Creamy Lemon & Asparagus Pasta

This vegan pasta makes a light and refreshing Spring meal.

lemon-asparagus-pasta

Unlike its cream-based counterparts, this sauce gets its creaminess from pureed cauliflower, along with a boost of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin B6. Paired with a touch of tart lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, and tender asparagus, I can’t get enough of this refreshing combination. For those of you watching your fat intake, this vegetable-based sauce is also incredibly low in fat and calories!

You could serve this creamy sauce over any noodle you like. I used a quinoa-based pasta for a heartier meal, but I think it would also work over vegetable “noodles” made using a spiralizer. You could easily add in any other veggies you like, too!

Creamy Lemon & Asparagus Pasta (Vegan)
Serves 2-4

Adapted from Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo

Ingredients: 

2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cauliflower florets
1 cup water
1/3 cup almond milk (or more water)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound gluten-free pasta, or a vegetable-based noodle of your choice

Directions:

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions and set aside.

To prepare the creamy lemon sauce, melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in large pot (with a lid) over medium heat and sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the cauliflower florets and 1 cup of water, and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer, steaming the cauliflower until it’s very tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Once the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork, transfer the contents of the pot to a blender (including the liquid) and add in the almond milk, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper, to taste. Carefully blend the sauce until silky smooth, being careful to cover the vent of the blender lid with a dish towel, to help release the steam pressure. Set aside.

In the same large pot, melt the other teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add in the asparagus, and continue sautéing until tender, about 8-10 more minutes. Add in the cooked pasta and pour the creamy cauliflower sauce into the pot, stirring well to combine. Season the pasta with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve warm.

lemon-pasta-2

5 from 6 votes
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Creamy Lemon & Asparagus Pasta (Vegan)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
A dairy-free pasta dish featuring fresh Spring ingredients!
Course: Main Course
Servings: 2
Calories: 489 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil , divided
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 pound cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or more water)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus , woody ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound gluten-free pasta
Instructions
  1. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions and set aside.
  2. To prepare the creamy lemon sauce, melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in large pot (with a lid) over medium heat and sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the cauliflower florets and 1 cup of water, and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer, steaming the cauliflower until it's very tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Once the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork, transfer the contents of the pot to a blender (including the liquid) and add in the almond milk, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper, to taste. Carefully blend the sauce until silky smooth, being careful to cover the vent of the blender lid with a dish towel, to help release the steam pressure. Set aside.
  3. In the same large pot, melt the other teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add in the asparagus, and continue sautéing until tender, about 8-10 more minutes. Add in the cooked pasta and pour the creamy cauliflower sauce into the pot, stirring well to combine. Season the pasta with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve warm.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite pasta dish? 

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

29 thoughts on “Creamy Lemon & Asparagus Pasta

  1. Laura ~ RYG

    I can’t believe you achieved creme taste in purified cauliflower, that’s amazing. In my 8 week challenge, I’m challenging myself to eat less calories, I eat like 4000 a day I realized (I’m really active but still). Low in both fat and calories, I’m so happy, can’t wait to try.

    Reply
  2. Linda

    Perfect timing! I have wanted to make a vegetable based sauce for pasta (other than tomato) but with the warmer weather I didn’t want anything that felt heavy. This looks fabulous!

    Reply
  3. jamie Mintz

    I made this last night. Turned out amazing. I added parsley and lemon zest at the end. Perfect creamy pasta thats healthy.

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      I tried a new one from Trader Joe’s– I believe it was a blend of quinoa and brown rice.

      Reply
      1. Michelle

        Are you concerned at all about the high levels of arsenic in brown rice? I was using that pasta as well but i was concerned about it for my little ones; 4,3 and 1.

        Reply
        1. Megan Gilmore Post author

          I would be concerned about it if my family ate brown rice products very often, but I can’t even remember the last time we ate brown rice before this pasta night. We probably only eat it 3-4 times a year, so it’s not that big of a concern for me. However, I would be cautious of eating brown rice too often, and I didn’t feed it to my son (he’s only 19 months, and we won’t be introducing grains until he has all of his molars). I think as long as you take care to diversify your diet and minimize your exposure, it’s fine to enjoy brown rice every now and then.

          Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      I usually find cauliflower heads that are 2.5 lbs at the store, so after I remove the leaves and thick stem, one pound is about a half head of cauliflower.

      Reply
  4. Lauren Rodgers

    I can’t wait to try this tonight! We like the TJ brown rice/quinoa. It seems to have the closest texture to the real deal than many others. Thank you so much for all of the lovely recipes you provide. I cook more from your website than any other! 🙂

    Best,

    Lauren Rodgers

    Reply
  5. Christine

    I was afraid to make this for the kids. I thought they would be able to taste the cauliflower. I just made the sauce, and you cannot taste the cauliflower. Wow! It is so creamy just like a fattening Alfredo sauce. The lemon adds a wonderful flavor. I know my kds will enjoy this. Thanks, Megan!

    Reply
  6. Dr. Deborah @ PeriodCrampsRelief.com

    This looks super interesting. I just bought myself a spiralizer and took it on its maiden voyage last night, with zucchini “noodles.” The recipe I made was a creamy basil pesto based on pureed raw cashews (from the Against All Grain website. I used way extra basil.) It was so amazingly good. Even 17-year-old-son and his friend loved it. I’m totally hooked and looking forward to trying this cauliflower-based sauce (so brilliant!) on my next batch of “pasta.” You mention “other” veggie noodles. Wondering if you can share what other vegetables work well as noodle replacements. Spiralizing newbies await this vital information.

    Reply
  7. Sarah

    I was so excited to make this dish when I first saw your post earlier this week!I am eating as I type. I am blown away by how delicious the cauliflower lemon sauce is! The sauce is so good I could eat it by itself! Thank you!!!

    Reply
  8. Rachel T

    I did a double take when I saw this – it landed in my inbox at the exact same time as something very similar from Healthy. Happy. Life. What a weird coincidence! Clearly there is something about this combination that I need to try. :p

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      Ha, I saw that Kathy posted a Lemon & Asparagus dish recently, too! She and I both live in Southern California, so the fresh asparagus is pretty irresistible over here. 🙂

      Reply
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  10. Meghan

    Meg I made the sauce last night and plan on making the rest tonight and putting it all together to sit overnight and reheat. Im having 6 people for lunch. Do you think it will be ok or should I add all components before i serve it?? Im just worried the sauce will soak into the noodles

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      I liked it best when the sauce was freshly served over the noodles. It’s still fine the next day, but it does seem to lose some of the “creaminess” as leftovers. I’d probably heat up the pasta and sauce together right before serving to guests for best results!

      Reply
  11. Christine

    Oh, this looks so good! Making this tonight. Do you think nutritional yeast would do anything in this meal or not really? 🙂

    Reply
  12. Anna

    I love cauliflower and my husband hates it! I made this last night and even he ate it. His comment was, “now, that’s the 1st cauliflower dish you’ve made that I can get behind”. Eight years of trying and this dish did it! Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Karen

    My sister swears by your recipes and I have been trying them as well because as a runner, delicious food that is clean is really important to me. Whenever I’m skeptical of a recipe, she always tells be to “just try it!” I don’t know how you do it, but this pasta dish is INCREDIBLE! I can’t believe how similar the sauce is to alfredo sauce….and I get to eat it guilt free! Which is good…because my boyfriend and I can’t stop making the Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe. Thanks for your inovative recipes!!!!

    Reply
  14. Cyri

    I love this recipe! I used sweet potato instead of cauliflower and today i used green beans instead of asparagus (trying to use up what I have before getting groceries)
    But I especially love how simple it is and so creamy without dairy 🙂
    Thank you!!

    Reply
  15. Melissa

    Hi! Is there a way you could provide nutritional information? I’m on a calorie surplus diet and I have to record calories, etc on a daily basis and it would help me a lot! Thanks!

    Reply

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