This easy zhoug pasta is perfect for weeknights and made with shredded brussels sprouts, your choice of pasta, and of course, spicy zhoug sauce. It's lemon-y, zesty, SO fresh, and ready in 30 minutes! Make the zhoug in advance for even faster prep! Vegan with gluten-free and oil-free options.
Recently I was finishing some random leftovers, and found myself dipping roasted brussels sprouts in one of my all-time favorite condiments, zhoug. The pairing was SO good I couldn't wait to turn it into a recipe all its own, and a spicy and comforting pasta dish seemed like the way to go.
Why You'll Love Zhoug Pasta
If you're familiar with zhoug (or zhug), you already know how amazing it is. It originated in Yemen and is essentially a pesto made with cilantro and peppers. So in other words, it's so FRESH and completely addictive, in the healthiest way possible.
Earlier this year I shared a non-traditional, oil-free zhoug that uses walnuts instead of oil, and jalapeños since they're readily available here in the States.
I used that zhoug recipe for today's pasta, but you can use any zhoug recipe you like or store-bought.
This pasta recipe is:
- spicy but not TOO spicy and easily adjusted.
- fresh and garlicky.
- very satisfying, especially if you use whole-grain pasta.
- easy thanks to the food processor.
- a quick way to prepare and enjoy brussels sprouts!
- and nutritious thanks to cilantro, garlic, lemon, brussels sprouts, and Omega-3-rich walnuts.
How to Quickly Shred Brussels Sprouts
Most food processors come with several accessories, but how often do you find yourself using anything other than the S-blade? Today we're pulling out the slicing disc and putting it to use.
You'll end up with random-sized pieces of brussels sprouts, and that's okay! It's actually nice to have some larger slices alongside thinner green ribbons.
Since we're sautéing the brussels sprouts, irregularity in size really isn't an issue like it would be if we were roasting them.
The number of brussels sprouts that will fit in the large feed tube of the food processor depends on their size. I was able to shred four at a time.
Try not to pack them tightly. Working in batches, use the large tube to push them through the blade. It's as easy as that!
Shredding the brussels sprouts means they cook in just minutes, which I love.
Gluten-free - Use your favorite GF pasta.
Oil-free - Use water or broth to thin the zhoug to the desired sauce consistency. And either dry-saute the garlic and brussels in a properly pre-heated pan or use a splash of broth.
Additions - Add cooked beans to make this pasta dish even more filling. Cannelini or chickpeas are perfect here. Pre-baked and cubed tofu is also delicious in this dish and adds a fun and different texture plus even more nutrition.
Olive oil - if you don't need oil-free, feel free to add olive oil to the finished dish for extra richness.
Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freezing not recommended.
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I hope you love this quick and delicious way to use zhoug sauce. Let us know in the comments below if you give it a try!
Spicy Zhoug Pasta With Brussels Sprouts
- up to 1 batch Zhoug Sauce - Thin with broth, water, or olive oil as desired for a saucy consistency.
- 8 ounces dried linguine or pasta of choice - Regular, whole-grain, or gluten-free
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, optional - For oil-free use broth to saute the garlic and brussels.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- generous pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- Zhoug can be made in advance, which gives the flavors time to meld. Or if making zhoug now, shred the brussels sprouts first (Step 3), while the food processor is clean. Then transfer the shredded sprouts to a bowl, and proceed with making zhoug in the food processor.
- Fill a large pot with water, and cook pasta according to package instructions. When the pasta is done, drain in a colander and rinse briefly with cold water to prevent sticking. Leave in the colander to drain.
- Fit food processor with the slicing disc. Depending on the size of the brussels sprouts, place 3 to 5 inside the large feed tube. Refer to photo. Turn machine on, and press down with the tube to push sprouts through the slicer. *If you don't have a food processor, shred the brussels sprouts by hand. Using a chef's knife, halve the sprouts, then slice into ribbons.
- Return the pasta pot to the stove, and preheat over medium heat. Add oil (or broth) and garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add shredded sprouts, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. For oil-free, add more broth as needed so the garlic doesn't burn. Once brussels are softened and bright green, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of red papper flakes. Stir to combine, and remove from heat. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add drained pasta to the pot, and stir to combine with the brussels sprouts. Add 1 to 1 ¼ cups zhoug sauce, and stir to distribute. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more zhoug and/or lemon, if desired. Serve warm.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.