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Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Lemon-Asparagus Linguine with Garlicky Panko By Oh My

Lemon-Asparagus Linguine with Garlicky Panko Recipe

Photos by Emily Caruso

Asparagus and corn have a lot of things in common. Every spring, I most look forward to asparagus being in season; every summer, I most look forward to fresh corn-on-the-cob. At the end of spring, I always lament the fact that I didn’t eat nearly enough asparagus; when fall rolls around, I feel the same way about corn. And like corn, asparagus is best when it’s just barely cooked. Overcooked asparagus is mushy and brownish green and it’s wrong! So, so wrong. Please don’t overcook your asparagus.

This easy pasta dinner is the best way to enjoy fresh spring asparagus. The asparagus gets steamed for 2-3 minutes in a skillet—and that’s it. That’s all it needs! It will continue cooking a little bit after you add the olive oil, garlic and pasta to the pan, but not to the point of being limp and mushy.

Keeping with the whole less-is-more theme, instead of pairing the pasta with a sauce, the linguine is tossed with olive oil and lemon juice. Lemon zest adds even more of a lemony punch, and grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil amp up the flavor even more. And then there’s the garlicky panko! It’s a simple way to dress up pastas, casseroles and veggie sides—it’s crispy, it’s delicious and it only takes a few minutes to make. It’s kind of my secret weapon in the kitchen.

Once asparagus isn’t in season anymore, this recipe can be easily adapted to use other seasonal ingredients. Just remember, some vegetables, like green beans, will work with this steaming method, while others will benefit from a quick sauté instead—zucchini, corn and eggplant, for example.

Lemon-Asparagus Linguine with Garlicky Panko Recipe

Lemon-Asparagus Linguine with Garlicky Panko

A simple springtime pasta dinner that comes together in minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 cloves garlic divided
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces dry linguine cooked until just al dente (according to package instructions)
  • 1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 clove of garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the panko and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel to remove any remaining breadcrumbs.
  • About 3 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of water in the skillet, over medium heat. Once it's steaming, add the asparagus and cover. Steam for 2-3 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  • Add the remaining olive oil and garlic to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the linguine and toss to coat. Remove from heat and add the lemon zest, juice, cheese and basil; toss again to distribute the ingredients evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then divide onto plates. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
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  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Well, that is different! I want to like asparagus but the texture always gets me! Maybe the panko would help. Thanks for sharing, it looks tasty!

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen
    April 27, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Love this delicious looking pasta! It’s awful when your full time job (law) takes over on weekends + wedding planning makes you miss out on checking on one of your favourite blogs!! Making an effort to come back more often.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      I totally know how that is. Good luck with the wedding planning–that’s an exciting reason to be behind on blog reading! 🙂

  • Reply
    Maikki // Maikin mokomin
    April 27, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Love the idea of garlicky panko breadcrumbs!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 27, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I have similar feelings about asparagus at the end of spring! Thanks for reminding me to toss another bunch into my cart while I can.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday
    April 28, 2015 at 5:21 am

    What an interestingly different recipe! Definitely a must try!

  • Reply
    Katie Barthel
    April 29, 2015 at 10:44 am

    This looks delicious! Since I’m vegan I would just sub the parmesan with a walnut parm instead. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 30, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Yup, any nut-based parm substitute will work! And since that’ll lend a little crunch to the dish too, you can probably even skip the panko if you go that route.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Fresh, easy fabulous meals like this are what makes spring SO GREAT. Also, asparagus = my spring spirit vegetable.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    This looks pretty fabulous! Love the crunchy topping such a nice surprise 😉

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I like the adding of asparagus into linguine. Definitely a must try for this dishes. I can’t wait to try this on coming weekend.

  • Reply
    June 8, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    My husband and I both loved this! It tasted so light with the lemon and asparagus but was delicious and filling. My husband (not a vegetarian) added some grilled chicken to his and loved it. I’m sure seafood like shrimp would also go well.

    • Reply
      June 20, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe – thank you for your comment! 🙂

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