The Best Asparagus Recipes: 34 Ways to Cook Our Favorite Spring Vegetable
Fresh asparagus in the produce aisle is a sure sign of spring. Fat or thin; green or white or purple; the keys to delicious asparagus is freshness and proper preparation. It brings a delicately bright flavor and notes of subtle acidity to any dish. We're not the only ones who notice when the first spring asparagus appears: "Each April, I begin harvesting the asparagus at the farm. I know it's ready to eat when the stalks are about the thickness of a finger. Then I'll snap them off at the base, blanch them until they're tender, and serve them with a mustardy vinaigrette," Martha says in the April 2019 issue of Martha Stewart Living.
While it's true that hothouse asparagus available year-round, the vegetable is truly at its peak from February through June. When shopping for asparagus when it's in-season, pay attention to a few key factors: Choose bunches with tightly closed tips. Stalks should be bright green and firm (or pale ivory for white asparagus). As for thickness, that's really a matter of taste. (Martha's favorite is jumbo asparagus.)
Asparagus is best cooked the day it's purchased, but it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days. Wrap the bottoms of the stalks in a damp paper towel and place in a paper bag; you should store it in the crisper drawer for the best results. Once you're ready to cook, hold the bunch upside down and gently swish it under cold water—the tender tips can be sandy. Next, snap off the tough woody bottoms. The easiest way is to bend the stalk at the natural breaking point (often where the color changes from white to green), about an inch or two inches from the base. Still not sure what to do? Watch Martha's quick primer.
How to cook this springtime vegetable is in entirely up to you. Whether you're in the mood to boil or steam, roast, grill, sauté, or stir-fry (or enjoy it raw in salad!), try our delicious asparagus recipes.
Sautéed Asparagus with Garlic and Thyme
A quick and easy spring side dish that cooks the tender green stalks in one of our favorite ways. Start by sautéing, then end with steaming (in the same pan!) for perfect crisp-tender asparagus.
Grilled Asparagus and Farro Salad
A hearty grain salad that's healthy, too. Grilled asparagus is combined with farro, plenty of fresh dill, scallions, and lots of feta cheese for a make-ahead spring dish to have on repeat.
Creamy Ginger-Asparagus Soup
Creamy but dairy free (in fact, it's vegan!), this dreamy soup is sure to become a go-to recipe.
Asparague with Miso-Tahini Dip
Asparagus is the best dipper for this umami-packed dip. It's super simple to make, and there's no cooking required: just a quick mix of ingredients for a flavorful result.
Asparagus with Almonds, Goat Cheese, and Basil
Tender stalks are tossed with an irresistible mustard-lemon dressing, made with soft-cooked egg yolk, and topped with almonds and goat cheese.
Asparagus Custard Tart
Using store-bought puff pastry means minimal prep time for this stunning asparagus-studded tart. Serve it with a green salad to balance out the rich, cheesy filling.
Salmon, Asparagus, and Leek in Parchment
We love cooking fish in parchment—no muss, no fuss, and tons of flavor. Here, we've paired wild salmon with spring asparagus, leeks, and a host of fresh herbs, including tarragon, dill, basil, and parsley.
Pickled Spring Onions and Asparagus
Coriander, lemon zest, bay leaves, and white-wine vinegar infuse asparagus and spring onions with tons of flavor in this easy refrigerator pickle. Serve with broiled cheese toasts.
Asparagus and Fava Beans with Toasted Almonds
Ring in spring with not one, but two seasonal favorites: asparagus and fava beans. A topping of toasted almonds and freshly grated lemon zest gives the duo a bright, crunchy finish.
Creamy Parmigiano-enriched risotto showcases the bright, spring-green trio of asparagus, peas, and parsley.
Creamy Asparagus Chicken
Here's an elegant one-pot dinner of chicken braised with leeks, asparagus, and baby red potatoes. A splash of cream adds just the right amount of richness.
Pea and Asparagus Salad
Pair asparagus with another seasonal favorite: fresh peas. The duo are served raw in this salad for a crisp-tender bite, tossed with fresh mint, toasted almonds, and a rice-wine vinaigrette.
Asparagus and Watercress Pizza
Asparagus is teamed with red onion and two different kinds of cheese—ricotta and mozzarella—for this springtime pizza. The heat of the just-out-of-the-oven pie slightly wilts the fresh watercress that's added at the end.
Roasted Asparagus with Lemony Breadcrumbs
It's hard to play favorites with baked asparagus recipes, but the panko breadcrumbs amped up with fresh lemon juice and zest in this side dish won us over.
Steak and Asparagus Stir-Fry
This easy dinner can be on the table in just 20 minutes—faster than Chinese food delivery. Thinly sliced skirt steak is quick-cooked with asparagus, fresh ginger, scallions, and Thai chiles. Serve with steamed white rice, lime wedges, and roasted peanuts.
Our take on this traditional Southern side dish takes it to the next level with smoky bacon, creamy bechamel, and nutty Gruyere.
Rice Salad with Asparagus and Peas
Anchovies give the sherry vinaigrette for this rice-and-veggie salad an umami punch.
Grilled Asparagus Flatbreads
Top toasted olive bread with rich burrata cheese, flame-kissed asparagus, and fresh radish sprouts for a quick, utensil-free appetizer. It's just the thing for a garden party.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
This asparagus soup recipe uses every part of the stalk. Even the tough ends are transformed into a quick stock for an extra shot of spring flavor.
We love cooking asparagus in the oven, especially like this: surrounded by store-bought puff pastry and topped with shredded Gruyere cheese. Bake the resulting savory tart until golden brown and serve with scrambled eggs for brunch or a green salad for dinner.
Linguine with Asparagus and Egg
A poached egg and grated Parmesan on top of tender steamed asparagus and linguine make a light, pretty vegetarian meal. The egg yolk serves as a rich sauce for the pasta.
Steamed Asparagus with Brown Butter and Hazelnuts
There's no shortage of steamed asparagus recipes, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one this easy and sophisticated. Browned butter adds rich depth, and hazelnuts provide the perfect amount of crunch.
Grilled Asparagus and Ricotta Pizza
Lightly char rounds of homemade pizza dough, then top with creamy ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and grilled asparagus. Simmer garlic and rosemary in olive oil to make the fragrant infused oil for brushing the dough.
Asparagus mimosa is a classic dish named for the pretty yellow-and-white flower. Press a peeled hard-cooked egg through a fine, stainless-steel sieve to create the bright and fluffy garnish.
Egg Noodles with Asparagus and Grated Egg Yolks
With creamy mascarpone, salty pecorino, hard-cooked yolk, crisp-tender asparagus, and lots of lemon zest, this springtime pasta is over the top in all the right ways.
Roasted Asparagus with Capers and Lemon
How do you make a dish stand out from a pack of roasted asparagus recipes? Shower the spears with briny capers, tangy lemon juice, and fiery red-pepper flakes.
Sautéed Asparagus with Bacon
What sets this dish apart from other sautéed asparagus recipes? Bacon, of course!
Raw Artichoke and White-Asparagus Farro Salad
Raw white asparagus and raw artichokes combine in this hearty salad with herbs, lemon, and farro. Feta cheese tops it off.
Asparagus and Carrot Slaw
This is sophistication in a slaw; asparagus takes everyone's favorite crunchy salad to a new level.
Asparagus and Green Beans with Chili-Orange Oil
Infuse olive oil with orange zest and red-pepper flakes to give a bright and lively zing to this easy spring side dish.