Rich and creamy with a touch of elegance, this Vegan Creamy Lemon Asparagus Orzo is brimming with bright flavors, earthy asparagus, and Spring vibes.
- 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 (+/-)
- 12 oz. orzo pasta *
- 16 oz. fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Chopped fresh basil
- 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.
- Cook the orzo according to package directions (al dente stage *), drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
- In the meantime, place the Skillet Spice/Herb Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
- Place the Add-In Spice/Herb Ingredients into a separate small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the Stir-In Spice/Herb Mix to the skillet, stir well to combine.
- Add the remaining asparagus pieces and cooked orzo *, simmer for 4 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the stove and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the orzo to absorb the sauce.
- 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