Looking for an easy, healthy dinner? This deliciously creamy vegan asparagus pasta delivers.
Tender asparagus stalks combine with green peas to create a delightfully smooth, protein-packed sauce that pairs wonderfully with a variety of pasta types. Add sauteed asparagus tips, vegan Parmesan, and a little lemon peel, and you’ve got a nutritious dinner that’s surprisingly filling.
This easy dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect choice for weeknight meals. Serve alone, with your favorite baguette, or mix it up with a side of crispy asparagus fries.
- Asparagus. This is the star of the show and the actor responsible for most of the flavor, so look for fresh, crisp, organic asparagus when possible. Larger stalks will make for a creamier sauce, but thinner varieties will work in a pinch.
- Vegan Parmesan. We highly recommend using this homemade vegan Parmesan recipe, but if you’re strapped for time, any quality store-bought vegan parm will do.
- Green Peas. Make it easy on yourself by opting for frozen peas. They’ll go straight into a pot of boiling water, so no need to defrost first.
- Pasta. This thick and creamy sauce pairs best with a hollow pasta like penne or cavatappi, but can work with anything you have on hand. Use gluten-free pasta if desired.
How to Make Vegan Asparagus Pasta
This easy pasta dish only uses a handful of ingredients and takes hardly any time at all to make.
1. Fill a large pot with water and set to boil. As you wait, prepare the asparagus by removing the woody ends and discarding them. Cut off the tips and set them aside.
2. Once the water is boiling, add the prepared asparagus stems and the peas. Boil for about 10 minutes or until the asparagus mashes under a fork with little effort.
3. Strain the water and add the boiled peas and asparagus stalks to a food processor or blender. Blend until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency. Once fully blended, take the cream sauce and pour it over a sieve to remove any fibrous material left by the asparagus. Collect the strained sauce in a bowl and set it aside.
4. Refill the large pot with water and set it to boil for your pasta. Follow the cooking instructions on your pasta package.
5. As the pasta is cooking, heat a saute pan and melt the vegan butter. Add the asparagus tips and saute over medium heat until they begin to golden and soften, about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
6. Once the pasta is done cooking, strain out the water and return the pasta to the large pot. Stir in the sauce and asparagus tips until well combined.
7. Serve with a generous topping of vegan Parmesan cheese and a garnish of lemon peel.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Strain the sauce. Straining the sauce through a sieve after blending it is especially helpful if using thin asparagus stalks. These tend to be more woody and fibrous than large, thick stalks. But, if you have a high-powered blender, you may find this step unnecessary even with a less than ideal bunch of asparagus.
- Add whole peas. If you want a little more texture in your pasta, add a ½ cup of frozen peas to the saucepan along with the asparagus tips and mix them into the pasta and sauce at the end.
- Add a little lemon juice. The lemon in this recipe acts mostly as a garnish, but I’ve found adding a touch of that lemon juice to the sauce during the blending process adds a nice tangy freshness to the overall flavor of the dish.
How to Store Leftover Vegan Asparagus Pasta
Leftover asparagus pasta can be saved in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.
Allow the pasta to cool slightly in the pot before putting it in the container. Since the sauce will already be mixed in with the pasta, we recommend adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the pot before storing. The citric acid in the lemon juice will help preserve the bright green color of the sauce and prevent oxidation of all the great nutrients in the dish.
The vegan Parmesan should be stored separately from the pasta and only added to the top before serving.
How to Store It
Yes, you can store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Adding a little lemon juice before storing will help preserve the color of the sauce.
Can You Freeze It?
Yes, you can store this pasta in the freezer by placing it in an airtight, oven-safe container. It should stay good for up to three months in a standard refrigerator freezer. To thaw, place the container in a preheated, 350-degree oven and cook until heated through.
You may also cook the sauce in large quantities and freeze it separately from the pasta. In this case, thaw the sauce in a saute pan as you cook the pasta. Once the sauce is heated through, toss with the pasta as normal.
Try These Other Great Asparagus Dishes
Hit the jackpot on asparagus at the farmers’ market? Here are some other great recipes you can make to put all those stalks to use.
- Cream of Asparagus Soup – Super creamy and 100% vegan.
- Asparagus, Green Garlic, & Pea Tendrils – A deliciously fresh and healthy side dish.
- Spring Minestrone Soup – Asparagus and all your other favorite spring veggies in one hearty soup.
- Vegan Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms – A nearly-fat-free side that tastes as good as traditional risotto.
- Spring Grain Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette – Taste the season with this veggie-packed grain salad.
Vegan Asparagus Pasta
- 12 ounces pasta of choice
- 1 bunch asparagus about 10 ounces
- 1 ¼ cups green peas
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 1 lemon optional
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- vegan Parmesan to taste
- Prepare the asparagus by removing the woody ends and discarding them. Cut off the tips and set aside.
- Add the prepared asparagus stems and peas to a large pot of boiling water. Boil for about 10 minutes or until the asparagus mashes under a fork with little effort.
- Strain out the water and add the boiled peas and asparagus stalks to a food processor or blender. Blend until you achieve a smooth creamy consistency. Optional: Pour blended sauce over a sieve to remove asparagus fibers. Set the sauce aside.
- Boil water and cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Saute the asparagus tips in vegan butter over medium heat until they begin to golden and soften, about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Once the pasta is done cooking, strain the water and return to the pot. Stir in the sauce and asparagus tips until well combined.
- Serve with a generous topping of vegan Parmesan cheese and a garnish of lemon peel.