This no-cook paleo pasta is made with zucchini noodles and creamy artichoke cashew sauce. It only takes about 20 minutes and is a perfect quick meal that is healthy and nutritious.
I originally made this dish as part of the bonus recipe book of no-cook and quick and easy meals for my 4-Week Paleo Reset program. A few of my program participants were requesting meals that either required very little cooking (especially for hotter months of the year) or were super quick to prepare. This paleo pasta alternative with zucchini noodles is exactly that! Only 15-20 minutes of prep and no cooking required.
This is a cold, creamy, pasta-like dish that is tossed in a creamy cashew nut and artichoke sauce. I love this sauce because it’s super creamy and hearty but won’t leave you feeling bloated like some dairy-based versions do. The whole thing is topped with sliced up turkey meat for extra protein, making this a complete meal. This recipe is paleo, Whole30 and keto-friendly.
The recipe is for two servings but you should have some extra artichoke sauce left so you can easily make extra zucchini noodles to make a bigger batch.
INGREDIENTS FOR PALEO PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI NOODLES
What I love the most about this recipe is that it doesn’t require too many ingredients and all of them can be found in your local supermarket: raw zucchini, canned artichokes, cashew nuts, turkey slices, lemon, garlic, olive oil. Let’s break down this recipe to see how you can make this delicious paleo pasta recipe.
CREAMY ARTICHOKE SAUCE
While the key ingredient is the raw zucchini noodles, the star of the dish is the creamy cashew nut and artichoke sauce. It’s a dairy-free, vegan-friendly sauce and it’s fabulous.
Cooked artichokes are readily available from most supermarkets. I used artichoke hearts preserved in a slightly acidic brine in a can. Grilled artichokes are often available from Italian delis. Artichoke hearts are a great source of fibre and have an almost meaty flavour and texture. I often compare them to mushrooms or eggplant. When pureed, especially with nuts, they are creamy and delicious.
I used some leftover roasted cashews, so my sauce has half roasted and half raw nuts. You can also use almonds, macadamia nuts or walnuts in this recipe. For a nut-free version, add some avocado and seeds.
You will need a food processor or a blender to make the sauce!
You can double up on the ingredients to make a bigger batch of the artichoke cream as it’s actually very delicious as a dip. Store in a small container and enjoy as a snack with some celery or carrot sticks. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Zucchini ‘Pasta’ Noodles
Ideally, you would want to use a vegetable spiralizer to create pasta-like noodles. Alternatively, you can use a peeler to slice zucchini into noodle-like ribbons. Even finely diced zucchini would work well. Raw carrots can also be added.
There is no need to cook the zucchini pasta for this recipe. Raw zucchini is totally edible and is easily digestible. It has a lovely crunch and works well with a heavy sauce. If you wanted to turn this into a hot dish, you can, of course, heat up the sauce and stir the zucchini noodles through until warm.
Our final ingredient is sliced turkey breast. You can keep it vegetarian and omit the meat or replace it with some chickpeas, edamame beans or grilled mushrooms. Turkey could also be replaced with cooked chicken, ham, shrimp and so on.
For the artichoke creamy sauce
- 3 artichoke hearts (I used 2 large ones, but about 3 smaller ones, see more notes above)
- 2 tablespoons roasted or raw cashew nuts
- ½ clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water or artichoke brine
- A generous pinch of salt and pepper
For the ‘zucchini pasta’ part
- 2 medium zucchinis (summer squash), spiralized into noodles or peeled into ribbons
- 1 spring onion/scallion, green part chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 120 g / 4 oz roast or grilled turkey slices, diced
- Place all artichoke cream ingredients in a blender or food processor. Whiz for 30-40 seconds, until blended and smooth. Scrape sides, if you need to. Taste for salt and add a little more, if desired.
- Place the zucchini noodles or ribbons in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of the artichoke cream. Add the onions and diced turkey meat and combine well, making sure the zucchini is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve topped with a little more of the green onions and some cracked pepper. You can also add extra lemon juice.