Get all spring flavors 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!
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 this recipe 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!
Table of Contents
Main 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.
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 zest if you want an even more tangy 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!
How to make Spring Lemon Asparagus Pasta in Instant Pot?
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 –
- 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.
- 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.
Now to the pasta – 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.
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.
When the instant pot beeps, manually quick release the pressure, then 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 chili flakes if you’d like, as well as additional Parmesan cheese.
If you don’t finish all the pasta in one meal, it stays well in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in the microwave for 1 minute to get it nice and warm when you have it again.
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!
If you love this recipe or pasta in general, be sure to give my other recipes a try too!
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Spinach Artichoke Lasagna
- Vegetarian Fajita Pasta
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Baked Feta Pasta
Instant Pot Lemon Asparagus Pasta
- 8 ounces Penne
- 8 ounces Asparagus, fresh and cut into 2 inch pieces, bottom white part discarded*
- 1-2 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
- 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
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Red Chilli Flakes , optional
- (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.
- 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.
- 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.