You’ve read our guide to finding a vegetable spiralizer and decided to get your own. Maybe you have it all set up in your kitchen an even spiralized a zucchini or two.
Sure, zucchini noodles, or zoodles, are really what put spiralizers on the map. But there are so many other vegetables that lend themselves well to your spiral slicer.
On the whole, you can spiralize any firm, oblong-shaped fruit or vegetable in your slicer. This means that summer squash, carrots, and potatoes all make great vegetable pasta.
Avocados? Not so much. Save those for guacamole.
The limits to your vegetable noodle options are only as finite as your imagination. Need a place to start?
Here are some of our favorite tried-and-true veggies to run through the spiralizer.
1. Summer Squash / Zucchini
Zucchini is the O.G. (Original Gangster) spiralized vegetable. Having the perfect shape, and texture make the long ribbons a perfect stand-in for spaghetti. You can use the green-skinned zucchini, or yellow summer squash here – both turn out great.
I like to replace calorie-laden pasta with spiralized zucchini. Simply warm up your favorite pasta sauce and cook just long enough to heat them through. Serve with your favorite vegan meatball!
Don’t cook the zucchini noodles for too long, though, or they’ll get watery.
In the summertime, I’ll often eat zucchini noodles raw. They have a mild taste and aren’t too crunchy. Hot afternoons call for raw zucchini noodles with a fresh peanut or red pepper sauce.
How to Spiralize:
- Peel if you want (mostly for color). I tend to leave the skins on.
- Slice the ends off to create two flat surfaces.
- Run it through your spiral slicer.
- Eat raw, boiled, or sauteed.
2. Root Vegetables
Photo Credit: vegenistaskitchen.com
In the colder months, my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is overflowing with potatoes, turnips, and rutabaga. One can only eat so many baked potatoes before they start to lose it!
When you can’t stand to look at one more roasted potato, it’s time to pull out the spiralizer.
I’ve had great success with almost every root vegetable out there. This includes white and sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, rutabaga, daikon radish, parsnips – the list goes on!
As well as tasting great, spiralized root veggies are insanely colorful. A mixture of white potato, sweet potato and beet make for a burst of color in your cold weather dish.
Unless your dish calls for crunch, I recommend cooking your root veggies. You can boil the noodles and top with sauce, but they’re also great roasted or fried. Because root veggies are very firm and hard, they can stand up to aggressive cooking. Let them roast and caramelize, and they won’t turn to mush.
How to Spiralize:
- Peel the veggies, if you want. Roots like potatoes and carrots can keep their peels – give ’em a good scrub first. Consider buying organic here. I recommend peeling vegetables with thicker skins, like beets.
- Slice the ends off the vegetable to create a flat surface
- Using the blade that creates a thick, udon-noodle-like ribbon, spiralize the veggie
- Cook! You can boil or sautee these, but I love making baked sweet and white potato fries. Arrange the spirals on a tray and bake at 425 degrees F for about half an hour.
Photo Credit: fifteenspatulas.com
Spiralized cucumbers are a cool, refreshing base for summer salads. I reach for cucumbers when it’s so hot and sticky out that I can’t bear to turn on the stove.
Because of their water content, cucumbers aren’t great for make-ahead meals. After a day or two in the fridge, you’ll be left with a watery mess, instead of firm, crisp ribbons. That’s why I recommend Spiralizing your cucumbers right before you plan to eat them.
Due to their watery seeds, spiralizing cucumbers can be a bit of a mess. Make sure to pick the straightest cucumber you can, and center it completely on the slicer. Try draining the noodles in a colander before using, or choose an English or seedless variety.
Since cucumber ribbons are best eaten raw, they’re ideal for quick, fresh meals.
How to Spiralize:
- Peel the cucumber (if you want) and slice the ends off.
- Run through the spiral slicer. I like big fat noodles or wide ribbons.
- Toss with your favorite dressing or sauce.
Photo Credit: inspiralized.com
I know, you’re probably as shocked as I was, too.
“Onions?” you’re thinking. “Are you serious?”
Hear me out – onions are great vegetables to spiralize!
We’re not talking onion noodles like you would with zucchini or cucumber. You can use spiralized onions anywhere you would use thin slices of onion. Think quick pickled onions for tacos, crispy shoestring onions, or sandwich condiments.
The best part of using your spiralizer for onions instead of a knife is how fast the process goes. There is simply no time for tears, and you don’t have to worry about the mess sliced onion makes.
Large, round onions make the best ribbons. I prefer red onions to white onions, as I find them more versatile – I can cook them down, or use them raw in a salad.
How to Spiralize:
- Chop the ends off and remove the papery skin from the onion.
- Use the noodle or ribbon blade on your spiralizer and run it through the slicer.
- Use uncooked ribbons in raw dishes or salads, or quick pickle for an easy condiment. Sautee ribbons in stir-fries or other dishes.
BONUS: For a healthy twist on a comforting treat, toss shoestring onions with oil and breadcrumbs and bake in the oven.
5. Bell Pepper
Spiral sliced peppers don’t get a lot of limelight, but it doesn’t make them any less delicious!
I add bell peppers to any dish I can. I love the subtle sweetness they add to dishes.
It can take a long time to slice up peppers with a chef’s knife. Running them through the spiralizer takes just seconds, and you use so much of the vegetable.
For the best pepper ribbons, try to find peppers that are large and round. Misshapen peppers won’t result in the beautiful spirals you’re looking for.
You can keep it simple and add raw strips to salads, or sautee for stir fries and fajitas.
However, my absolute favorite method achieves soft, creamy, sweet roasted red peppers. The ones in the jars can be expensive!
Spiralizing your peppers and cooking them in the oven gets them to you for a fraction of the price. Simple arrange on a baking sheet and cook at 450 for 20 minutes.
How to Spiralize:
- Remove the stem from the bell pepper (just snap or cut it off).
- Fit onto the spiral slicer, using the flat ribbon blade.
- Eat raw, stir-fry, or bake in the oven for roasted red peppers.
6. Apples and Pears
Your spiral slicer isn’t limited to vegetables alone!
Hard fruits like apples and pears make perfect ribbons and noodles. These strands are perfect for adding sweetness to salads, as well as easy, tasty desserts.
I love adding pear noodles to my fall salads or brussel sprout dishes. They liven up traditional fall and winter foods. Apples also make great salad additions, and the spiralizer can be a handy tool for your next pie or crumble.
Use your spiral slicer the next time a recipe calls for sliced or cubed apples or pears. Not only will it be much more efficient, but it will add an unexpected texture and look to your dish.
How to Spiralize:
- Remove the peel if you want (but it makes for beautiful color). Try to buy organic if you can!
- Run the fruit through the spiralizer, using the larger noodle blades or the flat ribbons.
- Add raw to salads, or bake in desserts. Make chips using the flat slicer and dry in your dehydrator.
Some Guidelines on Spiralizing
As we mentioned earlier, you can spiralize anything as long as it meets a few requirements.
The fruit/vegetable should:
- Not have a seeded, tough, or hollow core. Sorry, pineapple lovers.
- Be at least an inch and a half in diameter
- Be at least two inches long
- Be firm and solid. Juicy fruits or soft, creamy flesh make for bad noodles
The Versatility of Your Slicer
Almost any fruit or vegetable that meets our guidelines can run through your slicer. As long as it’s relatively firm, and an acceptable size and shape, you can turn it into noodles!
Think beyond the traditional zucchini. Your spiral slicer is a great way to use up your CSA share and can help you get more veggies in your diet.
The best part of a spiralizer is experimentation. Got a vegetable that looks like it might work? Give it a try – you could wind up making an incredible veggie noodle that’s perfect for salads and stir-fries!
Get more color and nutrition into your diet. Use up your veggies in interesting ways with your spiral slicer, and feed your family more vitamins and more fun!