Brilliantly hued carrot pasta sauce is delightfully different and surprisingly delicious. Add it to your favorite pasta and you’ll see!

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Carrot pasta sauce is unique, nutritious, and beautiful. It’s also addictively tasty!

How long it takes: 25 minutes (includes time to cook pasta)
Equipment you’ll need: skillet with lid, pasta pot, blender
Servings: 6

Pasta with carrot pasta sauce in a white bowl.
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Isn’t this pasta so pretty? The carrot-y pasta really is so unique and brilliantly colored (although I do admit, it looks a bit like mac and cheese!).

Carrot pasta sauce is creamy and so satisfying. We love it as a pasta side dish with baked salmon or classic meatloaf. It also goes great with air fryer chicken tenders or easy air fryer chicken breasts, or grilled chicken. Serve a side salad dressed with carrot vinaigrette to extend the carrot theme.

Why carrots? I love the idea of changing things up a bit. Carrots are sweet, flavorful, and inexpensive. I bet you already have a bag of carrots in your refrigerator.

Carrots are super nutritious. A single serving of this pasta has 11,161 IU of Vitamin A! Carrots have many health benefits. They are a good source of beta carotene which has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer (Healthline). Your mother may have said, “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes” and she’s right. Carrots do help keep your eyes healthy. And they taste good, too.

More About This Carrot Pasta Sauce

Carrot sauce is a bit adventurous! Carrot sauce may be unlike any pasta sauce you’ve ever tried before. I like to serve pasta with this carrot sauce to guests and surprise them with an innovative use of an ordinary vegetable.

The flavor is amazing. Carrot pasta is mildly flavored, very creamy, and slightly sweet. Everyone loves it.

It’s easy to make. This carrot pasta sauce recipe is fairly uncomplicated. It shouldn’t take you much more than a half hour to make. The ingredients are pretty simple and you probably already have what you need in your pantry and refrigerator already. I hope you have a chance to give it a try soon.

If you’re looking for a more traditional Italian sauce, you’ll want to try my homemade spaghetti sauce, Instant Pot bolognese (or turkey bolognese), or crockpot spaghetti sauce. I like to think outside the box which may explain my penchant for unique sauces like arugula pesto.

Creamy carrot pasta in pan.

What You’ll Need

  • Carrots: The superhero of this sauce, you’ll need about 4 cups of diced raw carrots, or about a pound of carrots. Scrub the carrots well or peel them before chopping.
  • Shallots: A cousin of onions, shallots have milder, sweeter flavor, which qualifies them as the perfect sidekick. If you can’t find shallots, a small yellow onion will do the job. too.
  • Olive Oil: You’ll need just a splash for the pan when you sauté the carrots and onions.
  • Salt & Pepper: We almost always recommend kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper for the best flavor. It’s also what we test our recipes with, so for accurate taste, it’s best to use this combo. If you use a finer ground pepper, more will fit in the measuring spoon, yielding a spicier end result.
  • Garlic: The recipe calls for four cloves of fresh garlic. It’s easy to decrease (or increase!) the garlic if you like.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Dried pepper flakes add a spicy little tingle to the sauce. It’s pretty subtle but adds an element of excitement.
  • Vegetable Broth: To keep the sauce vegetarian, I like to use vegetable broth. Chicken broth is fine, too. Look for low sodium or unsalted broth.
  • White Wine Vinegar: Since this is a no tomato sauce, it’s very low in acidity. The vinegar helps balance the sauce.
  • Heavy Cream: I think you’ll be surprised that only a quarter cup of cream is added. The sauce looks and feels very creamy.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Use a good quality cheese to top the pasta. It can be shredded, grated, or shaved. Curls of shaved Parmesan on top of the pasta make a nice presentation.
  • Chopped Chives: This grass-like herb adds a subtle garlicky onion flavor. The spiky lavender colored flowers are flavorful too. If chives aren’t available, substitute another fresh herb such as Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, oregano, or sage.
  • Pasta: Choose any type of pasta you like. You’ll need 12 ounces of dry pasta.
Ingredients needed, in separate bowls, including carrots and chives.

How to Make Carrot Pasta Sauce

You’ll need a good half hour to prepare this dish. Get started by prepping the carrots, shallots, and garlic. Put a pot of salted water on the stove for the pasta, too.

In a large skillet that has a cover, heat a splash of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots and shallots, season with salt and a couple grinds of black pepper, and cook for five minutes or so, until they begin to get tender and brown a bit.

Carrots and shallots in a saute pan.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook for one more minute, stirring constantly. The garlic will smell really fragrant and delicious. Don’t let it burn!

Sautéed carrots and shallots.

Add the broth and bring the pan to a boil. Cover, and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer the carrots until they’re very tender, about 20 minutes. The cooking time depends on how finely the carrots are diced.

Carrots and broth in pan.

Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to your blender or food processor.

Carrots in a food processor, partially blended.

Process until the sauce is quite smooth.

Add the cream and purée until very smooth. Taste the sauce, and season with salt, if needed.

Pureed carrots with cream added.

When the pasta is finished cooking (al dente), reserve a half cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the carrot sauce until the pasta is completely coated.

Pasta not yet mixed with sauce.

Thin the sauce with the reserved pasta water, if necessary.

Divide the lovely orange pasta between serving plates. Garnish each serving with Parmesan cheese, chopped chives (flowers, too, if you want!), and additional red pepper flakes.

Pasta on a fork.

Garnish Ideas

  • Pesto: Instead of Parmesan cheese and chives, garnish the pasta with a spoonful of basil pesto. So tasty and colorful!
  • Toasted bread crumbs: Did you know you can easily make your own bread crumbs? Toasted pine nuts are a great topping, too.
  • Chopped fresh herbs: If fresh chives aren’t available, garnish the pasta with another fresh herb, such as Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, oregano, or sage.

Storage & Reheating Tips

Refrigerate/Freeze: Leftover pasta with sauce can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to three days. Cream sauces can be frozen successfully although I haven’t tried it with this carrot pasta sauce yet. Thaw frozen sauce overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheat: Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave until warmed through. Do not overheat. To reheat sauce that has been frozen: The sauce may appear to be separated (watery). Stir it well as you slowly reheat it in a saucepan or skillet. It should come back together. Add cooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat.

More Pasta Sauces

More Carrot Recipes

Looking for more ways to incorporate healthy and delicious carrots into your diet? Try:


Carrot Pasta Sauce Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Brilliantly hued carrot pasta sauce is delightfully different and surprisingly delicious. Add it to your favorite pasta and you'll see!
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  • 12 oz. pasta, uncooked (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups diced carrots (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup diced shallots (2 shallots)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more for garnish
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped chives, more for garnish


  • In large skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Add carrots and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add garlic and red pepper flakes; stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
  • Add broth and vinegar, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are very tender.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water; drain pasta.
  • When carrots are tender, carefully transfer carrot mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Add cream and blend until smooth.
  • Return sauce to pan. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat. Thin with reserved pasta water, if needed.
  • Serve topped with Parmesan cheese, additional chives, and red pepper flakes, if desired.


  • Carrot sauce can be served with any type of pasta, including whole wheat, gluten-free or regular.
  • More Topping Ideas: Instead of Parmesan and chives, top the pasta with a spoonful of pesto or toasted bread crumbs.
  • Recipe revised and updated 7/28/2022.


Calories: 244kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 823mg, Potassium: 393mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 11161IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Beverley Press says:

    beautifully photographed and wow what a delicious recipe xoxo

  2. Medha says:

    This carrot pesto looks amazing! I love the bright colors and the creamy texture. Pinning to make :)

  3. denise says:

    while it sounds good, hmm… it’s a puree, not a pesto. I understand the allergens, but once the pine nuts and basil are taken away, it ceases to be pesto… it’s organically wrong and ignores the etymology and provenance of the Italian sauce…

    1. FrannieT says:

      “Strictly speaking, pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding; that is why the word is used for several pestos in Italy.” Wikipedia

  4. Karen @ The Food Charlatan says:

    Heather’s book is so amazing right!! Before I even made anything in it a friend of mine was over, and her husband was just diagnosed with a milk allergy and they are having a sad time with it. She borrowed the book, made a recipe, and then bought one for herself because it’s so good! I love the looks of this carrot pesto and your photos are beautiful Rachel!

  5. Heather Christo says:

    Oh my goodness! thank you so much Rachel! What a gorgeous picture- thank you for sharing the recipe and my book! I truly hope that this book lends you some help for your family :)