Zucchini Sauce with Pasta

Makes 4 servings      Prep time 10 min.    Cook time 10 min.

Bountiful zucchini is shredded and caramelized into a tasty pasta sauce with a little bit of milk and cheese. This pasta takes just minutes to make and uses the simplest ingredients including lots of zucchini. Bonus? It’s a recipe full of veggies and kid approved.

Serving Idea: Serve with your favourite protein such as lean chicken, fish or tofu.


  • 3 cups (250 g) dried penne pasta
  • 1 lb (450 g) zucchini (about 2-3 medium) trimmed and shredded or grated
  • 1 cup (160 g) large onion grated
  • 2  cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk (2 % MF)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL)  freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch salt
  • pinch grated nutmeg (optional)
  • few leaves basil, chopped for garnish (optional)


  1. Bring to boil a large pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions. Just before draining, reserve 1 cup (250 mL) of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
  2. Shred or grate the onion and the zucchini.
  3. In a deep large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the shredded zucchini and onion. Stir and sauté until wilted (about 5 min). Cover the pan and sauté for a few more minutes until soft.
  4. Stir in the milk and bring to a gentle simmer.  Stir in the parmesan cheese, black pepper, nutmeg (if using) and salt to taste.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the zucchini sauce. Add 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water (or more if need) to thin the sauce.  Add the basil and sprinkle with hot pepper flakes (if using).
  6. Transfer to a bowl, serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

Variations: Adult tastes may like adding ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes.

Shredding veggies makes them appear like long strips while a grating them makes smaller fragments. If you prefer longer, textured veggies use a mandolin to shred instead of the standard household grater.

Nutrition Facts per one serving (290 grams) Calories 340; Fat 7 g; Carbohydrates 56 g; Protein 14 g; Source of 16 Vitamins and Minerals