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Puttanesca Recipe with Zucchini Pasta

Puttanesca Recipe with Zucchini Pasta
I’ve been meaning to share my Puttanesca recipe for ages now. If you’ve never heard of Puttanesca, it’s an Italian sauce made from tomatoes, black olives, capers, anchovies, onions, garlic, and herbs, usually oregano and parsley but sometimes also basil. And let’s just say it is a lusty sauce with a “colorful” history! 😉

Get Saucy! A Simple Puttanesca Recipe Makes the Meal

If you have our Clean Cuisine book then you know I am super into sauces. That’s because a great sauce really can totally make the meal. And in this case, the Puttanesca recipe most definitely does! It is such a super easy sauce to make, but it has an incredibly robust, rich flavor that tastes like it took hours to prepare. Like most Italian sauces, you really do not need to be super exact with your measurements either. It’s one of those almost anything goes type of sauces. However, I would have to agree with Slate about the 2 main errors people commit when making a puttanesca recipe…

Don’t Make these 2 Mistakes!

  • Mistake #1: Going too light on the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, and crushed red pepper. You’ll see my recipe below uses a hefty amount of all of these ingredients. Don’t be scared! You need a lot more than tomatoes for it to be melt-in-your-mouth amazing.
  • Mistake #2: Skipping the lemon zest. Most Puttanesca recipes don’t even include the lemon zest. But it is absolutely a crucial component to the dish. The lemon is what adds the final brightening touch. You definitely don’t want to skip the lemon zest.

Puttanesca RecipeLeftovers!

One of my favorite things about Puttanesca sauce is leftovers. Many sauces taste better the next day and Puttanesca sauce is definitely one of them. If you keep your sauce in a covered container it will keep perfectly in the fridge for up to 4 days. And speaking of covered containers… I am crazy for Signature Housewares colorful and beautiful line of microwavable covered containers. They have all different styles and lots of fun colors. Made of translucent glazed stoneware, these containers are not only beautiful but super functional! The lids feature a vent opening so you can microwave your leftovers without worrying about the mess. Speaking of microwaves….Are microwaves safe? After considerable research, I think so.  Back to the containers…they are also dishwasher safe. They look so much better than tupperware. And they are perfect for storing leftover Puttanesca! Believe it or not, I initially found the containers at TJ Maxx, but when I wanted to buy more and couldn’t find them (if you shop at TJ Maxx, you know what I mean!) I was happy to locate them on Amazon HERE. Zucchini Pasta PuttanescaAnd finally, most recipes for Puttanesca sauce call for pasta. In my book there’s nothing wrong with whole grain pasta. However, since I have been very into zucchini pasta recipes these days, I figured I would serve mine over zoodles (zucchini noodles). You can of course always just swap the zucchini for your whole grain pasta of choice. Option three is to combine the two. Print

Puttanesca Recipe with Zucchini Pasta

A lusty Puttanesca recipe, this tomato sauce is full-bodied and incredibly flavorful. It’s delicious over zucchini pasta and perfect for a simple Meatless Monday dinner. Leftovers are amazing, by the way.

uttanesca Recipe with Zucchini Pasta
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  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 4 spiralized zucchini noodles
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 small jar (1.5 ounces anchovy fillets, drained)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 pound grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (14 ounces diced tomatoes, drained)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • Grated zest of one lemon


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add zucchini noodles and cook for about 2 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set zucchini noodles aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, anchovies, onion and carrots. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the grape tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the canned diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the parsley and lemon zest; cook until parsley is just wilted. Serve over zucchini noodles.

Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!

© 2024 clean cuisine Recipe by:

Looking for More Clean Eating Dinner Recipes?

If you liked the Puttanesca Recipe, be sure to check out out a full month’s menu of delicious healthy dinner recipes (including weekly shopping lists!) in our Clean Cuisine Dinners digital cookbook. 

Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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