Recipe Review

I Tried Meghan Markle’s 3-Ingredient Zucchini Pasta Sauce and It’s the Perfect Dish for Summer Nights

published May 25, 2022
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I Tried Meghan Markle's 3-Ingredient Zucchini Pasta
Credit: Aly Walansky

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the royal family, and when Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, it felt like a major moment. As I researched Meghan, now known as the Duchess of Sussex, I realized we had a lot in common. Meghan wrote a lifestyle blog that focused a lot on food and travel, and she also appreciated cooking at home and enjoying great wine. Twinsies? I think so!

Aside from her instantly becoming my fantasy best friend, I was excited to try some of her recipes. And a few years ago in an interview with Delish, she made it possible when she shared that she likes to make a vegetarian spin on Bolognese that only involves three ingredients. The best part? She promised that it would still taste rich and creamy. 

Her method was to slow-cook zucchini for four to five hours, until it melted into a creamy sauce that she then tossed with pasta. “The sauce gets so creamy, you’d swear there’s tons of butter and oil in it, but it’s just zucchini, water and a little bouillon,” Meghan said in the interview.

So, I pulled out my pot and pan, grabbed a few ingredients from the store, and got to work.

How to Make Meghan Markle’s Zucchini Bolognese Pasta

This recipe is shockingly simple, and only requires a handful of easy-to-grab ingredients: water, one bouillon cube, and zucchini. I also added an onion and some garlic in order to give the dish some aromatic quality (what’s pasta without garlic?).

Credit: Aly Walansky

I started by sautéing one small onion and two cloves of garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil. As soon as they became translucent, I tossed in the sliced zucchini and sautéed it all together for a minute or two. Meanwhile, I put the bouillon cube in a measuring cup with one cup of hot water and let it dissolve. 

Then, you are just going to add that stock created out of the water and bouillon to the pot with the zucchini, onion, and garlic. At that point, it couldn’t get easier. Just stir well, cover the pot, and reduce to a simmer. Now, just let that zucchini slow-cook until it turns mushy.

Although you’re slow-cooking the zucchini for hours, you’re going to want to check it every half hour or so because if it looks too thick or dry, you’ll need to add more water. Meghan simmered hers for four to five hours, so throwing it in a slow cooker could work here — or just keep it on the stove at low heat and keep checking out the consistency. You may discover you are ready to serve it after only around 90 minutes or so — mine was plenty mushy by then!

Finally, make your pasta and mix with the sauce. At this point, you may want to add a bit of grated Parm. I also added crushed chili flakes for a touch of heat.

My Honest Review of Meghan Markle’s Zucchini Bolognese Pasta

As an avowed carnivore, I was surprised how rich and creamy this sauce ended up tasting without the addition of any meat or dairy. The sauce tastes like it has butter and cream in it, but it has none of that. It also maintains that silky-smooth consistency, or — as Meghan puts it — “sexy mush.”

While I don’t think this is the most picturesque of dishes, it is quite tasty and if I made it again, I’d absolutely go with the garlic and onions at the start again. I’d also add chili flakes and grated Parm at the end, as I think that went a long way as far as giving dimensions of flavor.

Credit: Aly Walanksy

5 Tips for Making Meghan Markle’s Zucchini Bolognese Pasta

  1. Pay attention to your zucchini. Meghan let her zucchini simmer for four to five hours, but I noticed mine becoming pretty mushy far sooner. Check in often and you may find yourself ready to eat that sauce a lot sooner than expected.
  2. Make it your own. The original dish only involved zucchini, water, and a bouillon cube. But there are so many ways to customize here. I added an onion and a bit of garlic, which I thought helped to add layers of flavor, but there are other ways to modify. For example, if you don’t have bouillon, perhaps just use your broth of choice with the zucchini. You can incorporate fresh herbs or other veggies to the blend, too.
  3. Keep things simple. While this sauce can be made by simmering on the stove for hours, it can also just be tossed in the slow cooker. Set it, forget it, and go about your day.
  4. Keep it light on the seasoning. Bouillon cubes can sometimes be pretty salty, so don’t start adding salt before the zucchini has had a chance to absorb the flavors of the bouillon. You can always season along the way instead of over-seasoning at the start.
  5. Your finishing touches are up to you. While fresh-grated Parm is a perfect finishing touch for a pasta like this, you can also keep things vegan and add a touch of fresh basil or some crushed chili flakes instead.