Lemon Pesto Zoodles {Vegan + GF!}

Zoodles paired with asparagus and a refreshing lemon pesto sauce is the perfect gluten-free, vegan, and low carb dinner! Made with simple ingredients and can be thrown together in under 30 minutes.

two plates of zoodles with asparagus and lemon pesto with red chili flakes, basil, and pine nuts

This post was originally published April 2016. Recipe and photos have been updated.

I’d like to call these lemon pesto zoodles “Summer on a plate”. This dish is my jam and it’s about to be yours too.

Fresh basil, parsley, lemon, asparagus, and zucchini make this vibrant green dish veggie packed and healthy!

ingredients for zoodles with asparagus and lemon pesto sauce on white background

What are zoodles?

Zucchini noodles aka “zoodles” are spiralized making them look like spaghetti. It’s gained some popularity because they are healthy, low carb, and easy to make.

While I’m always a pasta girl at heart, I love zoodles because they taste amazing! Lathered in a lemon pesto sauce and topped with extra veggies, I’m craving this zucchini noodle recipe all the time.

I promise this dish is great on its own, but you can add some warm garlic bread for an indulgent meal. It’s okay, we cut the carbs in pasta, right???

steps on how to make lemon pesto in food processor

Pesto is hands down one of my favorite sauces to consume. It’s got such a wonderful aroma goin’ on and I can’t resist adding it to most of my pasta dishes. It’s also bomb on sandwiches. Basically, pesto has a big space in my foodie heart.

How to make lemon pesto

Your BFF to making pesto is a high-quality food processor. This will make your pesto nice and silky.

Start by putting the basil, parsley, and pine nuts into the food processor and chopping a few times until blended.

steps on how to make lemon pesto in food processor

Next, add garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper into the food processor and put on the lowest speed.

Slowly pour olive oil into pesto to emulsify. This is where the magic happens. It incorporated the oil into the sauce to create a delicious pesto.

lemon pesto in food processor

Tips to making lemon pesto sauce:

  • You can substitute pine nuts with walnuts if desired
  • Swap out the parsley with more basil, spinach, or arugula
  • If not vegan, you can use grated parmesan instead of nutritional yeast

hand spiralizing zucchini into zoodles

How to make zoodles

Zoodles are as much fun to make as it is to say! I have a mini spiralizer called the Veggetti. It’s very low in price and gets the job done.

Now if you’re trying to be a spiralizer queen, I recommend a legit spiralizer. You can make all kinds of vegetable noodles!

  • Zoodles (zucchini noodles)
  • Coodles (carrot noodles)
  • Swoodles (sweet potato noodles)
  • Squoodles (squash noodles)
  • Boodles (broccoli stem noodles)
  • Poodles (parsnip noodles)
  • Toodles (turnip noodles)

Note: Zucchini noodles have lots of water content (which helps with this recipe as it thins the pesto a bit). However, you can salt them generously and let them sit on a towel to draw out some of the moisture.

asparagus on cutting board

Cut all the tough ends off the asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces. Saute with a little bit of olive oil until bright green and you can pierce a fork through them (about 5-7 minutes)

Other vegetables to use in this lemon pesto zoodle dish:

If asparagus isn’t your thing, you can substitute it with other veggies!

  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Sun-dried tomatoes or grape tomatoes
  • Artichokes
  • Spinach

zoodles going into pan with asparagus

Cooking Zoodles

Once the asparagus is cooked, add the zucchini noodles and pesto. Mix well and let cook for a minute or two. Zoodles don’t really need to cook (thank you one pot meal and easy clean up!)

vegan one pot dinner. zoodles with lemon pesto and asparagus in pan on white background with blue napkin

Pesto zoodles is an easy dish that is perfect for weeknight dinners. The pesto sauce pairs so wonderfully with zoodles, making a vegan and gluten-free dish.

plate of spaghetti and zoodles with lemon pesto and asparagus

Not convinced zoodles are your thing?

Well I’m pretty sure they are since you made if this far down, but if someone in your family is a skeptic, try a 50/50 blend! Half spaghetti and half zoodles still cuts down the calories and carbs, but leaves you a bit more satiated.

hand holding fork of zucchini noodles with asparagus and lemon pesto

If you tried this lemon pesto zoodles, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!

If you like this recipe, check out:
Pesto Pasta Salad
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
Tofu Meatballs with Spaghetti

plate of lemon pesto zoodles with asparagus and parsley

Lemon Pesto Zoodles {Vegan + GF}

Zucchini noodles paired with fresh asparagus and a delicious lemon pesto sauce. This dish is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and low carb! Best of all, it's made with simple ingredients and can be thrown together in less than 30 minutes. It's the perfect light dinner for Summer!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Plant Based, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole 30
Keyword: healthy pesto, low carb dinner idea, zoodle recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 442kcal
Author: Amanda


Lemon Pesto:

  • 1.5 cup fresh basil leaves packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley packed (can substitute with 1/2 cup basil or baby spinach)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts can substitute with walnuts
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast can substitute with parmesan or romano cheese if not vegan
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • 6-8 medium zucchini
  • 1 pound bunch asparagus
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


Make Pesto:

  • Add basil, parsley, and walnuts to a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped (about 8 times).
  • Add nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Blend on low.
  • With the food processor running, slowly pour olive oil to emulsify until well blended. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Make zoodles:

  • Spiralize zoodles and set aside.
  • Cut tough ends off of asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil on pan over medium heat. Add asparagus and cook until vibrant green and you can pierce a fork through them (5-7 minutes).
  • Add zoodles and pesto and mix until well combined. Cook 1-2 minutes until heated through.
  • Remove from heat and serve warm. Leftovers keep for about 5 days.


Can use a 50/50 blend of zucchini noodles and spaghetti if desired.


Serving: 1cup (1/4 recipe) | Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.7g | Protein: 17.4g | Fat: 34.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.6g | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 1626mg | Fiber: 11.6g | Sugar: 7.6g | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 8.8mg

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13 thoughts on “Lemon Pesto Zoodles {Vegan + GF!}”

  1. 4 stars
    I love zoodles as I’m trying to stick to a low-carb diet! This recipe was a real hit with my family! I did however just season with olive oil and spices since I’m not a huge fan of pesto.

  2. 5 stars
    This looks like it tastes exactly like spring! Thanks for combining some of my all time favorite flavors in this dish – I’m pretty sure it’s going to become one of my favorite, go-to weeknight dinners.

  3. 5 stars
    I love doing a 50-50 blend with zoodles! But with this amazing sauce, I may not need it. This lemon pesto sounds PERFECT for spring!

  4. Ohh that sounds so bright and fresh. I’m still trying to get my kiddos to get on board with zoodles, so I usually do a 50/50 blend. Going to try this combo with them to see if they’ll dig it. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. What a wonderful spring dish! I have never added nutritional yeast to pesto, but I imagine it adds a nice boost. I will definitely give this a try.


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