Zucchini Pasta with Bacon Pesto

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Zucchini Pasta Bacon Pesto p

You’ll find a tempting assortment of AIP pestos on the internet I’m sure, but I want to relish in a bulkier texture that is missing from the traditional pine nuts. And I crave the salinity that a good parmesan would provide: bacon! That’s what has the rustic saltiness I’m after and when it’s cooked until bronzed and crispy then cooled till brittle, a short burst in the food processor results in that covetable granular crunch.

Zucchini Pasta Bacon Pesto proc

Quick, simple and totally memorable, this bacon pesto keeps for several days in the fridge. It will firm as it sits there though, so bring it back to life with a splash more oil and a good stir. Then, once you’ve had the pleasure of this recipe, think about using the pesto for other dishes — swirled into mashed celeriac; spooned atop grilled meats, fish and piping hot baked sweet potatoes; or added to hearty soups and stews. Stir in a little more oil and you’ve got yourself an interesting salad dressing, not to mention a versatile addition to your recipe arsenal. The list of possibilities is as long as your imagination!

4.5 from 6 reviews
Zucchini Pasta with Bacon Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 10 rashers smoked bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, packed
  • ½ cup basil leaves, packed
  • ¾ cup flat leaf parsley, packed
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 large zucchini
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Lay the bacon rashers on a large baking tray and broil for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy.
  3. Transfer to a large plate lined with absorbent kitchen paper and allow to cool and harden.
  4. Pour the fat into a small container.
  5. Once the bacon is crunchy, break rashers into large pieces and put into a food processor, together with the remaining pesto ingredients. Blitz until you have a fairly loose paste with small grain-sized bacon chunks for texture.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the zucchini noodles. Cut the ends off each zucchini and peel the skin if you wish (I didn’t). Using a spiralizer or a julienne peeler, make "spaghetti" from each one, snipping midway to prevent them being too long.
  7. Heat a tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat in a large sauté pan (reserving any more for another use), add the zucchini and cook for around 5 minutes on a low-medium heat until tender.
  8. Put noodles into a colander and drain well.
  9. Now, turn off the heat, wipe out the sauté pan with kitchen paper and return the zucchini to the pan. Add the pesto and mix well so the noodles are evenly coated.
  10. Have a quick taste and add salt if needed, though you may find your bacon makes it salty enough.
  11. Serve immediately.


About Kate Jay

Kate Jay, NTP, RWP, CGP and AIP Certified Coach, has been blogging at Healing Family Eats, since June 2014. Diagnosed years ago as hypothyroid, she and her family were already following the GAPS diet for digestive issues when Kate noticed swelling consistent with RA. She set up her AIP food blog as motivation for making the restricted diet as exciting as possible for her children, who felt they missed out on the junk their friends took to school. Originally a classically trained chef, who freelanced with popular food magazines in the UK, she is now passionate about helping her clients heal using a combination of her holistic training, lab work and real food as medicine. She focuses on creating simple, nutritionally dense and balanced family meals, without compromising on flavour. Find her also on FacebookPinterestTwitter and Instagram.


  • […] Find today’s recipe over here in the care of Mickey and Angie at Autoimmune-Paleo. […]

  • Jolaine says

    Kate!! Once again I sit here drooling over one of your recipes! You truly are a gift to my tummy ???????? I shall make this ASAP! I’m trying to give this 5 stars but it will only let me select 4 ????

    • Kate J says

      Well boo to the star machine but thanks to you for such a lovely comment Jolaine. I hope you and your tummy enjoy!!

  • Meagan Faeth says

    Hello! Wondering if I could just use 10 pieces of regular (AIP approved) bacon slices for this recipe? Not sure what a ‘rasher’ is… Thanks!

    • Kate J says

      Hi Meagan, a rasher is a slice of bacon. Your 10 pieces will be perfect – I hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

  • Elissa says

    Yes – what is a rasher?

  • Kristen says

    SO excited to make this tonight! Going out to pick some basil & parsley from the garden now- thank you for a pesto recipe that doesn’t involve nuts!!! Or dairy!!!

    • Kate J says

      Hi Kristen, I hope you enjoyed the recipe – how lovely to be able to step outside for your ingredients, you can’t get fresher than that! 🙂

  • Erin says

    Second time I’m making this tonight! So yummy!

  • Tina C says

    Found this recipe this morning and made it for my lunch, it was DELICIOUS! So excited to use the leftover bacon pesto to cook some salmon also.

    • Kate J says

      Thanks Tina, I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. Perfect with salmon, I think bacon pesto goes with everything 🙂

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  • Halina Gray says

    So my only issue with this is that the pesto doesn’t stick well to zucchini noodles. So gets a little watery at the bottom and hence tricky to eat. Plus it’s a lot of bacon, if you’re making a meal out of this and not a side. Say my husband and I split it (2 dressed pieces of zucchini apiece) we’ve each eaten 5 slices of bacon. The pesto is delicious though.

  • Kimberly Morrison says

    What can I use instead of mint? Im not a fan of mint. Thanks.

  • Erin says

    This was outstanding! I am not sure how this serves 2, as we fed a family of 4 with this. My kids devoured an impressive amount. I added frozen drained spinach to extend out the pesto a bit, and then we had plenty left over.

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  • Letty says

    Wow this is absolutely deliciously amazing!!!! I will be making MORE of the pesto and adding chicken next time. Thank you!!!

  • Tara says

    This dish was delicious, much better than I expected. Didn’t even miss nuts or parmesan.

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