Caprese Zoodles with Basil Pesto

A quick and easy gluten-free, grain-free and vegetarian meal. Roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, black olives & zucchini noodles tossed in Basil Pesto-- equally perfect when Summer produce is abundant or you want a fresh tasting meal in the Winter!

gluten free caprese zoodles with basil pesto #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #zucchinirecipes healthygffamily.com
Caprese Zoodles with Basil Pesto

Simple, Delicious and Satisfying!

Update May 2020: This is one of the easiest and yummiest dinners ever and it was never so appreciated as this evening!

Dinner snuck up on us and we decided that the boys and my husband would have Bolognese sauce we had made earlier in the week (when in doubt, pasta, right?)…. so I made this for me!

It came together in no time and was so fresh and flavorful!

Roasted tomatoes are my favorite, especially this time of year when they aren’t super fresh yet.  And I could literally have eaten the pesto by the spoonful!

Hope you love it as much as we do!

Original post…

This is one of the easiest and yummiest dinners ever!

Roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, black olives and zucchini noodles all tossed with Basil Pesto. That’s it!

A little chopping, 10 minutes of roasting, and a delicious dinner is served!

Of note… the recipe says 25 minutes but I usually roast the tomatoes while I make the pesto and zoodles so it’s more like 15 minutes!

Zoodles or Zucchini noodles are super easy to make using a spiralizer.   We’ve used the Paderno, Amazon affiliate link, for several years now.

Alternatively, you could purchase them pre-spiralized at any number of store.

caprese zoodles zucchini noodles gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

One question I am often asked is if I cook the zucchini noodles or eat them raw.  In this recipe, I prefer to toss the raw noodles with the pesto.

If you decide to saute the zucchini noodles, heat a touch of olive oil in a pan and only saute them for about 5 minutes or until they are tender crisp.

The only “cooking” involved is roasting tomatoes for 10 minutes.  This really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes and brings an element of warmth to the dish.

caprese zoodles zucchini noodles gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

For the basil pesto, our favorite simple recipe is below (as well as a link to our favorite vegan nut-free pesto) or you can use a store bought one.

The basil pesto recipe shown here is made with 8 ingredients: fresh basil, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil, raw unsalted almonds, garlic cloves, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
caprese zoodles zucchini noodles gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

And it couldn’t be easier!

Using a food processor (we’ve had a basic Cuisanart – Amazon affiliate link forever and it’s great for this!), pulse the basil, garlic and almonds a few seconds to get them break down a bit.

It will smell amazing immediately! And the almonds give it a little texture which is so satisfying!

gluten free caprese zoodles with basil pesto #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #zucchinirecipes healthygffamily.com

 

Then add the salt and pepper and pulse again.

Pro tip: Scrape down the sides to make sure it’s all blended well.

gluten free caprese zoodles with basil pesto #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #zucchinirecipes healthygffamily.com

Next, add in the Parmesan cheese and with the food processor running stream in the oil.

Pulse in the rice wine vinegar (just a touch but adds a nice brightness!) and your done!

gluten free caprese zoodles with basil pesto #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #zucchinirecipes healthygffamily.com

The pesto smells amazing and tastes even better! I could literally eat it by the spoonful!

I tend to make the pesto in the 10 minutes the tomatoes roast and then assemble so the dish comes together really quickly!

You could also make the pesto ahead of time.

And it’s sooooo delicious!

It tastes great all year round but it’s especially delicious in the Summer when the produce is so fresh.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

caprese zoodles zucchini noodles gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

For more of our favorite zucchini recipes click here.

PIN it!

caprese zoodles zucchini noodles gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

Scroll down for recipe and leave a comment if you try.

 

Recipe

Caprese Zoodles with Basil Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is one of the easiest and yummiest dishes ever! Roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, black olives and zucchini noodles tossed in basil pesto. Serve as a light main or as a side dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, Veggies
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 zucchini, rinsed and spiralized with skin left on, or 2-3 cups pre-spiralized zucchini noodles
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls, halved
  • ½ cup black olives, halved
  • 4-5 tablespoons Basil Pesto (Recipe below. Store bought fine too!)
  • Olive oil for roasting
Basil Pesto (For a vegan pesto, try Vegan Basil Pumpkin Seed Pesto)
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw unsalted almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
Basil Pesto
  1. Place basil, garlic and almonds in a food processor and run/pulse several times until finely minced
  2. Add salt and pepper and pulse a few more times.
  3. With the food processor running, stream olive oil into the top of the food processor. Scrape down the sides as needed and run food processor until well combined and mixture is smooth.
  4. Add cheese and process briefly until just combined.
  5. Add rice wine vinegar and pulse a few times until just combined.
  6. Can be made ahead and kept in seal container in the refrigerator.
Tomatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place tomatoes on prepared baking sheet in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake 10 minutes or until tender, skin will start peeling back a bit.
Zoodles
  1. While tomatoes roast, spiralize your zucchini if you haven't already.
Assemble
  1. Toss raw zucchini noodles with pesto. Start with 3-4 tablespoons pesto and as more as desired.
  2. Add in tomatoes, olives and mozzarella. Toss gently to combine.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
  4. Best when serve immediately. If serving later, have everything prepared and just combine with pesto at the last minute.

 

gluten free caprese zoodles with basil pesto #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #zucchinirecipes healthygffamily.com

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