This oven-roasted asparagus recipe is created for one reason and that is because I am always looking for simple, straightforward ways to incorporate more greens into my diet. And side dishes, especially vegetable side dishes, give me an excuse to do so.
Cooking asparagus in the oven delivers a quick and healthy side dish that is easily customizable. Plus, I think it is the easiest way to cook it. Once you learn all there is to know about prepping, storing and cooking, the fun part comes in the seasoning and serving.
Add this baked asparagus to your recipe book. I promise you that it’ll be one you’ll turn to over and over again. If you’d rather cook asparagus on the stove, be sure to check out my Sauteed Asparagus Recipe as well.
All it takes is 5 simple ingredients for perfectly roasted asparagus every time – 7 ingredients if you include the optional seasonings.
Gather together fresh asparagus stalks, olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and black pepper. Parmesan cheese and lemon juice are optional, but highly recommended!
How to shop for asparagus?
When I shop for asparagus, I want to make sure I am getting the freshest bunch possible. When you go to grab your asparagus bunch from the line up, make sure:
- The spears are straight and plump, with no signs of wilting
- The ends are moist and tender (not dry and split)
- The decorative tips are sharp and snappy
During the asparagus season, most grocery stores sell them in a bin with a bit of water at the bottom and wrapped with a rubber band around the bunch. When selecting a bunch be sure to look at the bottom of the stalks and make sure that they are fresh.
Note: Thin vs thick asparagus, or the thickness of the asparagus, is more about personal preference. Pencil thin asparagus is sweeter whereas thicker asparagus has a stronger aroma and flavor. We will discuss variance in cooking times below!
How to store fresh asparagus?
If you are planning to use it right away, you can keep your fresh asparagus in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. It should stay fresh up to 3 days.
If you are a few days ahead of schedule, store fresh asparagus as soon as you get home from the store. Simply:
- Place 2-3 inches of water in the bottom of a deep, mason jar or drinking glass.
- Remove the rubber band (if there is any), add the asparagus and tent with a plastic bag.
- Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
The asparagus will keep crisp and fresh for a few days. Change out the water if it starts to appear cloudy.
How to clean it?
Gently rinse under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris.
Then, thoroughly dry the spears with a clean kitchen towel. The dry surface and hot oven ensure maximum crispness every time.
How to prepare it for roasting?
The best way to prepare asparagus is to snap off the ends one-by-one. This is the natural break between tender asparagus and the woody stem. The woodsy part should snap off easily.
If this is a task that seems too tedious, simply snap one spear. Then, bunch the asparagus spears together, line up the ends and cut at the point where the one asparagus spear was broken.
You can toss the ends or save them for later to use next time you make vegetable stock.
How to bake asparagus in the oven?
Baked asparagus is such a simple cooking technique. It’s an incredibly easy and healthy side to have in your cooking repertoire. Simply:
- Preheat. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 Degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Wash and dry. Rinse the asparagus spears under cold running water. Transfer them onto a clean kitchen towel and dry as much as possible.
- Trim. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus (1-2 inches from the bottom) with your fingers. It should naturally break off. Alternatively, to make it quicker, you can gather them all together and cut the ends at the same time using a knife. Discard the trims or save for making stock later.
- Season with salt and pepper. Place the asparagus spears on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle them with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss until they are all coated with the oil and seasoning. Ensure that they are all in one layer in the pan.
- Add cheese (optional). If using, sprinkle them with grated parmesan cheese.
- Roast. Bake for 12-14 minutes for thick asparagus spears and 8-10 minutes for thin asparagus or until a paring knife (or a fork) inserted at the base of the largest spear meets little resistance.
- Serve. Transfer onto a large serving plate. If preferred, drizzle with lemon juice. Serve while they are still warm.
What temperature to bake?
I found the ideal temperature to roast asparagus to be 425 degrees F. This is the fastest and most efficient.
I have read other recipes that bake the asparagus at 350 or 375 degrees F, but that just means you have to wait longer. If you’d rather bake asparagus in a lower temperature oven below are the baking time for various temps:
- 350 Degrees F: 25-30 minutes
- 375 Degrees F: 22-25 minutes
- 400 Degrees F: 15-17 minutes
How long to bake asparagus?
The asparagus cook time will vary depending on thickness. The thicker spears will cook longer than the thinner. Keep reading to learn more.
How to cook thin asparagus spears?
The size of the asparagus will change the time of cooking. Roasted thin asparagus will cook up much faster than roasted thick asparagus. Thin asparagus spears will fully cook in 8-10 minutes.
Want to know how to cook thick asparagus spears? Increase the cooking time to 12-14 minutes.
How to broil?
Broil asparagus in the oven for 6-8 minutes on a rack at least 6-inches from the broiler.
Just make sure to shake the baking sheet occasionally for even cooking.
How to cook it so that it is crispy?
I didn’t know there was such a thing as “crisp asparagus” until I started doing some research. Basically, this is asparagus that still retains some of its crunch.
For crispy asparagus, reduce the cooking time by 2 minutes.
When is it fully cooked?
Asparagus is fully cooked when you can easily pierce the thickest end of a spear with a paring knife or fork.
The bottoms will be browned and the tips beautifully green.
How to store it?
Leftover asparagus can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
During the week, I enjoy them chilled from the fridge for lunch or slightly rewarmed when it comes dinner time.
I do not recommend freezing the roasted asparagus. Upon reheating, the spears become waterlogged and mushy.
How to cook frozen asparagus in the oven?
Roasting frozen asparagus is a super convenient for those times you crave asparagus when not in season. To do so, simply:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Lay the frozen asparagus out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (no need to thaw!).
- Season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast thin stalks for 8-10 minutes, thick asparagus for 12-14 minutes, or until the ends are easily pierced with a paring knife or fork.
- Finish with lemon juice, grated parmesan cheese or any seasoning desired.
How to season it?
Asparagus seasoning can vary based on your tastes, dietary concerns or what you are going to serve it with. I found the best seasoning for baked asparagus to be a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, a clove of minced fresh garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Some of my other favorites include:
- Adding ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs before cooking
- Sprinkling on ½ teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence
- Adding 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes
- Finishing with balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- Squeezing on any citrus fruit – lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit
- Adding roughly chopped fresh parsley, mint or basil leaves after cooking
- Replacing the olive oil with nutty and aromatic ghee
- Finishing the spears with a tab of butter (the warm asparagus will melt it easily)
What to put on it?
My absolute favorite is garlic parmesan asparagus. Savory, cheesy and somewhat nutty.
A few other additions can include toasted slivered almonds, lemon zest, or any hard, grated cheese!
What to serve it with?
Roasted asparagus is the perfect side dish to serve with any main meal, protein, or full spread of veggies. And if you were wondering what protein goes well with asparagus, you are in the right place.
I serve it with Pressure Cooker Pot Roast Recipe when the weather is chillier throughout the fall and winter. But it pairs particularly well with Simple Roast Chicken, Baked Panko Chicken Parmesan, and Chicken Fricasse.
Here are a few more healthy and easy asparagus recipes:
It is no secret that baked asparagus make an easy side dish recipe. However, by using this simple recipe as a base you can create other dishes to wow your family. Here are a few to get you started:
Baked Asparagus Recipe
- 1 lb asparagus spears or 1 bunch
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Rinse the asparagus spears under cold running water. Transfer them onto a clean kitchen towel and dry as much as possible.
- Snap off the wooden ends (1-2 inches from the bottom) with your fingers. It should naturally break off. Alternatively, to make it quicker, you can gather them all together and cut the ends at the same time using a knife. Discard the trims or save for making stock later.
- Place the asparagus spears on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle them with minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Toss until they are coated with the oil and seasoning. Ensure that they are all in one layer in the pan.
- If using, sprinkle them with grated parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes for thick asparagus spears and 8-10 minutes for thin asparagus or until a pairing knife (or a fork) inserted at the base of the largest spear meets little resistance.
- Transfer onto a large serving plate. If preferred, drizzle with lemon juice.
- Serve while they are still warm.
- Baking time for thin versus thick asparagus might vary. If your asparagus is thin bake 2-3 minutes less. If it is thick, 12-14 minutes should be sufficient.
- If you like your asparagus to be on the crispier side feel free to bake it 2-3 minutes less.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.