Spiralized Summer Squash With Garlic and Basil

Spiralized Summer Squash

The Spruce

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
119 Calories
5g Fat
17g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 119
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 195mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 20mg 99%
Calcium 156mg 12%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 690mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Spiralized yellow summer squash or zucchini makes an excellent choice for a low-carb, low-calorie, or gluten-free pasta replacement. It's a light and easy alternative, and it cooks much more quickly than spaghetti squash or pasta. It's also easy to make delicious summer squash or zucchini noodles with a spiralizer or julienne peeler.

The spiralized summer squash takes just a few minutes to cook, and the garlic, basil, and Parmesan give the squash enough flavor that nothing else is needed. But feel free to add a drizzle of good olive oil, if you like.


  • 3 to 4 small to medium yellow summer squash or zucchini, rinsed and dried

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, or butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making spiralized summer squash
    The Spruce
  2. Cut the stem ends off the squash and discard, but keep the skin and the other end intact. Using a spiralizer, shred the squash into long strands, then cut them to a manageable spaghetti-like length. Alternatively, use a julienne peeler down the length of the squash, making spaghetti-like strands. You can use a peeler to make thin, broader noodle-like slices as well. The spiralizer automatically removes the core, but if you use a peeler, stop just before you reach the seedy center.

    Spiralizing summer squash
    The Spruce
  3. Heat the olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash noodles and pressed garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes or until just slightly softened. Add the chopped basil and continue cooking for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Cooking spiralized summer squash
    The Spruce
  4. Toss the squash with the Parmesan cheese and serve immediately with extra Parmesan on the side for sprinkling.

    Spiralized Summer Squash recipe
    The Spruce
  5. Enjoy.

Why Are the Zoodles Soggy?

Summer squash and zucchini hold a lot of water, and when they are cooked, the water is released. Sautéing in a hot skillet should help to dry out the squash noodles, but if you find that there is too much liquid, you can drain them in a colander before adding the Parmesan cheese.

Make the Spirals More Substantial

  • Parmesan: Top the squash noodles with your favorite spaghetti sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese has melted.
  • With Shrimp: Cook 2 cloves of minced garlic in a skillet with 4 tablespoons of butter until softened. Add 2 pounds of cleaned and deveined shrimp to the skillet and cook until they turn opaque. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and add 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 to 2 tablespoons of sherry wine to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes to reduce. Add the shrimp back to the sauce and serve it over the zucchini or summer squash pasta.
  • Bacon Cream Sauce: Cook a few strips of bacon until crisp; drain on a paper towel. Sauté a minced shallot or 1/4 cup of onion with 2 cloves of minced garlic in a few teaspoons of the bacon grease. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until reduced and thickened. Add about 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Crumble the bacon and add it to the sauce. Simmer for about 1 minute, or until the cheese melts. Toss with zucchini or yellow squash noodles.
  • Zucchini Nests: While in the skillet, spread out the squash noodles and make a hole in the center. Crack an egg into the hole and cover the pan. Cook over medium heat until the egg white is set, and the yolk is to your liking.
  • Pesto: Add a dollop of homemade or store-bought pesto to the spiralized zucchini; you may want to cut back or eliminate the grated Parmesan if the pesto includes cheese.


Look for the variety of yellow summer squash that closely resembles zucchini; the narrow bent neck on crookneck squash makes that type harder to spiralize.