Delicious Roasted Asparagus Recipe made with fresh seasonal asparagus spears, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice. Learn how to roast asparagus and enjoy this easy side dish year-round with steak, chicken, or fish for a healthy, balanced meal.
Lemon and Garlic Roasted Asparagus
I love asparagus. Easy to cook and naturally delicious, it’s hard to dislike this low-calorie, low-carb, vegan, and gluten-free super veggie. And just like delicious roasted Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, this easy side dish is easy to prepare and clean-up!
With so many options, people often ask, “What is the easiest way to cook asparagus?” The answer, in my opinion, is oven-roasted asparagus. Simple, healthy, and low maintenance, all you need to make this delicious roasted asparagus recipe is a fresh bunch of asparagus, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little garlic. Lemon, parmesan cheese, and chili flakes, all those things are optional.
Asparagus Nutrition Facts
Asparagus comes with few calories and several health benefits.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, one 134-gram (g) cup of raw asparagus contains approximately:
- Calories – 27
- Fat – 0.16 grams
- Carbohydrate – 5.2 grams
- Sugar – 1.88 grams
- Fiber – 2.8 grams
- Protein – 2.95 grams
But what about vitamins and minerals? Asparagus comes with a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, and calcium.
One of my favorite easy dinners is fried eggs with roasted asparagus. Fiber-filled asparagus with protein-packed eggs is like a match made in heaven. Especially good for pregnant women thanks to the folic acid natural to asparagus.
Asparagus also contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine. Asparagine is a natural diuretic which helps flush excess fluid and salt from your body and ultimately helps prevent excess bloating (and maybe even helps to keep your urinary tract nice and happy).
How to Store Fresh Asparagus
Happens to me all the time: fresh, seasonal, perfect asparagus hits the shelves at my local market or farmer’s market and I have to buy enough to last me the summer. As we all know, asparagus doesn’t stay fresh for that long. However, thanks to a few simple steps we can extend the life of our asparagus for as long as possible.
- Trim approximately 1/2-inch off the end of each asparagus. This may require you to remove the rubber band. That’s ok, simply re-secure the rubber band once the ends have been removed.
- Add the asparagus to a sturdy glass jar or measuring cup so that they are standing upright with the trimmed ends down. Add enough water so that the ends are covered by an inch or two. Loosely cover with a plastic bag (creating a humid, greenhouse effect).
- Place the asparagus in the refrigerator for a week (or more), just keep an eye on the water and be sure to change out if it starts to look cloudy.
Of course, you don’t have to do this. You may simply store your asparagus in the refrigerator however you’d like.
Ingredients in Roasted Asparagus
Note – Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the full list and amounts of ingredients needed to make this super easy roasted asparagus.
- Fresh asparagus – Sorry, guys, only fresh asparagus here (aka not from a can).
- Olive oil – As always, it’s best to pick an olive oil that tastes good. No need to buy anything fancy, just make sure that the olive oil you’re using doesn’t take away from the taste of the dish, but instead enhances it.
- Fresh garlic – Some of you may not want to add fresh minced garlic to your roasted asparagus recipe and that’s ok. However, if you love garlic, even just a little, then I highly recommend added a clove or two. Do make sure, however, that it is evenly distributed over your asparagus.
- Salt – Always start with less salt and add more to taste. Or, add no salt at all.
- Pepper – Big pepper fan here, so you’ll always find fresh ground black pepper on my veggies.
You’ll also see that served this roasted asparagus recipe with a dash of crushed red pepper, fresh minced parsley, and a little drizzle of lemon juice. This is all optional and only recommended if you enjoy a little heat or citrus flavor.
How to Prepare Asparagus for Cooking
If you’ve ever had the (un)pleasure of biting into a tough, woody asparagus end, then you’ll know what I mean when I say that it isn’t always enjoyable. Stringy, chewy, borderline choking hazard, no one wants that.
Since each bunch of asparagus is a little different, knowing exactly how much to trim off the ends of the asparagus will vary from one asparagus spear to the next.
But, there is a trick.
Simply bend (or snap) the asparagus near the base. Don’t worry, they will snap in the right place. Unfortunately, when asparagus is not in season or it’s an especially bad batch, this may mean you lose a third or more off the end.
Should I peel asparagus?
Full transparency, I have never peeled asparagus in my life. I do believe there is a time and a place for peeling this vegetable – like a shaved asparagus salad – but for roasted asparagus?
Well, it seems like a lot of extra work in my opinion.
If you’re up for a little extra work, or you’ve had luck using a vegetable peeler then absolutely go for it.
Personally, I find that chopping or snapping off the ends is much faster and just as effective.
How to Roast Asparagus
Roasting asparagus couldn’t be easier. All you’ll need to get started is a rimmed baking sheet and parchment paper.
Step 1. Preheat oven and prepare asparagus
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Wash the asparagus spears and trim the tough woody ends with a sharp knife or simply snap off (see above).
Step 2. Prepare asparagus for baking
Transfer to your prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and carefully toss/rub to coat. Sprinkle the asparagus with the minced garlic, salt, and pepper (and red chili flakes, if using) and rub over each spear to evenly spread the garlic among all the asparagus.
- Feel free to skip the fresh garlic and swap with a little garlic powder instead.
Step 3. Roast
Transfer your baking sheet to the oven and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Total time will vary depending on how thick your individual asparagus spears are. They should be easy to pierce with a fork, but not mushy. Some light browning is good for flavor.
Step 4. Garnish and serve
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley and lemon juice, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Roasted Asparagus Variations
Asparagus, when served as a side, is best kept simple. But simple doesn’t need to mean boring! Here are a few of my favorite ways to jazz up this simple green vegetable.
- Grab the cheese. Yes, cheese. From a small sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese to a complete coating of mozzarella, asparagus does, indeed, get along with many kinds of cheese.
- Butter it up. Because butter tastes good on everything.
- Herbs. Fresh herbs or dried herbs, any kind will produce a completely different flavor.
- Nuts or seeds – I’m particularly fond of slivered candied almonds.
- Bacon – bits or wrapped. You choose.
More Asparagus Recipes,
- Cheesy Baked Asparagus Gratin Recipe
- Grilled Peach, Corn, Zucchini and Asparagus Summer Salad
- Purple Asparagus and Buttery Toasted Breadcrumbs
- Cajun Shrimp Foil Packets (oven and grill)
- Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry
If you try making this roasted asparagus, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Roasted Asparagus Recipe
- Preheat oven and prepare asparagus. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Wash the asparagus spears and trim the tough woody ends with a sharp knife or simply snap off (see notes).
- Prepare asparagus for baking. Transfer asparagus to your prepared baking sheet and arrange in single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and carefully toss/rub to coat. Sprinkle the asparagus with the minced garlic, salt, and pepper (and red chili flakes, if using) and rub over each spear to evenly spread the garlic among all the asparagus.
- Roast. Transfer your baking sheet to the oven and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Total time will vary depending on how thick your individual asparagus spears are. They should be easy to pierce with a fork, but not mushy. Some light browning is good for flavor.
- Garnish and serve. Remove asparagus from the oven. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and lemon juice, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
- Some asparagus ends are tougher than others. Typically, the light-green to white-colored ends probably to be removed. A good starting point for me is usually about an inch. If you have especially thick asparagus spears with extra-thick ends, you may also use a vegetable peeler to peel away the tough outer layer.