Asparagus is a great go-to for a quick, easy, and nutritious side dish! Not sure how to cook it? Don't worry. We'll show you how to cook asparagus four ways and some of the best spices to use!
Are you intrigued by those little green spears but just not sure how to cook them? Maybe you scored some on major sale at the grocery store or maybe they've just been calling out your name. Either way, stick with us and we'll make you a master of asparagus in no time!
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Whether you have fresh or frozen, we're going to show you how to cook asparagus four ways! Trust us, even your kids will love it. Let's get to cooking!
HOW TO STORE AND PREPARE ASPARAGUS FOR COOKING
No matter how you cook it, there are a couple of things you need to do before you start! First, rinse the asparagus under cold water. Next, you need to cut off the tough, woody ends. This is typically about one-third of the asparagus at the bottom. Trust us, this isn't wasting food… That portion of the asparagus is too tough to chew no matter how long you cook it!
If you can't cook your asparagus right away, store them much like you would store cut flowers. Place them cut side down in a cup of water in the fridge and cover with a plastic bag for up to four days. For more tips on storing veggies, check out this post!
Once you've prepped your asparagus, it's time to start cooking!
HOW TO COOK ASPARAGUS IN THE OVEN
There just isn't much better than delicious, oven-roasted asparagus. The best part? It's so easy to prep, it's the perfect weeknight side when you're running out of time! Try it with fresh or frozen!
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Cut the woody ends off the asparagus and rinse.
- Toss asparagus in olive oil to coat and lay out in a single layer on a sheet pan.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until spears are beginning to brown and crisp.
Pro Tip: Drizzle with lemon juice for a refreshingly tasty citrusy spin!
HOW TO COOK ASPARAGUS ON THE STOVE
Stovetop asparagus is so easy because there are no measurements required! Here's our quick and fail-proof method!
- First, rinse the asparagus and cut off the tough, woody ends.
- Next, place it into a pan over medium heat.
- Drizzle olive oil on top and move the asparagus around to coat.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Let asparagus cook until it's reached your desired tenderness.
Stovetop asparagus cooks pretty quickly, so you'll have a delicious and nutritious side on the table in minutes! This recipe works for frozen asparagus, too.
HOW TO COOK ASPARAGUS ON THE GRILL
Cooking asparagus on the grill is a lot like roasting it in the oven or sautéing it in a pan. Simply prepare your asparagus as discussed above, coat in olive oil (or any cooking oil you have!), and season to taste. Grill for six to eight minutes, flipping halfway through. Yum!
HOW TO COOK ASPARAGUS IN THE MICROWAVE
Microwave asparagus is so easy it should be a crime! But, thankfully it's not. 😉 Here's how it works.
- Prepare asparagus as mentioned above.
- Place asparagus in a microwave-safe dish and add one tablespoon of water.
- Cove the dish with plastic wrap (pull back one corner to create a vent) and microwave for about two minutes and thirty seconds.
- Continue cooking in thirty-second increments as needed if it's not tender enough. (You may need to add extra time if your asparagus is frozen to begin with.)
Once your asparagus is tender, season it how you wish and enjoy! This method yields a softer asparagus without the crispy edges.
THE BEST SPICES FOR ASPARAGUS
Asparagus has such great flavor, it doesn't need anything more than salt and pepper to be absolutely delish. However, if seasoning things up is your gig, here are some spices that pair excellently with this nutty vegetable!
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Italian Seasoning
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Lemon Balm
- Parmesan Cheese – Okay, technically not a spice… but it's so good melted over the top of your cooked asparagus!
Try some of these spices out and see which ones you like best!
WHAT TO EAT WITH ASPARAGUS
Need a little meal inspiration? Here are some of our favorite main dishes to pair with asparagus!
- Meatloaf – Grandma's classic meatloaf is SO good and it goes perfectly with asparagus!
- Baked Meatballs – These Italian baked meatballs go great with an Italian-seasoned asparagus dish!
- Traeger Chicken – This Traeger smoked chicken is totally drool-worthy and works so well with grilled asparagus. Mmm hmmm.
- BBQ Pork Sandwiches – Skip the fries and whip up some asparagus to go with your BBQ Pork Sandwiches!
- Shepherd's Pie – Try this shepherd's pie recipe and you won't be sad about it!
No matter how you love it, asparagus is a great addition to any meal! It's simple to make, quick to cook, and adds a wonderful depth of flavor to complete any meal!
What's your favorite way to eat asparagus? Share with us in the comments below!
Want more great recipes and food hacks?
- Learn how to cook corn 5 ways!
- These roasted balsamic and bacon Brussel sprouts are soooo good!
- Speaking of bacon, find out the best ways to cook it!
Have a spear-y nice day!