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How to Preserve Zucchini Noodles

July 31, 2015

This has been the year of the zucchini in our garden, which means we’re learning how to use and how to preserve zucchini in creative ways. In past years, we’ve shared our simple method for freezing zucchini and enjoying it in a grain-free, low carb latke. Because we’re harvesting a few pounds of these and other cucurbits everyday this summer, we’ll run out of freezer space if all we do is freeze’m. So, it’s time to fire up the dehydrator for zucchini noodles!

Zucchini noodle tool

This two-sided vegetable peeler will make angel hair & wide noodle zucchini in a snap.

We‘re giving (gave away) one of these tools to a lucky mailing list subscriber!

Want a chance at this freebie? (The entry period has now passed & the winner has been notified; but we encourage you to sign up in order to hear about future specials available only to our subscribers!

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Zucchini noodles are a fantastic low carbohydrate alternative for anyone who loves pasta dishes but wants to keep their carb or grain intake low. Plus, they’re really simple to make. And, dried they’ll store well into winter without drawing power from your deep freeze.

Trimmed Zucchini

Harvest your zucchini each morning, selecting young fruits that weigh in under a pound. Larger ones get seedy & more difficult to work with. Young ones are ideal! After washing your zukes, trim off & discard the stem & flower end of the fruit.

Trimmed zucchini

Next, use the wide blade to shave a lengthwise, flat size into your zucchini. Lay the flat side down on your cutting board so the squash doesn’t roll as you cut your noodles.


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Zucchini being sliced into noodles

Decide if you prefer stringy or wider noodles. We make some of both. The angel hair size is great for spaghetti, and the wide shape is ideal as an egg noodle replacement. Then, use the wide or narrow cutting blade, pulling lengthwise down the fruit multiple times to shave off your noodles. The last thin bit may require slicing with a knife or chop it into dinner!

Salting zucchini noodles

Place your sliced noodles in a colander & sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Toss very gently.

Salted & draining zucchini noodles

Place your colander of salted zucchini noodles into a bowl & allow the noodles to sweat for at least a half an hour or longer. Toss more if needed, but take care not to break your noodles.

Angelhair zucchini noodles draining

The salt on the zucchini will help draw out bitter juices from the fruit and will speed drying. The bowl below your strainer will catch the juice to discard.

Wide Zucchini Noodles ready to be dried.

After your noodles have sweat out moisture in a strainer, discard the juices and carefully lay wide noodles in a single layer on your dehydrator racks.

Dried angelhair zucchini noodles

For fine strands, create thin piles on your dehydrator racks so the finished noodles will dry into easy-to-store shapes that fit your storage container. (Yes! They will shrink as they dry.)

Dried wide zucchini noodles

If your dehydrator has a temperature setting, adjust it to 115F. Thin, salted noodles should take from 3-8 hours to dry at this setting. Local temperatures, humidity & the thickness of your noodles will cause variations in timing. They are finished when brittle, not rubbery.

Vacuum sealed zucchini noodles

Place your finished noodles into vacuum seal containers to store. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can store your dried noodles in a non-vacuum jar, but be sure to add a desiccant packet (like you get in a vitamin jar) or your noodles may go bad as moisture gets to them.

Dehydrated zucchini noodles will rehydrate very fast. Do not treat them like a traditional dried pasta by adding them to boiling water. Doing this will turn them to mush. Instead, either add them to your dish at the last minute, allowing moisture in your sauce to quickly rehydrate them. Or, add them to a pot of water that has been heated and turned off. Give them a brief stir in the warmed water to separate them, but don’t stir a lot or, again, they’ll turn to mush. Drain them in a colander after a couple of minutes and plate up. Also, since these have been salted, they’ll add a bit of salt to your dish.

Want some of our favorite recipes using these noodles? Tell us what you crave in the comments below!

10 Comments

  1. I subscribed! I have never seen a cool tool like this and really want to win it!!! ::crossing fingers::

  2. Shawna – Thanks for subscribing. Check your email in the morning for next steps to enter. It really is a groovy little tool. Psst! It makes great “spiralized” carrots & cucumbers too!

  3. […] shred and freeze others for latkes, cube/blanch/freeze several for soups and stews come winter, and dehydrate them as noodles to store as well. But, we still seem to have a fridge drawer full of them all summer […]

  4. carolyn says:

    i was wondering if u can ferment the broccoli leaves like u do with cabbage for saukruat

  5. Carolyn, we haven’t tried fermenting broccoli leaves, but we can’t think of a reason why you couldn’t. Just be sure to research your fermentation safety methods. Good sites to check for this: Living Homegrown with Theresa Loe and NW Edible with Erica Strauss. Good luck!

  6. Melissa Kennedy says:

    I was wondering how the noodles would turm out if they were dried. Thank you for the information.. 🙂

    ~MelissaAnn

  7. Glad we could help Melissa!

  8. Joanna says:

    I do not have a food dehydrator. What temperature & setting to use broil or bake on a regular oven?

    My parents are slowly learning enjoy summer squash noodles and z-noodles too. I’m looking forward to turning my very large zucchinis into lasagna nodes!

  9. Joanna, we haven’t done these in the oven. You might try using your oven’s lowest bake setting (never broil). It’ll take quite a while…so plan for the oven to be going for several hours. Start checking the state of dehydration after a couple of hours, but you’ll probably be at it for at least 6-8 hours. Good luck. Let us know how things turn out!

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(You can support this blog by buying through our links. Purchases made through the affiliate links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors but don’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for buying and helping support us!)