This one pot, luxuriously creamy and spicy Skillet Zucchini Alfredo is just as the name suggests: creamy, spicy, and deeply flavourful. Baked to perfection, with a gooey cheese topping, this will become your favourite pasta alternative!
Spiralized zucchini or zoodles, as they are most commonly called, are all the rage. I’m an avid Pinterest user and I see recipes posted for zoodles all the time. A while back, John.e picked up a very inexpensive hand-held spiralizer that I have used only once or twice, but I dug it out from the back of the kitchen gadget drawer for the third time this past Sunday.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to the farmers’ market in St. Jacob’s, and as we usually do, we purchased way more fruit and veggies than we could possibly eat in such a short time. Since Sunday night is pasta night in our home, I decided to put the spiralizer to good use and substitute the pasta noodles for zucchini zoodles.
Now, usually our Sunday night pasta dish is pretty much the same. I don’t have a recipe for pasta sauce, I just make a sauce with whatever I have on hand. I can make a really good tomato-based pasta sauce with my eyes closed. But this particular Sunday, I wasn’t in the mood for tomato sauce. I wanted something creamy and decadent.
Enter this alfredo based sauce! Alfredo sauce is rich and creamy as it is, but I wanted to make it extra rich and creamy. I had some store-bought alfredo sauce on hand, but I wouldn’t feel right about posting a recipe on my blog with zoodles and alfredo sauce. I’m all for ease in the kitchen, but two ingredient recipes are not worth the effort in my opinion. The fresh local zucchini that I had on hand deserved more!
I had a block of cream cheese on hand, and I knew I wanted a kick of peppery spiciness too, so that was the base of my thought process for this recipe. But first, I had to get the extra water out of the zucchini. There’s nothing worse than watery pasta. Yuck!
When all is said and done, this dish was absolutely delicious! McKenna wasn’t at home when we indulged; she’s off on her summer vacation with her mom, so John.e and I ate this entire skillet full of Skillet Zucchini Alfredo in one sitting. No regrets, no apologies, no shame.
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Skillet Zucchini Alfredo
- 4 medium sized zucchini, spiralized (or sliced into thin strips using a mandolin)
- 2 cups alfredo sauce, low fat
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping and garnish
- 8 ounces light cream cheese, cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
- Place the spiralized or sliced zucchini into a large colander and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss the zucchini so that it's well coated with the salt. Allow to sit at room temperature in the colander for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- After the hour has passed, stir together the alfredo sauce, black pepper, parmesan, cubed cream cheese, and dried red chili flakes in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Pile the zucchini into the center of a clean kitchen towel. Gather up the ends and sides of the towel allowing all of the zucchini to bunch up. Over a sink, twist the gathered ends of the towel, holding the ball of zucchini in place. This action will remove most of the water content from the zucchini. It won't be totally dry, but the more water you can extract, the creamy your end result will be.
- Add the dried zucchini to the sauce mixture and stir to coat well.
- Drizzle the tablespoon of olive oil into a large cast iron skillet (or baking dish). Pour the entire contents of the zucchini and sauce mixture into the skillet and smooth to cover the entire surface of the pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the shredded cheese. (You can sprinkle more dried red chili flakes and parmesan too if desired.) Bake for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from oven, and allow to set for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan and serve.