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Vegan Caramelized Onion Pasta

Vegan Caramelized Onion Pasta | Well and Full | #vegan #pasta #recipe

I’m really excited to share this vegan caramelized onion pasta recipe with you all today, because it was one of my more popular posts on instagram. The idea to make a simple pasta dish was inspired by the fact that I’ve been incorporating more carbs into my diet, thanks to directions from my GI doctor. While I’ve seriously been missing raw vegetables and salads, it’s been a nice change to just eat a big bowl of pasta guilt-free. Which kind of makes me wonder… why should anyone feel “guilty” about eating a bowl of pasta in the first place?

This is something that’s been a constant criticism about those in the wellness business. Some wellness personalities (some – not all) have kind of lent a certain morality to foods, implying that some are upstanding, good; and others are bad, dirty, or impure. (This isn’t counting the ethical reasons behind veganism). And to be fair, there is some truth to that – a bag of preservative and artificial-coloring laden chips is definitely not the same thing as a bowl of freshly made rice and steamed vegetables. But should anyone feel guilty about eating those chips if that’s what they really want to eat? No!

I know I’ve certainly made myself feel bad for eating things like chips or junk food in the past. And it’s true – those things are not the most nutritiously meritorious foods ever. They’re just not. But should I GUILT myself for indulging in junk food, if it’s just something my body is really calling me to eat? No. Food shouldn’t be a gauge of my – or anyone else’s – worth as a person. I’m not a bad person if I have a bag of chips. I’m not a worse person than someone who eats “clean” all the time. And on the same token, that person who eats “clean” isn’t a worse person because they eat that way. Food choices are personal, because we’re all different. So how can we compare each other based on what we eat? It just doesn’t make any sense to do so. Let people make their own choices.

So here’s a delicious pasta recipe, that you should enjoy GUILT-FREE. It’s super simple – with only a handful of ingredients, but the depth of flavor is incredible, thanks to the caramelized onions. Before making, I would highly recommend reading this guide by The Kitchn about how to caramelize onions – it’s a fantastic resource. I hope you all enjoy this pasta! :)

Caramelized Onion Pasta | Well and Full | #vegan #pasta #recipeVegan Caramelized Onion Pasta | Well and Full | #vegan #pasta #recipe

Caramelized Onion Pasta | Well and Full | #vegan #pasta #recipe
5 from 6 votes
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Caramelized Onion Pasta

This caramelized onion pasta has only a handful of ingredients, but has an intense depth of flavor from the sweet and savory caramelized onions, and a pop of freshness from the lemon.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 -3

Ingredients

  • 12 oz . Casarecce Pasta or other pasta, like ziti or penne
  • 3 Medium Vidalia Onions
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sauté
  • Juice from 1-2 Lemons to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Start by prepping the onions - cut the onions in half, then cut the halves into thin, C-shaped slices. 

  2. Bring a little bit of olive oil in a sauté pan to medium-low heat, and add the onions. Now comes the waiting - let the onions cook down for about an hour, stirring every 5-10 minutes or so. Be careful to not let the pan get too hot - the onions will burn. Just keep the pan on medium low heat, and let them cook down slowly. It's time consuming, but well worth the wait. For a more comprehensive guide on caramelizing the onion, please see this article from The Kitchn. 
  3. While onions are cooking down, cook the pasta according to package directions. I used casarecce but you can use any sort of tubular pasta, like ziti or penne. Rotini or fusilli would probably work too. When pasta is done cooking, drain and set aside in the pot you used to cook it in. 

  4. When onions are done cooking, they should be a gorgeous brown color and will smell amazing. Scrape the onions into the pot full of pasta, and mix well. Add in juice from the lemons (taste and adjust if needed), and salt and pepper to taste. 

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Vegan Caramelized Onion Pasta | Well and Full | #vegan #pasta #recipe

P.S.

If you make this recipe and post it on Instagram, be sure to tag me @wellandfull and #wellandfull so I can see! I love seeing your takes on my recipes :)

40 Comments

  • Reply
    Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands
    June 14, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Nothing guilty about ANY pasta, and especially a bowl like this!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 14, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      :D My thoughts exactly! ;)

  • Reply
    Puja Darshan
    June 15, 2016 at 7:16 am

    It’s so tempting, My stomach is growling at these pictures.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 15, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Thanks Puja! :D

  • Reply
    Jess | Urban Alchemy
    June 15, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Thannnnnkkk yooooou! I read the linked article and definitely think there’s a better way to voice our opinions than judge or bash other people for theirs. You’re totally right, we should NOT judge people based on their food choices — that’s bananas and unfortunately happens way too often.

    PS. Pasta looks delicious so thank you for that, too. <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 15, 2016 at 9:16 am

      I couldn’t agree more, Jess :) Thanks girl!

  • Reply
    Diana
    June 15, 2016 at 8:38 am

    This pasta will definitely happen in my kitchen this week. I love caramelized onion….Btw: beautiful photos! Kisses

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 15, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Thank you Diana!! I hope you like it! :D

  • Reply
    Pia
    June 15, 2016 at 10:50 am

    You go enjoy your pasta, Sarah!
    And thank you for that little ramble, I couldn’t agree more. Although I’m certainly not going to lie, and must thus admit that I myself would still feel the need to justify an unhealthier choice (such as for example white pasta, anything with refined flour, sugary foods, etc.) to myself. In saying that however, it’s all a matter of attitude, and since we as humans are very well capable of learning, I’m sure this, too, can be worked on and a slightly more relaxed mindset can be adopted.
    And once again, I have written far more than anyone probably cares for…
    My deepest apologies for that, and Happy midweek to you :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 15, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      You’re always welcome to write your thoughts here, Pia! I love hearing what my readers think :) But you’re right, it’s all a matter of attitude. You have to eat what’s right for YOU! :)

  • Reply
    Kelly // The Pretty Bee
    June 15, 2016 at 11:38 am

    This looks so yummy! And that bowl is very pretty, too.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks Kelly! :D

  • Reply
    Ice Pandora
    June 15, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    I’m gonna make this tomorrow for supper :D !!
    Xx Ice Pandora

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Awesome!! Please let me know how you like it! :D

  • Reply
    Natalie | Feasting on Fruit
    June 15, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    I’m all about the carbs! Pasta isn’t even usually my first choice carb, but I would devour this in an instant!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks Natalie!! :D

  • Reply
    danielle | rooting the sun
    June 16, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Sarah – beautiful pasta! Caramelized onions are one of the greatest joys in my life. I used to turn my nose up at onions when I was younger, and now I think I may eat them every day. — Perfect sentiments on ‘junk’ food, as well. Food choices are totally personal, and that’s a beautiful thing. No guilt included!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 16, 2016 at 9:27 am

      Aren’t caramelized onions the best? :) And I’m glad you liked my little rant on “junk” food and eating choices – I just felt I had to get it out there!! ;) Thanks Danielle!

  • Reply
    Gena
    June 17, 2016 at 6:21 am

    I really agree with your thoughts on food and guilt, Sarah, and to that I’d add the note that while there’s certainly a difference, nutritionally speaking, between potato chips and rice and veggies, a great many of the health claims made in the wellness world are actually misleading or overstated. Which means that the guilt is unfounded, and the health/nutrition concerns are unfounded, too. Glad the carbs are helping to regulate digestion, as they do.

    And thank you for this beautiful bowl of pasta! Caramelized onions are magical.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 17, 2016 at 9:29 am

      Great point, Gena! That’s kind of the danger of being a consumer in the wellness world nowadays… it’s kind of scary to see all the misinformation that is out there. :/

  • Reply
    Ashlae
    June 17, 2016 at 9:45 am

    YAY FOR MORE CARBS and hell no to feeling guilty about eating a bowl of pasta. My normal go-to is a 2-3 serving bowl smothered in olive oil and roasted garlic but I’m going to HAVE to give this caramelized onion version a try. Really digging this recipe, lady!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

      I LOVE simple pasta with olive oil and garlic. It’s such a winner! <3 Thanks Ashlae, sending hugs!

  • Reply
    Starr
    June 17, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    This dish looks wonderful. Nothing beats caramelized onions!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 18, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Caramelized onions are the best!! Thanks Starr :)

  • Reply
    Anna
    June 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Oh yum! I love onions! Is I could, I would add it to almost everything! :) and this looks and sounds just pure awesome!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 21, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Thanks Anna!! :D

  • Reply
    Traci | Vanilla And Bean
    June 21, 2016 at 8:52 am

    It seems more damage can be done stressing out about food, what’s healthy, what’s not… and not being able to enjoy the carbs or sweet stuff as we, as health conscience individuals, want to AND recognize is right for us. I’ve seen it so many times, friends and family following ‘rules’ of dieting only to fail in the long run over and over again at maintaining a healthy weight. The struggle for many is overwhelming. I’ve been thinking about a Summer pasta salad because it’s something I love too! Nothing like a pile of pasta.. and with caramelized onions? Dreamy! I love this simple, delicious recipe, Sarah! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this mouthwatering recipe! xo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 21, 2016 at 9:13 am

      That’s such a good point, Traci – diets and rules are so much more likely to fail if you just give up everything you truly like to eat! That’s why I just say everything in balance, you know? :) Thanks girl! <3

  • Reply
    Evi @ greenevi
    June 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    What a perfect pasta dish!!! <3
    So simple and so delicious! You won't believe it, but the last weeks I ate 3 or 4 times pasta with caramelized onions, it's really amazing. And I still can't get enough of it, though my onions never looked as pretty as yours :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 21, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      I believe you haha!! Caramelized onions are such a great addition to pasta ;) Thanks Evi!!

  • Reply
    robin walden
    October 13, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    delicious !! thank you . flavours were delicious. you can’t really have too many onions can you ?:)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      I’m so glad you liked the recipe, Robin!! I know I can never have too many onions, they’re so flavorful!! :)

  • Reply
    Adriana
    January 30, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    This looks delicious! I couldn’t find actual Vidalia onions, would a similar sweet onion work?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      January 31, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Yes, definitely! I think yellow onions would work here as well :)

  • Reply
    Christine
    October 5, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Not sure if you meant to do this, but the onions are carmelized by themselves in your recipe? Just throw em in and let the onions break down over heat? I only ask because the linked article uses butter and I was wondering if it was a conscious decision to not have anything in there with the onions. Making this tonight!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 5, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      Hi there! The ingredient list includes Extra Virgin Olive Oil to be used for the sautéing of the onions, but I wasn’t super clear about that in the recipe instructions. I’ve added it in now to be more precise :)

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    October 7, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Just made this for dinner and it was so, so good! Thank you for sharing. This will be on regular rotation :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 8, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Hi Kelsey, I’m so glad to hear you liked the recipe!! Thanks so much for leaving a note :)

  • Reply
    Julie Newman
    October 9, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Made this last night and added balsamic to the caramelizing onions because that’s how we roll! I used whole wheat penne and the nuttiness of the pasta balanced the deep delicious sweetness of the onions. We also sprinkled some red pepper flakes because it needed just a touch of something else – the nice little pop of heat at the end rounded it all out. My husband isn’t a huge fan of onions but I’d make this again for friends. Now I have lunch for the rest of the week! :D

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 9, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Julie, I’m so glad to hear you liked the recipe!! Balsamic sounds so good in this, I’ll have to try that out myself. And it makes me so glad to hear other people are adding chili flakes, I put them on everything!! ;) Thanks so much for leaving a note :)

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