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When fresh veggies are in season, they need little more than olive oil, salt, and pepper to make them taste amazing. And this Oven-Roasted Asparagus proves that. Simply seasoned and perfectly crisp-tender, it will be the vegetable side dish you’ll want to add to all of your spring and summer meals.
Perfect Roasted Asparagus in the Oven
When fresh green stalks start popping up in stores and markets in the spring, I know my favorite season has arrived. From spring through the summer, I could probably eat asparagus every day. While Cornmeal Crusted Asparagus is delicious, and it’s lovely to add to a Smoked Salmon Tart, just roasting asparagus in the oven is all it needs to let the fresh flavor shine!
Choosing the Best Asparagus for Roasting
When you are going to select your bunch of asparagus from the market or grocery store, make sure it is a vibrant green color (unless you are buying purple or white asparagus) with a little white at the bottom, and not starting to turn brown.
The stalks should be firm and straight, not starting to get soft or bending too easily, and the tips should be tightly closed and not starting to sprout. And for the best roasted asparagus, you generally want stalks with a medium thickness. Thin ones will char too quickly, and thick ones will take too long to get tender that the tips might get too dark.
What You’ll Need
All you need are the basics for this roasted asparagus recipe:
- Olive Oil.
- Salt and Pepper. I prefer to use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Though feel free to add your favorite seasonings, like garlic powder, rosemary or thyme, or even some paprika or chili powder.
How to Prepare Asparagus
Start by washing and drying your asparagus. This will give it time for any remaining moisture to evaporate while you prep it for roasting.
Then hold the asparagus somewhere in the middle and at the bottom end, and start to bend it. It will snap right at the perfect spot so that you aren’t eating the chewy woody end. If you really want a clean cut at the bottom, you can then trim the end with a knife.
How to Roast Asparagus in the Oven
When you are ready to make roasted asparagus, preheat your oven to 450°F. Then lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.
Season the Asparagus. Drizzle the asparagus spear with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat it thoroughly, taking care to be sure oil gets fully onto the tips.
Roast in the Oven. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on the oiled baking sheet, then place it in the preheated oven. Roast until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the asparagus and exactly how crisp or tender you prefer it. Thin spears only need a short time in the oven, while thicker ones will need to bake longer.
Serving Roasted Asparagus
While you can enjoy the cooked asparagus right out of the oven, you can certainly dress it up a little.
- Citrus. A sprinkling of lemon zest, a squeeze of juice, or just some wedges or slices on the side so everyone can do as they wish will add a bright burst of flavor.
- Toasted Nuts. Slivered or sliced almonds are a nice touch, but you can use any that you like for a bit of crunch and nutty flavor.
- Cheese. Grated parmesan, asiago, or manchego cheese are a perfect complement. But you can also go with mozzarella, cheddar, or whatever you love.
- Sauce. A classic pairing is Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, but you can also try balsamic vinegar reduction, or add flavors to complement your meal, like Cheese Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Aioli, or Alfredo Sauce.
Tips for Success
- Make sure it is dry. Any residual moisture will cause the asparagus to steam versus roast and catamelize.
- Coat it well with oil. Pay special attention to the tips because they can burn easily.
- Don’t crowd the pan. Again, this promotes roasting versus steaming, and allows for more even cooking.
- Don’t let it burn. High heat is best for roasting asparagus, and you do want those caramelized bits.
Other Cooking Methods
While baking it in the oven is super simple and delicious, you can also try these techniques:
- Grilled Asparagus: Grill it over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, flipping it once or twice.
- Air Fryer Asparagus: Cook in the air fryer at 400°F for 7-10 minutes.
Storing and Reheating
Leftover roasted asparagus can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days. I do not recommend freezing it, as it can get quite mushy.
It can be reheated in the microwave or warmed up in the air fryer or oven at 400°F for about 3-5 minutes to crisp it up again.
Using Roasted Asparagus
It also is wonderful to add to other dishes. Try some of these the next time you roast asparagus:
- Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Quinoa Pilaf
- Grilled Steak Salad with Asparagus
- Caramelized Leek Asparagus Salad
- Ham, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese Egg Muffins
Make it a Meal
- Grill a steak. Asparagus pairs well with beef, so try Caprese Grilled Filet Mignon or Balsamic Marinated Grilled Flank Steak.
- Make some pasta. It’s also lovely alongside Gluten Free Baked Ziti or tossed in with some penne with Vodka Sauce.
- Have a chicken dinner. It’s also wonderful with Skillet Lemon Chicken or a perfectly Roasted Chicken.
- Serve it for the holidays. You also can’t go wrong with a simple side for your Easter Glazed Ham or Christmas Prime Rib.
More Roasted Veggies
- Chili Lime Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
- Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Garlic Roasted Mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.
- Toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast until tender, about 10-15 minutes, until tender. The time will depend on the thickness of the asparagus.
- Place the asparagus on a serving platter and serve with any toppings or garnishes, as desired.