How To Cook Asparagus

Spring's most loved vegetable.

While asparagus is luckily usually found year round in grocery stores, like most produce it still has a peak season. You'll find the best asparagus during spring. Asparagus season usually starts around late February and goes clear until June, but the peak is in April. Here, we give you a primer on the myriad ways to cook it to its utmost potential! 

Asparagus is a versatile spring vegetable that can be cooked however your heart desires. But it's also perfect when cooked on its own, with just a little salt and pepper. Which method you decide to choose depends on your mood and circumstance. 

First, trim them. There are two methods for trimming asparagus. 1. You can simply snap off the woody ends wherever they naturally break. This is super easy, but there is some waste. 2. Peel the woody outer bits with a vegetable peeler. Not only will they look beautiful, but you'll be saving some of the asparagus you would otherwise be throwing away!

If you're lazy AF, you should roast it. It's a no prep situation and in the end, the asparagus will be perfectly tender and charred (which is always a good thing). We <3 roasted asparagus, whether it comes in the form of caprese asparagus or dreamy roasted asparagus carbonara.

If you're in a hurry, sauté it. All you need is a hot skillet + EVOO + salt + pepper. Just stir 'em around occasionally and in 5 to 7 minutes they'll be tender in delicious! We like using this method in our ridiculously good lemon, asparagus & chicken pasta.

Trying to eat healthy? Blanch it. It takes 3 minutes and doesn't require any oil or butter. Plus, the stalks will be the prettiest shade of bright green.  We use this method in our cream of aspargaus soup and it makes the puree the most beautiful color.

If it's nice out, grill it. Grilled asparagus is one of life's greatest snacks. Make our caesar grilled asparagus and never look back.

Gadget Guru? Air Fry those stalks! Air frying combines the convenience of roasting with the speed of sautéing. It takes only 7 minutes in the air fryer to make asparagus crispy and delicious.

Leftovers? If properly stored in an airtight container in the fridge, asparagus can keep up to 5 days. AND you can freeze the stalks in plastic bags for up to 8 months.

The ultimate asparagus topping: You can obviously just grate some parmesan over your asparagus but our favorite (and most indulgent) topper for asparagus is buttery, lemony hollandaise. 

Regardless of which route you go, make sure to CUT OFF THE WOODY ENDS FIRSTThe bottom tips of asparagus are extremely tough, so you want to remove where the asparagus starts to turn white, usually about the bottom inch. Refer to tip #1 for methods. 😉

Need some inspiration? Check out our 67+ Ways To Cook With Asparagus

Made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below! 

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 20 mins

large bundle asparagus

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Roasted Asparagus
  1. Preheat oven to 400º. On a large baking sheet, toss asparagus with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast until tender and slightly charred, 25 minutes.
Sautéed Asparagus
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a thin layer of olive oil. Add asparagus and cook until tender, 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Blanched Asparagus
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then add chopped asparagus and cook until tender, 3 minutes. 
  2. Immediately add to a large bowl of ice water and let cool.
Grilled Asparagus
  1. Heat grill (or grill pan) to medium-high. In a large bowl, toss asparagus lightly in oil, then season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and charred on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally.
Ethan Calabrese
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