Zucchini Noodles with Chicken, cilantro and lime is a delicious 20 minute dinner idea that’s light, healthy, and gluten-free.
For other zucchini noodle recipes check out this zoodle pad Thai!
Table of Contents
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Keeps kitchen cool: Zucchini noodles with chicken is a true light and quick summer dinner that’s perfect for days when it’s too hot to cook.
- Low carb: Zucchini spirals make the perfect pasta substitute.
- Tasty: Takes on whatever flavors you are cooking with.
- Perfect for meal prep: Chicken and zucchini noodles keeps fresh for a few days.
- Crowd pleaser: This easy recipe pairs zoodles with chicken, and tomatoes for a protein-packed meal everyone will enjoy.
Ingredients for Zucchini Noodles with Chicken
You’ll need a small handful of main ingredients and simple seasonings to make zucchini noodles with chicken.
- Zucchini: You’ll need 2 large zucchinis.
- Grape tomatoes: Adds a sweet taste and pop of color. You can also use cherry tomatoes.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: They don’t have to be even in size because we will be cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Boneless skinless chicken thighs work too.
- Oil: For sautéing. I prefer extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, but you can use any oil of choice.
- Seasoning: Cumin, salt and pepper.
- Lime juice: Fresh lime juice is best but bottled can be used in a pinch.
- Fresh herbs: Fresh cilantro adds a citrusy taste. Fresh basil or fresh parsley is another excellent option.
- Hot sauce: For taste! Add as much as you like. You can also add red pepper flakes for a bigger punch.
How to Make Chicken and Zucchini Noodles
Chicken and zucchini noodles are super easy to make. Here is a quick overview with step-by-step instructions, there is also a full recipe card below.
- Spiralize zucchini: Make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer or simply chop zucchini into small chunks or stripes. Transfer zoodles to a large bowl and set aside.
- Cook chicken: To a hot non-stick skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat. Add cubed chicken, then sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. I sautéed chicken until golden brown, then added a bit more cumin for that Mexican flavor. Transfer to a plate.
- Sauté vegetables: To the same large skillet, add remaining oil, zucchini noodles and tomatoes. Sauté on medium-high, stirring frequently. My zucchini noodles were ready after just 2 minutes, that’s all it takes. I wanted zucchini to be crunchy and light, rather than soggy and mushy.
- Finish chicken and zoodles: Remove pan from heat, top with previously cooked chicken, sprinkle with lots of cilantro, squeeze fresh lime juice on top and you are in heaven!
Tips for Best Results and Variations
Here are my secret tips for making the best zucchini noodles recipe!
- Don’t overcook zucchini noodles: Just like pasta, zucchini noodles should be cooked al dente with a bit of crunch and firm texture.
- If you don’t have a spiralizer: Don’t worry! You can chop your zucchini in chunks or stripes, but will need to sauté a bit longer.
- Skip tomatoes: I used to make this recipe without tomatoes and it is just as yummy.
- Use leftover chicken: You could even skip making chicken and use leftover diced air fryer chicken tenders or air fryer chicken breast!
- Add Parmesan: Fresh Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top adds a salty creaminess.
- Add more protein: Use 1.5 pounds of chicken instead of 1 pound.
What to Serve Chicken Zucchini Noodles with?
Zucchini noodles with chicken is a low carb, filling meal on its own but you could pair it with a leafy green salad like simple spring mix salad or even a quinoa salad like Jennifer Aniston salad for a heartier meal. Then add a side of garlic bread as a special treat.
How to Store
Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Zucchini noodles were quite crisp and not soggy the next day as well.
Freeze: You can try and freeze leftovers for up to a month, I would remove the tomatoes first. I personally do not freeze them because the flavor and texture changes once thawed.
Overcooked zucchini noodles will become mushy and soggy. You can also sprinkle the spiralized noodles with a bit of salt, let them sit in a colander for a few minutes to remove excess moisture, then cook.
Zucchini noodles have a neutral taste like pasta. It will absorb the flavor of the sauces and spices you use.
One cup of zucchini spaghetti, or “zoodles”, has 35 calories.
You can but you don’t have to. Just use paper towel to pat the zucchini noodles dry before cooking. Zucchini releases juices when it cooks and because we only sauté it for a few minutes, I don’t find the need to dry it out for this recipe.
More Zucchini Recipes to Try
- Ground turkey skillet
- Chicken zucchini with garlic and corn
- Chicken zucchini casserole
- Caprese chicken with zucchini
- Zucchini lasagna
- Tex Mex chicken zucchini recipe
Browse this list of 45 healthy zucchini recipes!
Zucchini Noodles with Chicken, Cilantro and Lime
- 2 large zucchini
- 1 pint grape tomatoes cut in halves
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 medium lime juice of
- 3/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
- Hot sauce to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- Using a spiralizer, make zucchini noodles, transfer to a large bowl and set aside. You can also chop zucchini into any size pieces instead and cook a bit longer.
- Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and swirl 1 tablespoon of oil to coat. Add chicken and sprinkle it with cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper. Saute for 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring just a few times and allowing crust to develop. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Return skillet to the stove, add remaining tablespoon of oil and add zucchini noodles and tomatoes. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and add previously cooked chicken, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, lime juice, cilantro and hot sauce. Stir gently and serve hot.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days.