Zoodle Salad w/ Italian Dressing

DF GF V VG LC

This zoodle salad is loaded with veggies and tossed in a homemade Italian dressing. It’s the perfect side salad for summer cookouts, BBQs and picnics!

Growing up I lived for summer. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy school (I actually loved school), but I also really loved all the family get-togethers we’d attend throughout the summer months.

Pool parties, kick ball games, playing hide-and-seek outside until sunset and then chasing lightening bugs all evening long. I have a lot of fun memories from our family BBQs.

Serving bowl of zucchini noodle salad with tomatoes, peppers and olives.

Of course, there was always a ton of food around too. Spaghetti salad was one dish my Granny used to make for every family get-together. Her version was the classic with cooked spaghetti noodles, a bottle of Italian dressing, green peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and onion. I can’t remember if her version had cheese or not, but I remember it tasting delicious.

A Healthy Twist

Today I’m remaking Granny’s spaghetti salad with a healthy EBF twist — zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti noodles and a homemade Italian dressing instead of the bottled stuff. It’s light, fresh and the perfect complement to hamburgers, hot dogs and other grillables!

The recipe is really flexible. You can add whatever veggies you’d like and I’ve included some fun ideas for additional flavor combos if you feel like switching things up.

Cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, zucchini noodles, dressing and tomatoes measured out into bowls to make zucchini noodles.

Ingredients You’ll Need for the Salad

  • zucchini – you’ll be spiralizing the zucchini to make zucchini noodles… aka zoodles! One zucchini makes about 1 1/2 cups of noodles so you should end up with 4-5 cups from 3 large zucchini.
  • bell pepper – either a red or yellow bell pepper works.
  • grape tomatoes – you can also use cherry tomatoes or a traditional tomato – just chop it!
  • cucumber – any type of cucumber will work and you can de-seed the cucumber if you’d like. I personally love using mini cucumbers. Just chop into bite-sized pieces for the salad.
  • red onion – this adds a pop of color and a little kick!
tip!
Try to chop all of your vegetables the same size. They will marinate in the dressing evenly and you're more likely to have the perfect flavor combination with every bite. 
Dijon, maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil and spices measured out in bowls to make italian dressing.

Homemade Italian Dressing Ingredients:

  • apple cider vinegar – acv is my go-to vinegar for dressings! When shopping for, look for a brand that’s unpasteurized with “the mother” included. This is where all the nutrients are. I personally recommend Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. It’s organic, raw and the best of the best.
  • extra-virgin olive oil – the neutral flavor of olive oil helps to balance the tartness of the apple cider vinegar and gives the dressing some healthy fat.
  • Dijon mustard – adds a little zest to the dressing and also acts as an emulsifier.
  • maple syrup – adds just a hint of sweetness to the dressing. You can skip this or use a low-cal sugar substitute like stevia or monkfruit if you’d like!
  • spices – onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, pepper, salt
Collage of 4 photos: two showing making homemade italian dressing, zucchini noodles being made and a zoodle salad with dressing being poured over the salad.

How to Make Zucchini Noodles

If you don’t have a spiralizer, I highly recommend getting one. It makes perfect vegetable noodles in no time and costs less than $30. There are soooo many ways to use your spiralizer. I have quite a few recipes including zucchini noodle lo mein, shrimp and asparagus with zucchini noodles and this apple slaw.

That said, if you don’t have a spiralizer and still want to try this recipe, don’t stress! You can make zucchini noodles using a mandoline, julienne slicer or vegetable peeler, it will just take more time. Another quick and easy option is to buy pre-packaged zucchini noodles from the store. You can find them in the produce section of most grocery stores.

Optional Additions

Like I mentioned, there are plenty of ways to make this zoodle salad your own! Here are some ideas:

  • fresh parmesan – sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan for a cheesy addition.
  • vegan parmesan – want to make this vegan or dairy free? Make my hemp parmesan!
  • olives – I love the salty, savory flavor olives add to this dish!
  • paprika – add a little smoky heat with a pinch of paprika.
Serving bowl of zucchini noodle salad with tomatoes, peppers and olives.

How to Serve this Zoodle Salad

Like I mentioned above, this the ultimate backyard BBQ recipe! It goes with just about any main dish. Here are some pairing suggestions:

Plate of zucchini noodle salad with tomatoes, peppers and olives.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers of this zoodle salad store really well! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

More Zucchini Recipes to Try:

Zoodle Salad

4 from 34 votes
This zoodle salad is loaded with veggies and tossed in a homemade Italian dressing. It's the perfect side salad for summer cookouts, BBQs and picnics!
Serving bowl of zucchini noodle salad with tomatoes, peppers and olives.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini, spiralized into noodles, (about 4-5 cups of zoodles)
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion

Dressing:

  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Combine veggies: Add zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion into a large salad bowl.
  • Make dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  • Add dressing: Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Sit and serve: Let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Notes

Optional Additions:
  • fresh parmesan – sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan for a cheesy addition.
  • vegan parmesan – want to make this vegan or dairy free? Added vegan parm or make my hemp parmesan!
  • olives – I love the salty, savory flavor olives add to this dish!
  • paprika – add a little smoky heat with a pinch of paprika.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 recipe Calories: 65kcal Carbohydrates: 1g Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 89mg Potassium: 11mg Sugar: 1g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: zucchini noodle salad

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    36 comments
    1. Tiffany Quigley
      July 25, 2021 AT 1:57 pm

      Do you cook the zucchini noodles? Or keep them raw?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 26, 2021 AT 9:46 am

        Great question! You keep them raw.

    2. Katherine
      June 16, 2021 AT 12:06 pm

      5 stars
      I made this recipe and it was so good and refreshing. I am diabetic so using zucchini noodles made it a hit with me. Can’t wait to make it again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 17, 2021 AT 10:53 am

        Ah yay! I’m so pumped this recipe was a hit, Katherine! Thanks so much for making it and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

    3. Peggy
      June 15, 2021 AT 12:41 am

      5 stars
      I added kalamata olives and parmesan cheese per suggestion. This was delicious and was a hit with the family. Next time I’m goint to try it with fetta or fresh mozzarella cheese.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 15, 2021 AT 10:21 am

        I’m so glad this recipe was a hit, Peggy! Thanks for trying it and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

    4. Kathy
      June 14, 2021 AT 4:34 pm

      What kind of olives do
      you recommend? The salad looks great. I’m for sure going to try this out. Always looking for different ones to serve in the Summer when my adult kids come home. I just found you from someone who recommended you. :).

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 14, 2021 AT 6:54 pm

        Hey Kathy – I’ve used kalamata olives and it was delicious!

    5. lorna
      September 9, 2020 AT 9:02 am

      5 stars
      simple and tasty – i left it overnight and some water came out of the zucchini but it was fine.

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