Creamy Zucchini Noodles with Spring Onion Sauce & Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle

Created by Laura Wright
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Healthy, naturally vegan creamy zucchini noodles with a bright green spring onion and miso sauce, all topped off with a cheesy dairy-free sprinkle.

Creamy Zucchini Noodles with White Lentil Spring Onion Sauce & Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle - The First Mess
This post is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada.
white lentils for #pulsepledge - The First Mess
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for Creamy Zucchini Noodles with Spring Onion Miso Sauce & Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle - The First Mess
Creamy Zucchini Noodles with Spring Onion Miso Sauce & Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle - The First Mess


The proper season of vegetable noodle-ing (and tons of watermelon yay!) is here for our household. I know that spiralizing is a cool thing to do all year, but consistently mild temperatures make me crave big bowlfuls of these faux noodles a lot more. Usually I do a straight up marinara saucing with lots of vegetables and herbs, or a rough pesto mix with extra greens and a plant-based protein. I had been thinking about doing a creamy sauce, all tinted green with spring onions. I didn’t want to go for a cashew base for fear that it might be too rich (and possibly too predictable), but what could I use instead if I wasn’t reaching for nuts or seeds?

Lentils, of course! Since it is the International Year of Pulses and I’m still totally on board with my Pulse Pledge (How ’bout you?), I just had to share this delicious sauce made super creamy with lentils. Seriously, is there anything they can’t do? The versatility in application blows me away every time. Lots of additional cooking tips here. Some other recipes for pulse love that I’ve got my eye on: vanilla lavender cupcakes with chickpea flour, and these broccoli, chickpea and avocado pita sandwiches.

I purchased some white lentils (which are actually just de-hulled black/beluga lentils) on a whim last Fall and tried them in a dal one weeknight shortly after. The dal was delicious, and I’m not sure if it was just my eyes perceiving the more mellow tone of the dish itself, but it felt richer and creamier than usual (also maybe I was extra heavy-handed with the coconut oil because honestly, that wouldn’t be surprising at all). Anyway, I started thinking about other applications for this new-to-me pulse, and a creamy sauce was the first thing that came to mind. If you can’t find these particular lentils where you live, feel free to substitute with one of the more common lentil varieties (brown/green lentils or even red split ones). Just be aware that the colour of the sauce will be a bit different.

I filled this sauce out with all kinds of spring-y onion greens, miso, and lemon. It appears a little thick at first (kinda like smooth guacamole), but I think this saucing strategy works best for zucchini noodles. Once you season vegetable noodles or dress them in any method that involves salt, they start oozing water out. So my strategy was to start out with a thicker sauce to avoid the watery mess at the end, and it totally worked! While the lentils cook for this, you’ve got ample time to noodle up the zucchinis, make the sunflower sprinkle, and assemble all of the other sauce ingredients. It’s 30 minute meal territory, which is preferable for me these days because I’m trying to spend more time with my flowers and other little plant babes. Maybe more of this sorta thing to come? Love to you all this week! :)

Creamy Spring Onion Miso Sauce (vegan, nut + seed-free) - The First Mess
Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle - The First Mess
Creamy Zucchini Noodles with White Lentil Spring Onion Sauce & Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle - The First Mess

Creamy Zucchini Noodles with Spring Onion Sauce & Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle

Healthy, naturally vegan creamy zucchini noodles with a bright green spring onion and miso sauce, all topped off with a cheesy dairy-free sprinkle.
No ratings yet
Creamy Zucchini Noodles with Spring Onion Miso Sauce & Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle - The First Mess
Servings 4

Ingredients

CHEESY SUNFLOWER SPRINKLE INGREDIENTS (makes extra)

  • cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mellow/light miso

WHITE LENTIL SPRING ONION SAUCE INGREDIENTS

  • cup white lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped spring onion greens (like chives, green onions or ramp greens; or a mix)
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon light miso
  • ¼ teaspoon maple syrup/agave nectar
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE NOODLES

  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • roasted vegetables (I did a mix of asparagus and kale)
  • chopped basil for garnish

Equipment

Notes

  • I purchased my white lentils at a Canadian bulk food chain and have seen them at Whole Foods, health food stores , and shops that specialize in Indian foods.
  • When I tossed the zucchini noodles with the sauce, I added a little drizzle of chili oil too. I find that I almost always need a spicy thing in a bowl food situation, so that’s a highly recommended extra step!

Instructions

  • For the cheesy sunflower sprinkle, combine the sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, and miso in the bowl of a food processor. Run the motor of the food processor on high until you have a crumbly, dusty consistency. Transfer cheesy sunflower sprinkle to another bowl, wipe the food processor bowl out with a dry towel, and return it to the base.
  • For the white lentil spring onion sauce, start by bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lentils to the water and stir. Bring the lentils back up to a hearty simmer. Cook the lentils until slightly mushy, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor.
  • To the food processor bowl, add the chopped spring onion greens, basil, olive oil, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, miso, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Run the motor of the food processor on high until you have a smooth and creamy consistency, stopping to scrape the sides down a couple times. Check the sauce for seasoning, adjust, and set aside.
  • Run the zucchinis through a spiralizer or make strands out of them with a julienne peeler. Place zucchini noodles in a large bowl. Toss zucchini noodles with the spring onion miso sauce, and some salt and pepper to taste. Once noodles are coated, divide them among 4 serving bowls. Top the creamy zucchini noodles with the cheesy sunflower sprinkle, roasted vegetables, and chopped basil. Serve immediately.
Creamy Zucchini Noodles with White Lentil Spring Onion Sauce & Cheesy Sunflower Sprinkle - The First Mess

*This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!

25/05/2016 (Last Updated 12/07/2023)
Posted in: creamy, earthy, gluten free, lentils, main course, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, salad, salty, spring, summer, vegan

39 comments

Recipe Rating




  • keira

    so very good:) I forgot to buy white lentils, so I used about 3/4 cup of soaked cashews instead. super creamy and perfect

  • Debra Quincy

    Those creamy noodles looks awesome! Getting hungry as I read :-)

  • Ashley

    Are the zucchini noodles raw?

    • Laura

      Hi Ashley,
      In this dish, the zucchini noodles are raw, but if you prefer a cooked texture, you can give them a quick sauté before assembling and serving.
      -Laura

  • Chloe

    Hey Laura,

    I wanted to do this beautiful recipe but I don’t have sunflower seeds at the moment.
    Do you know what I could substitute that for ?

    Thank you :)

    • Laura

      You could substitute raw cashews, pine nuts, hemp seeds, untoasted sesame seeds or sliced almonds!
      -L

  • Janice

    Does anybody know the Carbs per serving?

  • Emma

    We added currents, chopped parsley and roasted beets to this which made it even more delicious!

  • Carolyn

    made this for dinner…so good…love the sauce. I think it was even better the next day for lunch…not even mushy and tasted like the zucchini marinated in the delicousness of the sauce!

  • Samm

    Made this for dinner. I could put this sauce on anything. Really super yummy! Used red lentils and parsley instead of basil. Use what you got, right? I really love your work. Thanks so much!!!

    • Laura

      So glad you liked it, and love all of your substitutions too! :)
      -L

  • Aubrey

    This looks incredible!

    • Laura

      Thanks so much, Aubrey :)
      -L

  • Mal IntoTheCity

    It looks sooo yummy, will definitely try it!

    Mal x

    • Laura

      Thanks Mal!
      -L

  • Cassie

    Wow, I never knew that it was the International Year of Pulses! No wonder lentil recipes have been EVERYWHERE lately. Can’t wait to use another excuse to enjoy them more! This is a wonderful vegetarian dish to enjoy in the summer outdoors for a nice lunch or simple and light dinner!

    • Laura

      Hehe the pulses are definitely taking over the internet, which I think is great. Thanks so much, Cassie!
      -L

  • Lindsey

    You’re completely right, zucchini noodles totally have the soggy-at-the-bottom effect that can be a little bothersome sometimes. I love how you made that all go away with your thicker than normal sauce. I’ll def have to give that method a whirl! And white lentils! Going to seek those out ASAP :) xo

    • Laura

      I’m always so frustrated when I make zucchini noodles with a tomato-y sauce and it’s all sloshing around like crazy at the end. You will looove those white lentils, girl.
      xo L

  • Jennifer

    Love the idea of this recipe! Yum. I’m going to try it with sprouted raw lentils since I’m on 90%+ raw food. It’s so much fun to read, share and try these recipes. Thanks for your work! I’ve also found some beautiful Cherokee purple habaneros and I’m going to throw in a slice or two to the sauce.

    • Laura

      Something spicy in this sauce would be soooo good! I love the texture of sprouted lentils. I find they taste sweeter too, so they may make the sauce extra good :) Thanks Jennifer!
      -L

  • Natalia

    Such a cleer idea to use lentils for a perfect sauce! Can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Laura

      Thanks Natalia! :)
      -L

  • Inês

    Hi Laura, this sounds wonderful! I have never tried white lentils but this is a great recipe to give them a go, I did something with the same vibe but with white beans.
    I think it’s great to make pulses shine, they are amazing!

    • Laura

      I love using white beans for creamy sauces or for just making the texture of something a bit mellower too. Pulses really are so amazing! Thanks Inês :)
      -L

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    Laura – this is amazing! I want to eat a bowl of this everyday. You are brilliant with your sauces, and this one is blowing my flavor mind. Finding/ordering white lentils today to make this soon. Just everything I’m craving. Happy spring/summer veg time girl! Hip hip!

    • Laura

      Thanks so much, Jessie. Saw your white lentils on Snapchat! You’re a woman of action for real. Love it :)
      xo L

  • Anya

    Laura, this sauce!!! What an amazing idea, I cannot wait to try it :D

    • Laura

      Thank you, Anya! Means a lot coming from you :)
      xo L

  • Katrina

    Goodness, that sauce looks SO good!! This is such a perfect dish for Spring!

    • Laura

      Thanks so much, Katrina!
      xo L

  • Allyson

    I’ve yet to try white lentils, but it seems that I need to track them down. I’m definitely trying this with the oodles of zucchini coming up soon.

    • Laura

      I hope you can track them down! They are a very unique and wonderful ingredient for sure. But honestly any lentil would work if you’re hard-pressed to find them. I’m so looking forward to the abundance of zucchini that summer brings :)
      -L

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    I always need a spicy thing in a bowl food situation too! Ahaa twins! ;) And chili oil is such a great option. I like to make my own with dried chilis so I can make it extra spicy hehehe

    • Laura

      Most chili oils that I’ve purchased are on the mild side, which would explain why I also reach for hot sauce when I use it haha.
      xo L

  • valentina | sweet kabocha

    That sprinkle *____* An those asparagus, roasted to perfection!

    • Laura

      The sprinkle is pretty great. Plus I just like the word “sprinkle” hehe ;)
      -L

  • Sarah B

    You had me at white lentil. I mean, aren’t these things delish?! You gotta try the risotto from my blog sometime – a real eye-opener. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Loving your blog lately – so many amazing drink recipes and photos, as always. Thanks for the constant inspiration, Laura <3

    Big love,
    Sarah B

    • Laura

      That risotto has been on my list for a while! Thank you, Sarah :)
      xo L