If you’re looking for a super quick and very delicious pasta recipe to enjoy for dinner tonight, you’re in the right place! My easy, garlicky zucchini pasta takes just 20 minutes to make! It’s made with zucchini, garlic, basil, lemon and parmesan cheese! I love how lemon juice gives this dish a pop of zesty flavor and the garlic and basil really make the zucchini pop! This recipe is perfect for summer when you have lots of garden zucchini in the fridge! Want to add a protein to this zucchini pasta? I have some suggestions below!
My Zucchini Pasta Video Tutorial
Watch my YouTube video for step-by-step instructions and watch me make this easy zucchini pasta! Want to stay up to date on new recipes? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and to my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Garlicky Zucchini Pasta
Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe!
- Pasta: I love this zucchini pasta with a bite-sized pasta variety! I used conchiglie pasta in my video recipe but pasta shells, penne, rotini, campanelle, or even rotini pasta will work great for this recipe!
- Zucchini: more about the zucchini next!
- Parmesan Cheese: add some freshly grated cheese over the pasta right before serving for added flavor!
- Garlic: this recipe is all about the garlic flavor so feel free to add more if you love garlic!
- Butter: frying the zucchini in melted butter adds tons of great flavor to the dish. You can also use regular cooking oil in place of the butter.
- Fresh Basil: fresh herbs make all the difference and a pop of fresh basil is perfect for this pasta!
What Type of Zucchini or Squash Can I Use?
This zucchini pasta is great with just about any type of summer squash or zucchini! I used a combination of yellow and green zucchini for this recipe. Mexican squash will also work well. Keep in mind – yellow zucchini is a little softer than green zucchini and will cook faster.
How to Make Easy Zucchini Pasta
I love how quick and easy this zucchini pasta is to make! It takes no time to create this aromatic and delicious dish! Here’s how it’s done:
- As soon as I come into the kitchen, I get a large pot of salted water up to a boil. I use ½ pound of pasta for this recipe. Once it’s cooked, I drain it partially and keep it warm on the stovetop.
- Next, it’s time for the zucchini! I used larger green and yellow zucchini for my video recipe, which I cubed into bite-sized pieces. If you’re using small zucchini or squash, you can also cut it into rings.
- I melt a few tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan and then fry the zucchini until it’s nicely browned all over and cooked. Make sure to season it after it’s cooked! Salt will cause the juices to run and make the zucchini mushy!
- Next, I add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before removing the zucchini from the heat.
- I add the pasta, basil and squeeze the juice from one lemon over the dish. I also love to add a mountain of grated parmesan cheese on top.
- Toss everything together and enjoy! It’s so easy and delicious!
Serve it With a Protein!
This garlicky zucchini pasta is great all on it’s own if you’re going for a vegan or meatless option! However, you can also enjoy with a serving of protein! My favorite is a side of juicy chicken!
- Rotisserie Chicken – this is a great option if you want something very quick and easy! Just pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home and serve it with this easy pasta recipe.
- Cedar Planked Salmon – I love this delicious salmon recipe and it will pair so well with this pasta! Check out my video recipe for this salmon dish!
- Zesty Lemon Chicken – use this easy recipe for chicken breast to go along with the chicken:
- 1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Season 2 chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then fry in an oven-safe frying pan until golden brown all over, about 8 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of butter, ½ cup chicken broth, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon parsley, and juice from 1 lemon.
- 2. Bring the sauce up to a simmer, then transfer the chicken into the oven to finish cooking, until the internal temperature reaches 165F, about 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over halfway through baking. Once done, allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying. Make sure to pour the sauce over the chicken when serving!
Enjoyed this quick and easy pasta recipe? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Easy Zucchini Corn Fritters – crispy, fluffy, cheesy zucchini corn fritters with a garlicky, creamy dipping sauce. These are addictive!
- Skinny Chicken Fettucine Alfredo – a lower-fat version of everyone’s favorite pasta, with creamy sauce and juicy garlic chicken!
- Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta – extra creamy, zesty and delicious! I love this incredible chicken pasta recipe for summer!
- Ultimate Italian Pasta Salad – the one and only pasta salad recipe you need, with cheese, salami, veggies and a homemade dressing!
- Smoky Pepper & Sausage Pasta – another quick and easy pasta recipe with a smoky and creamy pepper sauce, plus smoky sausage!
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Need some supplies or tools to make this recipe at home? Here are some of the items I used in my video recipe for this dish! (Amazon Affiliate Links)
- Cheese Grater/Zester – I love this grater for parmesan cheese!
- Epicurean Cutting Boards – these amazing cutting boards are also dishwasher-safe!
- Copper Sauté Pan – I love cooking with copper and this sauté pan is so great!
- Pasta Serving Spoon – perfect for serving pasta, salads and more!
- Wusthof Santoku Knife – my absolute favorite chef’s knife!
Easy Garlicky Zucchini Pasta
- 1/2 pound pasta of your choice, I used conchiglie pasta shells
- 3 to 4 green or yellow zucchini
- 1 to 2 tbsp butter
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves
- small bunch fresh basil
- 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- juice from 1 lemon
For Zesty Lemon Chicken (optional protein addition)
- 2 chicken breasts
- cooking oil
- salt and black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tbps fresh parsley, chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta of your choosing and cook to al dente according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta, leaving a little bit of water in the pot. Set the pasta aside and keep warm.
- Chop the zucchini into large cubes. Finely mince or press the garlic. Stack the basil leaves, then give them a quick chop. Set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Into the melted butter, add the cubed zucchini and toss. Fry the zucchini for 7 to 10 minutes, until it's well browned and cooked. Season the zucchini when it's almost done with about a teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the minced garlic, toss with the zucchini and cook for 30 seconds, then remove from heat.
- Drain the remaining water from the pasta and add it to the fried zucchini. Grate a cup or two of parmesan cheese over the hot pasta. Add the chopped basil and squeeze the lemon juice over the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then toss everything together and enjoy.
For Zesty Lemon Chicken (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then fry in an oven-safe frying pan over medium-high heat until golden brown all over, about 8 minutes. Add the butter, chicken broth, minced garlic cloves, parsley, and lemon juice.
- Bring the sauce up to a simmer, then transfer the chicken into the oven to finish cooking, until the internal temperature reaches 165F, about 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over halfway through baking. Once done, allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying. Make sure to pour the sauce over the chicken when serving!