Raw Pesto "Pasta" Recipe

Atkins Raw Pesto "Pasta"
Net Carbs
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Phase: Phase 1
Difficulty: Difficult
* Any adjustments made to the serving values will only update the ingredients of that recipe and not change the directions.









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  • 2 medium Zucchini
  • 5 oz Basil
  • 0 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoon Pine Nuts (Pignolias)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 fl oz Lemon Juice
  • 3 serving Calamata Olives in Brine
  • 12 each Cherry Tomatoes
  • 0 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 0 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 0 1/8 tsp Red or Cayenne Pepper
  • 0 1/2 serving Nutritional Yeast
  • 0 1/4 pepper Jalapeno Peppers


This recipe is suitable for Atkins Phase 1 except during Induction due to the pine nuts.  Leave them out if you wish!  Also see variations below.

Serve this dish which uses raw zucchini to create "noodles", with Mediterranean Grilled Tofu on top.  When tossed with pesto, the noodles soften to create a delectable low-carb "pasta".  If you have a mandoline with a julienne attachment, now is the time to use it.  Otherwise you can cut the noodles the old fashioned way.  Toast the pine nuts in a dry saute pan over medium-high heat while stirring constantly, until golden brown, to enhance their flavor.  On its own, the pesto makes a delightful dip for crudites.

  1. Make the noodles:  cut the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick slices, and then lay each slice on its side and cut into 1/4-inch thick julienne strips.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Alternatively, use a mandoline on the small julienne setting.
  2. Make the pesto:  in a blender or food processor, combine the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast (if using) and minced jalapeno (if using) and blend until smooth.  Be careful not to over blend.  Depending up on the strength of the blender motor, you may need to add a little more olive oil to process smoothly.
  3. Add the pesto to the zucchini noodles and toss gently but thoroughly.  Let sit for 10 minutes so the zucchini softens.
  4. To serve, divide into four bowls and top each serving with 6 cherry tomato quarters, 2 olive halves and 1 tsp pine nuts.

Variation 1:  Raw "Pasta" Cilantro Pesto

Follow the basic recipe, but replace the basil with cilantro.

Variation 2:  Raw "Pasta" with Walnut Pesto

Follow the basic recipe, but replace the pine nuts with walnuts, either raw or toasted.

Variation 3:  Raw "Pasta" with Macadamia Pesto

Follow the basic recipe, but replace the pine nuts with macadamia nuts, either raw or toasted.

Original recipe created for Atkins by chef Mark Reinfeld.

Cooking Tip

Whether you’re feeding a family or cooking for one, you can update the serving settings above to reveal the required amount of ingredients.