In the CulinaryAcademy360 Kitchen: Summer Zucchini Noodles, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella

Welcome back to our CulinaryAcademy360 Kitchen! We hope you came hungry to learn more!

In our last two posts, we previewed two diverse meals that suit quite different cooking capabilities and tastes. While one was rich and decadent, the other was simple yet packed with Asian flavors.

Now that we’re in the thick of summer and school’s out for many, the last thing we’re sure you want to do is spend more time in the kitchen and less time on vacation. So, we thought we’d celebrate the long days and hot afternoons by offering a recipe that is fast and versatile, giving you more time to do the things you love in summer. You’ll go from stove to table in under 15 minutes. Dining al fresco is completely optional but highly recommended!

The best part about this recipe is that it lets you take advantage of all the great summer produce New Jersey has to offer! And here at CulinaryAcademy360, students have the opportunity to learn about seasonal herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Inspiration for recipe development is often taken from our on-site greenhouse, and students engage with the entire process of food production, from growing to tasting to using the produce in a meal.

What’s even better is that this summertime meal requires just one pot and is completely gluten free. The vegetable noodles are so satisfying, you won’t even notice how healthy it is. You can serve this as-is for a vegetarian, gluten free entrée, or add grilled protein like salmon, shrimp, or chicken to make a hearty meal! Now get outside and go play!

Here’s the recipe. Make sure to watch the video for a demonstration of how to make the dish!

Summer Zucchini Noodles, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Michael Matthews

Download a PDF of This Recipe

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large yellow squash
  • 1 jumbo carrot
  • 15 shitake mushroom caps or more, thinly sliced (can use any kind of mushroom you like)
  • 1 Spanish onion, medium chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cold diced unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Baby heirloom tomatoes sliced in half (as many as you like)
  • Pitted Kalamata olives sliced in half (as many as you like)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 cup of pearl size mozzarella balls
  • Fresh basil chiffonade for garnish
  • Fresh shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese for garnish
  • 1 cup baby arugula or baby spinach tossed with olive oil salt and pepper for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction for drizzle


  1. Spiralize zucchini, yellow squash and carrot.
  2. Thinly slice mushrooms and onion
  3. Mince garlic
  4. Cut tomatoes
  5. Chiffonade fresh basil
  6. Chop fresh rosemary
  7. Warm the vegetable or chicken broth
  8. In a hot sauté pan add butter and olive oil, sauté chopped onions until soft and tender, then add in garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh cracked pepper, and rosemary.
  9. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté briefly
  10. Add in zucchini, carrots and yellow squash, cook 2-3 minutes until soft but not MUSHY, add in stock, taste for seasoning
  11. Add in tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs
  12. Turn off heat add a few cubes cold butter swirling pan to thicken the sauce.
  13. Turn out onto a warm plate, garnish with seasoned baby arugula or spinach, mozzarella and shaved Parmesan cheese.
  14. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction


CulinaryAcademy360 was started with a generous grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. Created in September 2016, the program was developed to provide students, ages 14 and older at Academy360 and adults at Independence360, with the opportunity to explore food service as a career path, as well as increase their ability to live independently by learning to cook for themselves. CulinaryAcademy360 provides day classes to clients of Independence360 as well as after-school and evening classes for Academy360 and participants of Spectrum360’s Adult Enrichment Program. The after-school and evening classes are also open to individuals with autism and related disabilities who attend other programs and schools. For more information about classes, contact Director, Chef Michael Matthews at