But zucchini noodles—or zoodles—are one substitute I can really get behind. Long, thin strips of squash really do remind you of pasta, especially when they’re topped with marinara sauce or sautéed like chow mein.
This recipe is another great example of zucchini noodles’ star power. In a restaurant, you’d typically find ramen or rice noodles swimming in a spicy beef bone broth. Here, crunchy zucchini noodles mimic the texture—without any added carbs or grains.
On their own, the noodles wouldn’t taste like much other than squash. That’s where the spicy bone broth comes in. The savory beef stock only gets better when simmered with ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, red chili, and coconut aminos. You can even bust out the slow cooker for this part—the longer the ingredients simmer, the more the flavors deepen.
Not a fan of super spicy dishes? No worries—just remove the chili peppers halfway through the cooking time.
The incredible flavor isn’t the only reason to start cooking with bone broth. Unlike other store-bought bouillon or regular stock, bone broth retains all the vitamins, minerals, and collagen from the beef and bones. A Paleo superfood in it’s own right, it can help heal joints, promote healthy skin and hair, and even soothe digestive distress.
The other benefit of this soup is that it offers infinite possibilities for customization. When you quickly fry the zucchini noodles in the wok, toss in any other vegetables you have on hand. I like mushrooms and tomatoes, but everything from green beans to bok choy works. If you’re craving some protein, stir-fried chicken or beef also go nicely.
Plus, this recipe is a great excuse to get some use out of your wok—something that all too often collects dust in my kitchen. If you don’t have one on hand, any large frying pan will do. So get cooking—a satisfying soup awaits!
Photos: Paul Delmont
- For the broth base
- 3 (17.6-ounce) boxes beef bone broth
- 1 onion or 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 large red chili pepper, sliced
- 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems chopped, leaves reserved for garnish
- 3 stalks lemongrass, crushed
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- Juice of 3 limes
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- For the zucchini noodles
- 2 to 3 zucchini
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Open bone broth, pour into large pot or slow cooker, fill empty package with water, and pour into pot as well.
- Add onion, ginger, chili, ginger, cilantro stems, and lemongrass. Bring to a boil over medium heat, turn heat down and let simmer, or, if using a slow cooker, turn it on high. Let flavors infuse for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, use a spiralizer or vegetable peeler to create long, thin zucchini noodles. Set aside.
- Heat coconut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Place zucchini noodles and garlic in hot wok and quickly sauté, tossing the noodles in the hot oil, about 1 minute. (If you don’t have a wok, a frying pan will do.)
- Remove from heat and divide noodles between bowls.
- Strain the broth through a sieve and discard the solids. Stir in coconut aminos, honey, and lime juice. Check for seasoning.