Dreamy Creamy Zucchini Spaghetti is packed with fresh summer corn, zucchini, and yellow squash! The pasta sauce is creamy and garlicky with the slightest bit of heat. Have it ready in under 30 minutes for a delicious restaurant quality pasta dish!
If you're here for zoodles - zucchini noodles - this is a good point to turn back lol. This is all real pasta! Ideally bucatini, spaghetti, or linguine for slurping up with the delicious sauce.
Every summer, I swear everyone has an abundance of zucchini that they have no idea what to do with. In actuality, it's such a versatile vegetable! It's slightly sweet, so it can be added to bake goods like chocolate cake or breads. Courgettes also make delicious savory dishes like fritters, "fries", zoodles, and so much more.
This pasta really works in freshly-grated zucchini and yellow squash! I love this recipe because it doesn't require frying the squash or blending it into a creamy sauce.
It's really just the summer squash cooked down into a sauce that coats the pasta. It results in an incredibly fresh pasta for dinner - perfect for a date night with a glass of dry white wine after a trip to the farmer's market.
Ingredients - Notes and Substitutions
There are a few key ingredients to make this a high quality dish, especially when it comes to the summer vegetables.
- Summer squash - Zucchini and yellow squash are available year-round but it's best in the summer. Small to medium squash are the best for this recipe, as larger ones have larger seeds and are very watery. Substitute the yellow squash with another zucchini if necessary.
- Pasta - Spaghetti or any variant of it, i.e. bucatini, linguine, etc., works best as opposed to rotini or penne
- Chili Oil - Use homemade or your favorite bottled chili oil! It adds heat and a bit of depth of flavor. Alternatively, use a tablespoon of olive oil and chili flakes to preferred spiciness
- Corn - Fire-roasted corn is the best. It can be purchased in the frozen aisle or by roasting corn on the cob over a stove, and then removing the kernels.
- Cream - Makes the delicious creamy sauce. Substitute with half and half. To make this vegan, use blended avocado instead.
- Parmesan - Ideally, use real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or pecorino. It mixes in with the cream and pasta water to make a silky, slightly umami sauce to coat the pasta. To make this vegan, use a vegan parmesan instead.
How to make Creamy Zucchini Spaghetti
Start by scrubbing the summer squash clean, since it doesn't need to be peeled for this recipe. Remove the two ends of the courgettes. Line a bowl with a cheese cloth or kitchen towel. Then, grate both of the summer squashes with a box grater using the medium-sized holes.
Wring the cheesecloth with the zucchini to remove the water content. Squeeze as much water out of the grated squash as possible, it'll be about ⅓ to ½ cup of water. Discard the water.
Now, let's get started on the sauce. Start by adding the chili oil to a hot pan. Once it's warmed, add the garlic and sliced red onions into the pan. Sauté until the onions start to brown and soften. At this point, add the strained summer squash into the hot pan with the corn. Stir everything together.
Let the vegetables cook down until most of the water has evaporated from the squash. The squash will be very soft, the texture will almost be jammy. This can take up to 10 minutes to achieve the right texture.
While this happens, boil the pasta according to boxed instructions. Remove it two minutes before it reaches al dente. It'll finish off in the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
Once the sauce hits that "jammy" texture add the salt to pepper to taste.
Transfer the pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Add the reserved cup of pasta water, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. Stir quickly so that the parmesan melts into the liquid and creates a silky smooth sauce. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens up to coat the pasta.
Remove from heat and the creamy courgette pasta is ready to serve.
Garnish Creamy Zucchini Pasta with herbs like parsley or basil. Top it with additional shredded parmesan cheese, a little spritz of lemon juice, and sprinkle of more chili flakes.
Chicken or shrimp would be a great addition for protein to this zucchini pasta! It would also be great with tomatoes, or additional vegetables like mushrooms.
Pair the Creamy Zucchini Pasta with a dry white wine, like brut or Sauvignon Blanc.
The pasta is best enjoyed warm within a few hours of preparation.
More Pasta Recipes to try
- Butter Masala Pasta
- Black Garlic Pici Pasta
- Cacio e Pepe Orzo
- Jumbo Stuffed Pasta Shells with Whipped Ricotta
Creamy Zucchini Pasta
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 4 oz pasta, (spaghetti, bucatini)
- 1 tablespoon chili oil, see notes
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ½ red onion, sliced
- ½ cup corn kernels, fire-roasted
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 oz parmesan, grated
- Wash and scrub the zucchini and yellow squash. Remove the ends of the squashes. Line a bowl with a kitchen towel or cheese cloth. Grate the zucchini and yellow squash with a box grater using the medium-sized holes.
- Wring out the water content from the zucchini and yellow squash, removing as much as possible. It'll be around ⅓ - ½ cup of water. Discard the water and set aside the grated squash.
- Heat the chili oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add in the garlic and onions. Sauté until the onion has softened and browned. Then, add the grated squash, lemon juice, and corn.
- Cook the squash for around 10 minutes, or until it has significantly softened and the consistency is similar to jam just as it begins to cook down.
- While the squash is cooking, boil the spaghetti in salted water according to the boxed instructions. Remove it two minutes before it's al dente, so the pasta can finish cooking off in the sauce. Reserve a cup of pasta water.
- Once the squash has cooked down, add salt and pepper according to taste. Transfer the spaghetti into the pan with the squash. Add the pasta water, heavy cream, and parmesan. Stir vigorously until the parmesan melts to create a silky, thick sauce that coats the noodles.
- Serve the pasta warm with extra grated parmesan.
- Use your favorite chili oil, homemade or pre-bottled. Substitute the chili oil with a tablespoon of olive oil and chili flakes according to preference.