Although making Roasted Asparagus in the oven might seem intimidating at first, don’t worry it’s not hard at all! It’s as simple as trim, lay on a sheet pan, sprinkle in olive oil and tasty spices, and perhaps throw in a dash of cheese and bake!
If you can’t get enough roasted vegetables, then you’re in for a treat, as all of these are a hit and I know you’re going to love them too: Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Balsamic.
Why This Recipe Works
So simple — It doesn’t get much easier than five-ingredient asparagus (okay seven if you count salt and pepper, but those are a given, aren’t they?). And, truth be told, this recipe is delicious if you only use EVOO and salt and pepper. Simply trim, place on a pan, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with spices, cheese, bake, and top with lemon juice. Easy!
Quick — Not only is this asparagus recipe delicious and easy to make but it also roasts in a jiffy. It only takes about 15 minutes to have a warm, tasty, tart veggie dish ready as a perfect side.
Easily doubles — Double up the asparagus and seasonings for a big group. It will take the same amount of time to roast even a double batch, so no worries there.
Lemon juice — While it’s only a little squeeze of juice at the end, it really takes this roasted asparagus to a whole other level. If you only have bottled lemon juice, drizzle it using a tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to over do it. You want to taste a little zing, not a ton of sour.
- Asparagus spears — One pound or bunch of asparagus spears is perfect for this recipe. I like to choose asparagus that is on the thinner to medium-thin side. I find the thicker the stalk, the more chewy and woody it tends to be.
- Olive oil — I use extra virgin olive oil but you can use whatever kind of olive oil you like.
- Salt and cracked black pepper — Add salt and cracked black pepper to taste. If you only have ground black pepper, use just a ¼ tsp as a little goes a long way.
- Grated parmesan cheese — I like to use freshly grated parmesan but you can use whatever grated parmesan you have. It all tastes yummy.
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice — Squeeze the juice from a wedge or two of lemon over the top of the asparagus when it comes out. Fresh makes all the difference if you have it!
- Garlic powder — I love garlic powder on asparagus. Any brand will work just fine and taste so garlicky good!
Here’s How You Make It
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and trim the flat ends of the asparagus.
- Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Season the asparagus all over with salt and pepper (and garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese if using).
- Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes until easily pierced with a fork. Serve immediately.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- You don’t have to trim your asparagus. It’s perfectly fine to eat the ends, but they will be tough.
- If you do want to trim the asparagus, you can use a couple different methods. First, you can line all the asparagus up together so that all the flat ends meet up and cut up about an inch or so from the bottom on all of them at once. Or, if you want to be more precise, you can take one stalk and bend it toward the bottom. It will snap off naturally where the tough end begins. Line that shortened stalk with the others and cut to that same spot.
- I like to wash off all of my vegetables before cooking with them or eating them raw. I recommend you do this for your roasted asparagus too, but not until you are just about to cook it. If you wash it off too soon and put it back in the fridge, it will start to decompose faster. I rinse it under running water and then lay them all on a towel to pat dry before preparing and roasting.
- Yes, you can eat asparagus raw. I think it’s too bitter but you won’t be poisoned or anything.
You’ll want to choose your asparagus much like you choose other veggies. You want to make sure it looks dark green, crisp, and, in the case of asparagus, with smooth, straight stalks. You want the tips to be closed tightly and free of brown or mushy spots. If one of the stalks is bad, that’s okay you can just discard that one when you get home. But if several aren’t looking good, pass on that bunch, it’s been sitting out in the produce department for too long.
Another tip in buying asparagus is to make sure the ends are moist too. If they are super dry, then they are getting old. You’ll also want to stay away from really thick stalks or bunches made of a lot of thick stalks as those tend to be more tough and bitter.
I like to store my asparagus similarly to how they present it at the store: typically in an ice bath or in water. Why? Well, because these stalks need water to stay hydrated, straight, and green, just like you want them to be.
One easy way to store asparagus is to put the ends into water, upright in a mason jar. I then put a plastic bag lightly over the tops of them and store the asparagus, jar and all, in the fridge. You could also wrap the ends of the stalks in a damp paper towel and then lightly place in a loosely sealed bag.
Okay so a show of hands, who is on board for trying this unique asparagus recipe?
More Side Dish Recipes
Did you make this easy roasted asparagus recipe? Fantastic! Please consider leaving a comment and giving it a rating!
- 1 poun asparagus spears
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt - or to taste
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper - to taste, or 1/4 teaspoon pr less if using ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese - optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice - optional
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder - optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Trim the flat ends of the asparagus (I cut off about 1 inch) and discard.
- Arrange asparagus on a baking sheet or wide baking dish in a single layer.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top, use your fingers to toss the asparagus in the oil to coat. (I just sort of roll the asparagus back and forth a bit to coat it).
- Season with salt and pepper (if using garlic powder and/or parmesan cheese, sprinkle over the asparagus now).
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the top (if using, completely optional) and serve immediately.