How to Cook Asparagus (Steam, Grill, Bake)


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When Asparagus starts showing up in grocery stores you know spring has sprung! The tender stalks of green (or white!) lend themselves beautifully to any dish or they can stand on their own as a delicious side dish!

Asparagus can be sauteed, steamed, roasted or grilled and is perfect alongside chicken breasts! No matter how you serve them, cooking asparagus is quick, easy and delicious!

Cooked asparagus piled on a plate with a fork and pat of butter on top.

How to Prepare Asparagus

This wonderfully elegant and tasty spring veggie is so easy to prepare! In any asparagus recipe be sure to start with fresh, crisp, firm stalks.

Types of Asparagus:

  • Green Asparagus: There are two types of green asparagus, a wider and a thinner stalk.There
    • Wider Asparagus: meatier texture and a bolder flavor.
    • Thinner Asparagus: more tender and has a sweeter flavor and cooks very quickly.
  • White Asparagus: This type actually grows underground and has a more delicate flavor. Be sure to peel it since the outer layer can be bitter.

Asparagus prepared and ready to store in the fridge in a glass jar

To Store Asparagus

Once you have picked your asparagus, remove the rubber band that keeps the stalks together and give them a rinse.

Fill a glass jar with about 1″ of water and place the asparagus in the bottom (almost like you would keep fresh cut flowers). This is how I store fresh herbs for up to 2 weeks too! Store uncovered in the fridge.

To Prepare Asparagus: The bottoms of each spear can be a bit woody in texture so you’ll want to remove that part. Grab each stalk in the middle and at the woody bottom. Bend to snap off the bottom end of the stalk, it naturally want to snap where it becomes tender.

To Peel or Not To Peel?

There really is no need to peel asparagus most of the time, especially thinner asparagus. If the stem is really thick, feel free to use a vegetable peeler and trim the stalks slightly, making them easier to cook and eat. I very rarely peel them.

Close up of asparagus in a steaming basket.

The Best Ways to Cook Asparagus

This versatile veggie is a ‘snap’ to cook! Here are some favorite ways to prepare this springtime favorite! Asparagus cooks quickly, so take care not to overcook it! Cook just until softened and still a little bit crisp. This will give it the perfect crunch when you bite into it!

How to Cook Asparagus on the Stove

One of the easiest ways to cook asparagus is on the stove!

  • It can be steamed in hot water or the broth of your choice for a no-fat, low-fat side.
  • It can be sautéed in olive oil or butter and seasoned with salt and pepper until it just starts to turn brown and becomes tender.

How to Cook Asparagus in the Oven

Roasting asparagus gives it a deep, dark, charred look and an intense flavor, like in this easy oven roasted asparagus recipe.

  • Toss with olive oil and seasonings.
  • Heat the oven to 425°F and roast until tender, 8-12 minutes depending on thickness.

How to Cook Asparagus on the Grill

  • Toss with olive oil and season as desired.
  • Preheat grill to medium high and cook 5-8 minutes depending on thickness.

A plate of steamed asparagus with butter for serving

Amazing Asparagus:

How to Cook Asparagus

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Follow these handy tips for a fool proof asparagus side dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • olive oil optional depending on method
  • salt & pepper to taste

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Instructions

  1. Wash asparagus under cool water and shake a little bit to dry.
  2. Snap off the bottom stem of each spear.
To Steam Asparagus
  1. 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.

  2. Place asparagus in the basket, cover and allow to steam 5-10 minutes depending on thickness and desired doneness.
  3. Place asparagus on a plate, toss with butter and season with salt & pepper. Serve warm.
To Roast Asparagus
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Toss asparagus with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil per pound and salt & pepper.

  3. Roast 8-12 minutes or until tender crisp.

To Grill Asparagus
  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.

  2. Toss asparagus with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil per pound and salt & pepper.

  3. Grill asparagus spears directly on the grill 5-8 minutes turning occasionally. Cook just until tender crisp and lightly charred.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information is for asparagus only.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 23, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 229mg, Carbohydrates: 4g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 2g, Vitamin A: 855%, Vitamin C: 6.4%, Calcium: 27%, Iron: 2.4%

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

Keyword Grilled Asparagus, How to Cook Asparagus, Roast Asparagus, Steamed Asparagus
Everything you need to know from preparing asparagus to cooking asparagus and everything in between! Make perfect asparagus everytime with this helpful how to cook asparagus guide! #spendwithpennies #howtocookasparagus #kitchentips #howtoguide #sidedish #lowcarb
Everything you need to know from preparing asparagus to cooking asparagus and everything in between! Make perfect asparagus everytime with this helpful how to cook asparagus guide! #spendwithpennies #howtocookasparagus #kitchentips #howtoguide #sidedish #lowcarb

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Holly

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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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