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This Beet Pasta is made rich and vibrant with al dente pasta, toasted buttery walnuts, and a homemade beetroot pasta sauce that is as delicious as it is beautiful. Vegan, Gluten-Free option.
Take pasta night to the next level with this Homemade Beet Pasta Sauce! It’s an easy recipe featuring a from-scratch beetroot pasta sauce that’s tossed with al dente pasta until bright pink and saucy. Finish with extra toasted walnuts and your favorite pasta toppings of choice and dig in!
Table of Contents
All About this Vibrant Beet Pasta Sauce
My Easy One-Pot Pasta has saved me when I’ve needed to get dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes, but when I have a bit more cooking time on my hands, I love experimenting with homemade pasta sauces filled with sneaky veggies. I’ve made a Creamy Vegan Alfredo Sauce filled with sneaky zucchini, a Roasted Red Pepper Pasta loaded with Roasted Red Peppers, even a Charred Corn and Basil Pasta infused with tons of sweet summer corn.
But I realized I’ve been missing a homemade pasta sauce featuring one of my all-time favorite winter vegetables – hearty beets. They’re perfectly earthy, soft and creamy, and as nutritious as it gets. Most importantly, their gorgeously vibrant reddish-purple hue makes a stunningly pink pasta sauce. Trust me – kids and adults alike will go crazy for this pasta dish!
What You Need for Beet Pasta
In addition to your favorite pasta, you’ll need these 9 simple ingredients:
- Boiled beet: I used a medium sized beet, about 4 ounces, that had been peeled and quartered. To create this same, bright pink colored pasta, make sure to use red beets, not golden beets.
- Olive oil: Used to sauté the shallot and garlic, toast the walnuts, and helps to make the homemade beet sauce smooth and velvety. For the best flavor, use high-quality olive oil.
- Raw walnuts: The source of the butteriness and nutty flavor in the pink pasta sauce. If you love the combination in this Roasted Beet Salad with Fennel, you won’t be disappointed.
- Shallot + garlic cloves: Adds a subtle savoriness that won’t overpower the earthy beets and buttery walnuts.
- Herbs + spices: You’ll need a simple mix of ground cumin and thyme.
- Lemon juice: Adds necessary acidity to the pasta that helps to balance the richer flavors. If you love lemon, try adding in a small pinch of fresh lemon zest!
- Salt: In addition to salting the pasta water, you’ll want a generous pinch of salt for the creamy beet sauce. I like to use kosher salt, but sea salt will work, too.
How to Make Beet Pasta
- Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain. While the pasta cooks, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Toast the walnuts in fragrant and golden.
- Sauté the shallot until translucent. Add garlic, thyme, and cumin and sauté for an additional minute.
- Transfer the shallot mixture to the blender along with the remaining beet sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth.
- Add the drained pasta to the sauté pan, then add the blended beat sauce.
- Stir well and serve while warm with remaining toasted walnuts, plus additional toppings of choice. Enjoy!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Boil the beets while the pasta cooks. Small to medium-sized whole beets will typically cook through until fork tender within 45 minutes in a stovetop steamer basket (Large beets will take significantly longer). If you’d like to speed up this cooking process, cut the beets into smaller pieces before boiling. Quartered beets will take about half the amount of time to become tender.
- Keep the beet stems! Instead of composting these leafy greens, use them to make your own Homemade Vegetable Broth. I typically stick mine in a freezer bag and wait until I’ve collected enough scraps to make a rich and flavorful broth.
- Use a high speed blender. If you’ve blended another one of my recipes using nuts, you’ll know a quality blender is required to make a silky smooth sauce. Please avoid using basic blenders, immersion blenders, or blenders with the blades up the stem (as opposed to the bottom).
This pink pasta recipe is quick enough for busy weeknights, yet impressive enough for at-home date nights (Valentine’s day anyone?) and hosting dinner parties. I like to serve my pasta with remaining toasted walnuts, dairy-free feta cheese crumbles, microgreens, and arugula, but feel free to garnish with any toppings of choice. A dollop of ricotta cheese, shaved parmesan, nutritional yeast, quick pickled red onions, or fresh herbs like fresh basil or parsley would all be delicious!
How to Store Beet Pasta
Leftover creamy beet pasta will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. I would not recommend freezing this pasta recipe (cooked pasta in general typically doesn’t fare well in the freezer). However, the pasta sauce itself will freeze well and will keep for up to 1 month.
When prepared with gluten-free pasta, this recipe is gluten-free friendly. The beet pasta sauce itself is naturally gluten-free as is.
This is typically the same thing and in reference to the root portion of the beet plant. Beetroot or beets are the bulbous, dark red vegetable at the base of the beet stems.
Like potatoes, raw beets would be incredibly difficult to digest and don’t make the most appetizing option. Cooking beets makes them more palatable and is significantly better for nutrient absorption and digestion. If you’re new to cooking beets fresh, check out this helpful guide: How to Boil Beets. Or, to keep things easy, purchase pre-cooked beets!
With the addition of walnuts, this pasta sauce is quite creamy, but if you’d like to make it even more luscious, add full-fat coconut milk to taste (up to 1/4 cup). This will turn the red beets a much lighter pink color, but it will still be pretty and delicious!
Absolutely. Break out that home pasta machine or classic rolling pin and make 16-20 ounces of fresh pasta dough. Don’t forget to reserve a cup of cooking water when cooking!
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Beet Pasta with Walnuts
- 1 medium beet -4oz/110g peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 10 ounces pasta gluten-free if necessary
- 1/4 cup high-quality olive oil divided
- 1 cup raw walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice about 1/2 small lemon
- Topping suggestions: dairy-free feta, microgreens, arugula
- Cook the Pasta: Add 1 tablespoon of salt to a large pot; fill with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and quartered beet to the water and cook until the pasta is al dente, according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, remove and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta, but do not rinse; set aside.
- Toast the Walnuts: In the meantime, warm 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the walnuts; toast for 3 to 5 minutes, until fragrant and golden, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Quickly wipe any leftover walnut bits out of the pan and return to the stove.
- Aromatics: Warm another tablespoon of oil in the sauté pan. Add the shallot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, thyme, and cumin; sauté for 1 additional minute, until the garlic is fragrant but not yet brown. Remove from the heat.
- Blend the Sauce: Transfer the shallot mixture to a blender along with the boiled beet, half of the toasted walnuts, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the reserved pasta water. Blend on high for 45 to 60 seconds, until the sauce is completely smooth. Add additional pasta water as necessary to thin the sauce out.
- Combine: Add the drained pasta to the same sauté pan over medium heat, then add in the blended sauce. Stir well to combine and cook only until the pasta is warm.
- Serve: Transfer the pasta to serving dishes and top with the remaining walnuts, plus any additional toppings as desired. Serve warm; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.