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Spicy Adobo Chipotle Pepper Zucchini Pasta

Not everyone gets excited about cooking with zucchini, but I do. Sadly, I do not have a garden this year, but I scored some great zucchini at the farmers’ market and wanted to share one of my favorite ways to prepare zucchini with pasta. I like making a simple zucchini and angle hair pasta dish with an olio sauce, but sometimes life calls for a little more spice. I designed this recipe for two, but it very easy to double if you’d like to feed more. Plus, it keeps nicely overnight and is delicious as a cold dish the following day. Trust me – I had leftovers for lunch yesterday!

Adobo Chipotle Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients for Adobo Chipotle Zucchini Pasta

  • Zucchini! You can use as little or as much as you’d like, but I think 1 medium zucchini works fine for two people. I used only half a zucchini because I had a huge zucchini.
  • About 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
  • 1 clove of garlic, or an equivalent amount of pre-minced garlic (more or less to taste).
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  • Two servings of your favorite noodles.
  • Your favorite cheese for topping (I suggest mozzarella or parmesan).

I used penne noodles in the example because I like how the zucchini and peppers cling to them, but this also works really well with fine noodles, like angle hair or thing spaghetti. You’re the one eating it – use whatever noodles you prefer!

Adobo Zucchini Recipe

1. Wash your zucchini, don’t bother to peel it, and then grate it.


2. Place the grated zucchini in colander, sprinkle with salt, and set aside. Make sure it is over a bowl or in the sink because it will drain!

grated zucchini

3. While the zucchini is draining, prepare the pasta according to the box’s directions. You can proceed with the other steps in the recipe, just make sure to drain the noodles and give them a light coating of olive oil whenever they’re finished cooking.

4. Mince the garlic, or just use pre-minced garlic, if you’d prefer. You can always use more or less garlic to suit your taste! I actually used about two clove’s worth, but I once got in a raw garlic eating contest with a coworker.

5. Chop or cut the chipotle peppers. I find them easiest to deal with using a pair of kitchen shears. You may want to cut one or two of them open before chopping them to remove their seeds. If you leave the seeds in all three, the final dish will be very hot!

chipotle in adobo

6. After at least 15 minutes have passed, press the zucchini gently to remove water. You can grab handfuls of it and squeeze it, or even use paper towels to take up moisture, if you’d like.

7. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat, until it is shimmering.

8. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is fragrant. This should probably take 2-3 minutes.

cooking minced garlic

9. Add in the zucchini, stir thoroughly to coat with oil, and then spread it out as evenly as possible. Add freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. Stir occasionally, making sure not to let it burn, and cook for at least 4-5 minutes. If, at the end of this time, you can visibly see bubbling liquid, continue cooking until this liquid has steamed off.

10. Stir in the chipotle peppers and continue cooking for 1-2 additional minutes.

11. Stir in the drained noodles, throughly coating them with the zucchini/pepper mixture and re-warming the noodles, if necessary.

chipotle zucchini noodles


12. Remove from heat, plate, and top with cheese.

13. Serve and enjoy!

Spicy Chipotle Zucchini Pasta


Do you like zucchini? What’s your favorite way to cook it up?


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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Susan Zutautas June 13, 2013, 6:58 am

    This sounds good. I laughed when I read about your raw garlic eating contest. So often when I’m chopping garlic I’ll pop a clove and chew on it. I had an aunt that used to come home on a Friday night and make garlic sandwiches. I’ve yet to try that.
    I like zucchini and use it quite often in salads, and stir fry. My favorite way to use it I suppose would have to be zucchini bread. My dogs love zucchini raw.

    • natashalh June 13, 2013, 1:12 pm

      My dogs eat zucchini, too! But they also eat wasabi, so they’re weird. The garlic eat-off…left me feeling a little weird. It was raw and it kind of felt funny in my stomach for a while! A garlic sandwich sounds pretty good, if made with roasted garlic. It might be a little intense otherwise. I haven’t made zucchini bread in years, probably because I like bread so much that I know I would eat all of it myself at once.

  • Shawna June 13, 2013, 4:02 pm

    Wow! This is one of the most unique recipes I have seen. I use adobo sauce in my cooking and I will definitely be trying this. I never thought of adding zucchini like that to pasta .
    Thanks for sharing on our BBQ Block Party.

    • natashalh June 13, 2013, 6:02 pm

      I Love cooking zucchini with pasta! It cooks up so much more nicely if you drain it first, though it does take a couple extra minutes.

  • Jessica June 16, 2013, 9:23 pm

    I’ve been wanting to do a zuchini pasta dish. This is perfect! Thank you for sharing this with us @ My Favorite Posts SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party!

    The Wondering Brain

    • natashalh June 16, 2013, 9:37 pm

      Just watch out because it is spicy if you leave the seeds in! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Linda June 20, 2013, 10:35 pm

    PINNED and featured!! Thanks so much. Linda


    • natashalh June 20, 2013, 10:39 pm

      Thank you!!

  • Bevin June 22, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing at Sweet and Savory link party! This looks delicious. I love zucchini in a curry! Please come and join us at our link part at http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/06/super-sunday-party-3/.

    Thank you again!

    • natashalh June 23, 2013, 1:08 am

      Thanks for letting me know about it! I’ll stop by tomorrow.

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