How to Cook Asparagus

Asparagus is a truly excellent vegetable. They rich in fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K. In addition, they contain chromium, a mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. However, apart from the health benefits and scientific jargon, it can be delicious and versatile, when you know how to cook it properly.

People often question, which method is best to cook asparagus -- Should I bake it or grill it? Or should I throw it in a pan or on a plate in the microwave?

Today that is what we will be exploring -- the different ways to cook and prepare asparagus! 

BAKED ASPARAGUS vs.GRILLED ASPARAGUS vs. ROASTED ASPARAGUS

Asparagus can be a daunting and sometimes unpleasant vegetable to handle. Most of our favorite vegetables can be enjoyed while raw, but asparagus is not one of them. That is a factor which can cause a bit hesitation. Fear not, faithful readers, for we are here to show you the many quick and easy ways to cook asparagus. 
First of all...

How to Cook Asparagus on the Stove

There are a few different ways to cook asparagus on a stove top - you can boil it and pan fry it. We enjoy a good pan fried asparagus, simply because you can get a nice char on the vegetables.

 

Below is our favorite simple and yummy recipe for cooking asparagus on a stove top. All you need is 10 minutes!

Stove Top Asparagus Recipe

It might seem simple - how to cook asparagus in a pan - and good news, it is! This asparagus dish, cooked simply with garlic and butter is amazing, and definitely a breeze to make.

 

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  •  tbsp of olive oil 
  •  tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  •  fresh asparagus (1 lb)

One: Clean and trim the ends of the asparagus.

Two: Melt the butter onto your pan over medium heat and add in the garlic. Make sure not to brown the garlic before adding the asparagus.

Three: Add the salt and pepper to the pan. (Note: You can also add a few tbsp of olive oil for extra flavor, unless you want low fat.)

Four: Now you can add the asparagus. Cook for 10 minutes while turning the asparagus to get an even cook.

And you're ready to go! This is an excellent side dish and would go very well next to a protein like fish or beef.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: 188 calories; 18.4 g fat; 5.2 g carbohydrates; 2.8 g protein; 31 mg cholesterol; 525 mg sodium

How to Cook Asparagus in the Oven

Baking asparagus is an excellent way to infuse delicious flavors and get it very tender. Our next recipes is a very simple way to bake asparagus. Under that is a deliciously decadent recipe for bacon wrapped asparagus! 

Baked Asparagus Recipe

 You will need:

  •  fresh asparagus (about 1 lb)
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil 
  •  clove of garlic, minced 
  •  tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp of ground black pepper

One: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Two: Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus spears. Place the spears on a baking tray covered with aluminum foil. (Note: you can also place them on a cooling rack on the pan).

Three: Lightly coat the spears with olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper. 

Four: Put the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 12 - 15 minutes, until tender. 

Five: Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: 123 calories; 10.8 g fat; 5.2 g carbohydrates; 3.3 g protein; 2 mg cholesterol; 471 mg sodium

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Recipe

  You will need:

  •   fresh asparagus (1 - 1 1/2 lbs)
  •   tbsp of olive oil
  •   1/4 tsp of black pepper
  •   4 pieces of center cut bacon (or pancetta, if    you prefer)

One: First of all, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Two: Now you should wash and trim the ends of the asparagus. Then lightly coat the asparagus in olive oil and season with black pepper and salt.

 Three: Proceed to wrap four spears of asparagus with a slice of bacon. (Note: If you are worried about securing the asparagus bundle, place a toothpick in the bacon.)

Four: The bundles can now go on a pan in the oven, but ensure the pan is covered with aluminum foil. Bake for 12 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the bundles are tender. 

Five: Enjoy (though we know you will)!

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: 174 calories; 14 g fat; 6 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 30 mg cholesterol; 443 mg sodium

How to Cook Asparagus on the Grill

Grilled Asparagus Recipe

Grilling asparagus is by far the quickest way to cook asparagus! Five minutes and you're ready to go!

 

You will need:

  •  fresh asparagus (about 1 lb)
  •  tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  •  tbsp of olive oil

One: The grill should be pre heated to high.

Two: Make sure to wash and trim the ends of the asparagus. Now you can lightly coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. 

Three: Cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes and turn to cook evenly on all sides.

Four: Enjoy!

This is yet another way to enjoy asparagus as a side to a delicious protein like salmon (pictured) and/or a delicious rack of lamb. 

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: 53 calories; 3.5 g fat; 4.4 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 mg sodium

How to Boil Asparagus

Whilst boiling vegetables is not always the most exciting and flavorful method, it can certainly be the healthiest. And we are here to provide you with a variety of options for cooking based on your lifestyle. So, here we go!
Just a tip before moving forward, often people wonder how to keep your asparagus bright and green even after being boiled. The trick is, once boiled, take it out of the pot and blast it with cold water. This is sure to keep it looking bright and beautiful!

 

You will need:

  • fresh asparagus (1 lb)
  • tsp salt 
  • clove garlic minced 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • tbsp olive oil

One: First, wash and trim the asparagus. 

Two: Heat up about 3/4 inch of water in a large skillet with your salt. You can also use a big pot, but using a skillet will ensure you have an even layer of asparagus. In addition, the water will boil much faster! 

Three: Boil the asparagus in the water. Put it in an even layer and put a lid over if the water does not fully cover the asparagus. (Note: Depending on the size, the cook times are different. With thin asparagus, cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. For medium, 5 minutes. If you are cooking with very large asparagus, it can take about 6-7 minutes). 

Four: Rinse the asparagus with cold water, briefly once the asparagus is out of the boiling water. Now you can transfer to a serving dish, where you can drizzle them in oil, salt and pepper. 

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: 65 calories; 3.5 g fat; 5.0 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 2.5 mg sodium

BONUS RECIPE (ROUND 2): How to Cook Asparagus in the Microwave (Yeah, we're serious)!

Though unorthodox, we did say that we were going to give you instructions for ALL cooking methods.

In fact, cooking in the microwave would be considered steaming, and it's not an unhealthy option! Consequently, you don't have to wait for an oven to pre-heat, water to boil or a pan to heat up!

You will need:

  • fresh asparagus, approx. 1 lb, preferably small to medium.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 sheets of paper towel

One: Clean and trim the asparagus. 

Two: Dampen your paper towel sheets (Note: Do not soak it, merely make sure they are dampened) with about 1/4 cup of water. Wring out the excess and lay them down on the counter and place the asparagus on top evenly. 

Three:  Sprinkle the asparagus with salt and roll them in a bundle with the paper towel. They should now look like a spiral with the paper towel sheets in between.

 

Four: Microwave the asparagus on high for 3 minutes. The asparagus should be tender but also a bit crisp. If you need more time, put them in for another minute. 

 

Five: Remove the bundle, but use tongs (be careful, it will be very hot!) Season on a serving plate with lemon, butter, and oil or whatever else you prefer!

 Nutritional Information

Per Serving: 53 calories; 2.7 g fat; 3.6 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 mg sodium

 Conculsions!

We love to boil and steam (ahem, microwave) asparagus the most because it's quick and healthy! However, we're no stranger to the kitchen logistical issues that come with these tasks. Losing food to the sink from awkwardly attempting to pour a boiling pot of water over a colander being one of them. We've come up with a few convenient additions to our kitchen to help combat these problems. Check out the most amazing colorful clip on colanders! They are used to add on to a pot so you can drain water so much more conveniently! Seriously, this thing is so helpful.

For those adventures with microwaving, try our microwave covers, so you avoid any splatter and help with the steaming process. 

Thank you all so much for reading, have fun unleashing your inner foodie!

 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published