Asparagus and Pasta Salad

I live in the high desert where the physical signs of spring do not show up until it is nearly summer. So I look for signs of spring in other places. Seeing asparagus on sale for 99 cents a pound reassures me that spring has arrived for our neighbors to the west in California and will eventually make it to our area.

Since asparagus was on sale for 99 cents a pound, I indulged and bought  6 pounds last week. My mass asparagus purchase came the day before my oven died, so I decided to use some of it in a pasta salad that could be quickly and easily be prepared on the the stove top.

The dressing on this salad is not a traditional dressing that you would want to use on a regular salad. On its own it is somewhat bland. It is intended to subtly enhance the flavors of the vegetables in the salad without over powering them.

Asparagus and Pasta Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 16 oz. pasta (I use brown rice pasta to make this gluten-free)
  • 2 lbs. asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 16 oz. can olives
  • 1 sweet pepper, diced
Dressing Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • pinch of salt
  • dash pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Steam asparagus in a double boiler for 6 - 8 minutes or until asparagus is tender.
  3. While the pasta and asparagus are cooking, mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. When the pasta is al dente, drain the water and rinse the pasta under cold water until the pasta is cool. When the asparagus is fork tender, remove it from the flame and let it sit to cool.
  5. Place the pasta in a large bowl. Add asparagus, olives, and peppers. Drizzle dressing over the pasta and vegetables and toss to coat thoroughly.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Toss again before serving.

My daughter arrived home after a long day of school and work and was so hungry she dove into the salad while it was still warm. She was quite effusive in her praise, but starving college students are lavish in their praise of any home-cooked meal. I preferred the salad after it had chilled in the refrigerator and the flavors had time to mingle.

This recipe is shared with $5 Dinner Challenge,  Full Plate Thursday and Delicious Dish Tuesday, hosted by Coping with Frugality, Full Time Mama, and Mama Chocolate.

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About Alea Milham

Alea Milham is the owner and editor of Premeditated Leftovers. She shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home. Her favorite hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her recipes. She believes it is possible to live fully and eat well while spending less.


  1. I love asparagus and I’m always looking for ways to cook it! Thank you for sharing!

  2. This is a lovely salad and the dressing is just perfect for it. This is my first visit to your blog,so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  3. I find myself looking for signs of spring too. :) This salad looks marvellous.

  4. Mmmm, looks yummy. My husband brought home a pound of asparagus the other day, so I guess I know what to do with it now!

  5. Oh, yum! I think I’ll try this today!!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great Spring week end and come back to see me real soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. This sounds delicious!

    I’m not high desert–just regular desert. I know high desert has serious gardening challenges. Here we grow asparagus. It’s certainly warm, though–our fig tree is leafing out!

  8. We love asparagus, but I’ve never had it in a pasta salad before! Sounds like a delicious way to mix it up a bit!
    Thanks so much for sharing with Delicious Dish Tuesday!

  9. Wow $0.99 a pound already? I guess we are still a little west of you and haven’t gotten quite that sale price yet. I love asparagus and will make sure to have this recipe on hand the next time it goes on sale. I am really intrigued to try the dressing. Thanks so much for sharing once again at Delicious Dish Tuesday!

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