21 Asparagus Recipes That Will Make You Love The Veggie

While many commonly used vegetables can be found in the supermarket produce section at any time of year — onions, potatoes, and broccoli all come to mind — asparagus is a little more special because it's only at its best in springtime. Asparagus is also something that should be purchased fresh, never frozen, as the latter kind will cook up mushy. (Don't even get us started on the horror that is canned asparagus.)

Yes, asparagus does have a few drawbacks — most notoriously, it gives your urine an unpleasant odor. You need not let this dissuade you from eating it, though (it's not like asparagus-free pee smells like Chanel No. 5, either). It can also make you gassy, but then again, this applies to a wide variety of vegetables. Rather than avoiding asparagus for these reasons, you should be eating more of this vegetable. It does your body a great deal of good — it's high in fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, and potassium. 

While asparagus is fine on its own or with a side of melted butter or hollandaise, it's not one-dimensional. It can be prepared in a number of ways and put to use in a wide variety of dishes.

1. Roasted Asparagus

If you're an asparagus fan, you may prefer to take yours straight-up without any sauces or other embellishments. If so, you can't do much better than this simple recipe for roasting it with nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Because you'll be cooking the vegetable at a high heat (450 F), it should be done in 15 minutes or less, which makes for a quick and easy side dish.

Recipe: Roasted Asparagus

2. Steamed Asparagus

Another tried-and-true method for cooking asparagus is steaming it, which will allow the final product to be tender without being at all soggy (as long as you start with fresh asparagus, that is). You won't need a special steamer to make this dish, just a pot to boil the water plus a heat-proof, water-proof colander, sieve, or basket to perch above the pot and hold the asparagus. This cooking method is even quicker than oven-roasting; it takes less than 5 minutes from the time the water starts boiling until the asparagus is done.

Recipe: Simple Steamed Asparagus

3. Lemony Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus is one of those skinny-but-sturdy vegetables that does well on the grill, although you still might want to use a grill pan (or at least a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil) to make sure that none of the spears slip through the grates. While you can grill asparagus au naturel if you wish, it's even better if it's first tossed in a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.

Recipe: Lemony Grilled Asparagus

4. Stir Fry Asparagus

If you're a hands-on cook, you may prefer to cook your food on the stovetop, where you can keep watch over every step of the process. Asparagus lends itself well to such a pan-frying technique, although you'll need a little bit of oil as a cooking medium. Here, we use sesame oil and add minced garlic and crushed red pepper to give the asparagus a hint of Asian-inspired flavor.

Recipe: Easy Stir Fry Asparagus

5. Air Fryer Roasted Asparagus

If you own an air fryer, you've probably wondered at some time or other whether this appliance, too, could be used to cook asparagus. Sure, of course it can! Asparagus is pretty forgiving. As long as you don't drown it in water, it adapts quite well to most methods of dry or moist heat cooking, and the hot air blast of an air fryer suits this vegetable well. Simply toss the spears with a little oil and seasoning, then zap them for a few minutes until the stems are tender and the tips are crisp.

Recipe: Air Fryer Roasted Asparagus

6. Roasted Broccoli And Asparagus

If you're an asparagus fan, there's a good chance you enjoy the equally green, healthy, and earthy-tasting broccoli, too. Can't choose between the two? Try combining them. The trick here is chopping the broccoli before you bake it so it will cook at the same rate as the far more slender asparagus spears. A little oil, a little salt and pepper, 15 minutes in the oven, and you'll have enough nutritious veggie goodness on your plate to make your mom proud.

Recipe: Roasted Broccoli And Asparagus

7. Cheesy Baked Asparagus

Up to this point, we've mainly been dealing with ways to cook relatively unadorned asparagus. If you prefer your vegetables dressed up a bit, there's nothing wrong with that. Cheese, in particular, makes just about everything better, and here your basic baked asparagus is blanketed in gooey melted mozzarella. As a final touch, the cheese (and underlying asparagus) goes under the broiler until it's nice and brown. The best thing about this recipe is that the cheesy goodness doesn't cancel out the asparagus' healthiness, as it brings both calcium and protein to the table.

Recipe: Cheesy Baked Asparagus

8. Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera has a name that quite literally speaks of springtime, so asparagus, the most springlike of vegetables, is a natural fit for the dish. In this quick and easy version, you boil a pound of rotini (the pasta), then stir it into a sautéed vegetable mélange that includes squash, zucchini, and grape tomatoes in addition to the asparagus. Red wine vinegar lends the dish flavor, and a generous sprinkling of parmesan ties it all together.

Recipe: Pasta Primavera

9. Asparagus Tart

If you like your vegetables all tarted up, puff pastry with a cheese and asparagus filling is a tried-and-true favorite. This asparagus tart couldn't be much easier to make, either, thanks to the magic of convenience foods such as frozen pastry and packaged herbed cheese spread. Simply spread the latter over the former, then lay the asparagus on top of the cheese and bake until the tart is golden and puffy. Cut it into squares, and you'll have yourself some elegant eats.

Recipe: Asparagus Tart

10. Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi

Gnocchi are the perfect pasta for an easy vegetarian one-pan meal. Unlike hard pasta made from wheat, they don't need to be boiled to soften them. This potato pasta has more of a dumpling-like consistency; all you need to do here is arrange it on a sheet pan with a selection of vegetables including onions, grape tomatoes, and asparagus and then bake it in the oven. Once your pasta and vegetables are cooked, toss them in a balsamic vinegar dressing for a warm pasta salad that can make for a hearty side dish or a light main course. 

Recipe: Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi

11. Shaved Asparagus Salad

Who knew asparagus needed shaving? It's not a particularly hairy vegetable, after all. In this case, however, shaving just means using a vegetable peeler to turn it into thin strips. That way, you can eat it raw — dress it up with vinaigrette, sprinkle it with cheese (goat crumbles are used here, but feta would work, as well), then serve it up in salad form. This is one way of preparing asparagus that may even appeal to those who don't much care for the cooked version.

Recipe: Shaved Asparagus Salad

12. Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

While asparagus is a spring vegetable, its season can extend into early summer. This means there's a window of overlap that will allow you to pair it with other summer vegetables, such as zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and summer squash, as well as with good old year-round onions. As befitting a summer dish, these vegetables are cooked on an outdoor grill and are then tossed with penne pasta. (The penne is cooked with the typical boiling water method, as no one's yet perfected a pasta grilling technique.) A vinaigrette dressing and a handful of parmesan add the final touches to this oh-so-summery side dish.

Recipe: Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

13. Easy Sheet Pan Surf And Turf

What is asparagus doing in a surf and turf recipe? Last we heard, it was neither fish nor flesh. Well, this recipe does include both shrimp and steak, but because there's plenty of room on a sheet pan, we decided to make it a complete meal by throwing a few sides on there, as well. Here we're using sweet potatoes and asparagus, both of these being better-for-you alternatives to traditional steakhouse sides such as loaded baked potatoes or french fries.

Recipe: Easy Sheet Pan Surf And Turf

14. Roasted Mushroom Salad

While mushrooms may get top billing in the name of the recipe, they're just one of three main components of this salad. In addition to the roasted mushrooms, it also features cooked farro and baked asparagus, with all three elements being tied together by a maple/balsamic/dijon dressing. To finish off the salad, add crumbled feta and chopped walnuts. Both of these ingredients boost the flavor and protein content, with the latter adding a satisfying crunch.

Recipe: Roasted Mushroom Salad

15. 35 Minute Vegetable Pie

This vegetable-egg pie is kind of like a quiche, only far simpler. Instead of having to make a crust and then a separate filling, all you'll need to do is mix Bisquick (or a generic/DIY equivalent thereof) with eggs, milk, cheese, and seasonings. Then, pour the batter over an assortment of chopped vegetables, including asparagus, onions, and bell peppers. Once you bake the pie, it sets up perfectly — light and airy, yet satisfyingly filling. It's the kind of thing you can serve for any meal; try it for breakfast or lunch, or pair it with a salad to make it a dinner entrée. 

Recipe: 35 Minute Vegetable Pie Recipe

16. Creamy Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera is one of those dishes that doesn't have one official recipe. Instead, there's a general idea — pasta, sautéed vegetables, and cheese — but numerous changes can be rung upon these basic ingredients. In this particular pasta recipe, the vegetables used are red bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, peas, and asparagus, while the pasta is tossed with a "creamy" sauce that contains no cream at all. Instead, the sauce is made from milk and broth thickened with flour, making for a better-for-you version of a creamy pasta dish.

Recipe: Creamy Pasta Primavera

17. Easy Asparagus And Gruyere Tart

Frozen puff pastry is one of our favorite "cheats." All you need to do is thaw it, unfold it, and bake it, and it puffs up into this perfect, flaky pastry that can be used as the basis for numerous desserts and appetizers fancy enough to belie the minimal effort you've had to put in. Here, we're topping puff pastry with dijon mustard, melted gruyere cheese, and asparagus, then drizzling it with a balsamic glaze for an impressive-looking dish that's easy enough for even a beginner cook to make.

Recipe: Easy Asparagus And Gruyere Tart

18. Easy Mustard Greens

As the title indicates, this is a recipe where the starring ingredient is mustard greens, an underrated leafy vegetable that is somewhat similar to the far more popular kale and spinach. Here, the greens are briefly sautéed in garlic and onion-infused oil to wilt them, then dressed with oil and vinegar. That's all well and good, but where does asparagus come in? As an optional add-in, that's where, as the recipe developer suggests that cooked asparagus would make a nice garnish for these mustard greens.

Recipe: Easy Mustard Greens

19. Old-Fashioned Green Beans And Potatoes

This potato salad, which is slightly reminiscent of a tuna-free Nicoise, uses green beans to augment the vinaigrette-dressed boiled potatoes. Asparagus, however, can be used as an alternative to the green beans. The asparagus, just like the beans, is simply steamed before being mixed with the potatoes and a little bit of sliced red onion. This salad is so versatile, you can eat it either warm or cold.

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Green Beans And Potatoes

20. Egg Casserole

Asparagus for breakfast? Sure, why not? There's no reason avocado needs to be the only breakfast vegetable beginning with the letter "A." So what would breakfast asparagus look like, if it were to become a thing? Well, it might start out as part of this egg/cheese/sausage breakfast casserole. The recipe given here calls for red bell pepper as the vegetable component, but chopped, sautéed asparagus can be either substituted for or added to the pepper to green up the casserole a bit.

Recipe: Egg Casserole

21. Shrimp Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo, a dish that's been popular for decades, can consist of something as simple as pasta in a creamy cheese sauce, but it can also be dressed up with a number of different add-ins. In this recipe, we're giving the flavor and the protein content a boost with the addition of shrimp, but we're also tossing in some vegetables to make it a complete meal. While the ingredients list here includes broccoli, the recipe developer says you can swap it out for asparagus if you prefer.

Recipe: Shrimp Alfredo