Creamy Eggplant Chicken Zucchini Noodles (Dairy Free)
Eggplant, or aubergine, forms the creamy base for this dairy free pasta sauce but you’d never guess it! Paired with chicken and topped with zucchini noodles, or zoodles, this makes a filling and delicious meal.
Living with four children in an apartment, as is our current situation, is far from my ideal. I eagerly look forward to having a yard someday. There are, however, positives to most circumstances.
The other day I was in the kitchen and the shouts of children outside brought a smile to my face. It reminded me of the good ol’ days before technology, you know, the ones when kids walked barefoot to school uphill both ways after milking cows in the morning.
We live in a small and safe neighbourhood and during these summer days the older girls often play outside for hours. Living on a street with three apartment buildings, there are usually other kids to play with. I also appreciate that there usually aren’t fancy toys involved; their play mostly centres around a climbable cherry tree, a ball, or some sidewalk chalk.
If we lived in a house with a yard, I think we would be a little more isolated, and I would have to be more organized about arranging playdates. This is the lazy mom’s way of getting her kids to socialize.
The only annoying thing is the loud obnoxious buzzer. BZZZZZZ “Mom, can you throw down a water bottle?” BZZZZZ “Mom, I need to go pee!” BZZZZZZ “Mom, I’m hungry!” The buzzer is right next to the room where the twins nap and I’m always terrified that it will wake them up, although I don’t think it actually has.
In the evening, they only come in for bedtime with reluctance. “Pleeeeaaase, just a few more minutes!” I admit that I’m reluctant to call them inside as well – who wants to tell kids they can’t play outside? I consider the outdoors a panacea for children – it provides exercise and a place to run off all that energy, improves their mood, and is the best source of vitamin D. It gives me a little peace, too.
I first saw a recipe for a creamy pasta sauce based on eggplant over at Minimalist Baker, who has amazing recipes and photos. Her recipe is a vegan cheese sauce; it’s so delicious and I quickly realized how useful this would be for dairy free eaters like ourselves.
My oldest hates eggplant due to the texture, and when she saw me cutting up eggplant she declared she was NOT going to eat it. In this form, however, she had seconds and rhapsodized over how good it was.
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2 tsp (unrefined) salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or other milk alternative, or chicken broth)
- 2 cups/400g cooked chicken (any part, cooked any way)
- 2 med-small zucchini (1kg/2lbs)
- extra olive oil
- Slice eggplant lengthwise 1/2 inch/1 cm thick. Sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and leave for 20 min to sweat out extra water and bitterness (or for as long as you happen to leave it).
- Make zucchini noodles with a julienne peeler or other vegetable noodle making apparatus.
- Rinse off eggplant and dry. Place on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and bake about 5 min each side, until the eggplant is soft.
- Place hot eggplant inside something that doesn't breath (tinfoil, plastic bag, etc) and leave it to sweat for 5 min. Take out the eggplant and peel.
- Put eggplant, salt, garlic, olive oil, and almond milk (or other liquid) into a blender and blend until smooth.
- You then have two options. My favourite method is to toss the zoodles with a drizzle of olive oil and combine with the sauce and chicken into a baking dish and bake for 10-15 min, until the dish is warmed through and the noodles are al dante, i.e. no longer crisp but not soggy. It's easy, but not very pretty.
- Alternatively, you can steam the noodles for 2 min to soften and heat up the eggplant sauce with the chicken in a small pot. Add a bit of liquid to achieve the desired consistency (when you bake the sauce with the zoodles, the zoodles release some extra water). Toss the zoodles with some olive oil and serve with the sauce spooned over top.
- Eat and enjoy!
Shared at Savoring Saturdays, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Fight Back Friday
Jul 12, 2014 @ 16:00:55
This recipe looks very interesting as well as nutritious. Let’s see if my husband will eat it!
It is so sad that many children nowadays aren’t allowed to play outside, and preschoolers cannot build with blocks because they have only played with an ipad. A few years ago when I was still teaching, I could tell the children who actually played from those who passively played. When it was time for writing the children who had role-played could create stories whereas the kids who only played video games, had no idea how to begin.
Jul 13, 2014 @ 14:32:00
I hope your husband will eat it!
I hope that parents become more aware of the importance of playing outside and non-technology play. Unfortunately, it will probably become more of a problem before it gets better. Interesting that you could see it in the children as a teacher.
Jillian Babbel Mendioro
Jul 13, 2014 @ 20:55:57
My wife and I aren’t totally dairy free, but we like to go dairy free at least one week a month. Like you son, I’m not the biggest fan of the texture of eggplant but this recipe sounds like one I could really love!
Jul 13, 2014 @ 22:38:14
No gross eggplant texture here, just deliciousness! It would be amazing with cream too, instead of a milk alternative, but then not dairy free either.
Jul 15, 2014 @ 05:20:46
I’m loving the zoodles (and sad that I forgot to plant zucchini this spring). Can’t wait to try this out!
Jul 15, 2014 @ 08:44:50
Did you get a julienne peeler? I think Dad would like it too, he could have noodles in his soup again.
Jul 16, 2014 @ 21:57:01
Most certainly will be making this with chicken broth! Sounds amazingly good and I don’t eat eggplant nearly enough!
Jul 17, 2014 @ 23:27:31
It’s an easy way to get more down! Enjoy!
Jul 18, 2014 @ 02:58:10
Cute logo, Naomi! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your zoodles at Savoring Saturdays. I just got a spiralizer and I’m loving making them with it. 🙂
Jul 19, 2014 @ 23:45:55
Thanks! My sister is an artistic genius. Zoodles make going grain free soooo much easier!
Jul 24, 2014 @ 01:20:40
I have really been wanting to try making noodles from zucchini- it seems like such a great way to use the over abundance! I’ll have to try it and make this recipe!
Jul 24, 2014 @ 12:02:03
Zucchini noodles are amazing – it’s the only way my kids will eat it. Hope you like it! 😉
Jul 25, 2014 @ 17:49:19
Great idea and I love creamy eggplant. You put a great deal of effort in this recipe and I love your presentation
Jul 26, 2014 @ 21:42:45
Thanks so much!
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma)
Jul 25, 2014 @ 17:59:36
I am LOVING zoodles!! Great recipe, can’t wait to make it!
Jul 26, 2014 @ 21:43:18
Zoodles are my new favourite! Hope you enjoy!
Aug 07, 2014 @ 07:30:38
I’m new to avoiding dairy, so I really appreciate the new eggplant sauce you’ve given me, and kid tested to less. Looks fabulous. Can’t wait to try it!
Aug 07, 2014 @ 09:51:49
The beginning of avoiding dairy is hard – all the creamy things, cheeses, gone. Hope you like it!
25 of the Best Paleo Pasta Recipes
Sep 30, 2014 @ 22:07:36
[…] 8. Creamy Eggplant Chicken Zucchini Noodles Recipe […]
Mar 08, 2015 @ 16:33:32
I don’t know what I did wrong, but this recipe destroyed my blender last night. Pieces of the eggplant bound up around the blades and burnt up the motor… Didn’t really end up like a sauce substitute either because of all of the seeds.
Mar 09, 2015 @ 17:17:17
Oh dear! Was the eggplant quite soft or did you not peel it? If the eggplant was cooked enough it shouldn’t have had strands. Or maybe your blender wasn’t strong enough? I’m awfully sorry!
Jul 25, 2015 @ 21:40:57
Thanks for this recipe! I’ve added it to the Farm Fresh Feasts Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me who love to eat from the farm share.
I appreciate your help in making this index better!