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June 24, 2012

by Alyssa

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto

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Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto | Queen of Quinoa

I'm a pasta gal through and through. If you don't know my story and journey to becoming gluten-free, let me give you a quick snapshot.

Let me begin by saying I'm Italian. I have a big huge family and our activities are always centered around food. My grandmother makes a mean alfredo sauce. My uncle makes melt-in-your-mouth anitpastis. My mom makes the most amazing spaghetti gravy {sauce to all you non-Italians} I've tasted. This is the reason why I have pasta and tomatoes running through my veins, so you can imagine how difficult it was to give up gluten in my gluten-filled world.

I thought it was going to pasta that I missed the most when going gluten-free. No more shared pasta bowls with my 20+ family. Now it was my lonesome brown rice pasta, boiling on the stove by itself, carefully strained in a separate strainer and served in a bowl just for me. Sounds like a lonely existence doesn't it?

Well it can be if you let it, but a life of gluten-free food is also rewarding, satisfying and delicious. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Now, I prefer brown rice pasta and I've found other, healthy alternatives to the starch filled pasta that I used to adore.

Like zucchini. With pesto. Mmm…pasta and pesto. One of my all-time faves.

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto - Queen of Quinoa

But there's something different about this pesto. Not only is it dairy-free but it's got a secret green friend accompanying the basil.

Garlic scapes.

For the longest time, I'd hear “garlic scapes” being tossed around, but didn't know what they looked or tasted like. So when I saw them at the Farmer's Market this weekend, sitting in a cute basket, all tangled up like little worms, I was intrigued. How could I not buy them? Green worms? Yes, please.

I did some Googling when I got home and found that they make an awesome pesto. This would pair perfectly with the rest of my Farmer's Market treats.

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto - Queen of Quinoa

Like shelling peas. Picked that day by a lovely farmer in Northern Vermont. I'm a huge fan of peas – sugar snap peas especially {with cauliflower hummus} – and I knew these would come in handy.

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto - Queen of Quinoa

Aren't they gorgeous? The bright green color alone makes my heart sing.

Other things I picked up at the Farmer's Market included:

  • Tuscan Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • A bag of Baby Kale {yummy alternative to plain old mixed greens}
  • Sugar Snap Peas {the perfect Farmer's Market snack}
  • Baby Carrots
  • Purple Scallions
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Basil & Cilantro

Notice a pattern? I'm turning into a green machine! And I'm loving every minute of it.

This recipe is so exception. All things green thrown into a bowl, bringing a health twist to one of my favorite Italian recipes on earth.

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto - Queen of Quinoa

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto

All things green thrown into a bowl, bringing a health twist to one of my favorite Italian recipes on earth.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 255kcal
Author Queen of Quinoa
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  • 3 large zucchinis
  • 1 cup shelled green peas
  • 10 - 12 garlic scapes roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups packed basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup nutrition yeast
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add the garlic scapes, basil, garlic, walnuts and nutritional yeast into a food processor.
  • Begin to process and slowly add oil into the top, until you have a smooth consistency.
  • Scoop into a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Using either a spiral slicer or simply a mandoline slicer, slice your zucchini into pasta strips.
  • Place in a large mixing bowl and top with the pesto.
  • Carefully mix the zucchini noodles with the pesto, tossing until they are all coated with pesto.
  • Serve into bowls and sprinkle with fresh peas.
  • Enjoy with a little dash of red chili flakes for a little heat!


For the oil, I probably used no more than 1/4 cup. I eye-balled it, and stopped once I got the consistency I wanted. The quantity will depend it you want a dried or more liquidy pesto.
gluten-free | dairy-free | sugar-free | vegan | soy-free | raw


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 503mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 39.6mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 1.8mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. Hey Alyssa!

    Do you have to cook the zucchini at all? Also, any tips for those of us who don’t have slicers? Could you do it with a knife or maybe a cheese grater? Thanks!

    • Hi Kai! You don’t have to cook the zucchini at all. One of the beauties of this dish. As for a slicer, I think you could manage this by just coring the zucchini, then cutting it into super thin strips (like julienned but even thinner). Cheese grater wouldn’t give you the same texture and shape you’re looking for in this recipe. Hope this helps!!

      xo Alyssa

  2. This looks incredibly delicious! I love how you incorporate the lovely summer produce to make this simple meal. I’m going to try it this week!

    • Thanks Jenne! When fresh produce is so abundant around here, it’s hard not to incorporate into every single meal 🙂 Let me know how it turns out for you!

      xo Alyssa


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