One of the best things about making healthier low carb versions of your favorite pasta dishes is the fact that you can enjoy them without having to get too obsessive about counting your calories and things like that. Since pasta tends to be one of those things that has thwarted many a diet attempt, being able to make a healthy homemade dish like this avocado alfredo zucchini pasta with grilled chicken and bacon is a lifesaver.
Zucchini Noodles vs. Regular Pasta
Using zucchini noodles instead of regular pasta makes for a great way to keep the carb count down for this meal, while still managing to taste incredible. Better yet, zucchini is a fantastic green veggie option in general, as it’s packed full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to ward off disease. (1)
On top of the nutrients provided by the zucchini, this pasta recipe is also a great source of both lean protein and healthy fats. The combination of grilled chicken breasts and bacon will surely delight your taste buds, while adding the ripe avocado provides a solid amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat – the good kind of fat that can help improve your cholesterol levels and even reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. (2)
Adding the avocado, chicken, and bacon into the mix with your zucchini noodles definitely ends up making quite a tasty meal, but there are also quite a few other terrific ways you can enjoy a yummy zucchini pasta dish. Here are a few of our other favorite ways to make homemade zucchini pasta:
- Zucchini Noodle Chicken Alfredo (Tasty)
- Creamy Garlic Zucchini Noodles with Alfredo Chicken Sauce (Best Recipe Box)
- Creamy Zucchini Fettuccine (The Kitchn)
- 15-Minute Cowboy Butter Chicken with Zucchini Noodles (Eat Well 101)
- Low Carb Keto Chicken Tetrazzini with Zucchini Noodles (Ketogasm)
Perhaps my favorite thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make. Requiring only 15 minutes from prep time to meal time, you can have a healthy alfredo zucchini pasta dish ready to go in no time flat. Before you do that though, I just wanted to offer up some quick tips on how you can get the most out of your zucchini (and other veggie noodle) pasta dishes.
Other Low Carb Pasta Alternatives
While zucchini noodles are one of the more popular low carb pasta alternatives out there, you can still make it quite a few different ways and still keep things healthy. Here are a few of our other favorite veggie noodle options that you should definitely try out:
- Sweet potato
- Spaghetti squash
Does Zucchini Taste Like Real Pasta?
If you’ve never used zucchini to make veggie noodles before, you’re probably wondering how it actually turns out as a healthy substitute for real pasta. The short answer is no, it doesn’t taste like real pasta. Slicing zucchini into noodles won’t magically change the taste; it’s still going to taste like zucchini.
The upside to this is that it’s not supposed to taste like pasta – zucchini noodles are intended to be a low carb alternative for anyone who wants to enjoy a pasta dish without having to worry about the carb content. And when you follow tasty recipes like this one that feature such a great mix of ingredients, you’ll barely be able to tell the difference anyhow.
How to Cut Zucchini Into Noodles
There’s an easy way and a significantly harder way to cut your zucchini into veggie noodles.
The hard way involves manually slicing your zucchini into noodles to use for your pasta dishes, which can take forever. While that’s certainly an option, I much prefer to do it the quick and easy way using a spiralizer!
I’ve tried a few different spiralizers and without a doubt the best one that I’ve used is the WonderVeg Perfect Vegetable Slicer and Spiralizer with 7-Stainless Steel Blades. It works great for spiralizing a variety of different veggies and it’s super easy to clean afterwards. If you’re planning on making this zucchini pasta dish or any others, then I would highly recommend picking up a spiralizer like this one.
Are Zucchini Noodles Gluten-Free?
One of the best things about making healthy meal substitutes like this one is the fact that you can enjoy all of your favorite dishes without worrying about the carb count and other things like whether or not your meal is gluten-free.
With that in mind, I’m happy to say that yes, zucchini noodles are a 100% gluten-free option that you can use for making pasta dishes. While you’ll still have to be diligent in making sure that the rest of the ingredients in the recipes are also gluten-free, you can at least rest easy knowing that your noodles are safe.
Here are a few other great gluten-free pasta options as well for you to try out:
- Brown rice pasta
- Chickpea pasta
- Quinoa pasta
- Other veggie noodle varieties (sweet potato, squash, etc.)
Why Is Zucchini Such a Popular Pasta Substitute?
To some people, it may seem like the health craze surrounding zucchini noodles and other low carb pasta dishes just suddenly came out of nowhere. The truth is though that as we gain more of an understanding about health and nutrition, we’re becoming more aware of how our bodies react to different types of food.
For many people out there, switching over to a low carb diet that focuses on eating plenty of lean protein sources and high quality healthy fats is all they need in order to start feeling fantastic each and every day.
Starting a low carb diet doesn’t mean that you have to give up all of your favorite dishes however. That’s why zucchini pasta recipes like this one have become so popular lately. You can get the same great taste of alfredo zucchini pasta in a way that keeps the carbs to a minimum while also loading up on all of the good stuff that your body needs.
Is Avocado Healthier Than Heavy Cream?
Answering whether or not avocado is healthier than heavy cream isn’t exactly a black or white situation. In general, I would venture to say that yes, avocado is a healthier choice because of its high monounsaturated fatty acid profile, along with the fact that it contains an abundance of other essential nutrients, including:
- Dietary fiber
- Disease-fighting antioxidants
- B-complex vitamins
- Vitamins C, E, and K
- Essential minerals like potassium and copper
That’s not to say that heavy cream is bad for you though – it’s also loaded with a good mix of quality fat calories. It’s still nice to have options though, especially since avocado can also offer a thick and creamy texture to your recipes just like heavy cream does.
How to Properly Grill Chicken
Since this recipe calls for approximately 10 ounces of grilled chicken breasts, I thought it would be a good idea to share my method for grilling perfect chicken breasts, each and every time.
I actually follow the tips provided by The Kitchn in their helpful article for making perfect grilled chicken. To summarize it, you’re basically going to want to do the following:
- Select your cut of chicken carefully and prep it beforehand
- Prep the grill as well
- Add flavor to your chicken before grilling (spices, marinades, etc)
- Sauce or baste liberally until you’re done grilling
There are a few other tips and tricks as well that I like to use, but they really go beyond the scope of this recipe. The above pointers should be more than enough to get you started though.
Calories of Zucchini Noodles vs. Regular Pasta
The last point I want to make before wrapping things up with this recipe is pointing out one of the biggest reasons why people are crazy about healthy substitute recipes like this alfredo zucchini pasta.
There is quite a big difference in the amount of calories that zucchini noodles contain when compared to regular pasta noodles. Just check out this breakdown of two cups each of zucchini noodles versus pasta:
- Pasta Noodles – 480 calories, 90 grams of carbs, two grams of dietary fiber
- Zucchini Noodles – 66 calories, 12 grams of carbs, four grams of dietary fiber
As you can see, there’s quite a difference in total calories between the two. That’s precisely why so many people are making the change over to low carb meal plans and making recipes just like this one to help them achieve their weight loss goals.
More Healthy Avocado Recipe Substitutes:
Avocado Alfredo Zucchini Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Bacon
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
½ cup milk of choice
1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
½ tsp garlic powder
2 medium zucchini, cut into noodles
10 oz grilled chicken breasts, sliced
2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the zucchini noodles and saute until just tender and al dente.
- Remove from the heat.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the avocado flesh, garlic powder and milk until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the avocado sauce over the zucchini noodles and toss to combine.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Top with grilled chicken, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and chopped parsley and serve.