How to Cook Asparagus (Steam, Grill, Bake, Air Fry)

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Below is a step-by-step guide on how to cook asparagus including steaming, roasting, grilling, or air frying.

A simple seasoning and a quick cook time bring this veggie to tender-crisp perfection for a quick and easy side dish!

Asparagus on a plate with a fork

How to Prep 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 breaks off 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 (the exception is white 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.

Asparagus in a jar

Storage

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 a great way to store fresh herbs for up to 2 weeks too! Store uncovered in the fridge.

The Best Ways to Cook Asparagus

This versatile veggie is a ‘snap’ to cook! Here are some favorite ways to prepare this springtime favorite!

Air Fryer Asparagus

Like most veggies, an air fryer is the PERFECT to cook asparagus.

  1. Toss with olive oil and seasonings.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  3. Cook 6 minutes for thinner spears and up to 10 minutes for thicker spears. Check them early so they don’t overcook!

Steamed Asparagus

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

  1. It can be steamed in hot water or the broth of your choice for a no-fat, low-fat side.
    1. Place in a steamer basket above water. Cover with a lid.
    2. Steam 4-7 minutes depending on thickness.
    3. Season to taste.

Sauteed Asparagus

Asparagus can be sautéed or fried on the stove.

  1. Heat olive oil or butter in a pan.
  2. Add asparagus and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cook over medium heat just until it starts to brown and become tender.

Asparagus in a pot with a steamer

Roasted Asparagus

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

  1. Prepare stalks by breaking off the woody end and rinsing with cool water.
  2. Toss with olive oil and seasonings to taste.
  3. Heat the oven to 425°F and roast until tender, 8-12 minutes depending on thickness.

Grilled Asparagus

  1. Prepare stalks by breaking off the woody end and rinsing with cool water
  2. Toss with olive oil and season as desired.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high and cook 5-8 minutes depending on thickness.

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!

Amazing Asparagus

Asparagus on a plate with a fork
5 from 6 votes
Review Recipe

How to Cook Asparagus

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
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

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  • Wash asparagus under cool water and shake a little bit to dry.
  • Snap off the bottom stem of each spear.
To Steam Asparagus
  • 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.
  • Place asparagus in the basket, cover and allow to steam 5-10 minutes depending on thickness and desired doneness.
  • Place asparagus on a plate, toss with butter and season with salt & pepper. Serve warm.
To Roast Asparagus
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Toss asparagus with 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil per pound and salt & pepper.
  • Roast 8-12 minutes or until tender crisp.
To Grill Asparagus
  • Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  • Toss asparagus with 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil per pound and salt & pepper.
  • Grill asparagus spears directly on the grill 5-8 minutes turning occasionally. Cook just until tender crisp and lightly charred.
To Air Frye Asparagus
  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  • Cook 6 minutes for thinner spears and up to 10 minutes for thicker spears. Check them early so they don't overcook!  

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information is for asparagus only.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 23, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 229mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 855IU, Vitamin C: 6.4mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 2.4mg

(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
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
asparagus in jars and plated with a title to show How to Cook Asparagus
cut up asparagus in jars with writing to show How to Cook Asparagus

 

asparagus in glass jar with a title to show How to Cook Asparagus
asparagus on a plate with a title to show How to Cook Asparagus
About the author

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!

More Posts by Holly

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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.