This creamy carrot pasta sauce has a deliciously rich texture but it’s completely plant-based! It’s a great way to sneak some extra veggies into a pasta dish.

carrot pasta sauce

I love pasta and I’m always thinking of different ways to add some extra vegetables to my plate. So I started thinking about a carrot-based pasta sauce — and after a few attempts I’m excited to report that this is so good. It has a rich, velvety texture and a savory flavor, but it’s completely plant-based thanks to the cashews.

There is a slight sweetness to the sauce from the carrots, so I like to add crushed red pepper flakes at the end to give it a little kick. But those are optional, so if you don’t like spicy things or want to serve this to little ones, you can skip the red pepper flakes.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Olive Oil– A little oil helps soften the onion and carrots. You can substitute with avocado oil, canola oil, or butter.
  • Yellow Onion– This helps balance out the savory flavor of the sauce. You can substitute with a white onion or shallots.
  • Carrots– I used 4 large carrots, which is about 10oz of carrots, chopped. You can substitute for baby carrots if necessary.
  • Vegetable Broth– I recommend using a flavorful broth like Better Than Boullion or Edward & Son’s “Not Chicken” style broth.
  • Garlic– A little fresh garlic enhances overall flavor. You can use one teaspoon of garlic powder as a substitute.
  • Cashews– Blended cashews create creaminess and a nutty flavor. Cashews are unique, and there isn’t a great nut substitute. You could use unsweetened canned coconut milk to add creaminess if you don’t want to use cashews.

How to Make Carrot Pasta Sauce

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

To store leftover sauce, let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate it in an airtight container for 3-4 days. When reheating, use either the stovetop or microwave method, adjusting the consistency with water or broth if needed. The sauce tends to thicken when cool.

Other Ways to Use Carrot Sauce

I used this on penne pasta, but you can also serve it over ravioli or gnocchi. You could use this in baked pasta or even use this as a sauce for roasted vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. It has a savory, slightly sweet flavor that works in a variety of dishes.

carrot pasta sauce

More Sauce Recipes

If you’re looking for other tasty sauce recipes, try my meatless spaghetti sauce which is hearty and delicious but completely vegan. For a high-protein option, try my cottage cheese pasta sauce. And if you want to add some greens to your life, try this creamy green sauce recipe.

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Carrot Pasta Sauc

Carrot Pasta Sauce

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups sauce 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This creamy carrot pasta sauce has a deliciously rich texture but it’s completely plant-based! It’s a great way to sneak some extra veggies into a pasta dish.


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked
  • 8oz pasta (I used whole wheat pasta)


  1. Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with very hot water. Allow the cashews to soak while cooking the vegetables.
  2. Add the olive oil, onion, and carrots to a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Add the garlic and continue to cook for one minute.
  5. Add the vegetable broth, cover, and continue to cook over medium heat for 15-18 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft.
  6. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  7. Drain the cashews, then add them to a blender with ¼ cup of pasta water. Blend until mostly smooth. (It’s ok if it’s not completely smooth.)
  8. Carefully transfer the cooked vegetables and any remaining broth to the blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add additional pasta water, if necessary.
  9. Transfer the sauce and pasta back to the pot and heat over low heat until warm.
  10. Season with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Keywords: carrot pasta sauce