Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto | Queen of Quinoa

I’m a pasta gal through and through. If you don’t know my story and journey to becoming gluten-free, let me give you a quick snapshot.

Let me begin by saying I’m Italian. I have a big huge family and our activities are always centered around food. My grandmother makes a mean alfredo sauce. My uncle makes melt-in-your-mouth anitpastis. My mom makes the most amazing spaghetti gravy {sauce to all you non-Italians} I’ve tasted. This is the reason why I have pasta and tomatoes running through my veins, so you can imagine how difficult it was to give up gluten in my gluten-filled world.

I thought it was going to pasta that I missed the most when going gluten-free. No more shared pasta bowls with my 20+ family. Now it was my lonesome brown rice pasta, boiling on the stove by itself, carefully strained in a separate strainer and served in a bowl just for me. Sounds like a lonely existence doesn’t it?

Well it can be if you let it, but a life of gluten-free food is also rewarding, satisfying and delicious. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Now, I prefer brown rice pasta and I’ve found other, healthy alternatives to the starch filled pasta that I used to adore.

Like zucchini. With pesto. Mmm…pasta and pesto. One of my all-time faves.

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto - Queen of Quinoa

But there’s something different about this pesto. Not only is it dairy-free but it’s got a secret green friend accompanying the basil.

Garlic scapes.

For the longest time, I’d hear “garlic scapes” being tossed around, but didn’t know what they looked or tasted like. So when I saw them at the Farmer’s Market this weekend, sitting in a cute basket, all tangled up like little worms, I was intrigued. How could I not buy them? Green worms? Yes, please.

I did some Googling when I got home and found that they make an awesome pesto. This would pair perfectly with the rest of my Farmer’s Market treats.

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto - Queen of Quinoa

Like shelling peas. Picked that day by a lovely farmer in Northern Vermont. I’m a huge fan of peas – sugar snap peas especially {with cauliflower hummus} – and I knew these would come in handy.

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto - Queen of Quinoa

Aren’t they gorgeous? The bright green color alone makes my heart sing.

Other things I picked up at the Farmer’s Market included:

  • Tuscan Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • A bag of Baby Kale {yummy alternative to plain old mixed greens}
  • Sugar Snap Peas {the perfect Farmer’s Market snack}
  • Baby Carrots
  • Purple Scallions
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Basil & Cilantro

Notice a pattern? I’m turning into a green machine! And I’m loving every minute of it.

This recipe is so exception. All things green thrown into a bowl, bringing a health twist to one of my favorite Italian recipes on earth.

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto - Queen of Quinoa

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto
prep time

total time


gluten-free | dairy-free | sugar-free | vegan | soy-free | raw
recipe type: Entree
serves: 2 – 4

  • 3 large zucchinis
  • 1 cup shelled green peas
  • 10 – 12 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
  • 1½ cups packed basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup nutrition yeast
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Add the garlic scapes, basil, garlic, walnuts and nutritional yeast into a food processor.
  2. Begin to process and slowly add oil into the top, until you have a smooth consistency.
  3. Scoop into a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. Using either a spiral slicer or simply a mandoline slicer, slice your zucchini into pasta strips.
  5. Place in a large mixing bowl and top with the pesto.
  6. Carefully mix the zucchini noodles with the pesto, tossing until they are all coated with pesto.
  7. Serve into bowls and sprinkle with fresh peas.
  8. Enjoy with a little dash of red chili flakes for a little heat!

For the oil, I probably used no more than ¼ cup. I eye-balled it, and stopped once I got the consistency I wanted. The quantity will depend it you want a dried or more liquidy pesto.

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This recipe has been shared on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

About Queen of Quinoa

Alyssa Rimmer is the quinoa obsessed girl behind the gluten-free blog, the Queen of Quinoa. She loves experimenting with nutritious and whole-food ingredients, and seeks to encourage the everyday home chef that cooking and eating gluten-free can not only be healthy, but also delicious and fun. After struggling with stomach issues throughout her college years, Alyssa decided enough was enough and took her health into her own hands. She started by removing gluten from her diet and hasn’t looked back since. Two happy years have passed and her stomach issues have practically disappeared. Living gluten-free has also helped her to truly discover her passion for cooking and she has embraced her new lifestyle with open arms. With the Queen of Quinoa, Alyssa shares her gluten-free recipes, many of which are focused on the superfood quinoa, and discusses her journey to living a more fulfilled and healthy life. She now also cooks refined sugar-free and although not all her of recipes are vegan, she has loved learning and experimenting with vegan baking. She lives in Burlington, Vermont where she is surrounded by fresh, local produce and is always inspired by the fabulous seasonal ingredients that make this state so special. She is excited to share her recipes with you, as she helps to uncover the amazing world of quinoa.
This entry was posted in Clean Program, Egg-free, Entrees, Gluten-free, International Cuisine, Italian, Pasta, Raw Food, Recipe Index, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto

  1. This looks incredibly delicious! I love how you incorporate the lovely summer produce to make this simple meal. I’m going to try it this week!

  2. Kai says:

    Hey Alyssa!

    Do you have to cook the zucchini at all? Also, any tips for those of us who don’t have slicers? Could you do it with a knife or maybe a cheese grater? Thanks!

    • Hi Kai! You don’t have to cook the zucchini at all. One of the beauties of this dish. As for a slicer, I think you could manage this by just coring the zucchini, then cutting it into super thin strips (like julienned but even thinner). Cheese grater wouldn’t give you the same texture and shape you’re looking for in this recipe. Hope this helps!!

      xo Alyssa

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