Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Sauce

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Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Sauce is a fun meal if you want to change up your pasta repertoire! Zucchini Noodles are a cinch to make and delicious to eat. You can either bulk up the recipe and add actual pasta (like I did) or eat the zucchini noodles on their own. Either way, you’re going to slurp these noodles down folks…..right down your noodle consuming hole.

Can you guess what I got for my birthday?!?! My Dad’s girlfriend bought me a vegetable spiralizer! I’ve been wanting to jump on the spiralizer bandwagon, I’ve just been too lazy to get one. Now I get to spiralize the fuck out of everything! YAY!! I can’t wait to experiment!

Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Sauce

So far zucchini seems the easiest to spiralize, but true confession time….. Some times I’m grooving on the taste of zucchini, and other times, I don’t care for it. I have a love-hate relationship with the vegetable so I was reluctant to share this recipe at first. But this is one recipe where I LOVE the taste of zucchini so share the recipe I will!

If you don’t have a spiralizer yet, don’t fret. They can be found in drug stores, some grocery stores, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond type stores, and online. You can purchase a fancy one for close to $100, but the one I received retails around $8-12 and works wonderfully. If you haven’t gotten a spiralizer yet, I recommend it, especially if you’re into eating clean and healthy. This kitchen gadget is affordable and easy to use.

Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Sauce

Now, spiralized zucchini noodles are fun , but the star of the show in this recipe is saffron. Admittedly, it took me awhile to try saffron for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s expensive, like $19 for a small bottle, expensive.
  2. I had no idea what it tasted like so I didn’t want to spend the money to try it.

Intrigued, I did some research and discovered some really cool shit about saffron:

  1. Saffron comes from the crocus flower. But if you find a crocus flower, don’t automatically assume you’ve hit saffron gold, as some crocus flowers are poisonous!
  2. Crocus flowers only hold 3 threads of saffron each. It takes roughly 72,000 flowers to produce 1 pound of saffron and saffron threads MUST be hand picked (hence why that shit is so expensive).
  3. Luckily, Saffron has a remarkable shelf life. Saffron will hold it’s flavor for up to 2 years as long as it’s stored in a cool, dark place. Remember, a little bit of saffron goes a long way.
  4. Saffron releases its flavor when put in contact with warm water, broth, or alcohol. It’s best to steep saffron in warm liquid, before you start cooking with it. Saffron will continue to release it’s flavor in liquid for 24 hours, which is why many people think their leftover saffron dish tastes better the next day.
  5. Because saffron is a pain to harvest, the saffron business has seen an increase in fraud. Just know, buying high price for saffron doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting quality. Be aware of long red threads, threads that have an uniform red color, or threads that have streaks of yellow across the threat, as this usually means the threads have been dyed!

Here’s something additionally crazy about saffron…. it’s extremely difficult to pinpoint what the hell it tastes like!! It’s like, when you make a dish with saffron, you know it’s in there, but you’re unable to identify the flavor, specifically. And like most foods, the flavor of saffron is perceived differently by everyone. Some folks think saffron tastes like the see, whereas others think it has a faint honey flavor. Saffron is one of those spices where the only way to know what it tastes like, is to experience it yourself.

So, I bring you Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Sauce! This dish is a great introduction to saffron, so if you’ve never purchased saffron before, I recommend starting with this recipe!

safron noodles

Note, this recipe is highly adaptable…

  1. If your watching carbs, you can skip the regular pasta and only use the spiralized zucchini noodles. Kieran and I eat salad for lunch everyday, so around dinner time I’m famished. That being said, adding the regular pasta along with the zucchini, gives this dish some extra oomph that we enjoy.
  2. If you don’t have a spiralizer, don’t worry! Slice the zucchini into circles, small cubes, or bite sized chunks, it honestly doesn’t matter.
  3. You can easily make this recipe Vegan. Swap the butter for your favorite vegan butter, and swap the parmesan cheese for your favorite vegan version!

Whelp, that’s all for today folks, hope you enjoy the recipe and as always, thanks for stopping by!!



Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Sauce

Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Sauce

Servings 4


  • 3-4 zucchini's
  • 6 oz of spaghetti
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 large pinches of saffron
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ a sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • Grape tomatoes (halved, not to mention optional), basil, and parmesan cheese for topping/garnish


  • Spiralize the zucchini into long pasta like noodles. Set aside until needed.
  • Combine the broth and saffron in a small pot. Put the pot on the stove and turn up the heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid reduces to 1 cup, approx 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • While the saffron sauce is working, cook the pasta according to your favorite method (or manufacturers instructions), drain, and set aside until needed. I undercook my pasta by 2 minutes, knowing it will cook longer, later, in the recipe.
  • Heat a large skillet, melt the butter over medium hight heat. Once the butter starts to sizzle, add the garlic, cooking and stirring until fragrant, approx 30 seconds. Now add the onion, with a small pinch of salt and pepper, and sweat the onion. Once it becomes translucent after a few minutes, add the zucchini noodles with another small pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the zucchini softens up to your liking. I prefer the zucchini to have a little bite to it, otherwise, it's too mushy once the recipe is said and done.
  • Once the zucchini has softened, add the pasta and the saffron sauce. Toss until the sauce and zucchini/pasta are well combined. Normally at this stage, there's a good amount of liquid in the pan. Since I undercooked both the pasta and zucchini a little bit, I'll cook everything together for a few more minutes, until most of the liquid gets absorbed into the pasta.
  • Top will basil, tomato (if using), and parmesan cheese.
  • Serve and enjoy!


I normally cook my pasta in a large skillet with enough water to cover by an inch. With this method, you don’t have to boil the water first. Turn the heat up to a boil, salt the water, then move the pasta, frequently, in the skillet until it’s cook el dente. Approx 8-10 minutes. This method won’t use as much water or energy (because there will be less water to boil). The pasta won’t stick, unless you don’t stir it occasionally, because you’re starting off with cold water. Once the pasta is cooked, I drain it in a colander, then use the same skillet to finish the recipe. Less dishes for clean up is a win-win!!!
Note, at the addition of each ingredient, I will add a small pinch of salt and pepper. I would rather add small amounts of salt throughout the recipe instead of big clumps of salt and pepper at the beginning and the end. I feel you’re less likely to over salt a recipe if you add small amounts throughout the cooking process.

Calorie Breakdown

3-4 zucchini’s…..133
6 oz of spaghetti….630
2 cups of vegetable broth…..30
2 large pinches of saffron….6
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter……407
2 cloves of garlic…..8
1/2 a sweet onion, thinly sliced….34
Grape tomatoes (halved, not to mention optional), basil, and parmesan cheese for topping/garnish…. depends on how much you use.

If you eat the entire pot of pasta……..1,248
If you eat half….624
If you eat a 1/4…312

*Note, I am not a nutritionist, nor am I pretending to be. I found the calorie counts by reading the nutrition labels on the food I purchased, searching Google, and using my Lose It! app on my phone.using my Lose It! app on my phone.

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