Simple Roasted Asparagus

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It’s Spring and that means it’s asparagus season! It’s time to make all your favorite asparagus dishes while it’s in season and the MOST delicious! My favorite way to eat it is a simple roasted asparagus recipe. It’s easy and simply delicious!

Roasted asparagus sprinkled with parsley after it's come out fo the oven and is ready to eat

Asparagus is so delicious and so good for you! It’s a seasonal vegetable, so it’s plentiful this time of year! There are so many ways you can cook it and they are all delicious! I love to serve asparagus as a side dish all year round, but it’s especially delicious when it’s in season in the Spring. The really beautiful green variety of asparagus shows up in droves at the grocery store in April and will be super fresh until the end of June. We are lucky that we can now get fresh asparagus year-round, but it’s got that special taste and deliciousness when it’s in fresh vegetables in season!

Green, purple and white asparagus all mixed together and lined up on a Spanish blue and white tile countertop

Asparagus Facts

Here are a few fun facts about asparagus. There are actually three different colors of asparagus: green asparagus, white asparagus, and a purple variety of asparagus as well! Generally, all three varieties are in season from late February until mid-June, but the BEST part of the season is April and May. Asparagus of any color is delicious! It’s considered very labor-intensive to harvest asparagus, and therefore, it’s always a little pricey! Let’s look at the main differences in the colors of asparagus:

Bundle of green asparagus on a wooden board

Green Asparagus

Green asparagus is what we are all accustomed to, especially in the United States. The green spear with the woody ends is a side dish vegetable staple at our house. The green asparagus has a more tender texture and green varieties don’t require peeling the outer layer. 

White bundle of asparagus on a wooden table and linen napkin

White Asparagus

White asparagus is quite a sight! It’s totally white! It’s in season from April through June, but the peak of white asparagus season is the same for green asparagus, and it’s from April through May. White asparagus is really big in European countries, particularly Germany. There are farmer’s markets in Europe dedicated to these white spears! But you can get it here in the US and North America now! 

White and Green asparagus standing up in a wicker basket

White asparagus is a higher price since it’s more rare. It’s white because, during the growing process, the asparagus plants are deprived of sunlight, thus they don’t get the development of chlorophyll while it grows, thus making the plant not turn its green color. The white asparagus spears often require a vegetable peeler to peel the outside skin off. It can be tough and woody. As for the white asparagus taste, it’s a little more delicate in flavor with a milder taste, and it’s also got a sweeter taste as well. The Germans refer to the white asparagus, named Spargel, as “White gold.” (The Germans also serve it in butter and hollandaise sauce, which I think is scrumptious!) These spears are often thicker and will require a longer cooking time. 

Bundle of purple asparagus on a wooden board

Purple Asparagus

Kind of like white asparagus, purple asparagus is milder in flavor than green asparagus, and it’s sweeter, similarly to the flavor of white asparagus. When you cut it open, it looks the same as green asparagus on the inside. It’s usually a little smaller in size and has a more sweet taste, it almost has a more delicate flavor. But you can prepare it in the same way you prepare white or green asparagus. Also, the purple hue and purple tips are just gorgeous!

Bundles of white and green asaparagus on a wooden board

Ingredients for Simple Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients for roasted asparagus, including asparagus, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Asparagus Bundle (one bunch of asparagus, the freshest asparagus you can get!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cooking Instructions

If you want a general guide to roasting vegetables on a sheet pan, try our roasted sheet pan vegetable guide!

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425*.

Step 2

Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil.

Step 3

Wash your asparagus and cut the woody ends (tough ends) off the asparagus with a sharp knife. You can also snap the ends off if that’s more satisfying. Just break the stalk where it naturally wants to bend, and that’s where the asparagus is more dense and needs to be removed.

Step 4

Arrange your asparagus on your baking sheet and drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste. I’d suggest starting with a teaspoon of each and you can adjust from there if needed. Move the asparagus around on the baking sheet to make sure all the spears are coated, and then arrange them back into a single layer so they cook evenly. 

Step 5

Put the baking sheet into the oven and let the asparagus roast for about 10-15 minutes for thin spears of asparagus. If it’s thicker spears of asparagus, it might take more time, closer to 20-25 minutes. I like my roasted asparagus to have some brown spots from roasting on it, I just think that tastes amazing!

Step 6

Roasted asparagus on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet that is done and ready to eat

​Pull the asparagus out of the oven and serve immediately. 

​Recommended Equipment

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  • Oven Mitts – This is a heavy and hot dish! Make sure you have good oven mitts to protect your hands!
  • Santoku Knife – You don’t have to go out and buy a nice knife. BUT, if you were in the market for a knife, this is the one I couldn’t do without, and the one I go for time and time again. It’s wonderfully and beautifully made. I’ve had this knife for over 10 years and it’s my favorite thing in my entire kitchen. You truly do get what you pay for in knives. These are made in Germany but are widely sold in the United States now. You can go way higher in quality as well, this is just a starting point.
  • Cutting Board – I’ve had these for years and I love them. Mine are red! They are the perfect sizes, easy to store, and have a little groove around the edges to stop juices from flowing all over. This is the cutting board I go to time and time again when I’m cooking.
  • Baking Sheets – These Nordic Ware natural aluminum commercial baker’s half sheets are my absolute favorite baking sheets I’ve ever owned in my cooking days! They are super heavy-duty, have a great rim around them, and they stay in great shape no matter what you cook on them. And they clean up incredibly easily as well!
  • Fish Turner Spatula – This is my favorite kind of spatula. Technically it’s for fish, but I use it all the time for baking! I love it and have several. I rarely reach for a regular spatula anymore!
  • Airtight Food Storage Containers – These are fantastic. They keep food air-tight and fresh so well!

Storage

How Long Does Asparagus Last

You store asparagus in the refrigerator for sure. If stored properly, asparagus will last about 4 days in the refrigerator before you cook it. The best way to store this green veggie is to keep your asparagus upright in a glass jar (I use a mason jar) in about an inch of water, with the cut ends down in the water, and put a large plastic bag over the asparagus stalks and jar. Also, I like to remove the rubber band holding the spears together for better separation of the stalks. This gives you some air circulation and helps the veggie stay fresh for a longer time. If you don’t have a jar handy, you can also wrap your asparagus in a moist paper towel. 

Spoilage

Watch for signs of spoilage and make sure nothing is turning yellow. Proper storage should give you the best shelf life of asparagus. Nobody wants bad asparagus or spoiled asparagus.

Once your asparagus is cooked, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you don’t have an airtight container, you could wrap it very tightly in plastic wrap. 

Roasted asparagus on a blue plate

Serving Suggestions

Roasted asparagus is a delicious and easy side dish for just about any dinner or lunch you serve. We usually have it as a side dish once or twice a week. 

Substitutions, Modifications, and Variations

Substitutions

We have already discussed the different varieties of asparagus! Feel free to substitute green asparagus for white or purple! They are all a delicious vegetable and the cooking process is the same with all three!

Modifications

Use whatever kind of oil, salt and pepper you like on this dish! Any oil will work just fine and will only alter the taste of the asparagus a tiny bit, if at all.

Variations

I am a plain Jane and I like my asparagus with just oil, salt and pepper. But the variations are endless! You could add lemon juice and lemon zest! Or red pepper flakes! Maybe some garlic and onions! Fresh cherry tomatoes are great with asparagus, too. Truly, there are so many possibilities and they are all tasty options!

​Leftovers

I don’t like to have any food waste, and I try to reinvent my leftovers whenever possible! So, what do you do with leftover asparagus once it’s cooked? There are so many choices!!

  • Cut it up and put it in soups and stews!
  • Add it to your breakfast omelet
  • Toss it into your salads
  • Add it to a pasta dish
  • Or, my favorite… Make asparagus soup!

Freezer Instructions

So, can you freeze cooked asparagus?

The short answer is yes! But with a few caveats for best results! When you thaw the roasted asparagus it’s going to be pretty flimsy, and the texture of the asparagus is probably a tiny bit slimy. It was it’s best quality when it was fresh and then roasted. So, I’d suggest freezing cooked asparagus knowing that you are going to use it as a future soup ingredient! You can cut it into small pieces of asparagus and add it to vegetable soup the next time you are whipping up a batch! Or one of my favorite things is to make a creamy asparagus soup, and it’s perfect to use leftover asparagus that you have thawed from frozen!

All I do to freeze my leftover roasted asparagus is wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, getting as much air as possible out of the plastic, and then I put it in a freezer bag, and again, remove as much air from the bag as you can. Excess air causes freezer burn and we don’t want to ruin the beautiful asparagus we worked so hard to roast.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can I grill my asparagus?

Sure! Grilled asparagus is delicious! Coat the whole asparagus spears in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then either add it directly to the grill grate or put it in a grilling pan for vegetables. It’ll need between 10-20 minutes depending on the heat of the grill and the thickness of the stalks. 

Is roasted asparagus healthy?

It’s quite healthy and it’s an excellent choice for a vegetable dish! Especially if you use a heart-healthy oil to roast it in! Asparagus is high in fiber and low in calories, and that makes it a great vegetable choice.

Can you roast the asparagus in the air fryer?

For sure! It’s wonderful! And it takes a little less time. Check your particular air fryer’s guide for exact times, but I’d keep an eye on it and expect it to be ready in 5-10 minutes at 425*. It gets crispier in the air fryer and I LOVE that!

Roasted asparagus on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet that is done and ready to eat

Wrap-Up – Simple Roasted Asparagus

As we have no learned, asparagus comes in a variety of colors and sizes. It’s peak freshness is in the Spring, and it’s super delicious in peak season. You can steam it, boil it, sautee it, but my very favorite way to prepare the best asparagus it is this recipe, by roasting it. Roasting gives vegetables the best flavor in my opinion. Try it on your next batch of veggies and see if it doesn’t just delight your taste buds! I hope you enjoy this recipe and I can’t wait to hear how it turns out! Let me know! And until then, happy cooking and, as always, just keep shuffling!

Roasted asparagus fresh out of the oven

Simple Roasted Asparagus

Print Recipe
It's Spring and that means it's asparagus season! It's time to make all your favorite asparagus dishes while it's in season and the MOST delicious! My favorite way to eat it is a simple roasted asparagus recipe. It's easy and simply delicious!
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Bundle of Fresh Asparagus
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425*.
  • Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil.
  • Wash your asparagus and cut the woody ends (tough ends) off the asparagus with a sharp knife.
    1 Bundle of Fresh Asparagus
  • Arrange your asparagus on your baking sheet and drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste. I'd suggest starting with a teaspoon of each and you can adjust from there if needed.
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Put the baking sheet into the oven and let the asparagus roast for about 10-15 minutes for thin spears of asparagus. If it's thicker spears of asparagus, it might take more time, closer to 20-25 minutes.
  • ​Pull the asparagus out of the oven and serve immediately. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.5g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 582mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 33IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Asparagus, Roasted Asparagus, Spring Asparagus
Servings: 4
Calories: 64kcal
Cost: 5

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