Lemony Garlic Pasta with Asparagus and Kale – gf +vegan

This pasta reminds me of spring! It’s light and zesty, loaded with green vegetables, and tastes incredibly fresh. It’s a great meal to have in the dead of winter, especially with a large green salad. Can you tell I am dreaming of spring? Honestly, I am a sucker for anything lemon. This dish is also ridiculously easy to throw together. My one year old loves noodles, garlic, lemon and asparagus, so it’s a win-win for both adults and littles.


I got the inspiration for this recipe from ifoodreal.com. She uses yogurt, parmesan cheese, and wheat noodles in her recipe, so I knew I wanted to make an allergy friendly version. I have no idea what the original recipe tastes like, but I know I LOVE this gluten free vegan variation. Anything with lemon zest is an A+ in my book!



  • 12 ounces of gluten free quinoa pasta (I used trader joe’s)
  • 3 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/2 – 1 cup pasta water, reserved
  • 1 lemon, you will use both the zest and juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bunch kale (or 1/2 of a large bunch), chopped into small pieces
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed & cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
  • Nutritional yeast flakes, dried/fresh basil, for topping (this is optional)


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking remember to reserve about 1 cup of the water and set aside.
  2. Pour the vegetable broth into a medium sized pot (with a lid) and add in the cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.
  3. Turn heat on medium high and cook for 2-4 minutes until the broth has thickened from the cornstarch.
  4. While broth is thickening, zest your entire lemon (if you feel you are slow at besting, do it before you start cooking the broth).
  5. Add the chopped asparagus to the pot and sprinkle in the salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until the asparagus is fork tender.
  6. Remove lid and remove from heat. Add the lemon zest, minced garlic and nutritional yeast. Stir until everything is well incorporated. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water slowly until the sauce has thinned a bit, but doesn’t become runny.
  7. Add the chopped kale, a tablespoon or so of lemon juice and pasta. Add more pasta water if needed.
  8. You can top the pasta with dried basil or some additional nutritional yeast.

I’ve eaten this pasta both warm and cold, and it’s good either way!


I wish you could smell the pictures, because the smell is quite heavenly.


Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! It’s a great finger food for littles because everything is bite sized. I really think you enjoy this pop of citrus garlicky goodness in the middle of winter.

Check out my other pasta recipes here.



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