Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad (Video)
If you’ve never made a zucchini noodle salad, try this Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad that has all the flavors I love in pasta salad. And this delicious pasta salad wanna-be is low-carb and gluten-free, and it’s perfect for warmer weather!
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 zucchini noodle salad.
And I’ve made this tasty mock 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 I’ve served it.
The recipe is a low-carb and gluten-free offspring of my Pasta Salad with Sausage, Zucchini, Olives, and Peppers, a family-favorite recipe I’ve been making for years, 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?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- olive oil
- turkey or pork Italian sausage
- Roasted Red Peppers in a jar (affiliate link)
- black olives
- green onion
- Basil Pesto (affiliate link)
- Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) or other low-sugar purchased vinaigrette dressing
- fresh-ground black pepper to taste
How can you make the Zucchini Noodles?
Can this Zucchini Noodle 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 even increase the amount of sausage if you prefer serving it as a main dish.
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 Mock Pasta Salad:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- 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
- Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce
- Zucchini Noodle Bowl with Peanut Sauce
- 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 zucchini noodle 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, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This salad with zucchini noodles is a low-carb version of my family’s favorite pasta salad that was first posted in 2014. The recipe was updated with a how-to-make video in 2022 and was last updated with more information in 2023.