Making the Impossible Possible: 3 Minute Pasta

gluten freepaleoseafood

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I’ve said it dozens of times on this blog and I’ll say it again: not only is zucchini pasta healthier than regular pasta, it’s quicker! It takes about 15 seconds to spiralize one zucchini into spaghetti and it’s in edible form. How long does it take to get a cup of regular pasta into edible from? Well, about 10 minutes to boil the water and then an additional 10 minutes to cook the pasta. So you’re saying it takes 15 seconds to make zucchini pasta and 20 minutes to make regular pasta?

Let me get this straight. You’re saving 19 minutes and 45 seconds by making zucchini pasta? You’re also saving about 190 calories, 36 grams of carb and 1.3 grams of fat? Now that’s Inspiralized. What can we do with the additional time we now have in our day? Here are some options:

  • Run 2 miles.
  • Take a power nap.
  • Grab a cup of coffee with a friend.
  • Meditate or do a few yoga poses.
  • Doodle.
  • Brush up on your celebrity gossip.
  • Call your mother.
  • Enjoy a glass of wine.
  • Read a chapter in a book.
  • Paint your nails.
  • Organize your closet.
  • Buy a Groupon.
  • Save the world.

As you can see, there are many benefits of zucchini pasta, aside from the fact that you’re eating more vegetables. I’m going to introduce to you a mind boggling concept: you can make a big ‘ole bowl of pasta in…. 3 minutes! If you want to cook the noodles instead of eating them raw, you can have it ready in….. 5 minutes!

Here are some quick ideas, followed by a full Inspiralized recipe, timed out. You can literally follow the directions as they are, no preparation involved.


  • Mac n’ Cheese: Preheat the broiler. Spiralize a zucchini into ribbons. Chop them up roughly, into about 3 inch pieces. Lay in a 8″ rectangular baking dish and top with 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. Top with 1/3 cup breadcrumbs and broil until cheese belts and breadcrumbs appear browned and toasted.
  • Pesto with Beans & Spinach: Spiralize a zucchini into spaghetti and place in a bowl. Put a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Throw in 2 cups spinach and cook until wilted. Throw into the pasta bowl alongside 1/3 cup cannellini beans, top with 1/4 cup canned pesto sauce and mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Garlic Shrimp Linguine: Spiralize a zucchini into spaghetti. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in 3 tbsp olive oil. After 10 seconds, add in garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Add in shrimp and cook for 2 minutes and then add in zucchini pasta and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until noodles heat up. Pour onto a plate and top with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Tuna Pasta with Olives and Arugula

Serving size: 1
Time to prepare: 2 minutes
Time to cook: 3 minutes


  • 1 can of solid white albacore tuna
  • 1 can of halved black olives
  • 1 can of Rao’s tomato basil sauce (or your favorite)
  • 1 container or bag of baby arugula
  • 1 large zucchini

Directions with Time Stamps

Step Time
1 Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. 5 seconds
2 Measure 3/4 cup tomato sauce and pour into skillet. 10 seconds
3 Open can of tuna and pour out liquid. 15 seconds.
4 Pour drained tuna into skillet and stir to break up and combine. 20 seconds.
5 Prepare your zucchini and then spiralize it, Blade C. 30 seconds
6 Add zucchini noodles to the skillet and mix thoroughly to combine. 15 seconds
7 Open can of black olives. 10 seconds
8 Take a handful of olives (or desired amount) and put into the skillet. Mix to combine. 5 seconds
9 Let zucchini cook, stirring frequently to combine and make sure sauce covers all noodles. 1.5-2 minutes
10 Once done, pour into a pasta bowl, top with a handful of arugula and enjoy! 10 seconds

 Total time: 4 minutes!

For an even quicker meal, place the zucchini noodles in a bowl once spiralized and then pour over the sauce mixture. Top with arugula and eat! That will take no more than 3 minutes!

Total time: 3 minutes!


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Susan A. Karnesky says:
Do you not drain your spiralized zucchini before using it in your recipes? I read somewhere (it may have been with the instructions that came with the spiralizer) that you should drain the zuchinni noodles for 20 minutes before cooking with them. It was also recommended that you salt the noodles prior to leaving them to drain, and I am trying to cut down my salt usage due to high blood pressure. I tell people I don't cook ... used to enjoy helping my husband in the kitchen, but now that I'm alone, I usually just find something to heat up. Due to Celiac disease and high blood pressure, I'm having to rethink how I approach eating. It would be a lot easier if I could just use the noodles straight from the spiralizer, and not have to worry about adding salt, or allowing time for them to drain.
Susan - no need to "drain" them, it doesn't remove enough water and leaves the noodles limp and salty! You can just put them right in the pan without olive oil and they'll cook! I hope that spiralizing will help you create more healthy meals that are gluten-free!
Susan A. Karnesky says:
Thanks for your reply, Ali! I'll try straight from the spiralizer to the pan next time ... will be easier, and cut down on the time, too.
Steph says:
Hi Ali What about cooking the zucchini noodles in the microwave? I really like the convenience of zucchini pasta (Chop ends, stick in spiralizer and crank away!) but I hate laboring over the stove to cook it. I did notice that stir-frying the noodles on the stove top results in less watery sauces, but what about in cases where I can't cook the noodles (ie, bringing it to lunch)? What I have been doing is microwaving the noodles for two minutes and then draining it. Then I top it with my protein, cheese and jarred pasta sauce. The only problem is by lunch time when I reheat my meal, the sauce becomes too runny and it loses its flavor (which is really disappointing). Any ideas on how to overcome this? Thanks.
Susan says:
I believe that Ali has said she doesn't own a microwave. Are you microwaving your zucchine noodles and combining them with your other ingredients at home, and then reheating that at work? What about taking your zucchini noodles in one microwavable dish, and your toppings in another, microwaving them separately, draining the noodles, and then combining? Just an idea; I haven't tried this myself, as I don't take lunch to work (I like to get awy from the office and have some "me" time).
Steph - thanks for your question, it's a great one! The best way to do this is to not cook the noodles and bring them for lunch separated from the sauce. So, bring your protein/cheese/noodle mixture in tupperware and then your sauce in a separate tupperware container. Go to the microwave and then combine your sauce with the noodles and microwave. Does that help/solve your problem? If you don't have access to a microwave at work, then try eating cold or making other raw veggie noodle dishes, such as my Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken or Pesto Green Beans and Potatoes.
Giuliana says:
Can you spiralize eggplant?
"Somewhat." You will find this helpful:
Dianne says:
I never heard of a spiralizer. This is so cool! I cannot wait to get one. Thank so much Allisandra

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