Summer Spaghetti Recipe With Zucchini Butter Sauce Is Creamy, Cheesy Magic by Ann Marie Patitucci

Summer Spaghetti Recipe With Zucchini Butter Sauce Is Creamy, Cheesy Magic

This spaghetti recipe is delicious, surprising and magical! It’s far cheesier, creamier and richer than you might expect given that there’s no cream in the recipe and just a bit of Parmesan cheese.

Unlike some zucchini recipes, the zucchini isn’t being used as the pasta but rather it’s cooked down and used as an ingredient in the sauce. And it works so well! One of the best parts of this recipe is that it only takes about 30 minutes to make, so the cook will be happy along with the eager eaters.

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup pasta water, reserved (Don’t forget like I sometimes do!)
  • 1 1/4 pounds zucchini (4 or 5), trimmed and coarsely grated
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Boil spaghetti in salted water for 1 minute less than package directions recommend. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain spaghetti and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Next, stir in zucchini, salt and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook for 13 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Zucchini liquid will cook off and become dense and mushy.
  3. Stir frequently for 2 minutes more. Use the edge of a spatula to chop the mixture down until the consistency is almost spreadable.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, then add the drained pasta. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Using tongs, pull the zucchini sauce throughout the pasta strands, adding more water as needed to loosen the mixture. Add half of the Parmesan and basil and mix together, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top with remaining cheese and basil.

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Donna John
I made this recipe last week. Really good.
This is a great healthier alternative to pasta. 😋
Elisa Schmitz
Ooooh, this is a great idea. Love the idea of having the zucchini turn into part of the sauce. Yum!

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