Cheesy Asparagus Pesto Pasta #recipe

I’ve made pesto out of just about every ingredient you can imagine. Basil pesto? Check. Kale pesto? Check. Jalapeño pesto? Check. And now I’ve got one more to add to the pasta sauce lineup with this quick and easy recipe for Cheesy Asparagus Pesto Pasta.

This is root-to-stem cooking in action, as we utilize the sturdy spears for the pesto sauce itself and reserve the attractive tips to toss into the final dish. And like all pesto recipes, the door for customization has been left wide open on this recipe, so feel free to use your choice of cheese and nuts.

Cheesy Asparagus Pesto Pasta #recipe

Cheesy Asparagus Pesto Pasta #recipe

Cheesy Asparagus Pesto Pasta #recipe

Cheesy Asparagus Pesto Pasta #recipe

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Cheesy Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Kick up classic pesto with a quick and easy recipe for Cheesy Asparagus Pesto Pasta.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2

    large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon

    fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon

    fresh black pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    olive oil

  • 1 pound uncooked pasta


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Slice the asparagus into 2-inch pieces and add them to the boiling water for 1 minute then remove them and immediately rinse them under cold water. (Keep the pot of salted water at a boil.)
  • Reserve some of the tips of the asparagus to use as garnish. Add the rest of the asparagus to a blender, along with the toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend the ingredients for 10 to 15 seconds, then with the blender still running, slowly stream in the olive oil until it’s fully incorporated and the mixture is well-blended, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl, add the pesto and reserved asparagus spears, tossing to combine. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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Calories: 516kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 289mg, Potassium: 354mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 615IU, Vitamin C: 5.5mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 3.1mg

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    1. Hi Sam! I’ve never tried this recipe with spinach but it *should* work. I would love to hear your results if you give it a shot!

  1. I can honestly say – that is one of the best pasta recipes I have ever tasted….and Ive eaten in some great Italian restaurants (in Italy). Easy to prepare and absolutely delicious!!

    1. Hi Ian! Thanks so much for your kind comment. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe!

  2. I’ve never heard of pesto made with asparagus before, but now it seems like an obvious idea … not to mention divine-tasting. Will definitely remember this one!

  3. Such a fabulous recipe, it’s all my favorite ingredients combined into one! I know, I know… I say that about all of your recipes. :)

  4. I love asparagus but my husband doesn’t, and since he’s out of town I made this last night with brown rice noodles. I love it so much, I’m making it from now on whether he’s at home or not! Thanks for sharing your recipe. :)

  5. love this creative use of asparagus!!! I love making new spins on pesto sauce and this right here is def a winner

  6. Great tutorial. Everything is much easier when you can see these step-by-step pictures. Love it ;-)

  7. Great tutorial. Everything is so much easier when we can see these step-by-step pictures. Love it ;-)

  8. What a wonderful idea to use the asparagus as a base for the pesto! And I thought I’d tried every pesto out there. Great idea!

  9. What a gorgeous color!! I make pesto out of everything Theres arugula pesto sitting in a jar right now!