Asparagus Pasta with charred kale, and a lemony cannellini bean leek sauce.  This healthy vegan pasta comes together in under 30 minutes- fast enough for a weeknight dinner! Vegan. Video.

Charred Asparagus Kale Pasta with a creamy Cannellini Bean Leek Sauce.  This healthy, vegan pasta comes together in less than 30 minutes! #veganpasta #pasta #springpasta #asparaguspasta

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This lemon Asparagus Pasta recipe is a quick and easy springtime dish that can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Simple ingredients come together quickly in this fresh, flavorful vegan pasta dish. Cannellini beans break down beautifully creating a creamy satisfying sauce without dairy, leeks are sautéed until melty pairing perfectly with the richness of the beans. Lemon zest and lemon thyme give a bright balance.  Asparagus and kale are cooked tender-crisp with a bit of toasty char flavor. With its delicious vegan ingredients and fast preparation time, this pasta is perfect for a healthy and enjoyable weeknight dinner.

For more Asparagus inspiration check out 20+ Best Asparagus Recipes!

Asparagus Pasta | 60-Second Video

Charred Asparagus Kale Pasta with a creamy, lemony, Cannellini Bean Leek Sauce.  This healthy, vegan pasta comes together in less than 30 minutes! 

Why You’ll Love This Pasta!

  • Quick and easy: With a preparation time of under 30 minutes, this recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. The cannellini beans break down to create a creamy sauce without dairy, while the asparagus and kale cook to a tender-crisp texture with a touch of char flavor.
  • Vegan and healthy: This pasta is completely vegan, making it a great option for those following a plant-based diet. It is also packed with nutritious ingredients like asparagus, kale, and cannellini beans, providing you with a healthy and satisfying meal.
  • Versatile: You can enjoy this pasta either warm or at room temperature, making it suitable for any season. It can be served as a main dish or as a side dish alongside your favorite protein.
  • Delicious leftovers: Leftovers of this Asparagus Pasta can be refrigerated and reheated for up to 4 days. This makes it a convenient and tasty option for meal prep or for enjoying a quick and flavorful lunch.

Ingredients in Asparagus Pasta

It starts with fresh ingredients- asparagus, kale, leeks, lemon and a good-quality pasta.

ingredients in asparagus kale pasta

Ingredient Notes

Pasta: You can use any good-quality pasta of your choice for this recipe. We used organic Torchiette pasta, which is also known as “little torches.” It holds and cradles sauces well, but you can use similar-sized pasta varieties as well. Gluten-free pasta works too.

Asparagus: Choose fresh asparagus spears for the best flavor. If the asparagus is on the thicker side, you can slice it in half vertically and then into inch-sized pieces. Alternatively, you can keep the asparagus whole for a more tender-crisp texture.

Kale: Look for fresh kale leaves, preferably organic. Swap out other green leafy vegetables such as swiss chard.

Leeks: Leeks add a delicious flavor to the dish. Slice the leeks thinly and make sure to wash them thoroughly to remove any sand or dirt trapped between the layers.

Lemon: Fresh lemon zest and juice bring brightness to the dish. Use a microplane or a fine grater to zest the lemon and extract the juice.

Cannellini Beans: These creamy white beans are the base for the sauce in this recipe. Make sure to use canned cannellini beans or cook dried beans in advance and have them drained and rinsed.

Olive Oil: High-quality extra virgin olive oil is recommended for sautéing the leeks and creating a flavorful sauce.

Thyme: Lemon thyme is used in this recipe to add an aromatic herbal note. If you can’t find lemon thyme, regular thyme will work as well. Or other fresh herbs such as tarragon, rosemary or sage.

Salt and Pepper: Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste.

See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.     

How To Make Asparagus Pasta

Get your veggies prepped.  If your asparagus is on the thicker side slice in half vertically and then in inch size pieces.  Or keep it whole for a more tender-crisp texture.

You can cook the veggies two different ways.  Roast in the oven or char in a hot skillet.

Charring veggies in the oven feels faster with less hands-on time.  Keep a close eye to make sure they do not overcook.

This is the skillet cooked asparagus and kale.  Cooking the asparagus and kale in a skillet makes it a little easier to get a sear on the asparagus without overcooking.  Either method works.

Saute leeks and garlic.  Mash the cannellini beans into the pan along with olive oil, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, thyme, salt, pepper and reserved pasta water to make a sauce.

Creating a beautiful creamy sauce within minutes and no extra dishes!

Toss all together, adjust with a pinch of salt if needed, and top with this delicious recipe for Vegan Cheesy Sprinkle for a rich Parmesan-like flavor.

Asparagus Pasta FAQS

Can I make this pasta ahead and reheat it?

Yes, leftovers of this Asparagus Pasta can be refrigerated and reheated for up to 4 days. It’s a great option for meal prep or enjoying a quick and flavorful lunch.

Can I add chicken to this pasta?

Serving with grilled or roasted chicken on the side would be fine! Salmon or shrimp would be lovely too.

Do Cannellini beans have protein?

Dried beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, folate, iron and magnesium. They may also help balance blood sugar levels.

Is asparagus pasta healthy?

This dish is vegan and packed with nutritious ingredients like asparagus, kale, and cannellini beans. Asparagus is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and potassium. Kale is also rich in vitamin C, A, and K, and is a great source of calcium and antioxidants. Cannellini beans provide protein, fiber, and several essential nutrients.

What to serve with Asparagus Pasta

Charred Asparagus Kale Pasta with a creamy Cannellini Bean Leek Sauce.  This healthy, spring, vegan pasta recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes! #veganpasta #pasta #springpasta #asparaguspasta

Leftovers keep about 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container, reheat or enjoy chilled!

Enjoy the Asparagus Pasta and let us know how you like it!


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 Asparagus Pasta with kale, leeks and a creamy Cannellini Bean Leek Sauce.  This healthy, spring, vegan pasta recipe comes together quickly and easily!

Asparagus Pasta Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 21 reviews
  • Author: Tonia Schemmel | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Category: Pasta,
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Asparagus Pasta with kale, leeks and a creamy Cannellini Bean Leek Sauce.  This healthy, spring, vegan pasta recipe comes together quickly and easily!


Units Scale
  • 67 ounces dry pasta ( torchiette, orecchiette, penne pasta, etc.)
  • 1 bunch kale, 8-10 oz, about 45 cups chopped in small chunks, discarding the thicker ribs
  • 10 ounces asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces (slice in half vertically if on the thicker side)
  • 1 cup leeks, chopped thinly in 1/2 rounds
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped small
  • 1 1/2 cups or 15 oz cannellini beans
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (or unsalted butter)
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 23 tablespoons lemon juice plus more to finish
  • 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
  • 23 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme leaves ( or regular thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Vegan Cheesy Sprinkle (optional) or vegan parmesan, or regular parmesan cheese


  1. Set oven to 450F if roasting the veggies in the oven. (Instructions included for both oven roasting and pan sautéing below.)
  2. Cook the Pasta: Place 2 quarts of water in a large pot with 1 tablespoon salt to boil on the stove, cooking pasta al dente according to directions. Drain and reserve 1/3 cup of the hot pasta water.
  3. Char in OVEN: On a parchment-lined sheet pan (for easy clean up), place cut asparagus tossed with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, on one side of the pan.  Rub kale with about a teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt (I use my hands to rub the oil into the kale to get it to absorb and tenderize).  Place kale on the other side of the sheet pan and place in the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes, until kale is wilted and starting to lightly char. If you want more char broil for 1-2 minutes. OR Char in large SKILLET: In a hot cast iron skillet, start with asparagus dry frying, stir constantly for 3-4 minutes, when it begins to sear remove from heat adding a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  Repeat the same process with kale.
  4. Make the Sauce: Saute leeks with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat until soft and just beginning to brown for about 3-4 minutes, add garlic sautéing 1 min more.  Remove from heat.  Add about half of the beans into the pan with the leeks and garlic along with 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup reserved pasta water.  Mash together with a fork making a creamy blend.  Heat up to warm.
  5. Assemble:  Mix the cooked pasta into the creamy bean sauce, adding the remaining whole beans, charred asparagus and kale. Add more lemon and salt to taste.

Top with Aleppo (if desired), fresh chives and lots of vegan Cheesy Sprinkle!  Also good with goat cheese or Parmesan cheese.


Fresh thyme can vary in pungency so add according to your taste.  I find lemon thyme milder and use the full 3 teaspoons.

Leftovers keep about 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container, reheat or enjoy chilled!


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 458
  • Sugar: 4.1 g
  • Sodium: 501.2 mg
  • Fat: 18.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60.9 g
  • Fiber: 8.6 g
  • Protein: 15.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. I made this for dinner last night and used the entire 16 oz of pasta (so I didn’t have a tiny amount of leftovers) and added a little extra pasta water as a result. Otherwise, made exactly as stated. This was excellent and made a lot – we are having leftovers again tonight!

    1. Hi Connie- the videos play 20 seconds before advancing to the next one. Just refresh the page, then to keep watching click “stay”.

  2. Wow! My husband’s and my taste buds were jumping for joy! This Asparagus Pasta with Lemony Cannellini Beans is absolutely delicious, as are all the recipes I’ve tried on this blog site so far, Sylvia. How did I not discover your site sooner? Thank you for sharing these recipes. The directions are easy to follow and the meals are delightfully tasty!

  3. This pasta is a staple in our home. Absolutely to die for. I am so grateful for the world wide web blessing me with this recipe!! haha. It’s so flavorful and perfect. We are not vegan so we do grate some fresh parm on top at the end but it’s equally delicious without.

  4. Made this for the first time this evening and it was absolutely fabulous! Added goat cheese to the sauce before adding the pasta and the sauce was silky and delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  5. We absolutely loved this recipe! I love that it’s vegetarian, but still hearty and filling. We melted goat cheese into the sauce which was delicious. Love the fresh lemony flavor, along with the charred kale! Definitely a keeper!

  6. I prepared the recipe as written, plus added two extra cloves of garlic (I love garlic), and the juice of the whole lemon that I zested. Cannellini beans and lemon are so complementary. This dish was delicious!

  7. I love this recipe, it’s so delicious and easy to make! I like to double the beans for a little extra sauce. Yum!

  8. This is so easy to make and so delicious! I made it the first time with curly kale and this time with lacinto kale. I loved the lacinto so much better. The white bean sauce is so filling and yummy with the lemon and garlic. My husband doesn’t eat pasta so he eats it as a side and I mix in the pasta for mine. So good!!

  9. You have officially become my go-to food blog. I’ve made 5 recipes so far from your blog (including this one, twice!) and they are absolutely delicious. All of them have been great weekday recipes!

  10. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. 5/7 family members went back for second helpings including the kids! I’ll bookmark to make again!

  11. Good, natural ingredients. Perfect mix of vegetables, beans, pasta. Easy to make. Vegan. The whole thing is one great creative combination (not only flavors but also using the cannellini to make a healthy “cream” base, etc.). And totally delicious. I have one other asparagus pasta recipe that I’ve relied on for years but this one is absolutely my new go-to! This recipe is excellent, thank you.

  12. Loved it! Heavy on the veggies, used Banza chick pea pasta so did not add in the reserved whole beans at the end. Didn’t have asparagus, so used broccoli. Also added more pasta water (about a cup), hot red pepper flakes and a hand full of parsley.

  13. This is excellent! Given the massive size of the kale bunch at my grocery and being unsure of your intention for the amount of kale, I instead opted for around 4-4.5 ounces of salad -grade baby kale, which worked fine. But it would be helpful to indicate the weight of the kale as with the asparagus. A “bunch” is highly variable based on the store and the variety of kale.

  14. Delicious! I’ve made this recipe twice. First time I followed the recipe, tonight I added preserved lemon. Yumm! I can’t quite get this together in 30 minutes, but it easy and fast. I plan to adapt the main recipe and use other veggies.

    1. Thanks Jaye! Love preserved lemon. Appreciate the feed back on preparation time.

    1. Charring does cook the asparagus to a tender crisp texture. Especially when it is cut into pieces.

  15. Next time I prepare this delicious recipe I want to add some lightly toasted pine nuts. They seem to be calling to me.

    Sylvia, I am so grateful to have found your blog. Although a seasoned cook (no pun intended) of many years, your expertise and wonderful recipes have become my go-to. I have loved every one I have tried so far. I am doing my best to use seasonal vegetables at the moment. Even my carnivore husband has really enjoyed the meals I have prepared. I have finally taken the plunge with an Instant Pot, too. So far it is sitting on the counter as the recipes I have found seem to be less Spring oriented. Thank you so much for the new horizons.

    1. Sounds good and glad you are enjoying the blog, Martie. Yes, I agree, I tend to put the instant pot during the warmer months- unless I want to cook beans.:)

  16. Absolutely delicious and will definitely make it again! Perfect amount of lemon seasoning. Had 2 bowls – one with Aleppo and one without and both equally tasty!

  17. Made this for Monday night supper after work. Fast, easy and really delicious! I will definitely make this again. Thank you!

  18. Delicious!!! I added some chopped preserved lemon for added tanginess and broccolini just cause it’s in season. Amazing dish!


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