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. Absolutely delicious. I had this last night. Yummy!!!! Only change I made was the gremolata (which I do love as hubby is Italian and I lived there for 28 years so know it well). I am just trying to cut down on oil, so I just lightly fried the fresh breadcrumbs until crunchy, added parsley, pinch of salt and a good grating of lemon zest. Sprinkled it over everyone’s pasta and sauce. Will definitely make again. Thank you, Sylvia, for another great plant-based recipe. xx

    PS. Am cooking your Thai turkey meatballs for hubby and kids tomorrow night; I’ll be trying it with tofu for me. Will keep you posted.






  2. Oh my, my first experience using soaked cashews with my new Vitamix blender. So excellent! Those who committed that it is better than Mac & Cheese we dead on.

  3. I did not care for this on pasta at all. But I did turn this into the most delicious soup. Just added some cream and some broth. It is absolutely amazing!!! I will definitely make this again!






  4. I’m not really a huge fan of carrots, but I’ve gotten a lot of them in my CSA box recently and wanted to make something that would use the tops as well. This recipe is perfect! The flavors in the sauce are delicious and it’s so creamy you would never guess it’s vegan. The gremolata and bread crumbs are easy to make and add nice brightness & texture. I had to use GF rotini (couldn’t find any GF orecchiette) so there was lots of sauce left over, but I will just make more pasta to eat it with 🙂






  5. It seems the delicious vegetarian recipes are endless here. This is yet another keeper. Don’t skimp on the gremolata.

  6. This is delicious! I added some fresh ginger to the sauce and it paired nicely with the flavor of the carrots. The gremolata was a great way to use up carrot tops and was, indeed, very tasty. 🙂






  7. This recipe is amazing. Full disclosure, I’ve made it multiple times and I forget about the cashews almost every time. Either I have them measured out on the counter and my husband thinks they’re a pre-dinner snack and eats them, or I think I have cashews and when I start cooking I realize I don’t. Regardless, my husband practically licks the bowl clean every time I serve this. We like it with a squeeze of lemon juice after it’s been plated. Don’t skimp on the bread crumbs!






  8. This is hands down incredible. I’m so glad I took the time to make this, the sauce is PHENOMENAL and the gremolata, which I used cilantro for instead of parsley, is AMAZING, I even added a small piece of banana to it and some cashews to help it blend properly. Truly incredible, the miso adds a perfect touch to the carrots! Thank you!

  9. Hi Silvia, I made this recipe today and really enjoyed it. To the gremolata I used parsley and basil and it tasted very yummy. I was wondering if the carrot miso sauce freezes well as I was left with a large amount. Thank you

    1. Glad you enjoyed and I’m not sure Maria- I haven’t tried freezing- will you let me know if you do try it?

  10. This recipe was incredibly delicious. Who knew that a vegan dish could taste this good?! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I prefer this dish over traditional macaroni and cheese. I could almost eat the entire dish in one day! You really know how to create foods with amazing flavor profiles and textures! Thank you!






  11. First, I never waste cooking other ingredients such as a pasta until I make the sauce. I’ve tried too many recipes and the sauce is not to my liking and then I have cooked pasta to deal with. Today I made the sauce, and boy did it taste flavorful, kind of sweet, but yet not. It passed the taste test to go ahead and make that pasta! I would not say it replaces Mac & cheese tho. Let’s just say it’s dang flavorful as it’s own creation. I did make the toppings too. Maybe a little too oily, but it certainly all works together. Don’t just comment how pretty her dish looks, just make it and you will not regret it.

    1. Glad you took a leap of faith here and happy you liked the sauce. 🙂

  12. This was OUTSTANDING!!!! The sweetness of the carrots, the saltiness of the miso and the tartness of the gremolata was a marriage made in heaven! I did sub 1/2 c oatmilk for the cashews because they are getting so doggone expensive. Worked just fine. This is the second recipe of yours I have made and they both have been amazing. Do you have a cookbook out?






  13. Fantastic recipe! The combination of the carrot miso sauce and gremalata is wonderful. My new favourite pasta dish.






  14. I can’t wait to try this recipe! With two young toddlers at home, we’re at the place where sneaking veggies in wherever we can is a must and I think they will really enjoy this without even knowing🤗 I will come back and rate after I make this for dinner this week!

  15. I’ve been making great use of FaH recipes for the past several years, all of which have been delicious. But this recipe may just be my favorite — I’m come back to it so many times! It satisfies my craving for a creamy mac-and-cheese, but with so much more complexity of flavor, and far healthier ingredients 🙂

    The gremolata is a must for the little tart acidity it adds. I usually make it with all parsley, no carrot tops.

    And don’t skip the bread crumbs! It only takes a minute, and really elevates the texture.

    Also, I always cook 1 full pound of pasta — I think this recipe yields too much sauce for a mere 6oz of pasta.

    Anyway. Thanks so much for introducing me to one of my favorite meals! <3






  16. Thank you for this awesome, yummy recipe. Can this be made with all cilantro instead of parsley? Using this on the carrot orchiette recipe.

  17. This is my new favourite, totally surprised by the flavour and texture. The sauce and breadcrumbs really lift it to the next level.






  18. I had extra carrots from my farm share so I thought I’d give this a try. Wasn’t sure what to expect but this was so good – slightly sweet and savory; so creamy and comforting. Definitely make the gremolata. It puts it over the top!






  19. Delicious! I needed to use gluten-free pasta (I used Barilla’s) and it worked just fine. A wonderful combination of flavors.






  20. I’ve never had a meal quite like this. I’ve made this multiple times and it has become, hands down, my favorite vegan meal. I follow the recipe exactly with the gremolata and toasted bread crumbs. My burger-loving husband enjoys it, as well. I’ve tried it with local organic rainbow carrots… the color wasn’t pretty but the flavor was delicious!

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