Veggie-Filled Meat Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles (or "zoodles") are all the rage as they're a healthy, gluten-free alternative to pasta. In this recipe, crisp-tender zoodles and sautéed mushrooms are served with a meaty tomato sauce. You'll be serving up more vegetables and we promise--nobody will miss the pasta!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
6 servings


  • 8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef

  • ½ cup chopped onion

  • ½ cup chopped carrot

  • ½ cup chopped celery

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 (8 ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, drained

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 10 ounces each)

  • 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese


  1. For meat sauce, cook ground beef, onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, breaking up meat as it cooks. Drain well.

  2. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, Italian seasoning, salt, ground pepper and crushed red pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally.

  3. Meanwhile, using a vegetable spiralizer, julienne cutter or mandoline, cut zucchini into long, thin noodles (see Tip). Coat a very large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Add zucchini and cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until just crisp tender. Drain vegetable mixture in a colander.

  4. Serve meat sauce over zucchini-mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan.


Equipment: Vegetable spiralizer, julienne cutter or mandoline

Variation: If you don't have a vegetable spiralizer, julienne cutter or mandoline, use a vegetable peeler to cut zucchini lengthwise into long, thin ribbons. If desired, cut the zucchini noodles or ribbons into shorter lengths with kitchen scissors to make them easier to serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

158 Calories
5g Fat
18g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 158
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 9g 30%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 13g 25%
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Vitamin A 2268IU 45%
Vitamin C 19mg 21%
Folate 39mcg 10%
Sodium 334mg 15%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 1mg 8%
Magnesium 42mg 10%
Potassium 769mg 16%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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