Zucchini Carrot Pesto with Tempeh Croutons

Zucchini and Carrot “Noodles” with Tempeh Croutons

I love using fresh veggies as “noodles”. Besides being low carbohydrate they provide a beautiful light base that allow most pasta sauce flavors to shine. For this recipe I have sliced the zucchini and carrots very thin to resemble wide egg noodles. I often use a spiralizer to make curly spaghetti noodles. My brother loves to use his spiralizer with his kids. Even at 11 and 13 years old my Nephew and Niece enjoy turning veggies into curly “noodles” with Dad.


No matter the shape of the veggie “noodles” they cook very fast. Saut√© them in oil over a medium high heat. Stir when they begin to stick to the pan. Don’t salt the veggies while cooking as the salt may cause the veggies, especially zucchini, to release water into the pan. If you get too much water in the pan drain the veggie “noodles” before adding sauce.

Tempeh Croutons
Tempeh Croutons

Try using tempeh croutons in salads and dishes anytime you want to add some tasty protein, texture and flavor. I usually cook up the whole package of tempeh so that I will have left-overs for salad the day. My go-to seasonings for tempeh croutons are lemon, organic gluten-free tamari, cayenne, smoked paprika and garlic infused oil.

Zucchini and Carrot “Noodles” with Tempeh Croutons

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Recipe by Jackie’s Veggie Kitchen Course: DinnerDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 zucchinis

  • 2 carrots

  • 1.5 cups pasta sauce (I used basil pesto sauce)

  • 8 ounce package tempeh

  • 2.5 Tbs. garlic infused oil (or 2 cloves crushed garlic in oil)

  • 2 Tbs. gluten free organic tamari

  • 1/2 lemon juice of

  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)

  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika


  • Slice zucchini and carrots into “noodles” resembling wide egg noodles. Approximately 1/8″ thick and 2″ long. (Or you can spiralize them using a spiralizer.)
  • Cut tempeh into a 3/4″ by 3/4″ square crouton shape.
  • Add 1.5 Tbs. of the garlic oil to a skillet. Turn heat to medium high. When oil is hot add tempeh to the skillet. Brown each side of the croutons turning with a fork or tongs.
  • When tempeh croutons are browned on all sides add mixture of tamari, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of the garlic oil to the pan. Toss the croutons until covered.
  • Turn off heat on croutons. While still in the hot pan, add cayenne and smoked paprika to the croutons, toss to coat. Place croutons into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add 1 Tbs of the garlic oil to the same skillet. Turn heat to medium high. When oil is hot add vegetable “noodles” to the skillet. Turn or stir vegetables gently when they begin to stick. Cook vegetables until tender, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add 3/4 of the pasta sauce to the veggie “noodles”, mix to coat and until sauce is warmed.
  • Plate veggie “noodles”, top with croutons and remaining pasta sauce.


  • If using pesto sauce try topping with tempeh croutons and chopped fresh tomatoes.
  • If using a red sauce try topping with tempeh croutons and shaved parmesan (there are some great vegan parmesan cheeses).

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