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)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 154 reviews

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. I was skeptical, yet intrigued by the ingredients. Made this tonight and it was outstanding. My husband says “restaurant quality.” It will be in our rotation.






    1. Someone else said restaurant quality in their review and I agree. Pretty much cooked it as described but used no chicken, chicken vegetable broth instead of water alone. Absolute Mic drop side or main vegetarian dish. On rotation for sure.
      Thank you,
      TM

    1. Hi Joan- for some reason, that doesn’t sound good to me. But of course, do as you please! Perhaps think of this more like Mac and cheese?

  2. Incredible! I’ve been making this every couple of weeks for months now.
    I just make the sauce and it’s my favourite simple dish.






  3. Made this tonight. The carrot sauce was good & creamy. The gremolata was too bitter, though. Had to add Agave nectar to counteract the bitterness. We forgot to get Panko because breadcrumbs are not listed in the ingredient list on the recipe. We had only a small amount on hand—& the dish would have been much better with the full amount.






    1. I am glad you enjoyed! I updated the recipe- thanks for pointing that out!

    1. Have you ever blended silken tofu? It would give a nice creaminess, but you would need to add some olive oil too, for richness.

  4. This was truly delicious. I rarely make the same thing twice and this will be made again and again. I am looking forward to company coming over to impress with this dish.






  5. Absolutely delicious recipe! I’ve made this about 7-8 times and each time turns out perfectly. Thank you. I did have a question on how many days will the carrot sauce stay fresh in the fridge? And can the carrot sauce and gremolata be frozen?






    1. It should keep up to 5 days. I would not freeze the gremolata- it might turn brown. The carrot sauce should be ok though!

  6. Really wonderful. It’s hard to believe it is vegan. Worked great with penne. Thank you for sharing all your recipes.






  7. This looked and tasted like it came from a five star restaurant. The optional additions are essential in my opinion! Because cashews are so expensive lately, I used a bit of heavy cream instead of cashews, and I couldn’t find orecchiette so used penne instead – both worked out perfectly. Thank you for the inspiration!






  8. I made this dish a while ago now, it’s creamy, tasty, and you could carry on eating it. After seeing it again, I think it could be dinner tonight. 😋 yummy






  9. LOVED this recipe!! I made it basically as written but subbed veggie broth for water. Turned out creamy and so tasty. The gremolata and breadcrumbs really made this a complex tasting dish. My boyfriend raved about it! Thank you

  10. I never leave reviews, but this is ~7th time I’ve made this recipe so I felt the credit was due. This is by far my favorite vegan recipe. I follow the recipe to a T; the gremolata and bread crumbs are key for the perfect flavor/texture marriage. I once used purple carrots and it was still phenomenal (albeit an eery grey hue). Also hyper-critical husband approved. THANK YOU!






    1. Hi Megan- I really appreciate you taking the time to rate and review, it truly is the best way to support our blog, so thank you!!! And I am very happy you are enjoying this! 🙂

  11. I have been making this regular since I first tried it and I have passed this recipe on to all my friends. Its like a healthy upgraded mac and cheese!






  12. I made this tonight, with a few changes…veg broth instead of oil, slightly less miso paste, and added butternut squash. So good!!






  13. This was tasty! I loved the miso in it it adds a yummy depth to the sauce. I added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and roasted pumpkin seeds on top. Delicious!






  14. I made this but instead of carrots I roasted butter nut squash and sweet potato then I purée them together following the rest of the recipe about. It was so delicious






  15. Oh, my goodness! No words to describe how delicious this is. I made the recipe exactly as written including breadcrumbs and carrot top gremolata….and even my 8-year-old was SOLD! The gremolata definitely helps to balance out the richness of the sauce for the perfect bite. #favorited






    1. Hi. I have frozen sauce for a month and it defrosted perfectly. Mine was the vegan version with cashews. It wouldn’t last longer in our house as it is so yum. I am not an expert so couldn’t say if it would last longer than 3 months in freezer. Hope this helps.

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