Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta

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Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta is made with orzo pasta and fresh asparagus, tossed in a garlic butter sauce and parmesan cheese. It’s an easy 20-minute, cheesy side dish!

Orzo pasta and asparagus in a skillet with parmesan cheese.


Easy Orzo Pasta With Asparagus

This Asparagus Pasta recipe is heavenly. I mean, smother anything in garlic butter sauce and it’ll automatically taste great, but this pasta is next-level delicious. Just look at that layer of golden orzo and beautiful, bright green asparagus covered in buttery amazingness… is your stomach rumbling yet?

When I need a quick side dish that I know everybody will eat, I whip up this simple mix of cheesy asparagus and tender pasta. It goes with just about any meal you can think of – chicken, steak, fish, you name it. You can even serve it by itself as a light dinner, if you want!

However you want to enjoy it is just fine, as long as you give it a try. You will not regret digging into this parmesan pasta with asparagus, which you can make in just 20 minutes by the way! Prepare to be blown away by the cheesy garlic butter goodness!

(Also… If you’re looking for another cheesy asparagus pasta recipe, check out this Creamy Chicken Asparagus Pasta and Cheese Recipe!)

What Makes This Asparagus Pasta So Good?

There are a lot of orzo pasta recipes out there, so why make this one? Good question! Here’s why I’m so in love with this asparagus pasta recipe:

  • Cheesy and Buttery. I just can’t stop talking about how fantastic this garlicky, cheesy veggie pasta tastes. I don’t know about you, but if I could enjoy a parmesan garlic butter sauce every day, I probably would!
  • Quick. As mentioned above, you can make this pasta in 20 minutes! Plus, most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry or in the fridge.
  • Healthy. Look at all that fresh asparagus! This pasta side dish is a great way to encourage your kids to gobble down veggies.
Tender orzo pasta with asparagus in a garlic butter sauce.

Recipe Ingredients

Let’s talk about what you need to round up to make this pasta! Keep in mind that you can find the exact quantities for each ingredient in the recipe card below.

  • Pasta – I like to use orzo in this recipe, but you could also use another small pasta like penne.
  • Asparagus – Just use the tips for this dish (cut the asparagus about 2 to 3 inches from the top).
  • Butter – Salted and unsalted both work – if you use salted, just reduce the amount of salt you add in later.
  • Garlic – I like to mince garlic cloves because it provides the strongest flavor, but you can use store-bought minced garlic or even garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Grated parmesan cheese tastes best here, but you can use pre-shredded parmesan if you’re in a hurry.
  • Milk – I prefer to use skim milk, but 1 or 2% milk can be substituted.
  • Seasoning – Keep it simple with salt, pepper, and some fresh parsley!

How To Make Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta

This asparagus pasta is one of those side dishes that forces me to go back and steal just one more bite (make that TEN) while I’m packing it up to put away in the fridge. But, before that, here’s how it all comes together (note that you can find the full set of directions in the recipe card as well!):

  • Prepare the pasta. Cook the orzo according to the package directions, adding the asparagus tips in for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Then, remove everything from the heat and drain.
  • Add butter to a skillet. Next, stir in the garlic and cook it for 5 minutes. Continue to stir so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Combine the ingredients. Then, stir in the prepared orzo and asparagus stalks, along with the cheese, milk, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Enjoy. Cook everything for 1 more minute, garnish with parmesan cheese, and finally, serve!
Asparagus pasta in a pan with parmesan cheese and garlic butter sauce.

Tips & Recipe Variations

Pretty simple, right? I only have a few more tips and tricks to share with you before you get started on the pasta:

  • Cut the asparagus. If you snap the asparagus, you’ll lose more of the stalk than just the tough part that you’re trying to get rid of. Slicing the stalks allows you to be more precise when you cut them 2-3 inches from the top.
  • Use thin asparagus. The thinner the stalks are, the easier they are to eat with pasta. That being said, you can absolutely use thick asparagus if you prefer.
  • Add lemon juice. If you want some tangy, zesty flavor thrown in with this pasta, add some fresh lemon juice!

What Goes With Asparagus Pasta?

Like I mentioned above, this asparagus pasta recipe can be served with practically any main course! Here are some of my favorite pairings:

Orzo and asparagus with grated parmesan cheese.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Should you have any leftover pasta, go ahead and save some for later – it makes a great lunch for school or work! Here’s how to do that:

  • To Store. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • To Reheat. The best way to reheat this pasta is in a skillet with a touch of oil over medium-low heat, because this will help the asparagus crisp up a little. If you’re not worried so much about the texture of the asparagus, though, you can just use the microwave.

More Easy Asparagus Recipes

Ready to try some more asparagus side dishes? These are some of my favorites!

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4.92 from 23 votes

Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta

Orzo pasta and fresh asparagus are tossed in a garlic butter sauce with parmesan cheese. It’s a 20-minute, garlicky, cheesy, and amazing side dish!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, , tips only (cut the asparagus about 2 to 3-inches from the top)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, , minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, , to taste
  • shredded parmesan cheese for garnish, , optional
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  • Prepare orzo according to the directions on the package.
  • Add the asparagus tips to the orzo the last 2-minutes of cooking.
  • Remove from heat and drain.

In the meantime prepare the garlic-butter sauce.

  • Add butter to a skillet and melt over medium heat.
  • Stir in garlic and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring very frequently. Do not burn the garlic.
  • Add orzo and asparagus to the skillet; stir in the cheese, milk, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 1 minute, or until heated through.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with parmesan cheese.
  • Serve.



  • To Store. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • To Reheat. The best way to reheat this pasta is in a skillet with a touch of oil over medium-low heat, because this will help the asparagus crisp up a little. If you’re not worried so much about the texture of the asparagus, though, you can just use the microwave.


Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1360IU | Vitamin C: 8.4mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Karen Hintz says:

    Absolutely delicious! I’ve enjoyed it as written and also with a few additions like onion and a bit of leftover red & yellow pepper julienne strips.
    I will be making this often.

    1. Katerina says:

      Fantastic to hear you loved it and even personalized it with onion and colorful pepper strips! It’s great to know it’s become a dish you’ll make often. Looking forward to hearing more about your variations in the future! Thank YOU! 🙂

  2. Judy says:

    One of my go-to and all-time fave!!!

  3. Gail says:

    I added some shrimp halved & some red pepper flakes Yummy one dish

    1. Katerina says:

      Adding shrimp and red pepper flakes sounds like a delicious twist! It’s great that it turned out yummy as a one-dish meal. Thank YOU! 🙂

  4. Toni Lamb says:

    Delicious and easy to prepare.

  5. Debbie Obrien says:

    I have a family of 3 adults and a 12, 5, and 4 year old grandchildren… it’s not easy finding dinners that everyone one likes. I paired this with peach bbq pork steaks…they loved everything! My 5 year old grandson (who’s not one for veggies of any kind) loves asparagus now! My 4 year old granddaughter (who only likes certain veggies and no meat) loved it all! Thank you for your recipes!! God bless you profusely!

  6. Kim says:

    Awesome recipe! Loved this for dinner. I added chicken

  7. Daph says:

    We add onion to the recipe and it makes it even better! Love this dish.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! I’m glad everyone enjoyed it! 🙂