Below is a step-by-step guide on how to cook asparagus including steaming, roasting, grilling, or air frying.
A simple seasoning and a quick cook time brings this veggie to tender-crisp perfection for a quick and easy side dish!
How to Prep Asparagus
The bottoms of each spear can be a bit woody in texture so you’ll want to remove that part. Grab each stalk in the middle and at the woody bottom. Bend to snap off the bottom end of the stalk, it naturally breaks off where it becomes tender.
To Peel or Not To Peel?
There really is no need to peel asparagus most of the time, especially thinner asparagus (the exception is white asparagus). If the stem is really thick, feel free to use a vegetable peeler and trim the stalks slightly, making them easier to cook and eat. I very rarely peel them.
Once you have picked your asparagus, remove the rubber band that keeps the stalks together and give them a rinse.
Fill a glass jar with about 1″ of water and place the asparagus in the bottom (almost like you would keep fresh cut flowers). This is a great way to store fresh herbs for up to 2 weeks too! Store uncovered in the fridge.
The Best Ways to Cook Asparagus
This versatile veggie is a ‘snap’ to cook! Here are some favorite ways to prepare this springtime favorite!
Air Fryer Aspragus
Like most veggies, an air fryer is the PERFECT to cook asparagus.
- Toss with olive oil and seasonings.
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
- Cook 6 minutes for thinner spears and up to 10 minutes for thicker spears. Check them early so they don’t overcook!
One of the easiest ways to cook asparagus is on the stove!
- It can be steamed in hot water or the broth of your choice for a no-fat, low-fat side.
- Place in a steamer basket above water. Cover with a lid.
- Steam 4-7 minutes depending on thickness.
- Season to taste.
Asparagus can be sautéed or fried on the stove.
- Heat olive oil or butter in a pan.
- Add asparagus and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook over medium heat just until it starts to brown and become tender.
Roasting asparagus gives it a deep, dark, charred look and an intense flavor, like in this easy oven roasted asparagus recipe.
- Prepare stalks by breaking off the woody end and rinsing with cool water.
- Toss with olive oil and seasonings to taste.
- Heat the oven to 425°F and roast until tender, 8-12 minutes depending on thickness.
- Prepare stalks by breaking off the woody end and rinsing with cool water
- Toss with olive oil and season as desired.
- Preheat grill to medium-high and cook 5-8 minutes depending on thickness.
Asparagus cooks quickly, so take care not to overcook it! Cook just until softened and still a little bit crisp. This will give it the perfect crunch when you bite into it!
How to Cook Asparagus
Follow these handy tips for a fool proof asparagus side dish!
To Steam Asparagus
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 5-10 minutes depending on thickness and desired doneness.
Place asparagus on a plate, toss with butter and season with salt & pepper. Serve warm.
To Roast Asparagus
To Grill Asparagus
Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Toss asparagus with 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil per pound and salt & pepper.
Grill asparagus spears directly on the grill 5-8 minutes turning occasionally. Cook just until tender crisp and lightly charred.
To Air Frye Asparagus
Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
Cook 6 minutes for thinner spears and up to 10 minutes for thicker spears. Check them early so they don’t overcook!
Nutrition information is for asparagus only.
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.)
Keyword Grilled Asparagus, How to Cook Asparagus, Roast Asparagus, Steamed Asparagus