Zucchini Noodles In A Lemon Cream Sauce

Prep 5 mins
Cook 8 mins
Total 13 mins

You’re going to love this easy recipe for zesty Zucchini Noodles in Lemon Cream Sauce! Fresh vegetables and healthy ingredients make this a wonderful and filling alternative to regular pasta. Creamy zoodles are vegetarian-friendly and perfect for Meatless Monday dinners!

Photo collage of zoodles tossed in a lemon cream sauce, with cherry tomatoes and a half of a lemon.

Easy Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Lemon Garlic Sauce

These are the best Zucchini Noodles, also known fondly as Zoodles!

Wait, don’t run – I swear, this recipe is the real deal! Once upon a time I too blew off zoodles as one of those weird food trends I just didn’t “get”. That is, until a few extra zucchinis and a little pasta inspiration led me to this zoodles recipe. 

All I can say about my first bite: Whoa! And I wasn’t alone. The whole family gobbled up these easy and tasty zoodles, cooked al dente with a delicious garlic and lemon cream sauce made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Traditional pasta has nothing on these fresh, healthy zoodles, and you’ll never look at zucchini squash the same way again! 

Do Zoodles Taste Like Pasta?

When cooked, zucchini noodles really mimic the texture of pasta noodles, and (depending on how you cut them) the shape as well! Zoodles also taste similar to pasta in that they tend to take on the flavors of the sauces and ingredients they’re paired with. All the deliciousness with less carbs and calories!

Zucchini noodles created by a hand held peeling tool.

What You’ll Need

This zoodles recipe uses so few ingredients, and freshness is what really makes the flavors pop! So think fresh lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, fresh cloves of garlic, etc. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Zucchini Squash: Trim off the ends and julienne the rest into noodles. ( I use a julienne peeler that works wonderfully!)
  • Garlic: Whole fresh cloves, minced.
  • Cream Cheese: Classic Philadelphia Cream Cheese is an all time favorite, and using quality cream cheese really brings the wow factor to this cream sauce! 
  • Lemon: You’ll need the juice of one whole lemon.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: No specific quantity, but a good handful, cut into halves.
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
A lemon is squeezed over a bowl of creamy zoodles and cherry tomatoes.

How to Make Zoodles with Lemon Cream Sauce

This whole recipe comes together in about 20 minutes! It is super easy to make the noodles with a julienne peeler (you can also use a spiralizer for longer, curly strands). Then all that’s needed is to cook the sauce and the zoodles:

Make the Sauce: Quickly saute the garlic in a pan with olive oil. Next add in the cream cheese followed by the lemon juice. Keep stirring the sauce until all the cream cheese is melted, and then season to taste.

Toss in the Zoodles: Transfer the zucchini noodles into the lemon cream sauce and toss them until well coated. It only takes a couple minutes for the zoodles to cook to a perfect slightly crisp texture, so be careful to not overcook them! 

Garnish and Serve: Throw in some ripe cherry tomatoes and dish up right away!

Tips for Success

  • The Larger the Better: When selecting your zucchinis for zoodles, aim for the larger ones for longer noodles. 
  • If Your Zoodles Are Watery: However, if you’re using large squash and ending up with watery zoodles, you may need to opt for smaller zucchini with less seeds.
  • Prep Ahead of Time: Julienne the zucchini noodles ahead of time and store them uncooked, airtight in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • Use Thick Sauces: Heavier sauces like this lemon and garlic cream sauce work best for zoodle recipes.

Variation Ideas

You can enjoy your homemade zoodles with other sauces, too! As mentioned in the Tips section, thicker sauces are the best to pair with zucchini noodles (compared to a thin, watery sauce). Here are some suggestions:

You can also try out different variations of Philadelphia’s Cream Cheese range to bring different flavors to the cream sauce used for this recipe. Replace the classic version with their Chive and Onion, or Garlic and Herb flavors, or Spicy Jalapeno for a bit of kick.

Serving Suggestions

Zucchini noodles are a great low carb alternative to pasta, and you can serve them much in the same way!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Leftover zoodles will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. I wouldn’t recommend reheating them more than once, as they’ll likely become mushy afterwards. To reheat your zoodles, warm them in a skillet or in the microwave until heated through.

Are Zoodles Freezer-Friendly?

Freezing zoodles is not recommended. They’ll thaw into a watery mush!

More Zucchini Recipes to Try

Yield: 2 large servings (or 4 servings if using as a side)

Zucchini Noodles In A Lemon Cream Sauce

A lemon is squeezed over a bowl of creamy zoodles and cherry tomatoes.

You're going to love this delicious and creamy zoodles recipe! Fresh ingredients make this easy dish a healthy alternative to regular pasta.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and peeled a julienne peeler into noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • a big handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

Instructions

In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds. Add cream cheese and lemon juice, stirring until cream cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Add zucchini noodles, tossing to coat in sauce, and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until wilted. You don't want to overcook the noodles -- you want that slightly crisp texture!

Top with cherry tomatoes and serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe note: When I make this Lemon Cream Sauce for normal pasta, I add a little chicken broth to the sauce, but all the water in the zucchini makes it unnecessary.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 440mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 12g

Categories

I have been selected by Kraft Foods to be an ambassador for PHILADELPHIA. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own, and I have not been paid to post positive comments.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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Comments

39 Responses
  1. Laura

    We made this for dinner tonight, subbing a couple of chopped up small tomatoes instead of the grape tomatoes because that was what we had on hand, and adding in about a cup and a half of chopped leftover cooked chicken breast for a protein boost. It was excellent!!!! Really tasty, and so enjoyed it. Thanks for the post. Always nice to have such a guilt free dinner that we can enjoy a tiny piece of cheesecake for dessert….

    Quite a bit left over, too, for lunch tomorrow. *Contented sigh*

  2. Caitlin

    I just made this tonight! It’s good but I think one large lemon was WAY too much. I wish I only used half a lemon. Still really good though!

  3. Heather

    Tried this tonight – awesome!!!! Hubs said that it was restaurant-quality! I could eat a ton of this for a main course!!!

  4. EnglishMuffin

    This looks lovely, I love anything with garlic, lemon and cream cheese! How much pasta would you use if you were using just the lemon cream sauce? Thanks a lot

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      It would give a different flavor and texture, so I’m not sure if would be very tasty…however, if you try it – I would love to hear your results!

  5. Lukatia

    I made this last night and both of my girls went back for seconds. It was delicious and filling with a bit of grilled chicken on the side. We had so much fun making the “noodles” with a spiralizer. I will definitely make this one again!

  6. Robin

    I made this for dinner tonight but changed it a bit. My noodles came out wider than yours, and I just realized I don’t have a julienne peeler but a regular peeler without those jagged edges. But I managed to make 2 8-9″ zucchini’s into “pasta.” I made the sauce not with cream cheese but with 1/2 cup heavy cream (bc I ran out) and 1/2 cup skim milk and 1 whole stick of low fat butter, with caramelized onions and garlic, and the zest and juice from one whole lemon. made one package of fresh fettucini pasta, and mixed it all together with some salt to season as everything cooked. I wanted to add the tomatoes (I think the oval ones would be perfect cut in half) but didn’t have any (tomatoes were used up in last nights salad) my boyfriend loved it! and according to him, lemon is the best fruit to eat nutrition wise! I also want to add in some shrimp next time (if I plan ahead).

  7. joel

    this was incredible! love the lemon in it. i had to get used to the new peeler. cut my hand up a little bit trying to get a good technique, but i’ll be making this meal enough to get more practice in. thank you!

  8. Robin

    looks awesome! I’m going to try this mixed into some fresh pasta. I even have a julienne peeler, which I didn’t realize I even had and never use! haha you know, the drawer filled with gadgets in the kitchen that you collected over the years.

  9. Catherine

    This does look amazing… Question though – I have had mixed reaction to adding lemon juice to dairy?? I have added it to ideal milk and cream and the cream turns all curdle-ey… Is there a technique in adding this??? But am so keen to try this, am on a low carb eating plan at the moment and getting a bit tired of boring salads! Thanks 🙂

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Catherine!

      I have never had a problem with curdling dairy in this recipe. The cream cheese and lemon are very easy to whip up together! Just follow the recipe and it will be just right. 😉

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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