Spicy Cashew Zucchini Noodles - an easy vegan + Asian-inspired zucchini noodle recipe with crispy tofu, and a spicy cashew sauce. A great weeknight meal!
Well here we are, with the end of summer sneaking up on us. Just a few more weeks to hit your local farmer’s market, for all that fresh summer produce! One of my favorites is zucchini, which remains in season through late summer. And with fall creeping up, I’m squeezing in that summer produce while it’s still in season!
Did you know that zucchini can be made into noodles, also known as zoodles? Zucchini noodles - zoodles, get it? Zoodles have gained popularity in recent years as a vegetable-based pasta alternative. And frankly what better way to sneak some extra vegetables into your meal than that??
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Making your own zoodles is actually quite simple, as long as you have the right tool for the job. You have a couple options for making your zoodles: a counter-top or hand-held spiralizer, julienne peeler, mandoline, or if all else fails, a kitchen knife will work.
We love our spiralizer, it’s a kitchen savior, allowing us to spiralize almost anything we can get our hands on! We use it to spiralize zucchini, sweet potatoes, apples, beets, carrots, turnips, you name it, I bet it’ll do the trick. If you’re short on space, you can also use a hand-held spiralizer or even julienne peeler, though the counter-top spiralizer is by-far the easiest and fastest.
Zucchini is a delicious summer vegetable that’s high in fiber, antioxidants and an excellent source of potassium. Zucchini is also very versatile - spiralize, saute, grill, turn into chips, slice onto salads, the options are endless.
Utilizing zoodles, we’ve created this Asian-inspired Spicy Cashew Zucchini Noodles recipe that is a simple, vegan dish that’s great for a weeknight meal or meal prep. The base is zoodles, topped with crispy tofu, sauteed mushrooms and an amazing spicy cashew sauce. It’s packed with plant-based protein and tons of flavor.
Ready to learn how to make this Spicy Cashew Zucchini Noodle dish? Let’s do it!
1 - Press out the tofu. You want to get as much liquid out of the tofu as you can so you’ll end up with nice, crispy tofu. I like to put my tofu blocks between two towels and set a cutting board with my cast iron (or other heavy objects) on top and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Once the tofu is pressed, slice it and then cut it into about ½ inch cubes.
2 - Prepare the sauce. Add the cashews to a food processor or high powered blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients: soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, and ginger to the food processor and blend until combined.
3 - Saute the mushrooms. Heat a large skillet (I love to use my cast-iron) over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until golden brown and tender, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside on a plate.
4 - Cook tofu: Using the same pan, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add tofu cubes and ¼ cup of the spicy cashew sauce. Saute until brown and crispy, about 25-30 minutes. Set aside.
5 - While the tofu is cooking, spiralize the zucchini.
Tips for spiralizing zucchini:
- Cut off the ends of the zucchini and skewer the zucchini down the middle and center it for the best zoodles. You may have to re-center it as you continue to spiralize.
- Don’t peel the zucchini first. The skin adds fiber and nutrients!
- Get a countertop spiralizer - the built-in suction cups keep it from moving around while you work
- After spiralizing, pat the zucchini dry to remove some of the water. This will help keep the zoodles from getting soggy
- Cut the zucchini noodles with kitchen shears as you spiralize them or you’ll end up with really long (and hard to eat) zoodles!
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a knife (though this is quite time-consuming) or use a mandoline or julienne peeler to julienne the zucchini.
6 - Add the sauce: Once the zucchini is made into zoodles, add the rest of the sauce to the zoodles and use tongs to toss the sauce and noodles until they’re fully coated.
7 - Serve: Briefly saute the zoodles in a skillet for 1-2 minutes. Combine zoodles, tofu and mushrooms. Garnish with cilantro, sesame seeds and chopped cashews. Enjoy!
We hope you love these simple Vegan Spicy Cashew Zucchini Noodles!
- Packed with plant-based protein from the crispy tofu
- Bursting with flavor from the spicy cashew sauce
- Easy enough for weeknight meals and great for meal prep for lunches all week
Did you enjoy this Spicy Cashew Zucchini Noodle dish as much as we do?
Comment below! And rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out! Not cooking today? Save this Spicy Cashew Zucchini Noodle dish for later by pinning it to your Thai Recipe Board and make sure to tag us at The Crooked Carrot Instagram to show us your Spicy Cashew Zucchini Noodle creations!
"It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela
Spicy Cashew Zucchini Noodles
Spicy Cashew Sauce
- 1 cup cashews chopped
- ¼ cup soy sauce Gluten-free - use tamari or coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1-inch knob ginger grated
- 1 (14 ounce) package extra firm organic tofu press out the liquid, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 4-6 zucchini medium, 1-2 per person
- 8 ounces mushrooms thinly sliced
- cilantro for garnish
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Prepare sauce: Add cashews to a food processor or high-powered blended, pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining sauce ingredients and blend until smooth, 2-4 minute
- Saute: Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add sliced mushrooms, saute until brown and tender, 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
- Tofu: Using the same pan, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add tofu cubes and ¼ cup of spicy cashew sauce. Saute until brown and crispy, ~25-35 minutes. Set aside.
- Spiralize: While the tofu cooks, spiralize your zucchini. Add the rest of the sauce to the zoodles and stir until they are fully coated.
- Serve: Add zoodles to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Combine zoodles, tofu, and mushrooms, garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
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