This carrot pasta is easy peasy, takes just 15 minutes to prepare, and will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. The shredded carrot cuts down on cooking time, and the crushed peanuts give the dish a great crunchy texture.
What is Carrot Pasta?
This is a simple pasta dish prepared with shredded carrots and some pantry staples. You can make it with any type of dried pasta you have on hand. And turn this into a vegan recipe by substituting veggie bouillon for chicken bouillon powder.
Here are some useful notes on the ingredients you need to make carrot pasta.
You can pick any pasta of your choice. Gluten-free varieties will also work fine. I like to use spaghetti as it complements the long shreds of carrots. But really, any pasta is good.
Cook the pasta as per the package instructions. If your cooked pasta is going to sit out for some time before you add it to the rest of the ingredients, drizzle and mix a little olive oil (or any cooking oil you prefer) after you drain the water. This will prevent the pasta from clumping together.
You can use store-bought shredded carrots. Or just quickly shred fresh carrots at home using a food processor.
I’ve shared a couple of other ways of shredding carrots in the FAQs section down below.
Use finely chopped garlic.
Garlic paste or minced or grated garlic will also work.
However, if you use any of these variations, make sure to keep the heat low as you begin to cook. The liquid in the grated garlic or paste reacts with the heated oil, causing a lot of splattering and popping.
On a side note, if you frequently use fresh garlic, you may find this post very useful. I tested several different ways of peeling garlic to find the easiest method.
This is for sauteing garlic and carrots. You can substitute it with any other cooking oil you prefer.
Flavorings for the Sauce
- Ginger - fresh is always better. Grated ginger works best because it almost dissolves in the sauce, giving a consistent flavor. But finely chopped ginger will work too. If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, you can use ground ginger (ginger powder), but reduce the quantity to half, as it's more potent than fresh ginger;
- Soy Sauce - or use tamari instead as a gluten-free option;
- Sugar - use brown or white sugar;
- Sesame oil - don’t skip this; it packs a lot of flavor;
- Sriracha - increase or decrease the quantity depending on your heat preference. The taste and spiciness may vary depending on the brand you use;
- Chicken bouillon - use chicken bouillon powder or cubes. A single 4 to 5 gram chicken cube is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder. However, check the box of your bouillon cube to be sure. Use no more than the amount needed to produce 1 cup of stock or broth to replace 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder. If you are not careful with the quantity, your food may become too salty. You can also substitute it with vegetable bouillon to make this dish vegan or vegetarian;
- Vinegar - Regular/distilled white vinegar works just fine. Or use an equal quantity of lime or lemon juice, if you prefer;
- Black pepper - freshly cracked;
- Water - so the sauce becomes a little runny and coats all the pasta uniformly.
Crush some roasted and salted peanuts using a pestle and mortar. Or put some peanuts in a ziploc bag and crush them using the flat side of a small saucepan. You don’t want to skip peanuts (unless there are allergies or health reasons). Their taste and texture elevate this dish so well.
Crushed, roasted cashews are a good substitute.
These are for garnish. Feel free to skip it if you don’t have some on hand.
Instructions (Step-by-Step Photos)
Follow these simple, photo-assisted instructions to prepare this carrot pasta. Don't forget to check out the recipe card down below for the printable version of this recipe with detailed instructions and all the important tips and notes.
Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir and set aside.
Boil pasta as per the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
In a pan, heat some olive oil over medium-low heat.
Add minced or grated garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
Add shredded carrots to the pan.
Saute the carrots for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then add the cooked pasta to the pan.
Add the sauce (mix the sauce well before adding).
Give everything a good mix (but be gentle).
Dish out, sprinkle sesame seeds and crushed peanuts, and enjoy.
Here are some ingredient substitutions you can use.
- Soy Sauce - tamari (Japanese version of soy sauce) is a good gluten-free option.
- Chicken Bouillon - use veggie bouillon to make this dish vegan-friendly.
- Vinegar - use an equal quantity of lime or lemon juice if you like.
- Roasted Peanuts - use roasted cashew nuts instead.
- Spice-Level: Reduce the amount of Sriracha by half if you want the spice level of this dish to be very low or if you are unsure that the specified amount of Sriracha is adequate for your liking. Then, taste the cooked dish and add extra sriracha if needed.
- Vegan Pasta: Replace the chicken bouillon with vegetable bouillon (powder or cube) to make vegan carrot pasta.
- More Veggies: Along with the shredded carrots, you can add more veggies such as bell peppers or snow peas. Depending on the quantity of veggies used, you may need to increase the amount of sauce, otherwise, all of the flavors will be muted.
Prepping Ahead and Storage
The pasta tastes best when it's fresh, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. I wouldn't recommend freezing it. You can, however, do some of the prep ahead of time.
The sauce can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. However, give it a thorough stir before using.
Also, if you are not using pre-shredded store-bought carrots, you can shred the carrots up to 2 days in advance and keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Tips for Recipe Success
- If you’re boiling pasta a bit in advance, coat the drained noodles with a little cooking oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- Use fresh ginger and garlic for the best results.
- Don’t skip the peanuts (or cashews). The crunch and flavor from the nuts bring this dish together.
- For a nutritious and delicious meal, try to keep the weight ratio of vegetables to pasta at 1 to 1.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You can shred carrots in one of four ways. However, before you begin, always peel the carrots.
1) Food processor - the fastest way to get the job done. Use the grater or shredder plate/attachment that comes with most food processors.
2) Box grater - the classic solution. But it might not be the best option for this recipe as the shreds could come out very small and mushy. Use the side with the largest holes to shred.
3) Mandoline - a better option than the box grater. Shred the carrots using the grating surface. But be careful not to cut your hands. Use the protective guard if your mandoline came with one.
4) Julienne Peeler - this looks like a regular peeler, but it has a different blade and creates beautiful long shreds of carrots. It is a more time-consuming option compared to the mandoline or food processor, but will work just fine.
Any type of dry pasta will work. Choose what you like most.
This carrot pasta can be served as a side dish or as a main course. It also goes great with grilled chicken.
If you want more crunch, add some extra crushed peanuts. As a garnish, you can also add some chopped cilantro or coriander.
Check out these posts — they might be of interest to you!
- 2 large carrots, shredded (or 3 heaping cups of shredded carrots) - around 300 grams or 10 ounces
- 8 ounces (227 g) pasta - any pasta of your choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - or any cooking oil you prefer
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated - around 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons roasted and salted peanuts, crushed - see Note 1 below
- some sesame seeds for garnish - optional
For the Sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce - see Note 2 below
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil - roasted sesame oil will also work
- 1 teaspoon sriracha - adjust the quantity to taste
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar - see Note 3 below
- 1 teaspoon black pepper - freshly cracked
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder - see Note 4 below
- ½ teaspoon sugar - brown or white
- ¼ cup (59 ml) water
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, ginger, vinegar, black pepper, chicken bouillon, sugar, and water). Stir well and set aside.
- Boil the pasta as per the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a wide pan, wok, or skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Then add the shredded carrots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the boiled and drained pasta to the pan.
- Mix the sauce again and add it to the pan. Give everything a good but gentle mix.
- Turn off the heat. Dish out the pasta, sprinkle sesame seeds and crushed peanuts, and enjoy.
- Note 1: Peanuts - crush the peanuts using a pestle and mortar. Or put some peanuts in a ziploc bag and crush them using the flat side of a small saucepan. Don't crush them too small. Crushed, roasted cashews can be used as a substitute.
- Note 2: Soy Sauce - use tamari instead as a gluten-free option.
- Note 3: Vinegar - an equal quantity of lime or lemon juice can be used as a substitute.
- Note 4: Chicken Bouillon - you can also use chicken bouillon cubes. Or substitute with vegetable bouillon to make this dish vegan or vegetarian. A single 4 to 5 gram cube is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder. However, check the box of your bouillon cube to be sure. Use no more than the amount needed to produce 1 cup of stock or broth to replace 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder. If you are not careful with the quantity, your food may become too salty.
The nutritional information provided here is calculated using a third-party nutrition calculator. These values are estimates, and we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed numbers. Please see our disclaimer page.