Asparagus, Lima Bean & Almond Pasta | Cook for Your Life

Asparagus, Lima Bean & Almond Pasta

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 6 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 10 min prep
Clock Icon for Prep Time 30 min total
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 11 ingredients

This is an easy way to use the small green asparagus we get in the spring. It’s also a great dish to make if you’re feeling tired. You can literally pull it together in the...

For more protein, we’ve added ½ cup of frozen lima beans. We have also reserved some pasta water to moisten the sauce instead of adding in more oil. Serve it with a chunk of Parmigiano on the table ready to be grated over the pasta.  


  • 3 tablespoons almonds, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, for the pasta water
  • 8 ounces whole wheat rotini or penne pasta
  • 1 pound green asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen baby lima beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 dried pepper pod, de-seeded (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon  Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Missing an Ingredient?
Visit our ingredient substitution guide ›

Nutrition Facts


383 cals


15 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

10 g


54 g


4 g


5 g


15 g


550 mg


  1. Toast the sliced almonds in a heavy- wide pan until they are just turning golden. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta to the boiling water and continue to boil for 7 minutes, or 3 minutes less than package instructions. Add the asparagus and frozen lima beans to the boiling pasta and cook for 2 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and vegetables -- they should be a little undercooked.
  3. Meanwhile, in a deep pan or wok, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and chili pepper, if using. Continue cooking until the garlic is light gold, about 3 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn.
  4. Add the parsley to the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add ¼ cup of pasta water to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the almonds, and turn the heat down to medium. If the pan gets dry, add more pasta water, a little at a time.
  5. Add the drained pasta, asparagus, and lima beans to the pan. Stir well, and add in the remaining pasta water, stirring continuously and allowing to reduce. Add the grated cheese and a grind or two of black pepper. Mix well and cook for another minute. Taste for seasonings then serve.

Chef Tips

Trimming asparagus is a pretty basic tip, but helpful to those new to using asparagus. The woody root ends should not be eaten and need to be snapped off before cooking. Hold the asparagus on either end, and bend the spear until it breaks. It will break right where the inedible part ends and the yummy juicy asparagus starts. Or for a less fun and maybe less satisfying way, simply cut the woody ends off — about ½ to 1 inch.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society