Roasted Asparagus Salad

5 from 1 vote
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This flavor-packed Roasted Asparagus Salad is one of my favorite side dishes, especially when spring veggies are fresh and in season. It’s a light and easy asparagus salad recipe with caramelized leeks, sweet dried cherries, and tangy goat cheese.

Roasted asparagus salad in a white bowl topped with chunks of goat cheese and dried cherries.

Why I Love This Roasted Asparagus Salad Recipe

The first time I made this asparagus salad was for Easter. Among a table full of Paska (Ukrainian Easter bread) and Hrudka and Syrnyk (Ukrainian cheeses), this roasted asparagus salad was a welcome bowlful of freshness! With tender caramelized leeks and snappy asparagus spears tossed with sweet dried cherries and creamy goat cheese, it’s one of my favorite spring vegetable recipes. Here’s why:

  • Easy ingredients. All the ingredients are easy to find in the grocery store, but I love making this roasted asparagus salad when I can buy fresh asparagus from the farmer’s market! Nothing beats earthy-sweet asparagus when it’s in season.
  • Versatile. This asparagus salad recipe is a quick, easy, versatile side dish. I’ll make it for the holidays, and it’s just as great to meal prep for casual dinners. Plus, you can serve it hot, cold, or at room temperature!
  • Tangy dressing. I finish this salad with a zesty balsamic Dijon dressing that plays off the other flavors so well. This asparagus salad is a simple dish where a perfect combination of flavors makes it absolutely shine.
Roasted asparagus salad in a white bowl topped with chunks of goat cheese and dried cherries.

What You’ll Need

Below are some notes on the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy roasted asparagus salad. Scroll to the recipe card further down for a printable ingredients list.

  • Asparagus: This recipe calls for about one pound of fresh asparagus. You’ll need to wash the spears and trim off the woody ends before you start, see below.
  • Olive Oil: You’ll need a nice quality extra virgin olive oil to toss the asparagus in before roasting. 
  • Leeks: Sliced thinly. In case you’re unfamiliar, leeks resemble spring onions and are found in most produce aisles. While the whole leek is edible, the best parts are the white and light green parts, as they have the most flavor. However, the dark green parts soften up if you sauté them like in this recipe.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Like your olive oil, you’ll want to use good quality balsamic vinegar for caramelizing the leeks. Red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar are good substitutes.
  • Dijon Mustard: I love the contrast of flavors that come from using Dijon in this recipe. It has a mild, creamy spiciness that’s just delicious. You can use yellow mustard, or even hot mustard for some kick.
  • Dried Cherries: Sweet-tart cherries play wonderfully off of the earthiness of the asparagus and leeks. You can also use dried cranberries.
  • Goat Cheese: If you don’t have goat cheese, other good choices are cubed feta or shaved parmesan.
Ingredients to make Roasted Asparagus Salad.

How to Trim Asparagus

To prep your asparagus for roasting, all you need to do is wash the spears well under cold water and trim or snap off the extra-tough woody ends. Usually, the woody part is dry and lighter in color, and it’s tougher than the rest of the spear. Afterward, chop the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. I like to cut the pieces at an angle to make the shape a little fancier.

How to Make Roasted Asparagus Salad

Making this roasted asparagus salad is as easy as roasting the asparagus spears in the oven, caramelizing leeks in a pan, and then tossing everything together. Here’s the quick step-by-step, and you’ll find the printable recipe instructions in the recipe card after the post.

  • Roast the asparagus. First, you’ll season and then toss chopped asparagus with olive oil. Roast at 425ºF for 20 minutes, until it’s fork-tender.
  • Caramelize the leeks. Meanwhile, get your sliced leeks sautéing in a pan with olive oil. After about 15 minutes, turn the heat down and stir in balsamic vinegar. Give that a few minutes to reduce and caramelize around the leeks. Finally, take the pan with the leeks off the heat and stir in Dijon, salt, and pepper.
  • Combine and serve. Once the asparagus is out of the oven, toss the dressed leeks together with the roasted asparagus. Crumble over some goat cheese and sprinkle on dried cherries. Give the salad a gentle stir, and serve!

Recipe Tips & Variations

This roasted asparagus salad can be served hot right after you make it, cold out of the fridge, and even at room temperature. Like most salad recipes, it’s pretty much failproof, although I have picked up a few notes during recipe testing. Also! If you’ve never roasted asparagus before (for a salad or otherwise), I have a recipe for easy oven-roasted asparagus that you can refer to.

Keep these quick tips and easy variations in mind:

  • Choose the right veggies. Leeks are very similar to spring onions, and both are part of the onion family. But there is a difference! The main way to tell a leek from a spring onion is to look at the base: spring onions have a white, round bulb at the base, while leeks generally don’t. If you can’t find leeks, however, spring onions are a good substitute in this recipe.
  • Time-saving tip. Need a quicker way to roast the asparagus? Follow the directions for my air fryer asparagus to have it crisp-tender in under 10 minutes.
  • Can I caramelize regular onions? In a pinch, you can make this salad with regular white or yellow onions. Slice them up thin and then caramelize them in a skillet as directed.
  • Add more veggies. Add carrots or broccoli to the roasting pan along with asparagus. Or, sauté spinach with the leeks, or add snap peas, chopped radishes, or beets over top of the salad.
  • Herbs and garnishes. Garnish your salad with microgreens, sprouts, and fresh herbs like basil or fennel.
  • Make it spicy. Toss the roasted asparagus with crushed red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
  • Make it crunchy. Chopped pecans or walnuts would go nicely with the cherries and goat cheese. Or, sprinkle on pepitas or sunflower seeds.

Overhead view of roasted asparagus salad in a white bowl topped with chunks of goat cheese and dried cherries.

How to Store Asparagus Salad

  • Refrigerator – If you’d like to make this roasted asparagus salad in advance, or if you’d like to keep the leftovers fresh, store it airtight in the fridge. It will keep for a day or two.
  • Make ahead – This salad can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and stored in the fridge. I don’t recommend freezing the finished salad, however, you can roast the asparagus ahead and freeze it. Thaw the frozen asparagus in the fridge before caramelizing your leeks and assembling the salad.
Roasted asparagus salad in a white bowl topped with chunks of goat cheese and dried cherries.

Make It a Meal

It’s not difficult to pair this roasted asparagus salad with my favorite meals. I’ll make this salad as a side dish to roast chicken or grilled steak, plus a side of crispy air fryer potatoes for an easy weeknight dinner.

Asparagus salad is great as a holiday side dish to glazed ham, with more festive ideas like cheesy scalloped potatoes, tender oven roasted carrots, and fluffy gluten free dinner rolls. Or, serve it like I did for Easter brunch with a satisfying ham and cheese strata or your favorite breakfast casserole!

The Best Pans for Roasting Vegetables

If I am making roasted asparagus salad, roasted cauliflower, or my medley of balsamic roasted vegetables, you know I am getting out my Nordicware Baking Sheets. They are lightweight and heavy-duty at the same time, with no warping whatsoever. And they clean easily, with those little charred bits and caramelized edges sliding right off and washing up with little effort with only a thin coating of oil.

Last updated on Jul 19, 2024 1:33 am

More Asparagus Recipes

Overhead view of roasted asparagus salad in a white bowl topped with chunks of goat cheese and dried cherries.
5 from 1 vote

Roasted Asparagus Salad

This Roasted Asparagus Salad with caramelized leeks brings together the best spring vegetables in a flavorful, easy side dish! With dried cherries, goat cheese, and a tangy balsamic Dijon dressing.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1½ pounds asparagus , trimmed and cut into 1 in. pieces on an angle
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil , plus 2 Tablespoons (divided)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 leeks , sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries , chopped (can substitute dried cranberries)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese , crumbled

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Toss the asparagus with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt.
  • Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender. Set aside or place in the refrigerator.
  • Heat the 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add leeks and cook until caramel colored, stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the balsamic vinegar and reduce slightly. Remove from heat and add the dijon mustard, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Toss the caramelized leeks with the asparagus, and gently fold in the cherries and goat cheese.
  • Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Notes

  • This salad can be made a day or so in advance, and kept in the refrigerator.
  • Adapted from Rachael Ray’s Asparagus and Caramelized Onion Salad.
Nutrition Facts
Roasted Asparagus Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 126 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 9mg3%
Sodium 99mg4%
Potassium 299mg9%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 1787IU36%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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18 Comments
  1. Diana @ASpoonfulofLuxe

    Just saw this on the recipe roundup FB page, and couldn’t wait to check it out… as I LOVE LEEKS! Fantastic recipe, and what a unique addition of the cherries and goat cheese. Pinning now! 🙂

  2. I think you combined all my favorite flavors – I adore dried cherries & goat cheese and nothing beats spring asparagus and leeks (I’ve never caramelized them.) Excellent 1st ReDux post – glad to have you on board!

  3. Mary@BrightonYourHealth

    Congratulations on your first recipe with the Recipe Redux Challenge! Caramelized leeks sound divine in this recipe. Continued success 🙂

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