We’re just emerging from peak growing season for a lot of vegetables, which means it’s time for my favorite season: figure out what the hell to do with 50 pounds of extra produce you didn’t expect to have when you planted a few seeds earlier this year. Zucchini is a prime example. Somehow, one vine produces enough squash to feed an army, so let’s figure out how to do just that! My favorite thing to do with zucchini is to spiral cut them into healthy and hearty zucchini noodles or, as they’re playfully called, zoodles. They’re easy to freeze and defrost when you want a pasta-esque dinner, minus the carbs. But working our way through all those zuchini noodles calls for some variety, so we rounded up five Sporked-approved pasta sauces we think can qualify as the best sauce for zoodles.
- The Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara
If you’re opting for zoodles for dinner, we figure there’s a chance you’re looking for healthy alternatives to slightly less healthy foods. That’s where this low sodium marinara from the Silver Palate comes in. It’s actually a low sodium food (only 140 mg a serving!), but it doesn’t skimp on flavor. It’s tomatoey without being too sweet, plus the garlic and basil really shine. If you’re watching your salt intake for health reasons—or you just think most pasta sauce is too damn salty—this is the best sauce for zucchini noodles.
Read the full ranking of the best lower sodium pasta sauce
- Rao’s Homemade Bolognese
It’s no secret that Rao’s Homemade sauces rule. They make some of the best sauce for pasta, so naturally they make some of the best sauce for zoodles. This hearty meat sauce is a perfect way to make zucchini noodles feel like a hearty meal that packs some protein. According to Sporked‘s taste testers, Rao’s Homemade Bolognese has a “robust meat flavor” because it’s made with both ground beef and pancetta. That beef-pork combo makes it so flavorful and so filling. And, come on, even though this is a list of the best sauce for zucchini noodles, I had to add something to stop my Italian ancestors from rolling in their graves.
Read the full ranking of the best meat sauce
- Rao’s Homemade Arrabbiata
Two of the five sauces for zoodles on this list may be made by Rao’s Homemade, but I don’t think you’ll be complaining if you give this zesty arrabbiata a shot. See, zucchini noodles have a wonderful, earthy, vegetal flavor by virtue of being, well, vegetables. That freshness and brightness is going to pair perfectly with the kicky, red peppery heat in this jar of Rao’s sauce. It has a subdued sweetness and finishes with just enough spice to remind you it’s made with red pepper flakes. If anyone tries to tell you zoodles are boring or bland, please introduce them to this zoodles-and-sauce combo.
Read the full ranking of the best arrabbiata sauce
- Kirkland Basil Pesto
Kirkland Basil Pesto, sold at Costco, comes in a ginormous, 22-ounce plastic jar. Normally, I would question the necessity of having that much pesto in your fridge, but given the number of zucchinis I’ve seen being pulled from a garden, that might just be the thing we need to get through all these zoodles. Plus, it’s a damn good pesto, so I’m really not complaining. According to Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo, it’s “rich, cheesy, earthy, and oily,” and that really hits the nail on the head. This is the best sauce for zucchini noodles to have on hand when you need to power through that last ten or so pounds of squash.
Read the full ranking of the best pesto
- Filippo Berio Tomato & Ricotta Pesto
Filippo Berio comes in like a wrecking ball to filippo your expectations of what a pesto can be (please laugh, I worked hard on this joke). Instead of basil, pine nuts, and a hard, nutty cheese, this pesto is made predominantly with tomatoes and ricotta (with some grana padano, walnuts, and basil for good measure). It’s so tasty and so unique, and since zoodles can lack flavor on their own, this is the best sauce for zucchini noodles if you really want to get experimental. Alternative pesto meets alternative pasta—brilliant stuff!
Read the full ranking of the best pesto