Put spring's best vegetable on full display.

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Sauteed Asparagus with Garlic and Thyme
Credit: Chris Simpson

Whether you love asparagus as much as we do, you've finally convinced your kids to be excited for a green vegetable, or you're trying to eat with the seasons by enjoying more plant-based meals, you might be looking for some quick ways to cook asparagus to serve with dinner tonight (or tomorrow night!). You're not alone. We're always on the hunt for more fast, delicious vegetable side dishes, especially at the end of a long, cold winter.

While there are some people who could steam asparagus and eat the slender green stalks the same way every night of the week, that's just not us. Variety is the thing, and asparagus lends itself to lots of different preparations. Here are five quick and easy ways to prepare this favorite spring vegetable that go beyond the usual boiled or steamed spears—go ahead and add asparagus to the dinner table anytime you want a simple vegetable side to complete the meal.

Sautéed Asparagus with Garlic and Thyme

While rice is cooking, you can make this easy asparagus side from start to plate—it's that fast. To make Sautéed Asparagus with Garlic and Thyme, pictured above, do exact as the name implies: Just sauté pieces of asparagus in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, and thyme. This coaxes out the natural sweetness of the asparagus. Then finish it with a quick steam (in the same pan) until the stalks are crisp-tender.

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Credit: Romulo Yanes

Sautéed Asparagus with Bacon

If your family isn't as enthusiastic about asparagus as you are, don't give up. Start the next round of your charm offensive by serving Sautéed Asparagus with Bacon. Bacon makes everything better!

roasted asparagus with parmesan

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

If you're turning on the oven for the entrée or a dinner casserole, why not roast asparagus too? It doesn't take long and it transforms the flavor, this Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan is a good side for anyone who loves roasted vegetables through the winter. Consider it a transition dish.

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Spring Vegetable Ragout

A perfect pairing with simple sautéed chicken or fish or pan-fried pork chops, that's this Spring Vegetable Ragout. It combines asparagus with leeks and radishes and cooks quickly.

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Credit: Raymond Hom

Asparagus and Carrot Slaw

Fast and colorful, this Asparagus and Carrot Slaw has plenty of crunch. It's easy to make and vegan too.

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