So, it’s not *officially* summer aka zucchini/tomato season yet, but you’re going to want to tuck this recipe for Caprese Zoodle Bowls in your back pocket for a few weeks from now when you’ve got summer produce on the brain.
Speaking of… Can it just be summer right now? Or can we at least get some consistent sunshine around here? We’ve had, like, three weeks straight of grey, rainy, windy weather here on the East Coast. As someone who NEEDS sunshine in order to not be a total grump, it’s got me in a total funk. I usually have my vegetable garden started by now and lots of flowers ready for planting…but I haven’t set foot near a garden center yet.
If you have an abundance of beautiful sunshine-y days, can you send some my way? Please? Thanks.
I’ve had to rely on the pretty colors in these zoodle bowls to boost my mood. I’ve been making them at least once a week for ohh, I don’t know, the past month or so. Honestly, I could eat this every day – breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I actually DID eat the leftovers one day for breakfast. What can I say? It was the yummiest thing in my fridge that day annnd I’m kind of addicted.
I’m just going to go ahead and assume everyone here has heard of zoodles before. I’m also going to assume that you haven’t yet grown tired of the zoodle/spiralized everything craze. Please, never let us grow tired of zoodles. They’re so fun to make! And eat! And say! Zooooodles!
I don’t care if zoodles ever do go out of style. I’ll keep on loving ’em.
This recipe is based on a pasta dish my mom made a lot when I was growing up. We called it “Pasta with Broccoli and Tomatoes” and the name pretty much says it all – chopped tomatoes marinated in olive oil and spices got tossed together with hot pasta, broccoli, and lots of parmesan cheese. It’s delicious, and served with toasty bread, it’s a carbohydrate bomb that usually leaves me feeling uncomfortably full and bloated – the not so pleasant side effects to overdoing it with carbs.
The tomatoes were always my favorite part of that pasta dish. Whenever I’d see my mom’s big pasta bowl out on the counter with tomatoes soaking in olive oil with lots of salt and oregano and basil and crushed red pepper dusted across the top, I’d just have to snag a couple. Fresh tomatoes + tons of flavor = YUM.
So what’s in these Caprese Zoodle Bowls that I can’t get enough of? All the same flavors in my mom’s dish, minus the broccoli because now we have zucchini turned spaghetti filling in as the vegetable. Since this dish is basically all veggies, I added a bit of chicken for some extra protein (which, of course, can easily be left out if you’re going the vegetarian route or want the zoodles to be a side dish) and mozzarella because, well, cheese. More cheese is never a bad thing.
This dish comes together pretty quickly. While the tomatoes hang out in the olive oil & spice bath, you saute the chicken pieces. Then the zoodles are lightly sautéed – just a few minutes because we don’t want them turning to watery mush. Then everything gets tossed together in the pan – the cherry tomatoes, tender bites of chicken, cubes of fresh mozzarella and a healthy sprinkle (or heap) of freshly grated parmesan finish it off.
My people, who are all pasta loving people, love this dish as much as I do. I’m already a big veggie eater, but I know a plant-based meal is good when my family swears they don’t even miss the traditional pasta. Thanks to the brilliant spiralizer invention (seriously, whoever started this craze, you’re a genius), you get to eat all the swirly, twirly “pasta” you want! Thanks to the water content & fiber packed into veggies, you’re satisfied without all the carbs AND you’re getting extra veggies in your life. Win, win!
- 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2-3 medium zucchini, spiralized
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Combine tomatoes with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt & pepper & additional Italian seasonings, if desired, to taste. Sauté till cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side ,then remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
- Add zucchini to skillet and sauté over medium heat till just tender, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add chicken, tomatoes, and cheeses to zucchini. Toss together and serve immediately.