Mint pesto zucchini noodles make a refreshing side dish or main meal recipe when paired with chicken or the protein of your choice. Raw spiralized ‘zoodles’ are tossed with pesto made with mint, dill, and toasted almonds for an easy and healthy take on pesto pasta.
It’s been a minute since I shared a spiralizer recipe. Months, actually, if we’re being precise. While sesame almond butter zucchini noodles happen on the regular around here, the warm weather has me wanting a just as tasty way to enjoy them refreshing and raw, not stir-fried.
This is the first official year I’ve had an herb garden and I’d say so far, so good. I planted herbs in containers because I still can’t figure out my backyard sunlight situation, and I’m happy to report that my basil, rosemary, dill, mint, parsley, oregano, and cilantro are doing their things without any missteps.
My basil plant was the slowest to start growing for some reason, which of course was stressing me out because basil is the one I was most excited about and use the most, but it seems to be on the right path now. Plant stress.
Mint pesto sauce
Since I’m still babying my basil plant a bit, I started experimenting with using mint as a base for a pesto sauce. My mint plant, as mint tends to do, has grown way faster than my iced tea and mojito consumption can support, so it just made sense. And it turns out I’ve come to really love it! It’s a really refreshing option and works well on raw zucchini noodles.
Along with the mint I threw in a few sprigs of fresh dill as well, and YES. Those two flavors pair together well. Mint is definitely at the forefront of the pesto flavor profile, but don’t be afraid that it will be too overpowering in a mint dessert or an artificial sort of way.
Combined with the dill, toasted almonds, and pesto mainstays like olive oil and Parmesan, you have an excellent savory way to use mint.
Once the sauce is made, all that remains is to toss it with the noodles of your choice. In this case, zucchini noodles.
When it comes to spiralizing, I continue to love my KitchenAid spiralizer attachment (affiliate link). It makes incredibly quick work of zucchini (I spiralized these three in less than a minute), and makes it so much easier to cut through harder vegetables, like potatoes.
These mint pesto zucchini noodles are a wonderful vegetable side dish option for the warmer months, but they’re a little light to be main meal on their own. Some popular pairings in my household have been with simple grilled chicken and seafood, like salmon or shrimp. The latter is always a favorite combo, such as this shrimp and avocado pesto shrimp pasta, and a mint pesto sauce is no exception.
Mint Pesto Zucchini Noodles
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 medium zucchini
For the almonds:
- Heat oven to 350°F. Place slivered almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet, and toast for 8 minutes, or until they have browned slightly and just become fragrant. Remove the sheet from the oven and immediately place almonds on a plate or in a bowl.
For the mint pesto:
- Add mint leaves, dill, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor and process until the herbs are finely broken up. Add olive oil, Parmesan, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and process until creamy.
For the zucchini noodles:
- Slice the very ends off of three zucchini and spiralize using the fine spiralizer blade (or your blade of choice). Add the zucchini noodles to a large mixing bowl and pour in the pesto sauce. Toss to combine. Top with additional Parmesan, dill, mint, and/or toasted almonds for serving, along with your favorite protein if making this a full meal.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.