Courgetti, or courgette noodles, are thin strands of courgette that can take the place of noodles or spaghetti. They need very little cooking and are the carbohydrate-free way to turn dishes into substantial meals (perfect if you’re on a healthy diet kick).
You can spiralize beetroot, butternut squash (called ‘boodles’!), sweet potato (‘swoodles’?) and cucumber, as well as courgette. Eaten raw or flash cooked, it’s not just pasta these clever noodles can take the place of. You can use them in stir-fry, soup, salads and even deep-fried as a garnish!
How do you make courgetti?
You can cut thin slices of courgette into strips by hand, but it’s worth investing in a gadget to speed up the process. The spiralizer (aka spiralschneider) is the classic model, and a monument to retro design. Spare in detail, 1970s avocado in colour, but highly efficient at what it’s supposed to do.
Three different cutting blades turn out spirals of ‘spaghetti’ and long curls of shaving. Courgettes, carrots and potatoes all go through easily; the handle makes turning the veg effortless. Be warned, though: the sharp blades and spikes need careful handling and washing.
For smaller kitchens, or beginners, try a microplane spiral cutter for £10. It looks like a large pencil sharpener, and is used in a similar way. They’re great for courgettes, mooli or carrot, but if you want to spiralize tougher vegetables (sweet potato, swede) you need to invest in the spiralschneider.
You can also buy julienne peelers which are widely available, and can create long thin strands of veg. But you won’t get the classic ‘curl’ of a courgette noodle.
Four ways to cook courgetti
People first started cooking courgetti by lowering it into boiling salted water, because it was treated like pasta. But we think this method creates a soggy mess.
If courgetti doesn’t fill you up, try substituting half your pasta with courgette noodles instead. Cook your spaghetti as normal, then drop the courgette noodles into the pan right at the last minute. Cook for 30 seconds, then strain. This is a great way of lowering your carb intake. But if you want courgetti and only courgetti, keep reading…
The healthiest way to cook courgetti, because no fat is involved. Simply put the courgette noodles into a sieve and pour over a kettle of boiling water. This takes the rawness out the noodles without breaking them down too much. Strain well before adding pesto, sauce or toppings.
The most common way of cooking courgetti. Flash fry in a splash of oil for a minute, and no longer. You’re not cooking the courgette, just softening it. If you cook them for too long, they’ll break up and no longer look like spaghetti.
Not cooking them at all
Raw courgette is a versatile ingredient, great for salads with a warm lemony dressing and some crunchy salted pistachios. Or a raw pad thai with peanuts, spiralized carrot and mooli, plus lots of lime juice.
What to do with courgetti
Use in soups or broths
Thai courgetti soup
Fry a few tbsps of red thai curry paste in a drizzle of oil, add a tin of coconut milk, top up with veg stock and bring to a simmer. Tip in some spiralized courgetti, sliced mushrooms, plenty of coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime. Season with fish sauce and serve immediately.
Irish broth with potato and carrot ribbons
Fry diced lamb in a drizzle of olive oil until brown. Add 1 sliced onion or leek, and fry for another couple of minutes until tender. Add 500ml lamb stock and 500ml water and bring to a simmer.
Add a bouquet garni, and simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour until the lamb is tender. Top up with water if you need to, if the stock is getting too strong. Add spiralized potato and carrot, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender. Season, and scatter with chopped parsley to serve.
Use instead of pasta
The classic way to use courgetti is to swap it in for spaghetti. Our recipes for courgetti with sundried tomato, pesto and mozzarella pearls or courgetti with pesto and balsamic tomatoes is a great place to start.
You can fry courgette noodles lightly, then top with a rich slow-cooked meat ragu, or even our vegetarian puy lentil Bolognese.
Add to salads
Green courgetti salad with a honey lemon dressing
Heat 1 tsp honey with the juice of a lemon and a glug of oil until warm, then toss with plenty of spiralized courgette, finely chopped parsley, and top with shelled pistachios. Serve with grilled chicken or fish.
Spiralized cucumber salad with asian dressing
Whisk together 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil and a squeeze of lime. Toss with a spiralized cucumber and finely shredded spring onion, a finely chopped red chilli and scatter with toasted sesame seeds to serve.
Or you could just add raw courgetti to your usual green or side salad.
Use as noodles in a stir-fry
We’ve got a great recipe for a low carb pad Thai. Add courgetti to any stir-fry to bulk it out and dodge the carbs. Just add them to the wok at the last minute, so they don’t loose loads of water and beco a soggy stir fry.
Add to tarts
Add to your pastry for a pretty tart filling, such as our courgetti, ricotta and tarragon tarts. Or add them raw on top of cheesy puff pastry parcels.
Ingenious 15 minute meals using courgetti
Smoked salmon, avocado & chive courgetti
Mash half a ripe avocado with some seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss with a spiralized courgette, then add some snipped smoked salmon and chives. Toss again, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
Harissa salmon with lemon courgetti
Brush salmon fillets with harissa paste and grill for 4 minutes until cooked. Meanwhile toss spiralized courgette with lemon, halved tomatoes, a pinch smoked paprika and a drizzle olive oil. Serve with the grilled salmon.
Courgette pesto with prawns and pine nuts
Toss courgetti with a few tbsp fresh pesto, cooked peeled prawns and toasted pine nuts. Season, and scatter with chopped flat-leaf parsley and a drizzle olive oil to serve.
Smashed avocado courgetti
Smash 1/2 avocado in a pasta bowl with a fork until smoothish. Season, and add a squeeze lime. Add 1 finely chopped shallot, a handful finely chopped cherry tomatoes, 1 finely chopped red chilli and season. Mix into the avocado. Fold in spiraized courgette to the mix, so the noodles get coated in the avocado (it makes it wonderfully creamy). Serve straight away.
Thai spiralized salad
To make the dressing, whisk 1 tsp palm (or brown) sugar, 1 juiced lime, 1 finely chopped birds eye chilli, 1 tbsp fish sauce. Toss with spiralized courgette, cucumber, carrot and mooli. Top with chopped roasted and salted peanuts.
Courgetti with sumac, feta and radish
Toss courgette noodles and baby kale leaves with a drizzle of olive oil in a bowl. Sprinkle in a pinch of sumac, crumble in some feta, and finely sliced radish. Toss, and serve with another pinch of sumac on top.
Fry a sliced shallot in a drizzle of oil and stir in 3 tbsp laksa paste. Add 400ml chicken stock and 400ml coconut and bring to a simmer. Stir in 2 shredded kaffir lime leaves, a handful of beansprouts and 3 spiralized courgettes. Cook for 2 minutes then serve with finely sliced red chilli and coriander leaves on top.
Click here for more courgetti recipes (we’ve got loads!)