Zucchini pasta salad with basil and mozzarella. Click through for recipe!

Pasta salads can be heavy – especially when it’s hot outside.

Luckily, there’s an easy and healthy way to create great salads without the bulk of pasta.

Many traditional pasta salads can be made with zucchini noodles instead.

I decided to give this one a try: A base of zucchini, with tomatoes, pickled onions, and mozzarella cheese – and a flavorful basil dressing.

This is the lightest of salads that won’t weigh you down.

Clean out your fridge: Have some leftover mushrooms, red bell peppers or cauliflower? Cut them up and throw them in this salad.

Zucchini Noodles

I use a hand-held spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. I don’t use it enough to justify buying a large machine.

Money-saving tips: Do not buy pre-spiralized zucchini noodles at grocery store. They are heavily marked up. Rather, purchase a hand-held spiralizer for $10.00 to $15.00.

Make a zucchini "pasta" salad with fresh basil, mozzarella, tomatoes, and other fresh ingredients.

Zucchini is one of the most budget-friendly vegetables out there. Incorporate more of this versatile vegetable into your diet – which is great for your waistline and your pocketbook.

How To Make Pickled Red Onions

  • Slice a medium red onion in half. With the cut side down, slice each half into thin half moons. Place in an appropriate-sized Mason jar. Add some pickling spices, if desired.
  • Bring 3/4 cup vinegar (I use a combination of white wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar, but any will do), 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Pour hot vinegar over onions. Let sit for 30 minutes and it’s ready to eat.
  • Onions will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Here are some of my other favorite salad recipes:

Zucchini "Pasta" Salad With Mozzarella And Basil

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Vegan, paleo and Whole30 diets: Omit mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 large green zucchini squash
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese chunks, cubed
  • 1/3 cup pickled red onion (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Make dressing: In a food processor, pulse basil and garlic clove. Combine oil and vinegar and slowly stream into processor. Add salt, to taste.
  2. Spiralize zucchini: Run zucchini through a vegetable spiralizer. Cut into bite-sized pieces, if spirals are too long.
  3. Combine: Combine zucchini, tomatoes, mozzarella, and pickled onions in a serving bowl. Pour in dressing and toss to evenly coat. Serve.