Lemon Asparagus Pasta is a quick and easy dish made from scratch in under 30 minutes. It’s made with asparagus, peas, and penne pasta in a creamy parmesan cheese sauce. This healthy meal is the perfect weeknight dinner.
Lemon Asparagus Pasta
This asparagus pasta with lemon juice has an added kick with red pepper flakes and is served in a garlic lemon sauce that will have you licking the plate when the pasta is gone.
It’s a homemade dish that you can easily make after you get home from work or after the kids get home from school. There’s no lengthy prep time and nothing holding you back from a tasty meal tonight.
Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
Add in pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions.
Add chopped asparagus and frozen peas to the pasta water and cook for the remaining 2 minutes.
Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the remainder.
Set pot of pasta and veggies aside.
In a large skillet on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
Add cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and spices.
Stir and allow the cream to come to a low simmer.
Adjust spices and/or lemon juice to taste.
Pour the creamy sauce over the pot of pasta and veggies.
Toss to combine.
Stir in ¼ cup of pasta water at a time until desired sauce consistency is reached.
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan and a dash of extra crushed red pepper.
Tips and Variations
Asparagus pasta with lemon juice is a tasty spring dish that is easily adjustable to fit your tastes and preferences. Here are some options that will help make this the best asparagus pasta you’ve ever had.
This recipe includes asparagus and peas, but you can add other spring and summer vegetables like cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash spinach, or artichokes.
Try using other short pasta like farfalle, shells, elbows, orecchiette, or rigatoni.
You can also substitute long pasta like spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccini, or bucatini for the penne.
If you’re on a gluten-free diet, try using gluten-free pasta.
Grilled or sauteed chicken or shrimp are both amazing additions to this simple dish.
How To Serve
This pasta is delicious served on its own or with other light side dishes. Some excellent options include oven-roasted sweet potatoes, easy peasy pea salad, copycat Cracker Barrel cole slaw, or instant pot jasmine rice.
How To Store
Keep any leftover lemon asparagus pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
This meal doesn’t do well with freezing, but it’s easy to make fresh when you’d like to eat it for dinner.
Can I make lemon asparagus pasta with no cream?
You can leave out the cream, or you can use milk instead. You can opt-out of the dairy altogether and add chicken or vegetable stock to make this dish dairy-free or vegan.
Can you eat raw asparagus?
Yes, you can eat raw asparagus, but it will likely be stingy and bitter, and it’s best to cook it first.
Why is my asparagus stringy?
If you get a piece of stringy asparagus, it’s likely because the ends weren’t correctly cut off before cooking.
You’ll need to cut or snap the stalks of the asparagus where the woody stalk ends and the tender tips of the asparagus begin.
- 12 oz penne pasta
- 1 lb asparagus, ends removed and cut into 2” pieces
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 oz heavy cream
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup pasta water
- Shredded parmesan for serving
- Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
- Add in pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions.
- Add chopped asparagus and frozen peas to the pasta water and cook for the remaining 2 minutes.
- Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the remainder.
- Set pot of pasta and veggies aside.
- In a large skillet on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Add cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and spices.
- Stir and allow the cream to come to a low simmer.
- Adjust spices and/or lemon juice to taste.
- Pour the creamy sauce over the pot of pasta and veggies.
- Toss to combine.
- Stir in ¼ cup of pasta water at a time until desired sauce consistency is reached.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan and a dash of extra crushed red pepper.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 226mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 9g