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, and if you want to try your hand at cooking it in the air fryer, be sure to try my Air Fryer Asparagus recipe as well. Both of these cooking methods provide you with a shorter cooking time and just as delicious asparagus.
All it takes is 5 simple ingredients for perfectly roasted asparagus every time – 7 ingredients if you include the optional seasonings.
- Fresh asparagus stalks
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Optional (but highly recommended): Parmesan cheese and fresh lemon juice.
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. While you can find thick asparagus all year long, the thinner asparagus is usually available at grocery stores during the asparagus season. We will discuss variance in cooking times below!
If you are new to using asparagus and need a refresher on the basics, be sure to check out my detailed post on How To Store Fresh Asparagus to keep it fresh longer. In that post, I made sure to cover everything you need to know, like how to shop for asparagus and how to preserve it in the fridge.
How to prepare it for roasting?
Start by cleaning it. To do so, 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.
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, leaving you with bright green stalks ready for cooking.
If this task 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 or chicken 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 them 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 them 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 the thickness of the asparagus and the temperature you are using. The thicker spears will cook longer than the thinner ones. Use the table below for a quick guide for the baking time in a 425-degree F. (218 C˚) oven:
|Asparagus Stalk Thickness||Roasting Time|
While cooking asparagus in the oven is a rather easy process, here are a few tips to ensure perfect results on your first try:
- Do not overcrowd the baking sheet: According to Cook’s Illustrated, make sure to roast the asparagus spears in a single layer for even cooking. Roast, without moving the asparagus or opening the oven, until the underside of the spears are brown, and the tops are vibrant green.
- Don’t overcook: Be aware that there is a direct correlation between the time it takes to roast asparagus and the thickness of your asparagus. Keep in mind that the thick spears will take longer time to bake, while the thinner ones will be shorter.
- Trim and clean your asparagus: Take the time to properly prepare it by cleaning it under cold water and then trimming the woodsy ends. And if you are unable to use it right away, simply place the bunch of asparagus in a jar filled with an inch of water and cover it loosely with a plastic bag. If you need more information, check out my post on storing asparagus.
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 to dinner time.
I do not recommend freezing the roasted asparagus. Upon reheating, the spears become waterlogged and mushy.
How to season it & What to put on it?
Asparagus seasoning can vary based on your tastes, dietary concerns, or what you will 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 below. Use the variations below to season asparagus to tailor it according to your tastebuds:
- 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)
- 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.
I love it alongside Roasted Carrots and Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash for a full, plant-based meal. Or if you have leftovers, make my Roasted Asparagus Salad recipe.
It’s a wonderful addition to those long weekend mornings and brunch gatherings alongside Spinach Feta Frittata and Goat Cheese Quiche, too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you can. Roasting frozen asparagus is 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, and 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.
Some sources say that blanching before roasting helps it with retaining its bright green color, but we think it is an unnecessary step, especially because asparagus cooks very fast, and even after it is roasted, it is perfectly tender and crisp.
No, there is no need to soak asparagus before roasting. However, if you plan to store it in the fridge, it is best to place it in a jar with a few inches of water and cover it with a plastic bag while storing it in the fridge.
Absolutely! According to Healthline’s article on the Benefits of Asparagus, asparagus is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and folate. Additionally, including baked asparagus in your daily diet helps with weight loss, improved digestion, and lower blood pressure.
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:
If you try this Baked Asparagus recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
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.
Hi Ice, this baked asparagus recipe is great. I often make asparagus this way and I add some other vegetables as a side.
Happy to hear that you liked it Olivia. I do the same thing. It is just a great way to get more veggies in your diet.
Foolproof recipe indeed. Your trick about placing asparagus in a jar filled with water is genius. They last longer that way.
Thanks for such a simple yet delicious recipe.
I am so happy to hear that that trick helped you Nicole. I usually buy a big bunch when it is on sale and store them this way to enjoy roasted asparagus all week long.
Thanks so much for coming by. Cheers!
This post answered all my questions about roasting asparagus in the oven (even though it was very long). I appreciate you giving options and different temperature settings as I like baking my vegetables in a low heat oven (low and slow).
Next, I’ll try the sauteed version. That one looked really good too.
Oh and parmesan cheese on top is a must. Thanks Ice!
It is great that you found all the answers you were looking for. I, too, bake it in a lower heat oven if I have time but it is good to have options, no?
Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to leave a review. Cheers!