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How to Cook Asparagus (5 Ways!)

The ultimate guide on how to cook asparagus! How to cook asparagus in the oven, in the microwave, or by blanching, steaming, or sautéing.

Spring is in the air, which means our favorite slender green vegetable is hitting the farmers market…asparagus! While asparagus is great as a component to many dishes, it’s also delicious all on it’s on. So today we’re laying down the basics for how to cook asparagus (5 different ways!) Click the links below to jump around the post:

  1. Roast Asparagus
  2. Steam Asparagus
  3. Microwave Asparagus
  4. Blanch Asparagus
  5. Sauté Asparagus

Not sure how to select the perfect bunch of asparagus, or how to store it properly? This ingredient rundown post has you covered. Now let’s cook!

How to Roast Asparagus

Cooking asparagus in the oven, while taking the longest of all the methods, is my favorite way to prepare it. The asparagus tips get a little charred and the stalks become tender and full of flavor! With this method, you can also cook your asparagus with lemon and garlic, which makes for an even tastier dish. Here’s how to roast asparagus:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 C). Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 2: Drizzle asparagus with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Optionally throw on a few cloves of crushed garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Step 3: Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tips are slightly charred and stalks are tender.

Roasted asparagus recipe on white background - The ultimate guide on how to cook asparagus! How to cook asparagus in the oven, in the microwave, or by blanching, steaming, or sautéing.

How to Steam Asparagus

Steaming asparagus is a healthy way to cook this veggie because it preserves many of the water-soluble vitamins (which are generally destroyed by boiling). Here’s how to steam asparagus:

Step 1: Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear. You may need to cut the asparagus into pieces to fit in your steamer basket.

Step 2: Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a steamer basket fit above it. You can use a wire mesh sieve if you don’t have a steamer basket!

Step 3: Place asparagus in the steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender.

Steamed asparagus recipe on white background - The ultimate guide on how to cook asparagus! How to cook asparagus in the oven, in the microwave, or by blanching, steaming, or sautéing.

How to Microwave Asparagus

One of the easiest ways to cook asparagus is to microwave it! Microwaving your asparagus spears is pretty similar to steaming in that we’ll cover them and let them steam into tender perfection (making this a great alternative for cooking asparagus without a steam basket set). Here’s how to microwave asparagus:

Step 1: Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear.

Step 2: Place asparagus on a microwave-safe dish and add a few tablespoons of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Step 3: Microwave on high for 3 minutes, then let sit, still covered, to continue steaming for 3 more minutes.

Microwaved asparagus recipe on white background - The ultimate guide on how to cook asparagus! How to cook asparagus in the oven, in the microwave, or by blanching, steaming, or sautéing.

How to Blanch Asparagus

Blanching is the fastest way to prepare asparagus! You’ll basically dunk it in boiling water briefly, then dunk it in a bath of cold water. Blanching asparagus helps to preserve nutrients and maintain higher quality if you’ll be freezing your veggies.

Step 1: Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear.

Step 2: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding a pinch of salt to the water for seasoning. Prep an ice bath by combining very cold water and a handful of ice in a large bowl.

Step 3: Plunge asparagus into the boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes, until bright green and tender. Immediately transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Boiled asparagus recipe on white background - The ultimate guide on how to cook asparagus! How to cook asparagus in the oven, in the microwave, or by blanching, steaming, or sautéing.

How to Sauté Asparagus

Cooking asparagus in a pan on the stove is a quick method that give you a lot of the charred flavor that comes with roasting (in much less time). Here’s how to make sautéed asparagus:

Step 1: Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear. You may need to cut the asparagus into pieces to fit in your sauté pan.

Step 2: Heat a splash of oil in a large sauté pan over medium/high heat. Add asparagus and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until bright green and tender, jostling the pan often to promote even cooking.

Sautéed asparagus recipe on white background - The ultimate guide on how to cook asparagus! How to cook asparagus in the oven, in the microwave, or by blanching, steaming, or sautéing.
Asparagus in a steaming basket - The ultimate guide on how to cook asparagus! How to cook asparagus in the oven, in the microwave, or by blanching, steaming, or sautéing.

How to Cook Asparagus (5 Ways)

The ultimate guide on how to cook asparagus! How to cook asparagus in the oven, in the microwave, or by blanching, steaming, or sautéing.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: blanched asparagus, cook asparagus, how to cook asparagus, microwaved asparagus, roasted asparagus, sauteed asparagus, steamed asparagus
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: Easter
Time: 15 minutes or less, 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 1 lb per 2 people
Calories: 27kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 1 vote

INGREDIENTS

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • Optional: garlic, lemon juice/zest

Steamed Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus

Microwaved Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus

Blanched Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus

Sautéed Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Roasted Asparagus

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 C). Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Flavor: Drizzle asparagus with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Optionally throw on a few cloves of crushed garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  • Roast: Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tips are slightly charred and stalks are tender.

Steamed Asparagus

  • Prep: Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear. You may need to cut the asparagus into pieces to fit in your steamer basket.
  • Steam: Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a steamer basket fit above it. You can use a wire mesh sieve if you don’t have a steamer basket! Place asparagus in the steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender.

Microwaved Asparagus

  • Prep: Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear.
  • Microwave: Place asparagus on a microwave-safe dish and add a few tablespoons of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.Microwave on high for 3 minutes, then let sit, still covered, to continue steaming for 3 more minutes.

Blanched Asparagus

  • Prep: Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding a pinch of salt to the water for seasoning. Prep an ice bath by combining very cold water and a handful of ice in a large bowl.
  • Blanch: Plunge asparagus into the boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes, until bright green and tender. Immediately transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Sautéed Asparagus

  • Prep: Prep your asparagus by rinsing and breaking the woody bottom inch off of each spear. You may need to cut the asparagus into pieces to fit in your sauté pan.
  • Sauté: Heat a splash of oil in a large sauté pan over medium/high heat. Add asparagus and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until bright green and tender, jostling the pan often to promote even cooking.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1cup asparagusCalories: 27kcalCarbohydrates: 5.3gProtein: 3gFiber: 2.8gVitamin A: 20%Iron: 16%
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Thanks so much for dropping by and for making fun guides like this rundown on how to cook asparagus possible! A portion of this recipe was first published over on Amanda’s Cookin’, where I’m a contributor.

Hi, I’m Sarah!

Showing you how to make easy vegetarian recipes, one ingredient at a time. Read more

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  1. Janet says:

    Thanks for the post. I LOVE asparagus.
    My favorite way to cook is blanching but I blanch by throwing the asparagus in boiling water for only about 2 minutes and then drain in a colander, skipping the ice bath. Comes out beautiful and tender.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks so much, Janet! And thanks for the tip! 😀

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