The Simple Trick To Make Shorter Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, have always been a great way to pack more veggies into a meal. It's easy to get on board with something that looks and tastes like spaghetti. Overly long noodles, however, can be difficult to eat. Sometimes they're not flexible or too soggy, but either way, it's hard to get a manageable bite with a fork alone — the shorter they are, the easier they are to eat. Best of all, if you have a spiralizer to make these noodles, there's an easy hack that shortens them without any extra chopping. (After all, a disdain for chopping is why those without spiralizers go to the grocery store for pre-cut zoodles in the first place.)

The first step of this hack is to wash the zucchini and cut off the ends. Don't put the knife in the sink just yet — you'll need it for one more cut. Act like you're cutting the zucchini in half the long way, but stop midway through. In more technical terms, make a vertical incision about as deep as the zucchini's radius. Then proceed to insert the zucchini into the spiralizer and spiral away. The pre-made cut will ensure that as the zucchini spirals through, short noodles will fall out instead of long, unmanageable strands.

Short zucchini noodles are easy and versatile

Your zucchini noodles are already much better short, but there are still a few mistakes to watch out for when preparing them. It's critical that you use various methods to allow them to drain their natural waters. First, squeeze the noodles right after you cut them to extract excess moisture. Then, to help this process along, add salt and let them rest in a bowl for about 10 minutes. The salt helps prompt osmosis, which makes the vegetable's cells release water. You'll be surprised by how much water sits at the bottom of the bowl after this process, but even so, give it another squeeze afterward for good measure.

Now that your noodles are fully prepped, you can cook and use them any number of ways. For a green-on-green dish, sauté them and add a pesto sauce. Top with fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese for a stunning plate. You might also want to consider tossing them into cooked pasta for a hybrid noodle-zoodle dish. They can also be eaten raw, and when they're short, they work great as an addition to salads. Don't underestimate zoodles' ability to brighten up any dish!

Static Media owns and operates Mashed and Tasting Table.