This Udon Zucchini Udon Noodle Bowl (Zoodle bowl) is just bursting at the seams with so much flavor and lots of veggies. Fresh spiralized zucchini, cucumber and carrot, chopped mint, basil and cilantro, and lots of lime. Enjoy this fresh and zesty as is or pair it with some chicken, salmon, or crispy tofu for a more substantial meal. It also works great enjoyed as a cold noodle salad for lunch the next day. Perfect for meal prepping, meatless Mondays, and hot summer days where you don't want to spend time in a hot kitchen.
If you love sneaking lots of extra veggies into your noodle bowls then try this Quick Coconut Peanut Noodle Salad next.
This is a quick and easy zoodle bowl that is best enjoyed cold, which makes it perfect for making and storing in the fridge for a busy week ahead.
You are going to need:
- udon noodles: these can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or in the Asian section of most well-stocked stores;
- zucchini: look for average-sized zucchinis that are thick enough for whatever spiralizer you will be using;
- carrots: look for average-sized carrots that are thick enough for making carrot noodles;
- Lebanese cucumber: look for average-sized cucumbers that are thick enough for whatever spiralizer you will be using;
- fresh cilantro(coriander): you will need fresh cilantro for this recipe, dried just won't cut it;
- fresh mint: again fresh is best for this recipe;
- fresh basil: again fresh is best, so not sub in dried basil as you just won't get the same flavor;
- fresh lime juice: you can use the bottled stuff if needs be;
- gluten-free tamari or soy sauce;
- maple syrup: if you do not need this recipe to be vegan you can use honey or another liquid sweetener of choice.
Time Saving Tip: most well-stocked grocery stores now sell pre-spiralized zucchini, carrot, and cucumber. These can be found in the fridge in the produce section.
How To Make Zucchini Noodles
There are a few options for making zucchini noodles (zoodles), and other veggie-based noodles depending on what level of commitment you have to the humble veggie noodle and how much space you have for another kitchen gadget.
If you want to go all out then you can find a special attachment for the KitchenAid which would be just (and has been on my own personal wish list for a long time). This is a must if you want to spiralize harder veggies like sweet potato or pumpkin.
Otherwise, you can buy a stand-alone spiralizer like the Inspiralizer which sticks to the kitchen counter and works perfectly fine. This is great if you make zucchini noodles sometimes but don't want to spend a fortune. I have had mine for about 3 years now, and make veggie noodles about twice a month and have had no issues.
TIP: stay away from the little hand-held versions. They are fine if you are cooking for one, but if you need veggie noodles for more than one person they are such a time-suck and will put you off making veggie noodles for life.
What If I Don't Have/Don't Want a Spiralizer?
Too much stuff and not enough space? I hear ya!
If you don't have a spiralizer then use a simple vegetable peeler to peel the veggies into thin ribbons and then use a knife to cut those strips into thinner noodle-like strips.
You can also get away with using a julienne peeler or cutting the vegetables super thin with a sharp knife or even just grating them on the largest hole on a box grater.
Obviously, you won't have the same noodle look but you will still get a great flavor and lots of veggies into your meal.
TIP: We do not cook the veggie noodles in this recipe as we like them with a bit of crunch. If you prefer them to be slightly softer then sauté in a large skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes before mixing with the udon noodles. If you do cook the noodles use some paper towels to soak up excess moisture before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
Can This Udon Noodle Bowl Be Made Ahead?
This zoodle bowl is actually served cold so it is just perfect for prepping ahead of time.
- Make all of the spiralized veggie noodles and the udon noodles, cook until al dente, rinse with cold water, and then drain well;
- Mix all of the noodles together in a large bowl;
- Whip up the dressing and store it in a glass mason jar;
- Chop up the herbs and keep them stored in an airtight container;
- Combine the dressing and the chopped herbs with the noodles just before serving.
If you like making noodle jars for taking to work then simply layer the dressing in the bottom of a large glass jar, add the mixed cooked noodles, top with the herbs, and pop the lid on.
Simply give everything a good shake and a mix before serving.
This is my favorite way to meal plan lunches for a busy week as it is so easy to make 5 jars at a time and just grab and go in the mornings.
Leftovers and Storing Tips
This zoodle bowl makes a pretty awesome cold udon noodle salad for lunch the next day.
Note however that giving the veggie noodles a little bit of time to soak in the dressing gives them less of a crunch and more of a noodle-like texture which might not work texture-wise for you.
If you would prefer to avoid this then prepare the elements of the salad separately and serve in bowls. Leftovers can then be layered in a glass jar and most of the noodles will not soak in the dressing.
This jar method also makes this a meal that is easily transportable which is handy.
Serving Suggestions and Substitutions
This udon noodle bowl lends itself well to adding some extra protein to make it more substantial as a main meal.
Try adding one of these options:
- Grilled honey salmon
- Grilled chicken or poached chicken breasts
- Lefotver rotisserie chicken
- Crispy tofu like this Crispy Asian Baked Tofu
- Some thinly sliced sautéed beef
- A sprinkling of chopped green onions
- Red pepper flakes or fresh chili slices for a bit of heat
- A little bit of sesame oil and almond butter or peanut butter whisked in with the tamari and maple syrup would add a great almost satay flavor to this perfect meal
Or you could simply add a sprinkling of mixed seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds which is a great way to add a bit of crunch.
To switch things up you could also add some spiralized sweet potatoes and/or pumpkin, however, you would need one of the more high-end spiralizers to achieve this at home and you would need to lightly sauté them over medium heat before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make this bowl gluten-free you are going to want to substitute some rice-based noodles for the udon, or simply replace the udon noodles with more veggie noodles.
Also, be sure to double-check the tamari as some of them will contain gluten.
I love me some carbs BUT if you prefer yours lighter on the carbs then I would ditch the noodles and double the veggies. Easy!
Home will you serve your udon noodle bowl?
Zucchini Cilantro and Lime Udon Noodle Bowl
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- 7 oz (200g) fresh udon noodles
- 2 medium zucchini spiralized
- 2 medium carrots spiralized
- 1 lebanese cucumber spiralized
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves (coriander) chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves shredded
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves shredded
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- Cook the noodles in boiling water for 3-5 minutes or until soft.
- Drain and rinse under cold water until the noodles are cooled and the starchy exterior has been rinsed off.
- Combine the noodles with the spiarlized zucchini, carrot and cucumber. Add in the chopped herbs and toss to combine.
- In a glass jar mix together the lime juice, tamari, and maple syrup.
- Pour the dressing over the noodle salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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