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caramelized shallot pasta in a serving bowl next to ingredients on a counter

Balsamic Caramelized Shallot Pasta

This vegetarian pasta recipe is loaded with flavor from balsamic vinegar and brown sugar-caramelized shallots.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 443kcal


  • 8 ounces penne pasta about 2 cups dry
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil can sub butter
  • 1 pound shallots about 9 to 10 shallots; peeled and sliced into rings
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese more to taste
  • Balsamic reduction for serving, optional


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to the skillet, stir, and cook for 5 more minutes until most of the moisture has evaporated and the shallots have cooked down (they should be almost sticky).
  • Transfer the drained pasta to the skillet and pour in a little bit of pasta water. Stir in the parsley and parmesan cheese. Add more pasta water as desired to ensure that the noodles are evenly coated with cheese, herbs, and shallots. Top with more cheese and drizzle with balsamic reduction if desired before serving.


  • To increase the protein content, use lentil or chickpea pasta or add white beans or chicken.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about a minute until warmed through.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 534IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 3mg