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Bowl of Vegan Creamy Lemon Asparagus Orzo

Vegan Creamy Lemon Asparagus Orzo

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 Minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Diet: Vegan


Rich and creamy with a touch of elegance, this Vegan Creamy Lemon Asparagus Orzo is brimming with bright flavors, earthy asparagus, and Spring vibes.



Skillet Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup [raw] cashews
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain plant milk
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (+/-)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard (+/-) *

Skillet Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) * 

Stir-In Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (+/-) *
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (+/-) 

Other Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. orzo pasta *
  • 16 oz. fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces 

Optional Toppings:


  1. Place the trimmed and cut asparagus into a large skillet with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower to a gentle simmering boil.  Simmer 5 to 7 minutes (more or less largely dependent on how tender/crisp you enjoy asparagus), then drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.  Note:  Separate ½ cup of the boiled cut asparagus and set aside until used later in Step 7.
  2. Cook the orzo according to package directions (al dente stage *), drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
  3. In the meantime, place the Skillet Spice/Herb Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
  4. Place the Add-In Spice/Herb Ingredients into a separate small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
  5. Add the diced onions to the large skillet that was previously used to simmer the asparagus, sauté over medium heat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
  6. Next add the minced garlic, sauté, stirring constantly for one minute, then add all the remaining Base Ingredients (including the cashews) and the Skillet Spice/Herb Mix. Stir well to mix, bring to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer. Simmer for 8 minutes.
  7. After 8 minutes, remove the skillet from the stove and allow to slightly cool off, approximately 2 to 4 minutes, then place the skillet mixture into a high-speed, along with the reserved ½ cup of cooked asparagus pieces, blend on high for one to two minutes until smooth and emulsified. Then pour the blended skillet/asparagus (from the high-speed blender) mixture back into the large skillet and place on the stove.  Increase the heat to boiling, then immediately reduce to a simmer.
  8. Add the Stir-In Spice/Herb Mix to the skillet, stir well to combine.
  9. Add the remaining asparagus pieces and cooked orzo *, simmer for 4 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  10. Remove from the stove and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the orzo to absorb the sauce.
  11. Top individual servings with a generous sprinkle of Vegan Parmesan Cheese and freshly chopped basil.


*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used. 

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.   

*Servings:  4 to 5