Asparagus Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing {VIDEO}

Get the fresh, light taste of spring with CREAMY ASPARAGUS PASTA SALAD. This simple to make pasta dish combines fresh asparagus, tomatoes, red onion with a creamy lemon dressing. A tasty pasta salad for busy weekdays, outdoor dining, and all your summer parties and barbecues!

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Creamy Asparagus Pasta Salad comes with an extra punch of flavor from fresh lemon juice and makes a perfect spring side dish. Add grilled chicken and it could be a meal all on it’s own. Recipe at TidyMom.net

Why We Love This Asparagus Pasta Salad

I love asparagus. They were never served in our home when I was growing up. I didn’t know what I was missing out on until several years ago.  Not only are these little guys delicious, but they are full of health benefits. Asparagus are packed with vitamin C, K, and folate, and are an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich food. And don’t forget the fiber!

Seriously, I could eat asparagus at every meal. As soon as spring hits and they start showing up at the market I get so excited. Our favorite go-to, is simply roasted asparagus with parmesan, or Asparagus Gruyere Tart if I want to impress guests.

A while back I decided to make a big bowl of Asparagus Pasta Salad with a Creamy Lemon Dressing and you guys…..it rocked my world!  The lemon and asparagus marry perfectly together and the greek yogurt provides a fabulous creamy base to the simple lemon dressing. 

Creamy Asparagus Pasta Salad comes with an extra punch of flavor from fresh lemon juice and makes a perfect spring side dish. Add grilled chicken and it could be a meal all on it’s own. Recipe at TidyMom.net

How To Choose Asparagus

When shopping for fresh asparagus there are a few things to look for to get the best bundle.

Look for asparagus that are bright green in color and fades to white at the bottom. The tips may have a purple cast and should be closed and tight. The stalks should be firm and stand up straight, avoid asparagus that bend/flop to the side or look shriveled.

Asparagus are in season from February to June, with April being peak season.

Asparagus are grown in several sizes. All sizes are flavorful, just be mindful to select a bundle with the stalks all similar in size for consistent cooking.

If you don’t plan on enjoying the asparagus the day you buy them, there are a few things you should do to keep your asparagus fresh:

  • Do not wash asparagus until you are ready to prepare them for cooking
  • Trim the bottom and wrap the cut ends in a wet paper towel. Store them in a large plastic bag in the refrigerator (preferably in the vegetable crisper) for 3-4 days.
  • Trim the bottoms of the asparagus, and fill a wide glass or jar with 1-inch of water. Place the cut ends in the water and cover the tips with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

bundle of asparagus spears

 

What You Need For Asparagus Pasta Salad

  • uncooked pasta –  such as penne or rotini
  • asparagustrim the ends. Line the spears up in a row on a cutting board. Using a chef knife cut the ends all at once right where the stalks turn from white to green. Then cut spears into 2-inch pieces
  • tomatoes – cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • red onion –  thinly sliced. Want to make red onions sweeter? Soak the cut onion in ice water for about 30 minutes then drain, they will lose the strong flavor and become sweeter.

a glass bowl filled with pasta salad

for the creamy lemon dressing:

  • plain greek yogurt
  • lemon juice – fresh squeezed is always best, but the bottled stuff works just fine too.
  • minced garlic – I buy minced garlic in the jar and always have it in my fridge – super easy!
  • olive oil
  • honey
  • lemon zest
  • lemon pepper – a delicious seasoning made from granulated lemon zest and cracked black peppercorns.  It’s wonderful on seafood too!!
  • sea salt

bowl of pasta salad with spoonful of pasta salad

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How To Make The Best Asparagus Pasta Salad

You can make the creamy lemon dressing ahead of time if you’d prefer. The ingredients will then have a chance to mingle with each other and become even more flavorful. Just make sure to shake the dressing before pouring over pasta.

to make the dressing:

Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a wide mouth jar with a screw-on lid or in a salad dressing shaker.  Shake the jar vigorously until ingredients are well combined.  Set the dressing aside (or in the fridge if you’re not going to use it right away)

to make the asparagus pasta salad:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 11 minutes. Then add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook with pasta for another 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and asparagus then rinse it with cold water until cooled; allow drain well.

Transfer the cooked and cooled pasta and asparagus to a large bowl, gently stir in tomatoes and onions.  Toss with dressing, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Serve cold or room temperature. Enjoy!

pasta salad in a bowl with lemons in background

Variations Of This Pasta Salad

Creamy Asparagus Pasta Salad leftovers are a dream! I will often serve it as a side dish for dinner two nights, then toss in some cooked chicken and eat it for lunch. —  a flavor combination I can’t get enough of! It would be wonderful served at a shower, busy weekdays, lazy weekends, picnics, and BBQs.

While chilled pasta salads really steal the show in the spring and summer, you can enjoy them all year long. When asparagus are out of season this pasta salad recipe would work well with broccoli, green beans, cauliflower and more.  Feel free to use your favorite pasta with in-season veggies!

Like This Asparagus Pasta Salad? Pin It!

close up of pasta salad in a bowl

pinterest-image

More Pasta Salad Recipes you might enjoy:

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad at TidyMom

Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe at Gimme Some Oven

Creamy Cheddar Pasta Salad recipe at Center Cut Cook

Hawaiian Pasta Salad recipe at Spend with Pennies

Easy Summer Pasta Salad recipe at Two Peas and Their Pod

Greek Pasta Salad recipe at Reluctant Entertainer

 

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a glass bowl filled with pasta salad

Creamy Asparagus Pasta Salad

Yield: 8-12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Minimum Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 23 minutes

This Creamy Asparagus Pasta Salad comes with an extra punch of flavor from fresh lemon juice and makes a perfect spring side dish. Add grilled chicken and it could be a meal all on it’s own.

Ingredients

for the dressing

  • 10 ounces greek yogurt
  • 4-5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

for the pasta salad

  • 1 pound uncooked pasta, such as penne or rotini
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and spears cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

To Make The Creamy Lemon Dressing:

  1. Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and screw on lid.  Shake jar vigorously until ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust quantities as desired. Set the dressing aside.

To Make Pasta Salad:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 11 minutes, then add the cut asparagus to the boiling water and cook with pasta for another 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and asparagus then rinse it with cold water until cooled; allow drain well.
  2. Transfer the pasta and asparagus to a large bowl, gently stir in tomatoes and onions.  Toss with dressing, cover, and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
  3. Serve cold or room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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Creamy Asparagus Pasta Salad comes with an extra punch of flavor from fresh lemon juice and makes a perfect spring side dish. Add grilled chicken and it could be a meal all on it’s own. Recipe at TidyMom.net