Blog, Main Meals, Recipes

Zucchini Ribbons and Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Basil Sauce

My favorite part of this pasta dish is that I can add a vegetable in it! Plus the white sauce is so easy and delicious!


Yield: 4 main dish servings, or 8 small sides


  • 8 ounces whole wheat fettuccine noodles
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 ounces grape tomatoes ( about 2 cups) or diced tomatoes
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 3-4 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 1/2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chipped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more if desired


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, cut ends of zucchini and slice zucchini along the length into about 1/8-inch slices, then slice into ribbons the same size as fettuccine noodles. I used my kitchen aid spiralizer attachment to cut my zucchini. Set zucchini aside.
  2. Heat a medium-sized skillet to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add tomatoes and a dash of kosher salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes, until tomatoes start to burst and look blistered. Remove tomatoes from pan and place in a small dish. Cover and set aside.
  3. Add remaining olive oil to the empty pan and add garlic. Stir constantly on medium-low heat for about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and use a spatula to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer 1/2 minutes and then reduce heat to low.
  4. Place cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and soften 20-30 seconds, until it can be easily stirred smooth. Ladle a couple spoonfuls of chicken broth mixture into the cream cheese and stir to combine. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to the pan with the remaining broth mixture and whisk until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add Parmesan cheese, chipped basil, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. When pasta is just about done, add zucchini stripes to the pot and boil for about 2 minutes or until zucchini is tender and pasta is done. Drain zucchini and pasta together and combine with sauce. Gently toss in tomatoes, or simply add them on to p of each serving. Garnish with additional basil.

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