{TIP} How to cook asparagus


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Have you ever wondered how to cook asparagus? I JUST recently discovered my love for asparagus and now cook it at least once a week. I think this vegetable intimidates people… but it really is pretty simple to cook. Promise! Just follow these simple steps…

{ How to cook asparagus }

Step 1: When buying asparagus look for bright green and firm stems. To prepare for cooking, rinse asparagus under cold water and then cut off the brown edges on the bottom.


Step 2: Place the asparagus in a large skillet pan and pour enough water in to cover the stems. Lightly salt and cook (covered) for about 3-5 minutes, or until tender.

Step 3:

If serving warm, drain and place on paper towels. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper.

If serving cool, drain and place the asparagus in a large bowl of ice water. This will shock the stems and stop them from cooking. After about a minute remove stems and place them on a paper towel. Salt and pepper. This is how I do it if I will be placing them in salads.

Another one of my favorite ways to enjoy asparagus is by roasting them. To do this, first, pre-heat oven to 400. Place stems on a baking sheet and then drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes tossing them about half way through.


So I’m curious… are you a fan of asparagus? If not, give it another try! Come back later this evening and I’ll be sharing one of my favorite dishes made with asparagus. :)

For more recipes make sure to check out my recipe box.

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Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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  1. Trish posted on September 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm (#

    I love asparagus! I think a lot of people don’t like them because they’ve never had them cooked properly. I feel the same way about brussels sprouts. Those suckers are so delicious when you roast them. Sprinkling some bacon pieces over the top doesn’t hurt either ;-)

  2. Toqua's Crafts posted on September 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm (#

    I absolutely *LOVE* asparagus. When I was a kid our mother would send us out with a paper grocery bag and a paring knife to go collect it along the ditch banks (we lived on a small farm). Now, buying it in the store seems like cheating!

    I never ever cut asparagus. I prefer to bend it until it snaps. If it does not snap easily then that part of the asparagus will be tough and somewhat woody in texture.

    I also prefer my asparagus steamed. My steamer has a clear lid on it and I cook it only until the color changes. Oh Yummmm!!! I cannot wait for the price of asparagus to go down!!

  3. Mallory Nikolaus posted on September 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm (#

    I love asparagus! I always roast it. I sprinkle olive oil, a little lemon pepper and sometimes some parmesan cheese on it! YUMM!!!!

    • Kelly posted on March 4, 2014 at 9:26 pm (#

      Hey Mallory! What temp and for how long do you roast your asparagus? Thx!

  4. Aimee Berrett posted on September 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm (#

    I love asparagus steamed. Place it in a steamer for about 8 minutes, then butter and salt.

  5. Grace posted on September 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm (#

    I LOVE asparagus and have way too many stories about it to admit… Like planting brussels sprouts instead because we were given the wrong seeds (argh. I hate brussels sprouts).

    Instead of cutting them, I think they’re best when broken! I bend the bottom part and it will snap off right where it needs to. That way I don’t get any accidental tough parts on the bottom like when I do when cutting!

  6. Crystalyn posted on September 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm (#

    I discovered my love of asparagus a couple of years ago thanks to my mother-in-law. Now that we live close to her, we get to enjoy LOTS of fresh asparagus from their garden! I love it.

  7. Jessica @ Dear Emmeline posted on September 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm (#

    my favorite way to cook asparagus is in the oven! a little olive oil, toss in your cleaned stems and sprinkle on salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder! bake on 350 for 15 or so minutes! easy peasy delicious!

    • Jessica @ Dear Emmeline posted on September 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm (#

      and for whoever said they hate brussel sprouts…they taste awesome cooked this way too!

  8. Mauri posted on September 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm (#

    I love asparagus! I also will throw it in some water in my steamer bowl that goes in the microwave and it cooks it perfect!

  9. Randi posted on September 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm (#

    Is it weird that I like eating asparagus dipped in mayo? I grew up eating it from the can and a dollop of mayo, but I definitely prefer it fresh, and slightly steamed. It’s even better with a teriyaki glaze drizzle (in addition to the mayo, of course.. LOL).

  10. .:Van:. posted on September 25, 2012 at 2:04 am (#

    I love, asparagus, but my favorite dish still is the risotto… it was one of the “primi” at my wedding party… always a crowd pleaser in our home… ^^

  11. Robin posted on September 25, 2012 at 6:16 am (#

    I LOVE asparagus! I have always roasted it in the oven, so I’ll have to try your other method here. And that delicious looking salad. Yum!

  12. Molly posted on September 25, 2012 at 6:40 am (#

    I LOVE asparagus! Our favorite way to prepare it – throw it on the grill! Indoor or outdoor, doesn’t matter. Toss cleaned and trimmed asparagus with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, grill for 5-8 minutes turning several times to get a char on all sides. Delish!

  13. Stefani posted on September 25, 2012 at 9:04 am (#

    Oh my goodness. I love roasted asparagus. I got addicted to grapeseed oil a while back, though, so now I roast it in that. It gives it an amazing nutty flavor. And I make sure to roast it until it’s crispy, because then it’s kinda like candy. In vegetable form. Weird.

    • Kelly posted on January 3, 2014 at 1:24 am (#

      I understand the “candy” thing! We also roast creamer potatoes with olive oil,minced garlic or powdered and salt and pepper… in a 375° oven until browned and tender!!! Yummo, just like candy! (Even the kids think so)

      • Jamielyn posted on January 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm (#

        YUM, sounds delicious Kelly! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Jenny posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm (#

    i always saute’ mine. A little evoo in a pan throw in asparagus, salt and pepper. Cover for 5, stir, repeat until desired doneness. I like mine with a little crunch yet. When you do it in the oven sprinkle parmesan cheese on tip the last few minutes.

    • Jamielyn posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm (#

      Sounds great! I’ll have to try them with Parmesan cheese. :)

  15. Vanessa posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm (#

    I cook them on the grill sometimes by grabbing some foil lay them on, drizzle some olive oil, some butter( what ever is your personal choice). Add a little salt and pepper and close the foil. Put it on the grill and I cook it about 15 minutes. YUM!

    • Jamielyn posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm (#

      That sounds delicious. I’ll be trying that way soon. :)

  16. Shirley posted on September 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm (#

    Oh, I’m so glad you posted this! My husband grills asparagus for us all the time along with some other yummy veggies, but I would love to try some other ways to eat it! :)
    I do have a question though: for step two after you’ve got the asparagus in the skillet, you didn’t say what temp heat you cook them on? I have a gas stove that is a little tricky, so I want to be sure I don’t burn them up! :)

    Also, have you ever tried grape seed oil instead of olive oil? Comparative in price, very healthy, but, I like the taste better than olive oil. Just an idea.

    Thanks again,

    • Jamielyn posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm (#

      I love them grilled too! I will have to try grape seed oil. Thanks for the tip!

  17. Cheryl posted on September 27, 2012 at 6:16 am (#

    I have a different approach to cooking my asparagus.. I clean them first then place in a microwavable container with about a half inch of water on the bottom. Add some McCormicks seasoning and mircowave on high for 3 minutes and let it sit until dinner is ready. They come out tender and flavorful! :) Enjoy!

    • Jamielyn posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm (#

      That sounds delicious! I will have to try it!

    • Bahb posted on May 6, 2014 at 11:25 am (#

      Water not necessary when you nuke veggies. A bit of butter enhances the flavor.

  18. Tashia posted on September 29, 2012 at 3:04 am (#

    Yummmm…I love broiled asparagus! I prepare mines like yours, except I slice up some garlic and sprinkle it over the asparagus before broiling. I am a garlic fan, so I think it’s to die for!

  19. jane lane posted on December 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm (#

    Another delicious way to cook asparagus is grilled on the grill outside. I mix all veggies w onion and sprinkle w olive oil and garlic and put in a grill top basket. Soooo yummy!

  20. Amanda posted on January 14, 2013 at 9:17 am (#

    Instead of cutting the ends off the asparagus, snap them off. If you cut them, you may find part of it are harder to eat, kind of stringy and yuck, snapping them off ( hold at either end and bend until it snaps) may cause you to lose a little more of the vegetable, but it always snaps at the point where it stops being tough and stringy and starts being yummy. Win out in the long run. Also easy to steam if you prefer that. We put a bit of water into a pot, put the steaming pot thing ( essentially a pot with holes in the bottom like a strainer) on top and pop a lid on top. With the asparagus ( whole or cut into bite sized pieces, make no difference) in the steamer pot, turn on the stovetop element. Let the water in the bottom pot boil and the steam from it will cook the asparagus inside the steamer as long as the lid is on properly. Take 10-15 minutes and we like to either sprinkle a little salt and pepper or sprinkle a little parmessan cheese on it once it’s on the plate. Yumm yumm. Enjoy.

    • Jamielyn posted on January 14, 2013 at 10:32 am (#

      Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Deborah posted on August 11, 2013 at 2:34 am (#

    Actually the “correct” way to prep asparagus is to bend it and it will snap off the woody end on its own. Cooking them I prefer to lay them in HD aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, fresh cracked pepper to taste. Bring up foil on top and seal – then seal both ends. You can lay on BBQ grill or in an oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Shake packet a little and serve. Yummy!

    • Jamielyn posted on August 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm (#

      Sounds delicious Deborah! Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  22. Name posted on October 30, 2013 at 1:47 am (#

    Recently a couple of friends and I, cooked them in the Nuvawave sprayed them with olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper. They were only in there for about 12min and they came out delicious!

    • Jamielyn posted on October 31, 2013 at 2:01 pm (#

      Yum, sounds delicious! I love asparagus!

  23. Momo posted on November 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm (#

    I looove asparagus!

  24. Marsha Starr posted on December 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm (#

    I break my asparagus and discard the “woody”portion. I also set aside the tips, steam the stem portions, then add the tips to the steamer a couple of minutes later, as the tips take less time to cook.

    • Jamielyn posted on January 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm (#

      Great tips! Thanks for sharing Marsha!

  25. susanne posted on January 3, 2014 at 10:03 am (#

    wow, i love asparagus when it’s been cooked for me but i’ve never dared cook it myself, will definitely try now! thanks :)

    • Jamielyn posted on January 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm (#

      Oh it is so yummy! Enjoy! :)

  26. joan posted on June 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm (#

    I love roasted asparagus! But first, before cleaning, pick up one piece and juss t bend it, it will utomatically break off about 1/4 of the hard piece on bottom, dothat to all and you will haave nice tender aspargus. Rinse then put on a foil or parchment covered sheet pan, drizzle o.o. on, add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with hands to coat. Put in 400° degree oven for 15 minutes.. opt., put small amount of sesamee oil on mix, cook..sprinkle with sesamee seeds when done ENJOY!

    • Jamielyn posted on July 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm (#

      Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing Joan! :)

  27. Satin posted on March 24, 2015 at 4:37 pm (#

    My family and I just discovered our love gor asparagus as well but try (and it may seem like a little more work) using a potato peel and peeling the skin off it tastes even better. Just my opinion.

    • Jamielyn posted on May 3, 2015 at 12:44 am (#

      Mmm sounds delicious! :)