Here’s a 20-minute creamy, scrumptious, and easy asparagus pasta. It’s the perfect dinner idea for the whole family, packed with taste and creaminess.

We blend some of the asparagus to make a creamy and tasty asparagus sauce that will coat every pasta piece to perfection.

Asparagus pasta with fork and lemon

Check out our Easy Pasta Recipes

You will fall in love with this asparagus pasta because it’s easy to make, yet it’s a restaurant-worthy dish.

The secret to this is making a quick sauce, kind of like an asparagus pesto, with some of the asparagus.

This recipe has no butter or heavy cream, just a bit of parmesan to bring out the asparagus flavor.

We then mix the pasta with the sauce and the rest of the asparagus; the combination of textures is extraordinary.

The blended asparagus enhance the flavor of this wonderful spring vegetable. They add a beautiful bright green color and a velvety texture.

And the best part, you can make this recipe in just about 20 minutes!

Asparagus pasta with peas and a fork

Ingredients

asparagus pasta ingredients

Asparagus

If in season, we recommend using fresh asparagus. As an alternative, you can use frozen asparagus.

Pasta

You can use any pasta of your choice. Here we are using farfalle, a short pasta.

We recommend pasta made with 100% semolina/durum wheat flour; imported from Italy is best.

To make the recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Olive oil

We use heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil for cooking the asparagus and making a flavor base with onion and garlic.

Garlic & Onion

Fresh garlic is best; we don’t recommend garlic powder here.

For the onion, you can use yellow or white onion.

Fresh herbs

We love using fresh basil with asparagus. Other fresh herbs that work well are mint, thyme, and parsley.

Lemon

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens up the sauce.

If you love lemon, add some grated lemon zest, and turn this recipe into a mouthwatering lemon asparagus pasta.

Parmesan or vegan cheese

Freshly grated parmesan cheese – we recommend Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano – is the perfect flavor match with the asparagus.

If you are vegan, you can use a non-dairy parmesan cheese alternative or replace the cheese with pine nuts plus a tablespoon of nutritional yeast.

Salt and pepper

Go for sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Asparagus pasta in a white bowl with lemon and basil

Instructions

1. Cook asparagus and pasta

First, cut off and discard the woody end (about 1 inch or 2.5 cm) of the asparagus, then cut them into discs, but leave the tips of the spears whole.

asparagus tips and small bits on a cutting board

In a large skillet, warm up the olive oil, add finely chopped onion, and fry it for 3 minutes on medium heat or until it starts to sweat.

Skillet with onion and wooden spoon

Add asparagus, finely chopped or grated garlic cloves, salt, and black pepper.

Asparagus bits and tips in a white skillet

Sauté for 1 minute, then add 1 cup of water and cook for 5 more minutes or until the water is gone, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary.

The asparagus should be bright green and fork-tender but not overcooked.

Tip: While the asparagus cooks, boil the pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted water.

roasted asparagus in a skillet

2. Make the sauce

Add half of the asparagus, basil leaves, grated parmesan, and lemon juice to a food processor.

sauteed asparagus and parmesan cheese in a food processor

Blend for 2 minutes or until you get a smooth and creamy sauce. Add some water if necessary to help the blender.

Taste and adjust for salt, lemon, and cheese.

blended asparagus sauce in food processor

Transfer the asparagus sauce to the skillet with the remaining asparagus.

asparagus tips and asparagus sauce in a skillet

3. Add the pasta

When the pasta is al dente, reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and add it to the pan.

bowtie pasta and asparagus in a skillet

Toss on medium heat for about a minute, adding 1 cup of reserved pasta water to make the dish creamy.

Serve with freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Optionally, you can add some grated lemon zest on top to make a delicious lemon asparagus pasta recipe.

pasta with asparagus

Variations

Pasta with peas and asparagus

Frozen peas are an excellent protein source and are delicious with asparagus.

So if you want to make your asparagus pasta even more nutritious and fulfilling, add about 1 cup of frozen peas.

You can add the frozen peas to the boiling water with the pasta, so they cook together.

Spinach is another great option; add them to the skillet with the asparagus.

Asparagus pasta with green peas

Serving suggestions

Serve as a main with a fresh salad on the side:

  • Chickpea salad (black olives, cherry tomatoes, corn, cucumber, parsley, mustard, etc.)
  • Tomato and cucumber salad (red onion, fresh basil, heirloom tomatoes, olive oil, etc.)
  • Avocado salad (cherry tomatoes, red onion, lemon, balsamic vinegar, parsley, etc.)
  • Artichoke salad (jarred artichokes, red onion, black olives, cherry tomatoes, arugula, etc.)
  • Tomato salad (heirloom tomatoes, red onion, balsamic vinegar, basil leaves, etc.)

Serve with seasonal roasted vegetables:

Tips

How to cook pasta to perfection?

You’ll need a large pot of salted water as follows:

  • 8 ounces of pasta (230 grams): cook pasta in 2 quarts of boiling water (8 cups or 2 Liters) with 1 tablespoon of salt (15 grams). Serves 2 – 3 people.
  • 12 ounces of pasta (340 grams): cook pasta in 3 quarts of boiling water (12 cups or 3 Liters) with 1 ½ tablespoons of salt (21 grams). Serves 4 people.
  • 1 pound of pasta (450 grams): cook pasta in 1 gallon of boiling water (16 cups or 4 Liters) with 2 tablespoons of salt (30 grams). Serves 5-6 people.

How much pasta per person?

Guidelines recommend 2.1 to 3.5 ounces or 60 to 100 grams of pasta per person, depending on your calorie needs.

Pasta portion sizes vary if you have pasta as a main and only meal or if it’s part of a 2 – 3 course menu.

Also, remember that a simple pasta with tomato and basil will have substantially different calories and macros than baked ziti with cheese and meat.

Here’s a simple summary:

  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams) per person if the main meal;
  • 2.8/3 ounces (80/90 grams) per person if part of a 2 – 3 course meal;
  • 2/2.5 ounces (60/70 grams) per person if part of a 3+ course meal.

Make Ahead & Storage

Make Ahead: pasta is best eaten right after cooking it, so we don’t recommend making this recipe ahead.

Refrigerator: let the pasta cool down on the skillet, don’t transfer it into a small container while it’s still hot, or it’ll overcook. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheat: warm the pasta in the microwave with a couple of tablespoons of water on top or a skillet with a dash of water.

Freezer: we don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

More Asparagus Recipes

If you love cooking with asparagus, get more green and fresh inspiration from these easy asparagus dishes:

More Easy Pasta Recipes

If you love weeknight-friendly meals, take a look at these quick and easy pasta recipes:

For many more 30-minute meal ideas, check out our 30-minute meal category page.

Asparagus pasta in a white bowl with asparagus tips

Asparagus Pasta

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 7 votes
Here's a 20-minute creamy, scrumptious, and easy asparagus pasta. It's the perfect dinner idea for the whole family packed with taste and creaminess.
We blend some of the asparagus to make a creamy and tasty asparagus sauce that will coat every pasta piece to perfection.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: American Italian

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces pasta any
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • pounds asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup parmesan grated, or more to taste. For vegan, use dairy-free cheese
  • ½ cup basil
  • ½ lemon the juice (grated zest is optional)

Instructions 

COOK ASPARAGUS AND PASTA

  • Discard the woody end (about 1 inch or 2.5 cm) of the asparagus, then cut the spears into discs, but leave the tips whole.
    asparagus tips and small bits on a cutting board
  • In a large skillet, warm up the olive oil, add finely chopped onion, and fry it for 3 minutes on medium heat.
    Skillet with onion and wooden spoon
  • Add asparagus, grated garlic, salt, and black pepper.
    Asparagus bits and tips in a white skillet
  • Sauté for 1 minute, then add 1 cup of water and cook for 5 more minutes or until the water is gone, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary.
    The asparagus should be bright green and fork-tender but not overcooked.
    While the asparagus cooks, boil the pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted water.
    roasted asparagus in a skillet

MAKE THE SAUCE

  • To a food processor, add half of the cooked asparagus, basil leaves, grated parmesan, and lemon juice.
    sauteed asparagus and parmesan cheese in a food processor
  • Blend for 2 minutes or until you get a smooth and creamy sauce. Add some water if necessary to help the blender.
    Taste and adjust for salt, lemon, and cheese.
    blended asparagus sauce in food processor
  • Transfer the asparagus sauce to the skillet with the remaining asparagus.
    asparagus tips and asparagus sauce in a skillet

ADD THE PASTA

  • When the pasta is al dente, reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and add it to the pan.
    bowtie pasta and asparagus in a skillet
  • Toss on medium heat for about a minute, adding 1 cup of reserved pasta water to make the dish creamy.
    Serve with freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
    Optionally, you can add some grated lemon zest on top to make a delicious lemon asparagus pasta recipe.
    Asparagus pasta in a white bowl with lemon and basil

Video

20-minute Asparagus Pasta (creamy and easy)

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving of asparagus pasta out of 4 servings. 
HOW MUCH PASTA PER PERSON?
Here’s a simple summary:
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams) per person if the main meal;
  • 2.8/3 ounces (80/90 grams) per person if part of a 2 – 3 course meal;
  • 2/2.5 ounces (60/70 grams) per person if part of a 3+ course meal.
 
HOW TO COOK PASTA TO PERFECTION?
You’ll need a large pot of salted water as follows:
  • 8 ounces of pasta (230 grams): cook pasta in 2 quarts of boiling water (8 cups or 2 Liters) with 1 tablespoon of salt (15 grams). Serves 2 – 3 people.
  • 12 ounces of pasta (340 grams): cook pasta in 3 quarts of boiling water (12 cups or 3 Liters) with 1 ½ tablespoons of salt (21 grams). Serves 4 people.
  • 1 pound of pasta (450 grams): cook pasta in 1 gallon of boiling water (16 cups or 4 Liters) with 2 tablespoons of salt (30 grams). Serves 5-6 people.
 
MAKE AHEAD & STORAGE
– Make Ahead: pasta is best eaten right after cooking it, so we don’t recommend making this recipe ahead.
– Refrigerator: let the pasta cool down on the skillet, don’t transfer it into a small container while it’s still hot, or it’ll overcook. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
– Reheat: warm the pasta in the microwave with a couple of tablespoons of water on top or a skillet with a dash of water.
– Freezer: we don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 469kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Potassium: 583mg, Dietary Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1546IU, Vitamin B6: 0.3mg, Vitamin C: 18mg, Vitamin E: 3mg, Vitamin K: 88µg, Calcium: 221mg, Folate: 108µg, Iron: 5mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 78mg, Zinc: 3mg
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If you liked this asparagus pasta recipe, you might also enjoy the following:

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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 7 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yum! You’re my favorite for veggie inspiration. I used a chicken ravioli bc I’m not vegetarian (just a lover of vegetables). Soooo delicious, I will definitely be making this again!

    1. Hi Kylie,
      That’s fantastic – I’m so happy you like our food and tailored it to your liking 🙂
      Thanks so much for leaving a comment here. Have a great day,
      Louise