This Pasta with Carrot Miso Sauce is creamy, delicious, and completely vegan! Topped with a bright, flavorful carrot top gremolata (optional) and toasted bread crumbs.

orecchiette with creamy carrot miso sauce served in bowl with carrot top gremolata and toasted breadcrumbs.

We’ve been loving this vegan carrot pasta recipe lately! It features fresh, happy carrots—not just the roots—but the tops too! Orecchiette pasta is the perfect little scoop for the creamy carrot sauce. Pillowy cups of goodness!

The carrot pasta sauce is simple to make. It simmers while the orecchiette pasta cooks—very quickly and efficiently—and then it is blended into the creamiest, silkiest sauce that literally glows with nutrients, with the mouth-feel of mac and cheese. Heavenly!

The vibrant green carrot tops are turned into a tasty, herby Gremolata Sauce. Double the flavor and double the nutrients!

Why You’ll Love Carrot Pasta

  1. Satisfyingly creamy, yet surprisingly vegan!
  2. So much depth of flavor, including umami from the miso.
  3. Gratifying texture and crunch from the toasted breadcrumbs.
  4. Bright and tangy flavor from the Carrot-Top Gremolata.
  5. Full of nutrients! Thanks to both the carrots and their tops!

Altogether it is an orchestra of flavors—and basically, it just makes me happy! Try it and see if it makes you happy too. Just curious. 😉

Carrot Pasta Ingredients

fresh carrot bunch with carrot tops.
  • Orecchiette: This pasta shape is perfect for soaking up the creamy sauce, but feel free to use other pasta shells.
  • Carrots: Fresh, organic, sweet carrots with their tops! If you can’t find carrot tops, sub-Italian parsley.
  • Raw cashews: For creamy, luscious texture -or sub raw hemp hearts.
  • White miso paste: for added depth and umami flavor.
  • Aromatics: Shallots and garlic cloves add savory flavors.
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil: For added richness.
  • Italian parsley for vibrant fresh flavor.
  • Lemon: Both lemon zest and lemon juice are needed.
  • Panko breadcrumbs– for delicious texture!

How to Make Carrot Sauce for Pasta

ingredients for carrot pasta chopped on wood cutting board with sharp knife- carrots, garlic, shallots.

Step 1: Prep the carrot sauce ingredeints. Slice the carrots thinly for faster cooking!

sautéed garlic and shallots in pot, stirred with wooden spoon.

Step 2: Saute. Warm olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Sauté shallot and garlic until fragrant and golden, 5 minutes.

cooked sliced carrots in pot with water, tender and bright orange.

Step 3: Simmer: Add carrots, cashews, water, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until carrots are fork-tender, 15 minutes. Stir in miso and cool 5-10 minutes.

ingredients for carrot pasta sauce in blender.

Step 4: Blend carrot miso sauce. Transfer the contents of the pot to a high-speed blender. Secure the lid and place a towel over top. Blend on low, gradually increasing speed until fully blended. For the smoothest texture, blend for 1-1 1/2 minutes!

creamy vegan carrot sauce blended smooth in blender.

Make the Carrot Top Gremolata

Make the gremolata by adding carrot leaves, parsley, lemon zest, and garlic to a food processor.

ingredients for carrot top gremolata in food processor- carrot tops, parsley, lemon zest, garlic.

Pulse until finely chopped, add salt and oil, then pulse a few times to incorporate. Add more olive oil for a looser version.

carrot top gremolata in food processor.

Make the Toasted Bread Crumbs

To make the toasted breadcrumbs, add to a large skillet over medium and drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat. Add a generous pinch of salt and granulated garlic. Stir until golden, 5 minutes. Let cool.

toasted breadcrumbs in cast iron skillet with metal spatula.

Put it all together!

Combine. Drain the cooked pasta and combine it with the carrot pasta sauce, gently warming if needed. Taste and adjust for salt.

orecchiette combined with creamy carrot pasta sauce in pot.

Serve. Sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs and the gremolata!

orecchiette with creamy carrot sauce topped with toasted breadcrumbs and carrot top gremolata.

Chef’s Tips

  • Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta and gluten-free miso to make this gluten-free. Undercook the pasta a bit to ensure it doesn’t get mushy.
  • Slice the carrots thinly: Slice the carrots thinly so they cook faster!
  • Carrots should be tender: Make sure the carrots are super soft and fork-tender for a super creamy sauce.
  • Add extra veggies: Toss in 1 cup of veggies when the pasta is almost done cooking to quickly blanch them. Peas, broccoli, or asparagus go well! You can also wilt a handful of fresh spinach when combining the sauce and pasta together.
  • Meal prep: Make the sauce ahead of time, refrigerate, then gently warm when ready to serve with pasta.
  • Add a little spice: Garnish with red pepper flakes for a bit of spicy flavor. This can be added to the gremolata too! Or add a pinch of cayenne to the blender.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. You can add a splash of vegetable broth to help make the sauce creamy again. Store the breadcrumbs separately to keep them crispy. Gently reheat everything on the stovetop or reheat in the microwave.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this carrot pasta with a light, leafy green salad or a side of green veggies like roasted asparagus or green beans!

FAQs

What other types of pasta can I use?

If you can’t find orecchiette, that’s okay! Use your favorite type of pasta or other shapes with textures that hold creamy sauce well, like shells or fusilli.

Why use carrots for pasta sauce?

When tender, carrots provide a deliciously creamy texture, and their orange color is so vibrant and inviting! Not to mention they’re a great way to sneak in the nutritional benefit of seasonal veggies to your pasta.

Is this pasta freezer-friendly?

Yes! For best results, freeze the carrot pasta sauce on its own, then prepare pasta when ready to serve. Leave plenty of room for the sauce to expand. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating on the stovetop.

Health Benefits of Carrots

Carrots are a nutritional powerhouse and come with a host of health benefits that make them a great addition to any diet. Here are just a few!

  1. Rich in nutrients: Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins A, K1, and B6, potassium, and biotin. Vitamin A comes from beta-carotene, which supports vision, immune function, and skin health.
  2. Eye health: Thanks to beta-carotene, eating carrots regularly can help prevent vision decline and conditions like age-related macular degeneration due to its antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
  3. Antioxidant benefits: Antioxidant beta-carotene also helps protect against free radicals. The antioxidants in carrots may contribute to reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and certain cancers.
  4. Skin health: Both vitamin A and antioxidants allow carrots to protect the skin from sun damage and premature aging. Lack of vitamin A can lead to dry skin, so carrots can help keep skin health and vibrant!
  5. Immune function: Vitamins A and C help support the immune system, and regular consumption of carrots can help the body fight off infections more effectively.
  6. Digestive health: Carrots are rich in dietary fiber, allowing them to maintain good digestive health and promote a balanced gut.
  7. Heart health: High intake of the types of carotenoids found in carrots has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. And the potassium in carrots can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend, friends. You’ll find the freshest carrots (and their vibrant green tops) at the farmers market this weekend! So get outside, get some fresh air, and go get some carrots. Enjoy this delicious creamy carrot pasta sauce!

xoxo

Sylvia

More Carrot Recipes you may like

Pasta with Carrot Miso Sauce Video

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 A simple delicious vegan recipe for Orecchiette Pasta with Creamy Carrot Miso Sauce, topped with  Carrot Top Gremolata (optional) and Toasted Bread Crumbs. Flavorful and healthy! #orecchiette

Pasta with Carrot Miso Sauce (Vegan)

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Description

This Pasta with Carrot Miso Sauce is creamy, delicious, and completely vegan! Topped with a bright, flavorful carrot top gremolata (optional) and toasted bread crumbs.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 810 ounces orecchiette pasta, cooked in salted water, according to package directions.

Carrot Miso Sauce:

  • 2 shallots, rough chopped (or 1/2 an onion)
  • 46 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 heaping cups carrots, thinly sliced (3 medium carrots)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (or sub raw hemp seeds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons White Miso Paste

Carrot Top Gremolata (optional, but tasty)  

  • 1/2 cup carrot tops (small tender leaves) packed or sub 1/2 cup more Italian Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley
  • 1 fat garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest ( zest from one med lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup– 1/2 cup olive oil (make sure it is not bitter-taste it!)
  • 12 teaspoons lemon juice.

Toasted Bread Crumbs


Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta: Set 6-8 cups salted water to boil for pasta, and cook according to directions.
  2. Make the Carrot Sauce: Heat oil in a medium pot, over medium heat. Saute shallot and garlic until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add carrots, cashews, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to low and simmer gently until carrots are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of miso ( it doesn’t need to dissolve fully) and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  3. While the carrots simmer make the optional Carrot Top Gremolata and Toasted Panko or Bread Crumbs (see notes!) 
  4. Blend the sauce: Once the carrots are tender and slightly cooled, place all in a high-speed blender, covering tightly with a kitchen towel, blend on the lowest setting, gradually increasing speed, until fully blended, creamy and silky smooth about 1- 1 1/2 minutes. Take your time here and get it SMOOTH!!!
  5. Drain the pasta and pour the sauce over the pasta, gently warming if needed. Taste and adjust salt. (If you didn’t salt your pasta water, chances are you’ll need salt.)
  6. Divide among bowls, and sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs and spoon the flavorful Carrot Top Gremolata over top.

Notes

Feel free to toss in 1 cup of other veggies into the cooking pasta at the end to steam. For example, sometimes I’ll add a cup of peas to quickly blanch in with the pasta at the last minute.

You can make the sauce ahead, refrigerate and warm up before serving.

Carrot top Gremolata: 

  1. Place carrot leaves, parsley, lemon zest, and garlic in a food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely chopped. Add the salt and oil, pulsing a few more times until incorporated (but not too smooth). Add more oil if you prefer a looser version.

Toasted Bread Crumbs or Panko. 

  1. Place a 1/2 -1 cup of bread crumbs or panko in a large skillet over medium heat, and drizzle with just enough olive oil to lightly coat. Add a good pinch of salt and granulated garlic if you like. Stir until golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: without bread crumbs or Gremolata
  • Calories: 393
  • Sugar: 6.7 g
  • Sodium: 201.3 mg
  • Fat: 12.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.7 g
  • Fiber: 5.4 g
  • Protein: 11.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. Thought this was delicious AS IS- thank you. I did use vegetable stock instead of water. I think next time I will deglaze the pan after the onion and garlic with a dry white wine or sherry just for another layer of flavor. I added peas as you suggested and look forward to adding even more veggies. Love this recipe






  2. Made this last night- AMAZING!!! Used parsley & carrots from TJs- neither looked outstanding but this recipe made them wonderful! I can’t imagine it with farmers market/garden carrots and using the tops. Will do it that way soon.

    I did end up with extra sauce and gremolata (may not have made the full portion of pasta- didn’t measure it…) so today I mixed the carrot sauce about 50/50 with chicken bone broth, put in some leftover cooked mushrooms from another meal, heated up for soup and topped with gremolata.

    Both meals awesome!! 🙂






  3. I’ve made this recipe loads of times! I love it. So delicious. If I did want to add meat for my non-vegan family/friends, what meat would you suggest? I’m not sure what would compliment the dish best and how to do it






    1. Thanks Philicia! For meat options, how about serving with a simple baked chicken breast?

    2. Or you could try a poached chicken breast. My no-fail, super-moist, ridiculously easy method: Bring a large, heavy pot of water to the boil. (Like a two or three quart). Salt it w/about 1/2 tsp of salt. Drop in a chicken breast. Let simmer for 15 or so seconds. Place a tight-fitting lid on, turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour. It will be cooked through and perfectly moist and tender. If it is exceptionally large, simmer for 30 seconds. I got this method from an excellent cookbook by Barbara Tropp years ago.






  4. I’ve made this numerous times and love this recipe!! The gremolata on this recipe is missing lemon juice. Use the link for recipe for the gremolata!






  5. This recipe is a revelation. We are not vegan but are eating far less meat. I was only looking for a recipe to use up carrots and am so glad I tried this! My husband raved about it and would have sworn he was eating cheese sauce had he not been told it was vegan. Definitely a midweek regular from now on.






  6. This is AMAZING – so much more that I expected. The sauce itself is slightly sweet with depth of flavor, but the gremolata and bread crumb make it next level. I like the idea of using roasted cauliflower instead of pasta too, will try that soon.






  7. Wow! Was genuinely surprised by this recipe! Flavor was really subtle great for kids too, but nice undertones of sweetness, miso and garlic. It made a lot of sauce for just two people but it also doubles as a nice carrot soup with crusty bread for another meal.






  8. This was so good! I didn’t make the gremolata though I did top with toasted bread crumbs and parsley. I also added roasted purple cauliflower to round it out. Such a tasty meal and will add it into my repertoire.






  9. Another home run! I used GF chickpea penne and GF bread crumbs. I also cooked a head of cauliflower to serve and I poured the left over sauce on it as well. It was fabulous.






  10. VERY tasty and easy! quick and yummy way to use up carrot 🙂
    subbed in hemp seeds, and used a darker colour miso. also added some greens that I wanted to use up.
    couldn’t get my sauce as creamy/blended as yours. Amazing still – will make again!






  11. I made this for my husband and I, he was totally bowled over by the flavours and taste. Such and easy recipe, and sooooo delicious. It will be become a regular dish from now in our house..






  12. I made a variation of this tonight and it is absolutely delicious! I subbed out 1 carrot and added some cauliflower as I needed to use it up. Also roasted the carrot and cauliflower beforehand to add in an additional depth of flavour. The gremolata is key to making it taste really well balanced, but if you’re after creamy decadence skip it.
    Will definitely be making this again !






  13. This is my fourth night straight making one of your recipes and WOW. This is the best pasta I have ever made 😋






  14. What blender is best to get the sauce this smooth? I have tried blending with stick and the blender attachment and got a lumpy sauce.

    It tasted great!

    1. If the cashews are soft, then a regular blender should work fine. Better than an emersion blender. 😉

  15. This is a lovely sauce, and I like that it’s so flavorful without using nutritional yeast. I just added a little lemon juice at the end for a little zip. I made it for a new mom as she can easily whip up the pasta and veggies whenever is convenient for her. I’m glad to hear that it freezes okay too!






  16. Has anyone tried this without cashews? I have everything else in my pantry already, but no cashews.

    1. I’ve only tried this with the cashews. How about hemp seeds, they may work well here and give it a creamy consistancy.

  17. I love this recipe. I’ve made it 3 times now exactly as written and have never felt the need to change anything or substitute/add anything else (always make with the gremolata). Thank you!!






  18. This recipe has tons of promise. I made a parsley gremolata for the first night but used some leftover chimmi churri on day two. The relief of the lemon or vinegar “spicy salad” was crucial, as noted in the recipe. I ended up wanting about 3x as much gremolata. With that, I liked this recipe a lot. Were I to do it again I would probably try cauliflower florets cut small and steamed with the carrot sauce and lots of gremolata.






    1. They do actually soften in the cooking liquid. Give it a try. 😉 or feel free to soak.

  19. This was absolutely delicious. I wish I had found it months ago when we were getting pounds of carrots from our CSA! lol.

    We didn’t use parsley, as the the carrot tops taste so much like parsley already.

    We will definitely be making this again! This is an delicious, yes simple meal to make to impress any dinner guest.






  20. Wow! I’m definitely making this again. Even my picky 12 yr olds loved it! I’m hoping that it freezes well? I think the next time I make it I’ll double or triple the recipe and freeze the extra. It was kind of labor intensive and I wrecked my kitchen so not the best choice for a busy weeknight but man, when you find a plant-based meal that everybody loves you gotta keep it in the rotation!






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