This easiest side dish is great for spring and goes well with almost anything you can think of for dinner. The Perfect Roasted Asparagus comes together with just a few ingredients plus the right oven temperature that gives you the best-tasting asparagus. Try it will all of the extra variations below as well! Whichever way you choose to serve this recipe, it’s perfect with everything from pasta to simply prepared meats, and alongside every cuisine from Indian, to Italian, and Asian as well.
We eat so much asparagus every year when it’s in season, it’s downright embarrassing! We’re simply crazy about it, and never get enough during its short seasonal window. I just bought 6 pounds of it while grocery shopping yesterday, and the 2 of us will easily polish it right off this week.
Today’s asparagus recipe is how we make it the most often, roasted to caramelized perfection. But I’ve never shared a recipe for any of these simple side dishes we make because they can barely be called a recipe.
They’re more like a method. But having just a touch of seasonings plus the right oven temperature is everything to making your veggies so good you can’t stop eating them.
ingredients for this Perfect Roasted Asparagus
- Asparagus – as fresh as possible always gives you the best flavor! The asparagus I buy at our local farmer’s market tastes better, but it’s also a better deal because they pick the asparagus rather than cutting it. Store-bought asparagus has been cut which normally means that the bottom 2-3″ is too tough to eat. So even though the farmer’s market price per pound is more, the entire bunch is edible. When I buy asparagus from the store I figure about 1/3 of what I buy is waste.
- Extra Virgin Olive oil – avocado oil, or even butter all work really well for roasting asparagus.
- Garlic – just a touch of garlic adds a lot of savory flavor and makes this asparagus hard to stop eating.
Now let’s make this recipe step by step
Step 1: Measure out the olive oil and mince the garlic.
Break/snap off the tough woody ends of the asparagus stalks.
Step 2: Evenly spread the asparagus in a single layer over a parchment-lined baking sheet. I like to use parchment paper for easy clean-up.
Step 3: Then toss the asparagus together with the olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, and black pepper.
I like to do this right on the baking sheet for the easiest cleanup.
Step 4: Roast until just tender but still bright green. The garlic will brown and the asparagus will just start to caramelize around the edges.
Ways to serve this
- Add this asparagus as a side dish to our favorite family dinners: Roast Chicken and Vegetables, Slow Cooker Pork Roast, or my Slow Cooker Pot Roast.
- Or pair this simple side dish with my Healthy Orange Chicken, Instant Pot Butter Chicken, or Easy Chicken Curry.
- We love this asparagus with pasta dinners like my Gluten Free Lasagna, Garlic Parmesan Pasta, or Gluten Free Mac and Cheese.
No, you do not need to blanch asparagus before roasting. This will result in soggy overcooked asparagus. Instead the asparagus cooks to a crisp and tender perfection with caramelization by roasting in a hot oven.
The key is to cut or snap off the tough and stringy ends of asparagus so you’re left with tender finished asparagus. You can also use a vegetable peeler to peel the ends to keep them from being tough and stringy.
- To store – place any leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.
- Make ahead – this side dish is best made fresh, but you can reheat the leftovers as directed below.
- Reheating – reheat any leftovers in a small skillet or saucepan with a bit of water and partially covered over medium heat. The asparagus will be softer and be careful not to overcook it too much while reheating. We like to reheat leftover asparagus and add it to other dishes like soup or scrambled eggs.
- To freeze – this roasted asparagus can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat. The asparagus will be way softer after frozen and I personally prefer not to freeze cooked asparagus.
Tips & Tricks to try
- Parmesan – We sometimes add a bit of grated parmesan cheese after roasting the asparagus along with some lemon juice or reduced balsamic. You can also sprinkle the asparagus with grated parmesan, and then roast it for a different flavor, and little bits of crunchy parmesan.
- Lemon – a touch of lemon juice freshly squeezed over the top of the finished asparagus adds a nice bright note of flavor. It’s also great combined with the parmesan variations above.
- Reduced balsamic – is so good lightly drizzled over this asparagus, especially with either of the parmesan versions mentioned above.
- Red Pepper Flakes – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes adds a touch of spice and we love the flavor too.
- Don’t overcook asparagus because it tends to be mushy, but don’t undercook it either because it can be tough! The best way to see if asparagus is done is if the tip of a pairing knife inserts easily.
More easy side dish recipe inspiration
- Best Roasted Broccoli
- Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
- Garlic Butter Sautéed Mushrooms
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Browned Butter Maple Sage Carrots
I really hope you enjoy this simple, and oh-so-tasty roasted asparagus recipe. And if you do get a chance to make it, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here! Also for more side dish inspiration, check out the recipe index.
Perfect Roasted Asparagus
- 1.5 pounds asparagus - tough ends trimmed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic - minced
- Sprinkle of sea salt and pepper
- Grated parmesan
- Lemon wedges or reduced balsamic for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay the asparagus evenly out and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Toss the spears together with the oil and garlic to distribute the garlic.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and roast until bright green and just tender, 7 minute for thin spears and 10-12 for thick asparagus spears.
- Serve immediately.
- Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan if desired and squeeze a lemon wedge or drizzle reduced balsamic over the top.