Get all spring flavors in a bowl with this Lemon Asparagus Pasta. Make it in the Instant Pot or stovetop in just 30 minutes, and the result will be a creamy bowl of pasta filled with fresh greens! It contains peas, asparagus, and a splash of lemon juice, creating a symphony of tangy and savory flavors. Try this delicious, vegetarian, one-pot meal tonight!

spring looking green asparagus and peas pasta in a bowl
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I love the green, vibrant look of this pasta. The colors make me feel that spring is here! My recipe for Creamy Mushroom Pasta was loved by so many of you that I am now sharing it for this Creamy Lemon Asparagus pasta.

This Lemon Asparagus Pasta is healthy with all the fresh veggies but feels like comfort food. The perfectly cooked asparagus works wonderfully with the green peas and al dente pasta, all coated in a creamy lemon-garlic sauce. The result? This awesome pasta! Did I mention it takes less than 30 minutes to make?

I love using the Instant Pot to make pasta, as it becomes an easy one-pot meal (Yay for less cleanup!). Also, when making pasta in the instant pot, you don’t have to drain the water, making the pasta’s texture much better and creamier!

My family loves lemon flavors in pasta, such as in this lemon parmesan orzo. I only used the juice in this recipe; don’t hesitate to up the lemon flavors by adding in some zest as well!

If you enjoy asparagus, don’t forget to check out this amazing asparagus soup, air fryer roasted asparagus, and my newest lemon asparagus risotto!

Ingredients to make Creamy Asparagus Pasta

Asparagus- It’s low in calories but high in fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. It’s a fantastic veggie to include in your diet when pregnant or if you have high blood pressure. If the asparagus you’re using is thicker, you can saute it in olive oil before starting the next steps. Trim the asparagus and discard the woody ends.

Green Peas- Small but mighty! These are full of minerals and micro-nutrients and can even help prevent heart disease. You can use frozen or fresh peas in this recipe.

Lemon- I just used lemon juice in this recipe, but feel free to add lemon zest if you want a tangier taste!

Penne Pasta- I like the way Penne holds the sauce in this recipe. Other pasta like farfalle, bow tie, and spaghetti also work. You can also use whole-wheat pasta! Adjust the cooking time based on the pasta you use.

Parmesan- Use this or pecorino Romano. We prefer to use block cheese rather than the pre-shredded ones, as it tastes fresher and does. to clump when added to the sauce.

Cream- I used heavy whipping cream in this recipe. You can replace it with half and half to make it lighter.

Broth- Vegetable broth worked well, but feel free to use any broth you have on hand.

Garlic, Onions, Dried Basil & Thyme- This blend adds delicious flavor to the sauce. If you have fresh basil and thyme, that is the best. But in a pinch, use the dried herbs.

Asparagus chopped on a cutting board

How to make Spring Lemon Asparagus Pasta in Instant Pot?

To start with cooking the pasta, lets first talk about asparagus – the star ingredient of this dish.

1. Best Way to Cook Asparagus for this Pasta

I used thin asparagus and did not sauté it before adding it to the cooked pasta. However, if your asparagus is thicker, there are two options –

  1. Saute asparagus separately: Start the instant pot in sauté mode and sauté the asparagus for 5-8 minutes in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil until tender. Then, take it out and set it aside. This can also be done in a pan on the stovetop, too.
  2. Cook asparagus in Instant Pot: After adding all the pasta ingredients to the pot, cook the asparagus and the pasta. Add the cut asparagus on top of the pasta. Do not stir. Then, after the pasta is cooked, stir everything together.

My preference is the first option as we like firmer asparagus.

2. Cook the Aromatics

  • We will start with heating the instant pot on sauté mode. Then, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add the onions and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add the dried basil, thyme, and broth. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.

3. Pressure Cook the Pasta

  • Add the penne, stir, and close the lid with the vent in the sealing position. A good rule of thumb; pressure cook the pasta for one minute, less than half the time listed on the box.
Penne with broth in the instant pot
  • When the instant pot beeps, manually quick release the pressure.

4. Put it all together.

  • Add the asparagus and green peas. (Do check the instructions for thicker asparagus)
  • Also, mix in the cream and parmesan and stir until everything is well incorporated.
  • Close with the lid and let sit for 5-7 minutes. Then, check if the asparagus is cooked to your taste.
  • Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You can also top it with red pepper flakes if you’d like, as well as additional Parmesan cheese.
Asparagus Penne Pasta in a creamy sauce in the instant pot

How to Make Lemon Asparagus Pasta on the Stovetop?

  • Boil the pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Reserve one cup of cooking water, and then drain the pasta.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil. Then add the onions and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add the asparagus and green peas (I used frozen peas). Cook for 3 minutes until the asparagus is slightly tender.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan along with heavy cream, parmesan, basil, thyme, and lemon juice. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water.
  • Toss to mix them all together. Add more reserved pasta water as needed.
  • Lemon Asparagus Pasta is ready to be enjoyed!

Recipe Tip

Asparagus: If your asparagus is thick, then you can slice it in diagonal strands to make them cook quickly.

Pasta: I used penne here, but you can use any pasta you like, such as spaghetti or farfelle.

How to Serve?

I like to garnish my pasta with red chili pepper flakes, just for extra spice. If you have young kids or don’t enjoy spicy foods, skip this and top with more Parmesan instead!

Serve this pasta alongside a soup or salad. You can also pair it with grilled chicken for a side of protein.

Creamy Asparagus pasta in a white bowl garnished with red chili flakes

How to Store Leftovers?

If you don’t finish all the pasta in one meal, it stays well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave for 1 minute to get it nice and warm when you have it again.

Add a splash of water when reheating. You can also add a sprinkle of some lemon juice for extra flavor!

More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love

4.91 from 22 votes

Lemon Asparagus Pasta (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

Get all the flavors of spring in a bowl with this Lemon Asparagus Pasta. Make it in the Instant Pot in just 30 minutes, and the result will be a creamy bowl of pasta, filled with fresh greens! It contains peas, asparagus, and a splash of lemon juice, creating a symphony of tangy and savory flavors. Try this delicious, vegetarian, one-pot meal tonight!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces Penne
  • 8 ounces Asparagus, fresh and cut into 2 inch pieces, bottom white part discarded*
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2/3 cup Onion, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth, (only for instant pot method)
  • 1/2 cup Green peas , frozen, I used petite green peas
  • 1/2 cup Cream, I used heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, pecorino Romano works well too
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice

To garnish:

Instructions 

  • (Optional) If the asparagus* you are using is thick, then saute it in 2 tablespoon olive oil in the instant pot or in a pan on stovetop for 5-8 minutes until it is tender. Take out and set aside.
  • Heat the instant pot in sauté mode and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Add onions and garlic, and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the dried basil, thyme, broth and deglaze the pot making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom.
  • Add the penne pasta and stir well. Make sure all the penne is covered in broth. Close lid with vent in sealing position.
  • Pressure Cook the pasta on high pressure for 5 minutes. The general rule of thumb is to pressure cook pasta for 1 minute less than half the time on the pasta box.
  • When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually.
  • Add the asparagus* and green peas. Then stir in the cream and parmesan. Keep stirring until the cheese is incorporated well into the pasta.
  • Cover the instant pot with a lid and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with parmesan and red chili flakes (if using) before serving.

Stovetop Method

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve one cup of cooking water, and then drain the pasta.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil. Then add the onions and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add the asparagus and green peas. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes until the asparagus is slightly tender.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan along with cream, parmesan, basil, thyme, and lemon juice. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water.
  • Toss to mix them all together. Add more pasta water if needed. Lemon Asparagus Pasta is ready to be enjoyed!

Notes

Asparagus – The asparagus I used was thin and I did not need to be sautéed to cook well with the pasta. However if your asparagus is thicker, there are 2 options –
  1. Start the instant pot in sauté mode and sauté the asparagus for 5-8 minutes in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, until it is a bit tender. Then take it out and set aside. This can also be done in a pan on stovetop too if you like. This is my preference as we like firmer asparagus. 
  2. Cook the asparagus along with the pasta. After adding all the pasta ingredients to the pot. Add the cut asparagus on top of the pasta. Do not stir. Then after the pasta is cooked, stir everything together.
Penne – I used penne, but other pasta such as farfelle, bowtie or spaghetti will work well too. You can also use whole wheat penne. 
Broth – I used vegetable broth. But other broths would work just as well.
Parmesan – I have tried this recipe with parmesan and pecorino romano. Both work great. Use cheese from a block, and not the pre-shredded one. 
Cream – I used heavy whipping cream. Feel free to adjust the quantity to make this lighter.
Lemon: I used just lemon juice in this recipe, however don’t hesitate to up the lemon flavors by adding in some zest too! 

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 14gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 688mgPotassium: 314mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1214IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 205mgIron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Nut-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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4.91 from 22 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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11 Comments

  1. My first recipe from your site, but it won’t be my last! This recipe was a hit with my entire family- my little one even had a third helping! Perfect for summer, quick, easy, delicious.

  2. This was sooo good! I followed the recipe almost exactly – I only had 10% cream so can only imagine with heavier cream. A keeper for sure.

  3. Hi! It’s delicious. But I didn’t see the amount of peas listed in the ingredients. I guessed and added 1 cup of frozen peas with the asparagus.

  4. This is one of the tastiest pasta dishes I’ve cooked! I cooked the penne one minute longer (6 minutes). I also put a little prosciutto on top at the end. So delicious. Thanks for this recipe which even my little food critics liked.

  5. This was great, other than the noodles not being done enough. I followed the “half the time, a minute less” than what is on the box, and for whatever reason, my noodles were not done. so I’d do the 5-6 minutes next time.

    1. Hi Morgan – Glad to hear you enjoyed the pasta. I wonder there is some variation with the pasta. Please do adjust the time as needed next time.