I love this spicy miso pasta! It's full of creamy, Asian flavors and packed with healthy fennel and carrots. The sauce is a simple miso sauce mixed with tahini and garlic chili sauce. It's easy to make and so comforting and cozy.
If you can't tell by my popular vegan pad thai recipe, I love to "veganize" pasta and noodle recipes with a certain culinary pedigree!
You may have heard of Chrissy Teigen's spicy miso pasta recipe, which rose to internet fame. This recipe was inspired by her delicious recipe, but naturally, my recipe is vegan.
But, just because this miso pasta is vegan, doesn't mean it's any less creamy or decadent. In fact, you can get all the lush creaminess of the traditional carbonara sauce in Chrissy Teigen's recipe, without cream, eggs or cheese.
The fennel and carrots add a sweet, colorful touch to this dish, plus they are make it extra healthy.
Let's get started!
- Pasta: I used linguine, because it's a flat noodle that takes well to a creamy carbonara like sauce, but you could use spaghetti or any other kind of pasta you have on hand. In fact, ramen or udon noodles are a fantastic choice here as well.
- Tahini: Tahini, not to be confused with tahini sauce, is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. Not all tahini is created equal, and choosing a quality brand will make all the difference to this recipe (and any other recipe you use it in). Tahini is a key ingredient in hummus, which is how most people are acquainted with its deep, rich taste.
- Miso Paste: Miso paste features heavily in Japanese recipes. It's essentially a fermented paste made from soybeans and rice or barley. You can use white miso or red miso paste in this recipe. Both will work.
- Garlic Chili Sauce: I use the ubiquitous Sriracha sauce in my recipe, but equally you could use sambal oelek if you add a bit of fresh garlic to the miso sauce yourself.
- Soy Sauce: Chrissy Teigen uses pancetta in her spicy miso pasta recipe, but of course, we're going vegan here, so the salty umami flavor of bacon is replaced with soy sauce. You can also use tamari. Paired with a gluten free pasta, tamari will make this recipe gluten free.
- Maple Syrup: The sweetness of maple syrup balances out the earthiness of tahini and miso. This article covers why maple syrup is suitable for vegans, if you're interested.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Rice wine vinegar adds a little background "twang" that really levels up all the other flavors.
- Fennel: Fennel is one of those vegetables that one doesn't find in their shopping cart without a recipe that specifically calls for it, and that doesn't do justice to the unique flavor it possesses .
- Carrots: Earthy carrots are a delightful addition to any pasta recipe. They have a sweet earthy flavor and a nice, crunchy texture if they're cooked properly.
How To Make Spicy Miso Pasta
- Cook the pasta until it's al dente. I find that this usually takes 8-9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the water you boiled your pasta in just before you drain it. At this point the water will have had time to absorb the starch from the pasta that will thicken your sauce.
- While the pasta is cooking, cut the top off your fennel bulb, reserving the fronds for a garnish. Julienne your carrot, or alternatively, cut it into matchstick size pieces.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, and saute your fennel and carrot for 2-3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together all your sauce ingredients. Add the reserved ½ cup of water and stir until the sauce thickens.
- Add your pasta to the saute pan with the fennel and carrots and pour the sauce over the top, tossing to coat the pasta evenly in the sauce.
- Divide the pasta between four bowl and garnish with fennel fronds and (optional) sesame seeds or furikake.
- Tuck in and enjoy!
Spicy Miso Pasta Variations
This simple recipe is flexible, so feel free to get creative and add whatever's in your pantry. Here's a few suggestions:
- Switch the pasta! I love linguine pasta here, but you could also use spaghetti, or any other pasta you have on hand. For a Japanese twist, try using ramen, udon or soba noodles.
- Swap the veggies! Instead of using fennel and carrots you could use bok choy, corn, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini or shitake mushrooms. Get creative!
- Add some crunch: Garnish your spicy miso pasta with chopped walnuts or pine nuts instead of sesame seeds or furikake.
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Frequently Asked Questions About This Recipe
This is a dish best eaten fresh, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Yes, you can, but I recommend adding a few cloves of finely minced garlic as a substitute.
I used linguine because flat noodles hold creamy sauces well. But, you could use any kind of pasta. Noodles such as ramen, soba or donwork well too.
Other Quick Vegan Pasta and Noodle Recipes
Spicy Miso Pasta With Fennel and Carrots
For The Pasta With Fennel And Carrots
- 6 ounces pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb top cut off and sliced thinly
- 1 carrot julienned
For The Spicy Miso Sauce
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1½ tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- 1½ tablespoons garlic chili paste sauce Sriracha or sambal oelek
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- fennel fronds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds or furikake
- Cook the pasta until it's al dente (about 8-9 minutes.) Save ½ cup of the water just before draining the pasta.
- Cut the top off the fennel, reserving the fronds for a decorative garnish. Slice the bulb and stems into thin slices. Julienne the carrot with a julienne peeler, or cut into matchstick size pieces with a sharp knife.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Saute the fennel and carrots for a two minutes.
- Mix the spicy miso sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add the reserved ½ cup of pasta water to the sauce and mix until a smooth sauce forms.
- Add the pasta to the saute pan with the fennel and carrots and pour the sauce over the top, mixing until all the pasta is covered in the sauce.
- Garnish with optional sesame seeds, fennel fronds or furikake.
- I find that it usually takes 8-9 minutes for the perfect al dente pasta. Reserve ½ cup of the water you boiled your pasta in just before you drain it. At this point the water will have had time to absorb the starch from the pasta that will thicken your sauce.
- If you want to make this recipe gluten free , you will need to use a gluten free pasta, tamari instead of soy sauce and check to make sure that your miso paste contains no gluten.