Kalyn's Kitchen

Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad

Make noodles from zucchini and use them for this Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad that’s low-carb, gluten-free, and delicious! 

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Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com

Mother’s Day is this weekend, and if you’re reading this blog chances are good you’re looking for healthier party food that’s still 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 version made with zucchini noodles.

Several years ago I posted Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini and Other Vegetables, and since then every summer I’ve had fun sharing some recipes using the tasty noodles made from zucchini. and sometimes when you’re a blogger focused on creating new recipes all the time, you don’t get a chance to go back to your old favorite recipes. But I’ve made this Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad many times since I first came up with it, and no matter what the occasion, it’s been gobbled it up every time. And I bet it will be a hit at your Mother’s Day celebration as well.

This recipe is a low-carb and gluten-free offspring of my Pasta Salad with Italian Sausage, Zucchini, Red Pepper, and Olives, a recipe I’ve been making for years and years for family parties and if you’re not worried about carbs, that’s also a fabulous recipe! But I’ve been surprised at how well this pasta salad with zucchini noodles has been received whenever I’ve served it.

And Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad 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. Check out My Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Recipes with Pesto for more tasty ideas for using basil pesto!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. 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!)
  2. 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.)
  3. 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!)
  4. As soon as sausage is cool enough to handle, cut into slices about 3/8 inches (1 cm.) thick.
  5. 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!
  6. 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 and Other Vegetables.
  7. 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.)
  8. Then add the sausage slices, roasted red pepper pieces, olives, and green onions and gently combine.
  9. Serve right away or chill; this Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad was still surprisingly good even after it had been in the fridge overnight.

Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad square thumbnail photo

More Ideas with Zucchini Noodles:

Zucchini Noodles with Tuna and Green Olives ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Chipotle Sauce ~ Barefeet in the Kitchen
Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Fresh Zucchini Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette ~ Sugar-Free Mom
Vegan Zucchini Bowl with Peanut-Sriracha Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Thai Chickpea Zucchini Noodle Salad ~ Cookin’ Canuck

Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com

Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad

Yield Makes 6 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

This Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad is perfect for a summer party, and this salad is so delicious you won't miss the carbs!


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 or 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 10 inches long
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup purchased vinaigrette dressing (see notes)
  • fresh-ground black pepper to taste


  1. 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.
  2. While the sausage cooks, blend or whisk together the basil pesto, vinaigrette dressing, and fresh-ground black pepper to make the dressing.
  3. Drain the red peppers in a colander placed in the sink, then pat dry and cut into bite sized pieces.
  4. Drain the olives into the same colander.  Thinly slice enough green onions to make 1/4 cup.
  5. When it's cool enough to handle, slice the sausage into thin slices, about 3/8 inch or just over 1 cm.
  6. Wash zucchini if needed and cut off both ends.  Make a small slit lengthwise in the zucchini so you’ll get individual noodles.
  7. Use one of the Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini and Other Vegetables; I used the Spiralizer with the large noodle blade.
  8. Put the noodles into a bowl big enough to hold all the ingredients.  Stir in desired amount of dressing to moisten all the noodles.
  9. Then gently stir in the sliced sausage, red pepper pieces, olives, and sliced green onions.
  10. 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 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.

This salad was created by Kalyn after she got infatuated with her Spiralizer!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 924mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
It’s important to use a dressing that’s low in sugar to make this Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad 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 Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was low-carb version of my family’s favorite pasta salad that was first posted in 2014. The recipe was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad

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    19 Comments on “Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad”

  1. I bot the Newman’s Own Classic Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing as you suggested and WE LOVE IT! (You might want to add it to your Kalyn’s picks)

    One thing i don’t like about it, however, is that the bottle doesnt not have a squirt top, so the dressing dribbles on the outside and the jar gets greasy. By the time I get it shook up and unscrew the cap, the spices have settled back to the bottom! I recently wrote Newmans Cust. Svc about this issue. Perhaps you might have more influence if you wrote them!

    I can’t begin to express how much i enjoy your web page and email notifications for new recipes. We went on a low carb diet 7 weeks ago. Since then, I have made several of your recipes which we enjoyed very much. Following you has made this diet much less boring than we expected!

    • So happy you are enjoying the recipes. That’s a great idea for a Kalyn’s Kitchen Pick. I am doing a terrible job of keeping up on those lately!

  2. Pingback: Italian Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Olives – all news you need on the world

  3. Who needs a special occasion? I could eat this any time!

  4. The recipe is so unique!

  5. Hi Kaylyn, one question. Does this get "watery" because of the zoodles? I know they have some water in them. Just curious. ( I just got a spiralizer. Can't wait to try it out).

    • Hi Kirsten, I didn't find it to be too watery, although the zucchini noodles don't absorb the dressing like a regular pasta salad does. You can saute the noodles over very high heat for a minute or two to evaporate some water if you prefer. I actually like them either way.

  6. Great recipe, dear Kalyn 🙂 I was always about to buy such a spiralizer, now i definatley have to! Great dish for hot weather and not a typicall salad- i love it! Maybe i can try to make it with carrots too! Greetings from Südtirol, Italy 🙂

    • Maria, so glad you like it! And I highly recommend the Spiralizer. How fun hearing from someone in Italy; what a beautiful country you have!

  7. Kalyn, this sounds delicious! I bought a spiralizer after seeing the "Zoodle" recipes on your blog. I have tried a couple of them so far and they were delicious! I found a Pad Thai Zoodle recipe on another blog that reminded me a lot of your recipes — flavorful, delicious AND low carb! Thanks for all you do to share your wonderful recipes with all of us!! Low carb seems to be the way to go for me and you have made it so much easier!!!

  8. I don't eat beets, so I haven't tried making beet noodles, but if you follow the link to Inspiralized she tells all the veggies she has tried. I'm not sure about round zucchini but I think it will. I bought this brand because I knew other people who had it.

  9. Will your spiralizer make beet noodles? How did you choose the Paderno spiralizer over the other models, like the Japanese? Will it spiralize round zucchini?

  10. Eileen, this was so good, hope you try it. Love the sound of those appetizers too.

  11. This sounds like such a delicious combination1 For some reason, even though I love raw zucchini. I've never thought to use it quite like this. (I always seem to use long strips to make appetizer bites with cashew cheese. Also good!) Must try!

  12. Thanks Jeanette; I am loving the zucchini noodles!

  13. Been loving all the spiralized noodles I've seen around this summer. This one looks hearty too!