How to Cook Asparagus

5 from 1 vote

Learn how to cook asparagus with with this step-by-step guide for cooking on the stovetop or in the oven - makes a healthy spring side dish!

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Here are two easy ways to cook asparagus. We’ll show you how to prepare asparagus on the stovetop and in the oven. Nothing screams spring like this popular green vegetable. It’s perfect to serve on the side of chicken or salmon, or tossed in a pasta dish.

Raw asparagus bunch

Asparagus is awesome! One unadorned serving has only about 20 calories yet contains about six percent of the recommended daily amount of fiber, plus vitamin A, B9 – or folate (vital for expecting moms)!

How to cook asparagus

The first step for either method is washing the asparagus then cutting off the woody bottoms. If your batch is especially woody at the bottom, shave some of the outside bottom layers with a vegetable peeler in addition to trimming the ends.

Cutting ends off asparagus on cutting board

Stovetop instructions

  • Prepare a pot of water with salt. Bring it to a boil. If serving the asparagus cold or reheating, prepare an ice bath to shock the asparagus after cooking.
  • Carefully place trimmed asparagus in boiling water and simmer until tender.
2 image collage to show how to boil asparagus
  • Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. A squeeze of lemon is also lovely as is a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately so you can enjoy their crispness.
Boiled asparagus on a plate with lemon wedges

Oven instructions

  • Toss asparagus in olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper. You can add more seasoning if you’d like but it really doesn’t need more.
Tossing asparagus with olive oil, salt and papper
  • Place the asparagus on a roasting pan and put it in the oven; it’s ok if they’re overlapping but you can spread it as much as possible.
  • Roast until tender and slightly colored. Note that thicker stalks will take longer.
2 image collage to show how to oven roast asparagus

Tips for choosing and cooking asparagus

  1. Look for asparagus with bright green color -unless you are buying white or purple varieties.
  2. Choose asparagus that have tightly budded firm tips and firm stalks. Those will be the most fresh.
  3. Don’t worry about the size of asparagus. The thin ones are not necessarily more tender. They just come from younger plants and they will cook faster. Thicker asparagus will take longer to cook. On the upside, they are harder to overcook.
  4. Be careful not to overcook. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to note that the cook times are really quick so don’t go too far from the kitchen and keep an eye on them. That way they stay crisp and don’t get soggy.

Recipes using asparagus

Frequently asked questions

How long does fresh asparagus last in the fridge?

Fresh asparagus lasts 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Cooked will be good for three to five days and can be frozen and reheated.

When is asparagus in season?

Although usually available year-round, asparagus’s best season is late winter through spring. It usually peaks in April.

Can you freeze asparagus after cooking?

Yes, after cooking, you can freeze asparagus for up to 2 months. Make sure to seal it in an airtight container or wrap tightly in foil or freezer wrap. You can reheat in the oven for 1-2 minutes until warmed through.

Oven roasted asparagus on a plate with lemon wedges

After a long winter, there is nothing brighter than some fresh asparagus on your plate! Use these basic stovetop and oven roasting directions and customize with different spices and different ways of serving.

More cooking tutorials:

If you’ve found this cooking resource for How to Cook Asparagus helpful or if you’ve tried any recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience with this technique. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories

How to Cook Asparagus

Learn how to cook asparagus with with this step-by-step guide for cooking on the stovetop or in the oven – makes a healthy spring side dish!
5 from 1 vote
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Calories 32
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bunch asparagus medium to large thickness
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Instructions

Stovetop Instructions

  • Prepare a pot of 8 cups water with 2 tablespoons coarse salt and bring to a boil
  • If serving the asparagus cold or reheating, prepare an ice bath to shock the asparagus when done
  • Using a large chef knife or kitchen shears, trim the bottoms of the asparagus removing the tough white stems
  • Carefully place asparagus in boiling water and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until tender
  • Once tender, carefully remove or strain the asparagus, and then toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper

Oven Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Toss asparagus in olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper
  • Place the asparagus on a roasting pan and place in the oven
  • Roast until tender and slightly colored, about 3-4 minutes
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Storage: Cooked asparagus should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep well for 2 to 3 days.
Freezing Instructions: After cooking, you can freeze asparagus for up to 2 months. Make sure to seal it in an airtight container or wrap tightly in foil or freezer wrap. You can reheat in the oven for 1-2 minutes until warmed through.
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen

Nutrition

Calories: 32kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 227mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 851IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 2mg

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Boiled asparagus on a plate with lemon wedges

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