystrong
Stephanie says:
Just made the Caesar dressing and its so strangely delicious!
Ali Maffucci says:
So happy to hear it!!
Brandy says:
Voted! Yay! Can't wait to make this dressing. The years I've gone without....
Anonymous says:
I made this for lunch today and it was a big hit. I added 1/2T worcestershire sauce & little bit lemon olive oil to the dressing. I cooked the zucchini noodles with the leftover lemon juice from the chicken, along with the tomatoes, then drained off the excess moisture and mixed the dressing in lightly. Wow!
gail says:
OMGosh. This is delish. Definately will be repeating this. I like how easily your recipes can be changed by using a different veggie or herb. Having fun here!!
Kelly says:
I love chicken caesar salads. They are my go-to gluten-free meal at restaurants with a low gluten-free selection. I can't wait to try this version!!
Alicia says:
I voted. Yay...that was super easy. I will vote for you each day :) I love zucchini noodles ❤️ And your blog. And your recipes. This one looks amazing. Will try it for sure.
[…] apricot chicken, dirty rice stuffed peppers with red sauce, grilled shrimp and pineapple skewers, caesar zucchini noodles with lemon parlsey chicken and tomatoes, avocado and lumb crab salad, and  baked paleo chicken […]
Carolyn says:
I just made the dressing tonight. And then I made a second batch immediately because it was so flippin' awesome! I plan to serve this salad for lunch tomorrow, using grilled shrimp instead of chicken. Can't wait for my daughter and SIL to taste this dressing. Thanks, Ali! (btw, I have bought all three of my children their own spiralizers because I was so excited about mine.)
Amy Crowe says:
This recipe was amazing, particularly the salad dressing. Definitely a "game changer" for my fiance and I. Thanks so much for the meal planning help, I am going to feature this on my blog!
Chloé Adams says:
What would be a great substitution if one is allergic to cashews? Macadamia nuts perhaps?

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