Lemon Garlic Pasta is a quick and easy pasta dish with fresh dill, peas and asparagus. There’s no butter or heavy cream and it comes together in just 25 minutes!
This spring pasta is such an easy one to make. You just need a few fresh and simple ingredients and it can be on the table in less than half an hour!
You’ll love the uncomplicated flavours of lemon and garlic together with the hint of dill!
Throw in some fresh asparagus and tender green peas, and this is a stand out meal!
If you’re short on time, but still want to impress, this is the perfect pasta recipe to prepare for a dinner party, date night or busy weeknight!
*This recipe was originally published in June 2019. It has been updated with new photos, text and adjustments to the recipe.
Why you’ll love this lemon garlic pasta
- You only need 8 ingredients!
- The ‘sauce’ for the pasta is oil-based so you don’t need any heavy cream or butter.
- Keep it dairy-free and vegan by omitting the optional parmesan cheese at the end.
- You can also make it gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.
Details on the ingredients
Asparagus – You’ll need fresh asparagus for this recipe. Look for stalks that are firm with closed tips. If the stalks are wilted and limp and the tips are spreading, you should grab another bunch.
Peas – I’ve made this recipe with both fresh and frozen peas, and both worked well. If you’re buying fresh peas, make sure they’re firm and a vibrant colour green.
Garlic – Since garlic is a prominent flavour in this recipe be sure to go with fresh garlic cloves and not garlic powder.
Lemon – Similarly, this pasta is loaded with lemon flavour, so use freshly squeezed lemon juice and not bottled lemon juice.
Pasta – I used spaghetti here, but you can use any type of pasta you like.
Oil – We’re not using any butter in this recipe, just oil. I like to use extra virgin olive oil but you can also use olive oil. For the best flavour, make sure the oil you’re using is good quality.
Dill – A little fresh dill adds a slightly tangy flavour and pairs well with the garlic and lemon. You can use another type of fresh herb, if you prefer. Fresh parsley, basil or thyme would all work well.
Salt – Just a little to enhance the flavour of the other ingredients. Feel free to add more to suit your taste.
How to make easy lemon pasta with peas and asparagus
You’ll want to start by cooking your peas and asparagus. I like to blanch and shock mine in an ice bath.
The process of shocking the vegetables stops the cooking process and ensures the vegetables maintain their vibrant colour and firm texture. If you’re not sure how to do this, I’ve included instructions below.
Once the peas and asparagus are prepared, start cooking your pasta (according to package instructions). We like our pasta cooked al dente.
In a large skillet, wok or Dutch oven, sauté the garlic in oil over medium heat until softened (just a few minutes). Stir frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn or get crispy in the oil.
Add in the pasta, lemon, dill, salt, peas and asparagus. Toss to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until everything is heated through. (Don’t over cook as the veggies will get mushy).
Serve with additional salt and pepper to taste and grated parmesan cheese (optional).
How to blanch peas and asparagus
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and peas and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they just start to get tender.
- While the asparagus and peas are cooking prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice.
- Drain the cooked asparagus and peas and immediately plunge them into the ice bath. Leave them in there until they have cooled completely.
- Drain the water and ice (if it hasn’t already melted) from the bath and gently pat the vegetables dry with a paper towel.
Storage and reheating
While I think this lemon pasta is best enjoyed right away, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat, you can warm it in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove top. Just keep in mind that the peas and asparagus might get a little soft once reheated. You may also need to add a splash of hot water if the pasta is stuck together.
What goes with lemon garlic pasta
- Serve it with a salad (like this spring salad) and a side of crusty bread.
- For extra veggies, add some of these air fryer vegetables.
- To add some protein, top the pasta with some chicken meatballs or turkey meatballs.
- A side of crab cakes or salmon cakes would be delicious.
- For an elegant meal, add some breaded shrimp or scallops!
Key recipe tips
- Be careful not to boil the asparagus and peas for too long as they will end up soft and mushy.
- To keep this pasta dish vegan and gluten-free, be sure to use vegan, gluten-free pasta.
- To keep it dairy-free and vegan, omit the parmesan cheese at the end.
- You can use fresh or frozen peas. They cook for the same amount of time.
- This dish is garlicky. If you prefer it less garlicky, just cut back on the number of cloves.
- For extra lemony flavour, add a little lemon zest.
- If you can’t find fresh dill, try using another fresh herb like parsley, basil or thyme.
More pasta recipes
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
Lemon Garlic Pasta is quick and easy with fresh dill, peas and asparagus. There’s no butter or cream and it takes just 25 minutes to make!
- 2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen
- 16 spears fresh asparagus, halved with ends trimmed
- 1 package (227 grams) spaghetti (gluten-free, vegan)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive olive
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Grated parmesan cheese for topping, optional
- Additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste
- Blanch the peas and asparagus: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and lots of ice. Add the peas and asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Drain and quickly plunge into the ice bath. When the asparagus and peas have fully cooled, drain the water and set aside.
- Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil (use the same pot you cooked the peas and asparagus in) and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- Sauté the garlic: While the pasta is cooking, preheat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven and add the garlic. Cook on medium heat for for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn.
- Assemble: Add in the pasta, peas, asparagus, lemon juice, dill and salt. Stir until combined. Cover and let cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the peas and asparagus are heated through. Do not overcook as the vegetables will get too soft. Add grated parmesan cheese (optional), as well as some pepper and additional salt and lemon juice to taste. Serve and enjoy.
- To keep this recipe vegan and gluten-free, be sure to use vegan, gluten-free pasta.
- Fresh and frozen peas will cook for the same amount of time so use what’s available to you.
- This pasta is garlicky. If you prefer it a little less garlicky, just cut back on the cloves.
- If you can’t find fresh dill, you can substitute with fresh parsley, thyme or basil.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: asparagus, peas, spring pasta, lemon, garlic