This Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta is made with a luscious cashew cream sauce and plenty of lemon zest for a fresh and delicious pasta dish that comes together in less than 30 minutes! Make this for date night for a meal that feels fancy but is a breeze to cook.

A bowl of rigatoni with asparagus and a gold fork in it

A healthy pasta dish that’s easy to make

I love pasta dinners that come together quickly. This pasta dish is a great example of how to use a few simple ingredients to create a dinner that feels fancy and luxurious.

The sauce is made by blending soaked cashews with water and then cooking it off with some garlic and shallots, which gives this pasta the most incredibly rich and creamy sauce that is completely dairy-free and healthy!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • This pasta comes together in 30 minutes for a quick and easy dinner that feels like something you’d order in a fancy restaurant.
  • The sauce is completely dairy-free and healthy, made from a base of cashews.
  • The asparagus and lemon zest add a burst of freshness to this pasta while giving you an entire serving of veggies in your dinner.
rigatoni pasta in a white bowl with a creamy white sauce, asparagus and parsely

What type of pasta to use in this recipe

I like to use a rigatoni pasta for this recipe since they have a slightly chewy texture that stands up well with the creamy sauce and asparagus. The rigatoni shape also holds onto the sauce nicely, so you get a delicious creamy noodle in every bite.

cooked rigato noodles in a large pot

Some other pasta shapes that would work well in this recipe:

  • Penne
  • Cavatelli
  • Fusili
  • Rotini
  • Radiatore

Basically, any pasta that has ridges in it or is a tube shape would go really nicely with this sauce and will be a similar size to the sliced asparagus. You can also go with a long Fettucine noodle too. (Though I personally recommend rigatoni!)

How to make vegan lemon asparagus pasta

  1. Boil the pasta according to package direction and reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water once it’s done cooking.
  2. Pan-fry the asparagus in a pan until tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Sautee some shallots and garlic in a pan, then add the cashew cream sauce mixing it all together. Then comes the lemon zest, seasoning and pasta, followed by the pasta water. This helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
  4. The asparagus gets mixed in last, so they hold their texture and bright green colour. (If you add these add the beginning, they’ll get a bit mushy and lose that vibrant beautiful green!)
rigatoni noodles with asparagus and parsley in a pot

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Salt your pasta water! This is so important for a flavourful tasty pasta dish. The pasta water should be salty like the ocean when you add your pasta to it.
  • Reserve some pasta water to add back to the sauce! (Don’t skip this!) Pasta water helps to thicken the sauce, and also helps the sauce stick to the noodles.
  • Don’t rinse your pasta after cooking it. This will make it more “slippery” and the sauce won’t stick onto your noodles as well.
  • Cut the ends off your asparagus! A general rule of thumb is to cut the bottom 2 inches off, You can also use this guide to help you know where to cut them.
  • Make sure to use raw unsalted cashews for the sauce that have been soaked in hot water for at least 1 hour. This will help the cashews completely blend up into a smooth and creamy sauce.
creamy rigatoni pasta in a white bowl with a gold fork

More pasta recipes to try

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a bowl of lemon asparagus rigatoni noodles topped with small bowls of parsley and chilli flakes on the side

Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta

  • Author: Jess
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian


This Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta is made with a cashew cream sauce and comes together in 30 minutes!


  • 300 grams rigatoni pasta (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch peices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked in hot water for 12 hours
  • 1 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Salt your pasta water and cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water after cooking.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat, then add the aspsaragus and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove the asparagus from the pan then add the shallot and garlic to the pan, letting cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. (Add a touch more olive oil if needed) Add the lemon zest and chili flakes and mix together.
  4. Blend the cashews and water together until smooth then add to the pan, mixing everything together. Add the pasta, pasta water, and asparagus and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve immediately.


Don’t forget to salt the pasta water! This makes all the difference in a delicious tasting pasta. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water after the pasta is done cooking to add back to the sauce. This helps the sauce thicken and stick to the pasta. Make sure to cut off the bottom 2-inches of the asparagus and discard. This part of the asparagus is tough and not great for eating. Make sure to use raw unsalted cashews. Roasted cashews will not work in this recipe. You can also substitute raw cashews with raw hemp seeds in this recipe


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 380
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 290mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 12g

Keywords: dairy-free pasta, asparagus pasta, lemon pasta, vegan pasta

If you tried this Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!