Steamed Asparagus is so easy to make each spear comes out bright green, tender-sweet but still crisp.

Spring is when fresh asparagus and other vegetables begin to appear, and it couldn’t be too soon. These slender spears cook so quickly and are so flavorful. It’s a perfect appetizer or side dish and looks so elegant on any holiday table.

steamed asparagus

A Favorite Steamed Veggie

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and no matter how many times I have it, I always feel as though it’s a treat. It needs little more than some butter and salt and both looks an tastes elegant.

  • Steaming is a favorite way to cook asparagus to tender-crisp. It enhances the bright color, preserves the 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.
  • Prepare steamed asparagus and serve with a simple pat of butter or season with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese!
  • Serve hot with a drizzle of homemade hollandaise sauce, or chill and add to an Italian pasta salad.

Asparagus in a jar

How to Steam Asparagus

To prepare the asparagus, give it a rinse in cool water and shake a little bit to dry. Gently bend each spear, they will snap off naturally where it becomes woody.
  1. Place a steamer basket in the bottom of a large saucepan or pot with a lid.
  2. Add a bit of water, ensure that the water doesn’t touch the basket.
  3. Once the water is simmering over medium-high heat, use tongs to place the asparagus in the basket and cover. Steam per the recipe below.
Place asparagus on a plate, toss with butter or olive oil, and season with sea salt & black pepper. (Or try one of the topping ideas below!).

No Steamer Basket? No Problem!

Place a small strainer in the bottom of the pot if you have one that fits or use just a small amount of water in the bottom of the pot (adding more if needed).

Asparagus in a pot with a steamer

Serving Suggestions

Place asparagus in a serving bowl and top with one of the following.

  • Swap the butter or olive oil for garlic butter and kosher salt.
  • Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over top (or add some lemon zest) or sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • Season it and then top with a runny poached egg. Break the egg over the asparagus as you serve it.
  • Allow the asparagus to cool and toss with feta, olive oil, red wine vinegar and sliced sweet onion for an easy asparagus salad.

Tips for Perfect Steamed Asparagus

  • 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.

Asparagus Favorites

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steamed asparagus on a plate with butter
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Steamed Asparagus

Follow these handy tips for a fool proof asparagus side dish!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 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.
  • 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.
5 from 6 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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asparagus in the colander to make Steamed Asparagus with a title
close up of asparagus before cooking with writing to make Steamed Asparagus
close up of asparagus in colander with writing to make Steamed Asparagus
Steamed Asparagus before steaming with writing

 

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About the author

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.