Cheesy Asparagus Pasta

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

What better way to enjoy spring's bounty than with a dish packed with asparagus? This gourmet take on mac and cheese will have the whole family excited about in-season fare.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for dishes

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound short pasta, such as penne

  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), tips trimmed, stalks sliced into ½-inch pieces

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed

  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated

  • 4 ounces Gruyere, grated


  1. Preheat broiler, with rack 6 inches from heating element. Brush 4 small (8-ounce capacity) gratin dishes with butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta and cook according to package directions 1 minute less than al dente. Add asparagus and cook 1 minute more; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, heat milk in a medium pot over medium-high until just simmering. Add cream cheese; whisk until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup each cheddar and Gruyere; add remaining cheeses and butter to pot and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta and asparagus; stir to coat. Divide mixture among prepared dishes; sprinkle with reserved cheeses.

  3. Broil, rotating dishes once, until pasta is crisp and browned in places, 1 to 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

    cheesy asparagus pasta in red pot
    Chris Simpson
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