Carrot Pasta

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This speedy carrot pasta will surprise you with its combination of garlic flavor, parmesan, bright lemon juice, and crispy breadcrumbs. It’s fresh, flavorful, and ready in 15 minutes.

It is a great way to turn inexpensive, healthy carrots into a filling family meal.

Top view of a turquoise plate full of carrot pasta with lemon and breadcrumbs.

Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite budget-friendly recipes from when I was a student. I still love it—and my family loves it too. And I know pasta with carrots might sound like an unlikely combination, but it’s amazingly delicious!

The recipe starts with shredded carrots sautéed until tender and garlicky. The pasta is then tossed in the same skillet with carrots, parsley, grated parmesan cheese, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and the breadcrumbs.

And boom, dinner is ready. Easy, fast, and delicious!

You’ll be surprised at how the garlic, Parmesan cheese, and aromatic parsley perfectly balance the carrots’ sweetness. You’ll love the zesty lemon juice that brings everything together, and the toasted breadcrumbs add crispness and nutty flavor.

Grab some pasta from your cupboard and those forgotten carrots hiding in your fridge drawer, and let’s cook this fantastic and easy pasta with carrots that the whole family will love.

List of the ingredients

  • Pasta
  • Carrots
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper
Top view of the ingredients to make this carrot pasta.

How to make pasta with carrots

(Note: this is a quick description; the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • While you bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook your pasta, let’s start peeling and shredding your carrots. I like them a bit chunky, not too thin, as I love it when they retain some bite.
Top view of a dark bowl full of shredded carrots.
  • Then, toast the breadcrumbs in a skillet until golden. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in the same skillet, stir in the garlic, and cook until fragrant.
Two images showing a cast iron skillet with breadcrumbs and with oil and garlic.
  • Add the carrots and cook until soft but still bright—you don’t want them too pale and mushy—season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with parsley, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, toasted breadcrumbs, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Toss to combine, season to taste, and serve with extra virgin olive oil to enhance the fresh flavors!
Two images showing a cast iron skillet full of shredded carrots and pasta with grated parmesan.

Recipe Notes

A quick look at the ingredients

Pasta: I used linguine for this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite shapes, such as fettuccine, spaghetti, penne, fusilli, and more. And if you would like to make it gluten-free, choose your favorite GF pasta.

Carrots: All you need is a box grater and fresh carrots. I suggest shredding your fresh carrots rather than using bagged, pre-grated carrots; they are usually dry and tasteless. Cook them until soft but bright and slightly crisp.

Extra virgin olive oil: For the best flavor, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Garlic & parsley: The combination of garlic and fresh parsley adds a lot of flavor, which is perfect for balancing out the sweetness of the carrots. As per the herbs, I don’t recommend substitutions, as fresh parsley works great.

Breadcrumbs: Toasted breadcrumbs (pangrattato in Italian, literally ‘grated bread’) are a popular and economical ingredient for many Southern Italian pasta dishes. They must be toasted in a skillet until golden and slightly nutty to add flavor and texture. If they’re not toasted, skip them.

Lemon juice: It pairs perfectly with the sweet carrots to brighten the final flavor.

Salt & pepper: For flavor.

Close-up of a turquoise plate full of carrot pasta with a lemon wedge on the side.

What to serve with this carrot pasta

This pasta is fresh and relatively light, but if you want to add protein, why don’t you try a white bean salad or flavorful kidney bean salad on the side? And if you’re feeling indulgent, pair it with some black pepper focaccia or pesto garlic bread.

Storage & leftovers

These carrot pasta leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. They may dry out, but adding lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil while reheating on the stovetop or microwave will restore texture and flavor.

Top view of round turquoise plate full of carrot pasta with a lemon wedge on the side.

Pasta recipes you’ll love!

You’ll have many options, including super Quick Pastasvegan pasta recipes, and classic Italian pasta. Additionally, you can explore one-pot recipes and penne pasta ideas! Here are a few of my favorites:

Lastly, I hope you’ll love this carrot pasta as much as we do. And if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. I would love to hear from you!

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Carrot Pasta

This speedy carrot pasta will surprise you with its combination of garlic flavor, parmesan, bright lemon juice, and crisp breadcrumbs. It's fresh, flavorful, and ready in 15 minutes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Carrot pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 338kcal
Author: Katia

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 8oz (220 grams) Pasta (spaghetti, linguine, penne…)

Breadcrumbs

  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Carrots

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 12 oz (350 grams) carrots, peeled and shredded
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt, and cook the spaghetti until al dente (follow the package instructions). Reserve ½ cups of hot pasta water before draining the pasta.
  • Toast the breadcrumbs: Heat ½ scant tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumb, and cook, stirring often, until golden—about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a small bowl, and set aside.
  • Cook the carrots: Place the skillet back on the stove, add 1 tbsp olive oil and garlic, and cook gently over medium heat for about 1 minute until fragrant (be careful not to burn it). Add the carrots and salt, and cook, stirring now and then, until soft but still a bit crisp. Turn the heat off.
  • Assemble: Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, and add it to the skillet. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice, and toss until well combined, adding a touch of the reserved cooking water if the pasta needs extra moisture. Finish with parmesan, breadcrumbs, and some freshly ground black pepper. Season to taste (you might prefer more salt, pepper, or lemon juice).
  • Serve: Divide the mixture into plates and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil for its fruity flavor. Garnish with more parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition facts: The nutrition values for one serving are based on an online nutrition calculator. They are estimates only and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies.

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 14967IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 2mg

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