Pesto Caprese Zucchini Noodle Salad

I tried a cycle/spin class for the first time.  The good news is that I survived.  The bad news is that I don’t think I’ll ever go again.

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Let me back up for a minute.  I’ve been taking a kickboxing class at a local karate place for the past three and a half years.  I absolutely love it.  Unfortunately the owner is no longer offering the class so now I’ve been forced to join a gym.  They offer a wide variety of classes so I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and try something new.  Go me or something.

I know from experience that you’re a little lost when you start a new workout routine but I was completely clueless for the whole class.  The instructor plowed right along without explaining what any of the position names meant, the seat was ridiculously uncomfortable, and I fell off the bike.  Well, more accurately, my foot came out of the pedal and it scraped and bruised the back of my calf quite badly.  Like a trooper, I got back on the bike right away, tried to play it cool, and prayed that no one noticed.  I will say that I was pleasantly surprised that a bike based exercise provided a good upper body workout, but aside from that I think my cycling days are done.

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I’ve tried a couple of zucchini noodle recipes and the “zoodles” came out slimy and watery.  Unlike my cycling experience, I am willing to give zucchini noodles another chance.  This time the zucchini noodles are raw.  I suppose that’s technically cheating because I haven’t figured out how to cook “zoodles” correctly.  If you know the secret then please share.

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In the mean time, raw zucchini noodles are not a bad way to go, especially for those really hot days when you don’t want to turn on the stove.  Zucchini is kind of flavorless but the fresh basil pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes help to pack a flavor punch.  I used cashews in this pesto sauce but I’ve also used pistachios and those are tasty too.  I highly recommend using fresh mozzarella and the “good” tomatoes (you know, the ones that are still attached to the vines and not the colorless and often flavorless ones).  When it comes time to enjoy summer, you need to do it with the best fresh summer ingredients.

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Pesto Caprese Zucchini Noodle Salad Recipe
(2 servings)

Ingredients for Pesto:

  • 1/8 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 slices of tomato
  • 2 slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 2 teaspoons oil, to drizzle
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sprinkling of crushed red pepper
  • sprinkling of chopped fresh basil

Directions for Pesto:

  1. Add the cashews, basil, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until creamy.  I like seeing a little texture, but you can adjust to your liking.  There isn’t a lot of pesto in a batch so you’ll probably have to stop pulsing to scrape the sides a couple times.
  2. Taste the pesto and add more salt and pepper, to taste.

Directions for Salad:

  1. Use a spiralizer to cut the zucchini into pasta looking strings.  I use a Veggetti Pro spiral vegetable cutter.  Move the zucchini noodles to a large bowl.
  2. Pour the pesto on top of the zucchini noodles and gently mix together.
  3. To prepare each plate:
    1. Place some zucchini noodles on a plate.
    2. Add a slice of tomato on top of the “noodles.”
    3. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of the tomato.
    4. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of oil on top.
    5. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
    6. Garnish with fresh basil on top.

Adapted from: Inspiralized



4 Hats


Here are some other great summertime recipes.

Lemon Spaghetti

07Lemon Spaghetti

Eggplant Caprese

Eggplant Caprese09

Sweet Basil Smoothie

03Sweet Basil Smoothie


  1. I love zoodles and I love caprese- what’s not to like here?! Gorgeous dish.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much, Medha! I appreciate it. 🙂

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