You can create vegetable noodles ("zoodles") with tools you already own; no need to buy a spiralizer. See what we came up with when we raided the gadget drawer:

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Box Grater

If you draw a long side of the veggie, rather than the end, over the large holes of a grater, you can get fairly long, thin shreds. This works well with zucchini and yellow squash.

Vegetable Peeler

Peel a carrot with a vegetable peeler, leaving the stem attached as a handle, and then keep on peeling (with the same peeler, or a julienne peeler for thinner zoodles), turning the carrot as you go, until you can peel no more. This also works on asparagus. Your zoodles won't come out curly, but if you're cooking them anyway, they can be twirled after they've cooked and softened.

Melon Baller

Press and twist it in at varying depths to make scoops of zucchini or other soft produce. These come out looking like large orecchiette, shell pasta, or petals. PS: They hold sauce really well.

Mandoline + Knife

For a big, firm item, like a whole, peeled jicama, use a mandoline to cut it into slabs of the thickness you want. Then stack those slabs and slice them into thin ribbons with a knife.


Slice tubular, cylindrical, or naturally ringed foods very thinly crosswise and then either core each slice with a round cutter or separate it into its natural rings. Good candidates: small bell or chile peppers, delicata squashes, pears, onions, leeks, or cabbages.

Zoodles are easy-to-make veggie noodles | Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

PS: If you have an old-fashioned, crank-style apple peeler-corer-slicer in the cupboard somewhere, dust it off now. Those work pretty well as make-do spiralizers, too.

Find more ideas about veggie noodle dishes:

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