Asparagus is a delicious and delicate spring favorite.

Steamed asparagus is an easy side dish or perfect prep for adding to pasta.

plated Steamed Asparagus with melted butter

A Favorite Steamed Veggie

Asparagus is an elegant veggie that needs little more than some butter and salt.

  • Steaming is a favorite way to cook asparagus to tender-crisp. It keeps a bright green color, preserves nutrients, and is ready in minutes.
  • Frozen asparagus can be cooked the same way by adding an extra minute or two to the cooking time.
  • Serve hot with a drizzle of homemade hollandaise sauce, or chill and add to an Italian pasta salad.
prepping asparagus to make Steamed Asparagus

How to Steam Asparagus

  1. To prepare the asparagus, rinse in cool water and shake it dry.
  2. Gently bend each spear, and the bottom of the asparagus will naturally snap off the woody ends.
  3. Place a steamer basket in the bottom of a large saucepan or pot with a lid and add about an inch of water.
  4. Once the water is simmering over medium-high heat, use tongs to place the asparagus in the basket and cover.

No Steamer Basket? No Problem!

If you have a small strainer that fits in the bottom of the pot, use that, or you can use just enough water to cover the bottom of a saucepan (adding more if needed).

Quick Tip

The water should not touch the steamer basket or strainer in the pot, so add just a little bit. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t evaporate and pour in a little more if needed.

Asparagus in a jar

Tips for Perfect Steamed Asparagus

Like most steamed vegetables, asparagus is easy to prepare and full of flavor.

  • Choose asparagus spears of the same width to ensure even cooking.
  • Avoid overcrowding the steaming basket and ensure the basket doesn’t touch the water.
  • Asparagus can vary in thickness so cooking time can vary. Cook thinner spears for about 3-4 minutes and medium spears for about 4-6 minutes or until they reach desired doneness.

Serving Suggestions

Cooked spears can be served warm, at room temperature, or even chilled in salads.

  • Swap the butter or olive oil for garlic butter.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over top (or add some lemon zest) or sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • Season the steamed asparagus and top with a runny poached egg. Break the egg over the asparagus as you serve it.

More Asparagus Recipes

Do you enjoy Steamed Asparagus? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Asparagus on a plate with a fork
5 from 10 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Steamed Asparagus

Follow these handy tips for a quick and easy asparagus side dish!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 teaspoons butter

Instructions 

  • Wash asparagus under cool water and shake a little bit to dry.
  • Snap off the bottom stem of each spear.
  • Place water in the bottom of a saucepan and line with a steamer basket ensuring the water doesn't touch the basket. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  • Place asparagus in the basket, cover and allow to steam 4-6 minutes depending on thickness and desired doneness.
  • Place asparagus on a plate, toss with butter and season with salt & pepper. Serve warm.

Notes

Nutrition information is for asparagus only.
  • Choose asparagus spears of the same width to ensure even cooking.
  • Avoid overcrowding the steamer basket and ensure the basket doesn’t touch the water (or the asparagus will boil instead of steam). 
  • Asparagus can vary in thickness so cooking time can vary. Cook thinner spears for about 3-4 minutes and medium spears for about 4-6 minutes or until they reach desired doneness.
  • Cooked spears can be served warm, room temperature or even chilled in salads.
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated by storing in airtight containers for 4-5 days.
  • To freeze, cool completely and transfer to freezer bags. Squeeze the air out and store for 2-3 months.
5 from 10 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 59 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 982IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Steamed Asparagus with butter and writing
Steamed Asparagus with salt and pepper with writing
Steamed Asparagus on a plate with a title
asparagus in a strainer and plated Steamed Asparagus with a title

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

    1. You’ll find the recipe if you scroll down to the recipe card, or click the Jump to Recipe button at the top of the post. Enjoy Nicole!

  1. Holly, might I add another cooking method? Prepare spears as you noted, tear off a section of paper towels approximately 2ft long or a little more. Use 2 layers of towels if they are not a premium brand. Place spears side by side, all facing the same direction and in a single layer. (Tips to left or right edge on the paper towels, it doesn’t matter.) Roll up the paper towels. Wet bundle under running water. Press water out somewhat, so that it is not dripping on the floor as you carry to your microwave. Pinch ends of towels closed. Place seam side down and nuke for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes, depending how you like your ‘Gus. Carefully remove from oven and proceed with whatever seasonings or sauce you enjoy. Never fails and people can’t believe how easy the prep was to make perfect asparagus.

  2. I use the recipes I receive on facebook and love them. I want to make hollandaise sauce but of course I am looking for an easy recipe that tastes like it took hours to make!

    1. I’m sorry, I don’t have a hollandaise sauce on the site as of yet, it’s on my list and of course would pair perfectly with asparagus!

  3. We get asparagus for as little as two months of the year, so it’s well worth capitalizing on it when it shows up, which is someplace from around the finish of April into June. How to cook asparagus in a variety of tasty dishes where you can serve this seasonal vegetable as blanched, griddled, roasted or as a raw.

    1. Definitely a good idea to capitalize on this vegetable while you can Karan! It so yummy no matter how it is cooked.