close-up of plate with spaghetti with carrot pesto sauce and almonds on top

Carrot Pesto -Easy Vegan Pasta Sauce with Almonds – Healthy

A non-traditional pesto recipe approved by Italians, this Carrot Pesto is a crazy easy and healthy pasta sauce you won’t regret trying.

Jokes aside, Italians are very traditional when it comes to food so they are a bit reluctant to call something pesto (other than the Genovese original recipe).

Call it pasta sauce or carrot pesto, I’ve tried here in Italy many times and I am always impressed at how simple and unexpected this vegan pasta dish tastes.

The Ingredients

carrots, almonds, basil leaves and spaghetti
  • Carrots: young or older, it doesn’t matter. Any variety.
  • Spaghetti: I use corn and rice flour spaghetti but any long pasta will do.
  • Almonds: with or without the peel. Pine nuts will have a similar result. (If you want to know further about toasting them, check the Yummy post about it)
  • Basil: needs to be fresh.
  • Salt & Pepper: to taste, and better if freshly grinded.
  • Water: save the water you boiled the carrots in, the hotter the better.
  • Olive Oil
  • Cumin: powder, we’ll use it to season the almonds that go sprinkled over the pasta. Optional but recommended. You can use the black pepper or paprika instead.

How to Make Carrot Pesto

Do yourself a favor and try this super easy vegan recipe for dinner.

It is not only delicious but really healthy, easy and budget-friendly too.

close-up of a fork with spaghetti and carrot pesto, plate on the background

So simple and yet unique. Reminds me of my Fennel Pasta Sauce, flavorful yet really delicate.

And if you want an equally easy and unique side to go with it, try my 2-Ingredients Carrot Bread Balls.

Guilty-free carrot combo dinner!

With gratitude,


Carrot Pesto Pasta Sauce

Recipe by Carol MarsolaCourse: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A non-traditional easy pesto recipe approved by Italians, this Carrot Pesto is a crazy easy and healthy pasta sauce you won’t regret trying.


  • Pasta, long variety, 10 oz

  • Carrots, raw, 10 oz

  • Basil leaves, fresh, 5 big

  • Almonds, whole, 0,7 oz (about 30 units), 4 per plate and the rest in the pesto

  • Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons

  • Salt to taste

  • Black pepper, freshly grinded, to taste

  • Cumin, powder, 1 teaspoon or more to taste

  • Water, still hot from boiling the carrots, about 2 tablespoons, if necessary


  • Clean and dry well the basil leaves. Peel the carrots and chop them.
  • Place all almonds over medium to high heat. Toast each side for about 3 minutes, to release the flavour.
  • Let them cool and place 4 almonds per plate inside a clean plastic bag, add a good pinch of salt and the cumin. Close the bag and crush the almonds. Taste and add more spices if you like.
  • In a mixer add the raw carrots, all basil leaves and the almonds. Mix until completely crushed.
  • Add the oil, salt and pepper and mix until smooth. Go really easy on the salt as not to clash with the sweetness of the carrot, we just want to enhance it.
  • Check the flavour and consistency. If you need add a couple of spoons of the carrot water, as hot as possible, one at a time.
  • Cook the pasta as per instruction. Place it in a frying-pan and add the carrot pesto.
  • Place the pan over low heat and stir for about 1 minute.
  • Serve with the spiced almonds sprinkle and garnish with some small basil leaves.


  • Go really easy on the salt you add to the pesto. If you want add more than usual to the water when you cook the pasta and to the crushed almonds.
  • Check The Ingredients section of this post for possible substitutions.

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