I LOVE asparagus, and my son loves it too! Without a doubt it’s one of our favorite vegetables for a quick, weeknight meal. But you know what’s so wonderful about asparagus? It’s also perfect for special occasions! And with my quick recipe, it’s really easy to make asparagus a no-brainer addition to any meal.
Ready to give it a try? Then here are some tips to make sure your asparagus turn out great every time!
- Trim the rough, woody ends off by simply bending the asparagus stem. If you’ve got fresh asparagus it will snap at just the right spot every time! Kinda amazing! 🙂
- Don’t let it overcook. I like my asparagus bright green with a nice crunch, and it can overcook easily. So watch it closely and set a timer!
- Size matters. I like the more tender, thin stalks of asparagus, but I know others like the heartier, bigger ones. No matter what size you choose, realize size will impact the cooking time. The thinner the stalk, the quicker the cooking time—that’s why I have noted such a broad range in the recipe.
- Use your toaster oven, it works like a charm—especially if you’re making a single recipe. I love my toaster oven, it’s perfect for cooking so many foods and asparagus is definitely one of them. Asparagus fans should read this Breville Mini Smart Oven Review so they can cook the perfect asparagus as easily as I can. Just watch your cook times. I’ve found that toaster ovens cook a bit faster than a regular oven.
- Looking for something extra special? Try drizzling a warm Dijon dressing on top. It’s super yummy!
- Budget conscious? While I’m a huge fan of organic produce, asparagus consistently shows up as one of the “cleaner” vegetables with less pesticide residue. So if organic stretches your budget too much, conventionally produced asparagus can be a good alternative!
- Make extra! Asparagus tastes great chilled, and it’s a super addition to some eggs when you’re trying to add veggies to your breakfast!
So if you’ve never tried asparagus before, or if you’ve been frustrated cooking it in the past, use my tips and recipe. I promise, this wonderful green veggie will become a new family favorite!
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
- butter to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Wash asparagus and trim woody stems.
- Place prepared asparagus in rimmed baking pan.
- Drizzle olive oil over asparagus. With tongs or a fork, roll the asparagus around in the oil so it's lightly coated.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste (you can always add more after so go lightly here).
- Bake for 8-15 minutes or until the asparagus reaches the desired tenderness.
- Remove from the oven, add a little butter if desired, and drizzle with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
- Serve immediately.
To trim the woody stems try breaking the ends of the asparagus vs. cutting them off. The asparagus will naturally break where the stem is tender vs. woody.
If you're just making a pound of asparagus, a toaster oven works perfectly for this recipe. Toaster ovens do cook a little faster, so watch your cook times.
Thicker stalks of asparagus take longer to cook. That's one of the reasons for such a wide range of cooking times for this recipe. I've found thin stalks take 8-12 minutes, and thicker stalks take 12-15 minutes.