Hello asparagus fans! If you’re looking for the best way to cook this healthy veggie, you’re in the right place. Asparagus is easily overcooked, making it mushy and bitter. But if you cook it correctly, it’s beautifully bright green and tender, with a mild and sweet flavor. Alex and I have found the best ways to cook asparagus are roasted and sauteed. But it’s also tasty steamed. Here are all our favorite ways to prepare it!
How to cook asparagus: 3 best ways!
Here’s our favorite way to cook asparagus: easy baked asparagus! It’s baked in a hot oven until tender, but still beautifully green. Then it’s spritzed with lemon: the way to make this healthy veggie taste over-the-moon good. The finishing touch: gooey melted Parmesan cheese shavings. Yes, it’s the perfect way to eat these green stalks, which can often be overcooked until they're bitter and limp. Want to skip the Parm? Try Roasted Asparagus with Lemon.
Total time: 20 minutes
Here’s a simple way to cook asparagus fast: saute it! When you’re trying to get dinner on the table, you don’t want to get stuck on a side dish. Here’s an easy side dish that requires little prep and almost no thought. It takes no time to put together, and the asparagus comes out tender and beautifully green!
Total time: 10 minutes
Want a quick and healthy way to cook asparagus? Try steamed asparagus. Steaming is healthier than most ways since you don’t need to use as much fat! If you do it correctly, it comes out bright green and crisp tender: perfect with a zing of lemon.
Total time: 10 minutes
Or try it raw, shaved into ribbons!
Did you know that you you don’t have to cook asparagus at all? You can eat it raw! Now, you might think it would taste extraordinarily bitter. But not at all! The flavor of raw shaved asparagus is fresh and light, more sweet than bitter. It’s perfect topped with a lemon vinaigrette and Parmesan shavings in our Shaved Asparagus Salad. Here’s how to shave asparagus:
- Place the asparagus spear on a cutting board. Don’t hold it in the air! It bends under the weight of a peeler. Place it on a cutting board instead.
- Shave from the tip to the base. With a vegetable peeler, shave each spear from the from from the tip to the base. This is important, because otherwise the asparagus can break off. It takes a little practice, but is easy once you get the hang of it!
- Add flavor. Mix with olive oil and salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest if you have it, and it’s an easy side dish.
- 1 pound asparagus
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
- Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Wash and dry the asparagus. Cut off the tough bottom ends of the stalks.
- Roasted Method: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the whole asparagus stalks to a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add the zest of 1/2 lemon and mix with your hands. Thinly slice 4 lemon wheels from the lemon, then add them right on the tray. Sprinkle everything with Parmesan cheese (optional). Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until tender when pierced by a fork at the thickest part. The timing will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears.
- Sauteed Method: Cut the stalks into bite-sized pieces. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add the asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the largest pieces are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Taste and remove when it’s just tender and still bright green, but not crunchy. When the asparagus is done, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice plus the zest of 1/2 lemon. Add optional Parmesan if desired.
- Steamed Method: Cut the stalks into 2-inch pieces. Add water to a pot so that the surface is right under the steamer basket. Add the steamer basket and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add the asparagus. Steam with the lid on for about 2 to 5 minutes until crisp tender and the thickest portion, taste testing with a fork to assess doneness. Carefully remove the asparagus to a bowl, draining away any water. Toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Various
- Cuisine: Vegetables
There are lots of reasons to eat these healthy green stalks! Here are a few great reasons to add this steamed asparagus to your weekly repertoire:
- Great source of fiber: 1 cup of cooked asparagus has 4 grams of fiber.
- High in protein for a green vegetable: 1 cup also has 4 grams protein. That’s a similar level to broccoli and potatoes.
- Can aid in eye and hair health and may have potential anti-aging properties.