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Craving a seasonal pasta dish? This asparagus pasta recipe pairs lemony roasted asparagus with a light sauce, fresh basil, and Parmesan for an easy dinner made in 30 minutes.

Asparagus pasta topped with Parmesan shavings and garnished with lemon and basil.
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Once the first few warm days of spring hit, we start craving all the green vegetables. Here’s a great way to use those popular bright green spears: asparagus pasta with lemon and Parmesan.

What we love about this asparagus pasta recipe: Well, what’s not to love? This one disappears very quickly when we make it at our house. Here are a few things we love about it:

  • This seasonal recipe is pull-out-the-stops delicious! It pairs chewy tagliatelle noodles with lemony roasted asparagus, garlic, and Parmesan. Topped seasoned breadcrumbs and peppery basil leaves, the combination of flavors is unbelievably fresh and savory.
  • It’s fast. Like many pasta recipes, it can be made in just 30 minutes.
  • The green vegetables add fiber. In a pasta dish, that’s saying something!

“Sooooooo good!!! Just like all of your other recipes, of course! My kiddos and husband devoured it and asked for more!” -Cathi

“Wow wow wow. This was so delicious! It was easy, fast, bright and fresh. I will make this again and again.” -Amber

Key ingredients in asparagus pasta

This lemon asparagus pasta uses bold flavors to achieve a restaurant-style quality pasta recipe! There are a few secret ingredients that take the flavor up a few notches.

  • Tagliatelle or fettucine pasta: Any wide, flat noodle works well here. Tagliatelle is very wide and has a pleasant, chewy texture. You can also make it with bucatini (hollow spaghetti) or spaghetti if you prefer.
  • Asparagus: Look for asparagus spears that are thin to medium thick, which have a milder, sweet flavor.
  • Calabrian chilis or red pepper flakes: These add a hint of complexity without making for a spicy dish.
  • Parmesan shavings: The best bet here is shaved Parmesan, versus grated or shredded cheese.
  • Italian panko: Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. Look for Italian panko: it has extra seasonings added for even more flavor.
  • Basil leaves: Fresh basil adds a fresh, peppery flavor to the dish.

How to make asparagus pasta: step by step

The basic idea? Roast asparagus and lemon wedges, then toss with pasta and a garlic olive oil mixture. Here’s what you’ll need:

Asparagus Pasta Step 1

Step 1: Trim the asparagus and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Place 4 lemon wheels, then the asparagus on a foil lined baking sheet and roast at 425°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.

Asparagus Pasta Step 2

Step 2: Meanwhile, bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Do not drain. 

Asparagus Pasta Step 3

Step 3: In the serving bowl, stir together olive oil, oregano, garlic and chilis. Use tongs to transfer the cooked pasta from the water to the bowl without draining. Toss with the olive oil mixture, then add the roasted asparagus.

Top with the Parmesan shavings and panko. Add basil leaves and serve immediately.

Asparagus Pasta on dish with breadcrumbs and basil.

Tips for using Italian panko

“Italian panko” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or panko easily at your local grocery store. If you only have plain panko, add a pinch of salt, and dried oregano or basil (optional). For gluten-free, look for gluten-free panko online.

Ways to serve asparagus pasta

The most important thing about serving this asparagus pasta? Pair it with a protein! It’s not loaded with protein, so you’ll want to add in a vegetarian, fish or meat protein of choice when serving. Here are a few ideas:

Storing leftovers

This pasta tastes best the day it is made, but leftovers last up to 2 days refrigerated.

Lemon asparagus pasta recipe

More asparagus recipes

‘Tis the season! Load up on recipes starring the green spears while it abounds in grocery stores. Here are a few more asparagus recipes to try:

Dietary notes

This lemon asparagus pasta recipe is vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta and panko.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Absolutely! While tagliatelle is shown, but you can use long shapes like linguine or bucatini, or short shapes like rigatoni or penne.

I don’t have fresh basil. What can I use instead?

Fresh parsley is a great substitute for the basil. You could also try fresh mint or dill.

How can I add more protein to this dish?

For a heartier meal, stir in cooked grilled chicken, sauteed shrimp, or baked tofu before serving.

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Asparagus Pasta

Asparagus Pasta with Lemon


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x

Description

Craving a seasonal pasta dish? This asparagus pasta recipe pairs lemony roasted asparagus with a light sauce, fresh basil, and Parmesan for an easy dinner made in 30 minutes.


Ingredients

Scale

For the asparagus

  • 1 pound thin asparagus spears, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon (zest from half, plus slices from the other half)

For the pasta

  • 8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon chopped Calabrian chilis or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup Parmesan shavings
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned panko
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Roast the asparagus: Cut off the tough bottom ends of the asparagus and cut it into 2” pieces. Add the stalks to a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with the olive oil, and add the kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Slice the lemon in half crosswise. Thinly slice 4 wheels from one half of the lemon, then add them to the baking sheet. Zest the other half of the lemon, sprinkle it onto the asparagus and mix with your hands to coat. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until tender when pierced by a fork at the thickest part. The timing will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears.
  4. Cook the pasta: Meanwhile, bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Do not drain. 
  5. In the serving bowl, stir together the olive oil, oregano, grated garlic and chilis. When the pasta is done, use tongs to transfer the pasta from the boiling water into the bowl with the oil mixture without draining. Toss with the olive oil mixture until coated. Add the roasted asparagus and toss. (If desired, transfer to a serving platter or individual plates.)
  6. Top with the Parmesan shavings and panko. Add basil leaves and serve immediately. 

Notes

Storing leftovers: This pasta tastes best the day it is made, but leftovers last up to 2 days refrigerated.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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7 Comments

  1. Becky Olencki says:

    I made this tonight for dinner and loved it! I added a can of white beans and used a lemon flavored pasta that I bought at Trader Joe’s. Very good and satisfying! Skipped the cheese to keep it vegan.

    I have your cookbook and love all of your recipes! Looking forward to your new cookbook.

  2. Cathi says:

    Sooooooo good!!! Just like all of your other recipes, of course! 😃. My kiddos and husband devoured it and asked for more! I used a good quality rigatoni pasta (that’s all I had on hand) – and it worked well with the asparagus pieces mixed in! Keep these recipes coming – you guys create the best!!!






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  3. Diya Stroud says:

    Followed the recipe and honestly found it a bit bland. There really wasn’t enough lemon flavor and the raw garlic added an unpleasant pungency. I think this recipe has potential though.






    1. Cathi says:

      Diya, I didn’t have this issue at all! I let the garlic and red pepper flakes and oregano marinate in the olive oil while making the recipe – that must have helped. Maybe you could try that? And you could add more lemon zest if you feel like it needs it. Maybe even to the pasta as you are mixing it all together!

  4. Amber Vanderlinden says:

    Wow wow wow. This was so delicious! It was easy, fast, bright and fresh. I would recommend doubling it because I loved it so much and would like to have some left over. When the asparagus came out of the oven I used the leftover lemon half to squeeze the juice onto the asparagus just to get even more lemon flavor. I will make this again and again.






  5. Isabel Rodenas says:

    Such an exciting recipe, I have never roast with lemon!