Balsamic Asparagus Pasta – Connoisseurus Veg

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The perfect dinner for asparagus lovers! This asparagus pasta is packed with zippy balsamic flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes.

Table Set with Plate of Balsamic Asparagus Pasta, Skillet, Fork, and Water Glass

Asparagus is the first spring veggie I always get excited about spring. I try to come up with at least one new delicious dish to incorporate it in each year. Asparagus pasta is my dish this year!

Asparagus goes great with pasta, thanks to it’s tender-crisp texture and earthy flavor. It’s also one of those veggies that’s really easy to incorporate into a pasta dinner.

This particular asparagus pasta recipe is super easy. The asparagus gets quickly steamed in a skillet and then cooked up with zippy balsamic vinegar and garlic. Easy! You’re definitely going to want to hang on to this one for those busy weeknights!

Skillet of Balsamic Asparagus Pasta on a White Wooden Surface with Tea Towel and Wooden Spoon
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Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Penne pasta. Feel free to substitute just about any variety of dried pasta here.
  • Asparagus. We’re using fresh asparagus. Please don’t use frozen or canned asparagus — since asparagus is the star of the dish we’re using the good stuff!
  • Salt.
  • Olive oil. The recipe will work with any high-heat oil, but olive will give your sauce the best flavor.
  • Garlic.
  • Balsamic vinegar. Use good quality balsamic vinegar! Choose a variety that’s thick and syrupy, with a hint of sweetness. Check the ingredients to make sure it’s 100% balsamic, and not a blend of balsamic and red wine vinegar.
  • Red pepper flakes. Leave these out for a heat-free version of the dish.
  • Black pepper.
  • Fresh parsley or basil. Choose your favorite for finishing the dish, or leave it out if you prefer!

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Plate of Balsamic Asparagus Pasta with Water Glass in the Background

Trimming Asparagus

First, let’s talk about trimming your asparagus!

The number one mistake people seem to make when cooking asparagus is not trimming the spears, or doing so incorrectly. Have you ever bitten into an asparagus spear, only to find the end is super tough and chewy? That’s the worst! That end needs to be trimmed before you cook your asparagus.

Here’s the trick to trimming asparagus perfectly: grab a spear, grasping each end in one of your hands. Now bend it until it breaks. It should break in just the right spot, every time! Now discard the bottom portion of your spear (which will probably be between ¼ and ⅓ of the length of your asparagus), and cook the upper portion according to the recipe.

Cooking the Dish

You’ll need one large skillet with a lid to make this recipe. Cut your asparagus into 2-inch pieces and cook your pasta according to the package directions.

  • Add about ½ cup of water to the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Now add your asparagus.
  • Cover the skillet. Let the asparagus steam for just a few minutes, until it just begins to tenderize and turn bright green.
Collage Showing Steps for Steaming Asparagus: Heat Asparagus and Water in a Skillet and Cover

Note: if you really want to save time, you can skip the steaming. I recommend steaming because it prevents the asparagus from coming out too stringy.

  • Transfer the asparagus to a plate and pour the water out of the skillet. Dry the skillet and place it back on the burner.
  • Heat up some oil and return the asparagus to the skillet. Crank up the heat and cook the asparagus until it’s tender and has some dark spots.
  • Push the asparagus to the side and add minced garlic to the skillet. Just cook the garlic for a minute or two, stirring the whole time to prevent burning.
  • Stir everything up to combine the garlic and asparagus, pour in some balsamic vinegar, and let it simmer for a minute. Stir in cooked pasta and some red pepper flakes. Cook everything for a minute more until the pasta is heated throughout.
Collage Showing Steps 1-4 for Making Asparagus Pasta: Sear Asparagus, Add Garlic, Add Balsamic, and Add Pasta

Take the skillet off of the burner and season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle it with some parsley or fresh basil if you’d like. You could even top it off with some vegan Parmesan cheese if you like!

Skillet of Balsamic Asparagus Pasta on a White Table

Tip: For a different spin on this dish, try serving it cold, as asparagus pasta salad.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover asparagus pasta will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this asparagus pasta be made gluten-free?

Yes! Just use gluten-free pasta.

When is asparagus in season?

Asparagus is in season from late winter to early summer, but is generally available year-round.

More Asparagus Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter. And please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you make it!

Plate of balsamic Asparagus Pasta with a fork.

Balsamic Asparagus Pasta

The perfect dinner for asparagus lovers! This asparagus pasta is packed with zippy balsamic flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes.


  • 10
    dried penne pasta
  • 1 ½
    fresh asparagus spears
  • Salt,
    to taste
  • 2
    olive oil
  • 4
    garlic cloves,

  • cup
    balsamic vinegar
  • ¼
    red pepper flakes
    (or to taste)
  • Black pepper,
    to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley or basil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta into a colander, return it to the pot, and toss it with a dash of olive oil.

  2. Break the woody ends from the asparagus spears, then cut them into 2-inch pieces.

  3. Add ½ cup of water to a large skillet and place it over high heat. Bring the water to a boil.

  4. Lower the heat to medium and add the asparagus. Cover the skillet and steam the asparagus for about 2 minutes, until they just begin to tenderize and turn bright green.

  5. Transfer the asparagus to a plate, then pour the water out of the skillet.

  6. Return the skillet to the burner and coat the bottom with the olive oil. Raise the heat to medium-hight.

  7. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then return the asparagus to the skillet and sprinkle it with a pinch of salt. Cook the asparagus for about 3 minutes, flipping once or twice, until it begins to darken in spots.

  8. Lower the heat to medium. Push the asparagus to the sides and add the garlic to the center of the skillet.

  9. Cook the garlic, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until it becomes very fragrant.

  10. Pour the balsamic vinegar into the skillet, along with the red pepper flakes. The vinegar should start simmering right away. Let it cook for about a minute, to reduce slightly.

  11. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss it to coat it with the balsamic. Cook everything for about a minute, until the pasta is heated throughout.

  12. Remove the skillet from heat and season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste. Optionally, sprinkle with parsley or basil.

  13. Divide onto plates and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Balsamic Asparagus Pasta

Amount Per Serving

Calories 366
Calories from Fat 75

% Daily Value*

Fat 8.3g13%

Saturated Fat 1.3g7%

Sodium 300mg13%

Potassium 528mg15%

Carbohydrates 60.7g20%

Fiber 5.9g24%

Sugar 5.2g6%

Protein 13.2g26%

Calcium 63mg6%

Iron 6mg33%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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