This Vegan Lemon Asparagus Chickpea Pasta is truly the epitome of a fresh and flavorful spring pasta dish! Gluten-free penne is mixed with a vegan lemon garlic sauce, fresh asparagus, and protein-rich chickpeas for the ultimate creamy lemon asparagus pasta!
How to make a creamy lemon asparagus pasta
Who else is SO ready for a bowl of this delicious & creamy lemon pasta?!
This pasta dish is based off my Vegan Lemon Butter Pasta with Peas & Leeks, but I changed up the sauce to fill it with more garlic and added in chickpeas for a more filling dinner. First things first, let’s run through the ingredients & a few easy substitutions you can use if you don’t have everything on hand.
Ingredients & Substitutions:
Since I know some ingredients can be hard to find now, I wanted to do a deeper dive into the ingredients I used in this recipe and some substitution ideas.
- Gluten-Free Penne
To keep this recipe gluten-free, I used Ancient Harvest Penne! It is one of my favorite GF pastas because it gets that chewy al-dente texture and doesn’t stick together after cooking like other brands. If you can’t find this brand, I also like Jovial.
- Vegan butter
While I prefer Earth Balance for baking, I pretty much exclusively use Miyokos vegan butter in my savory recipes. It has true butter flavor, is made from cashews, and contains no palm oil. However, any vegan butter or margarine will work in this recipe especially if you want to keep the chickpea pasta nut-free. While you could substitute olive oil in here, the flavor of vegan butter adds so much to this dish so I really don’t recommend replacing it!
- Shallots & Garlic
The shallots and garlic get minced together and cooked in the butter first. This gives the butter a garlic infusion that flavors the whole dish. There isn’t a good substitute for garlic here (though garlic powder could work), but shallots can be replaced with minced onions.
- Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans
I love the flavor and taste of chickpeas, but if you don’t, they can be omitted from the recipe or replaced with white beans.
While I think asparagus adds so much flavor to this dish, it can easily be swapped for any green. This dish would also be wonderful with broccoli, kale, or even sliced brussels sprouts.
- Oat milk
I LOVE using oat milk for the creaminess factor. Almond Milk, coconut milk, or rice milk all work in this recipe. However, oat milk makes it much creamier.
- Lemon juice & lemon zest
This creamy lemon asparagus pasta uses both lemon juice & zest in the recipe. It adds SO much flavor so don’t skip it.
- Nutritional Yeast
- Spices & Garnish: Chili Flakes, Pepper, Salt, & Basil
All of these spices add tons of flavor to the dish, but add as much or as little as you would like!
A one-pan vegan pasta sauce
Other than cooking the pasta, this entire recipe can be made in one pan!
First you cook the garlic and shallots in the butter. Then you add in the asparagus and chickpeas to cook and crisp up. Next comes the sauce ingredients including the oat milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices. Finally, the cooked penne gets added in and mixed with the sauce for a truly delicious vegan lemon garlic pasta dish!
Here are a few tips & tricks to make this recipe perfect every time:
- Reserve some pasta water after cooking the penne. Just two Tbsp helps to thin the sauce while still adding in some starch from the pasta for an extra creamy sauce!
- Make sure to cook the chickpeas and asparagus until they are beginning to get brown and crispy. This helps to add a lot of flavor to the dish and avoid any mushy ingredients.
- Let the pasta sit with the sauce to thicken after cooking. This recipe makes a thin sauce that will thicken the longer it sits. I find removing the pan from the heat and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving does the trick for a creamier lemon garlic sauce.
- Make sure to use a shallow and wide pan. This helps to cook the ingredients evenly. I used my Demeyere pan for this recipe!
I truly hope you love this easy Vegan Lemon Garlic Pasta with Chickpeas & Asparagus as much as I do! Eating vegan & gluten-free can certainly be delicious, and this fresh lemony asparagus pasta is the perfect springtime dinner recipe.
Looking for more vegetarian pasta recipes? Check out these SGTO favorites:
- 10 oz dried gluten-free pasta
- ½ cup vegan butter (56 grams)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced (10 grams)
- 1 shallot, minced (20 grams)
- 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and dried, will be about 1.5 cups or 215 grams cooked chickpeas)
- 2 cups chopped asparagus (about 180 grams)
- ⅔ cup oat milk (or any plant-based milk)
- 2 Tbsp pasta water (set aside after cooking pasta)
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice (33 grams)
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest (6 grams)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (12 grams)
- 1 tsp ground pepper (3 grams)
- Salt to taste (add to preference)
- ½-½ tsp chili flakes (optional, depending on spice preference)
- Chopped basil (optional, as garnish)
- First cook the pasta according to package instructions. Before straining, remove 2 Tbsp of pasta water and set aside for the sauce. Then, strain the pasta and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the vegan butter to a large skillet pan. When the butter has melted, add in the minced garlic and shallot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Then, add in the chickpeas and asparagus. Sauté for 5-8 minutes until chickpeas are beginning to crisp up and asparagus is cooked through. Make sure to stir frequently.
- Next, add in the oat milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, pepper, salt, and chili flakes. Stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Then, add in the penne and stir until the penne is completely coated in the lemon butter sauce.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and let sit 2-3 minutes to thicken. Season with additional salt if needed. Then, top with chopped basil and serve warm. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 464Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 508mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 12gSugar: 8gProtein: 12g
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