Make noodles from zucchini and use them for this Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad with all the flavors I love in pasta salad. And this low-carb pasta salad option is low-carb and gluten-free, and it’s so delicious!
If you’re reading this blog chances are good you’re interested in healthier summer food that’s delicious and won’t leave you feeling deprived. This Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad has all my favorite pasta salad flavors in a low-carb and gluten-free version made with zucchini noodles.
And I’ve made this zucchini noodle pasta salad recipe many times since I first came up with it, and no matter what the occasion, it’s been gobbled it up every time.
The recipe is a low-carb and gluten-free offspring of my Pasta Salad with Italian Sausage, a family-favorite recipe I’ve been making for years for family parties and if you’re not worried about carbs, that’s also a fabulous recipe! But I’ve been surprised at how well the pasta salad with zucchini noodles has been received whenever I’ve served it.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
How can you make the Zucchini Noodles?
Can this Zucchini Noodle Pasta Salad be a main dish?
This mock pasta salad made with zucchini noodles is wonderful served as a low-carb side dish, but since it has Italian Sausage included, I’d be happy with a big bowl of this for a delicious low-carb dinner. You could also increase the amount of sausage if you prefer.
Want more recipes using Basil Pesto?
Check out My Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Recipes with Pesto for more tasty ideas for using basil pesto!
Want more low-carb pasta salad ideas?
My blog has a delicious recipe for Pesto Pasta Salad that can be made with low-carb Palmini Pasta (affiliate link) or regular pasta. And there’s also a great recipe for Low-Carb Italian Pasta Salad with mini pepperoni and cherry tomatoes that’s also made with Palmini Pasta.
How to make Zucchini Noodle Pasta Salad:
(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)
- Whether you choose turkey or pork Italian Sausage, brown the sausages over medium heat, turning often; then move them to a cutting board to cool. (Some sausage comes 5 in a package, even better!)
- While the sausage cooks, blend or whisk together basil pesto, purchased vinaigrette dressing and some black pepper. (I used Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) which is really low in sugar.)
- Drain a jar of roasted red peppers, pat dry with paper towels, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Drain a can of olives. Thinly slice enough green onions to make 1/4 cup. (Photo taking must have broken down on those two ingredients!)
- As soon as sausage is cool enough to handle, cut into slices about 3/8 inches (1 cm.) thick.
- I used two medium-sized zucchini about 10 inches long. Cut a small slit lengthwise in the zucchini so you get short noodles and not one big long one!
- I made my noodles with the Spiralizer (affiliate link) shown here, but if you don’t want to buy a Spiralizer, try one of the other methods in my Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini.
- Put the zucchini “noodles” into a bowl big enough to hold all the ingredients and stir in the dressing. (You may not want all the dressing if you prefer your salads to be more dry.)
- Then add the sausage slices, roasted red pepper pieces, olives, and green onions and gently combine.
- Serve right away or chill; this Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad was still surprisingly good even after it had been in the fridge overnight.
More Ideas with Zucchini Noodles:
Zucchini Noodles with Tuna and Green Olives ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Chipotle Sauce ~ Barefeet in the Kitchen
Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Fresh Zucchini Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette ~ Sugar-Free Mom
Vegan Zucchini Bowl with Peanut-Sriracha Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 5 links Italian sausage (see notes)
- 12 oz. roasted red peppers
- 6 oz. (drained) black olives
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 2 medium zucchini (see notes)
- 1/4 cup basil pesto (see notes)
- 1/2 cup Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (see notes)
- fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized frying pan and cook the sausages over medium heat until they’re nicely browned on all sides, turning often. (Don’t rush this step.) Put browned sausage on a cutting board to cool.
- While the sausage cooks, blend or whisk together the basil pesto, vinaigrette dressing, and fresh-ground black pepper to make the dressing.
- Drain the red peppers in a colander placed in the sink, then pat dry and cut into bite sized pieces.
- Drain the olives into the same colander. Thinly slice enough green onions to make 1/4 cup.
- When it’s cool enough to handle, slice the sausage into thin slices, about 3/8 inch or just over 1 cm.
- Wash zucchini if needed and cut off both ends. Make a small slit lengthwise in the zucchini so you’ll get individual noodles.
- Use one of the Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini and Other Vegetables; I used the Spiralizer with the large noodle blade.
- Put the noodles into a bowl big enough to hold all the ingredients. Stir in desired amount of dressing to moisten all the noodles.
- Then gently stir in the sliced sausage, red pepper pieces, olives, and sliced green onions.
- Serve right away or chill for a few hours before serving. (This was still quite good after it has been in the fridge overnight, although it was best freshly made.)
Use turkey or pork Italian sausage, whichever you prefer. I used zucchini that was about 10 inches long.
I used my Basil Pesto with Lemon for this recipe, but purchased pesto will also be good in this.
I used Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) which is one of the lowest-sugar dressings you can find. Use any low-sugar vinaigrette you prefer
This salad was created by Kalyn after she got infatuated with her Spiralizer!
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 329Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 549mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This mock pasta salad recipe is great for low-carb or Keto diets, as well as for any phase of the original South Beach Diet. It’s important to use a dressing that’s low in sugar to keep it low in carbs, and the Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing I used only has 1 gram of sugar in two tablespoons. Use lower-fat turkey Italian Sausage if you’re making this for the South Beach Diet or pork Italian Sausage for other low-carb plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Spiralizer Recipes to find more ideas for zucchini noodles. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was low-carb version of my family’s favorite pasta salad that was first posted in 2014. The recipe was last updated with more information and a how-to-make video in 2022.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.