Are you tired of limp asparagus stalks? Always underwhelmed with watery asparagus? Get ready to learn how to cook asparagus like a pro and say goodbye to tough and chewy or soft and mushy stalks. 

Instant Pot asparagus.
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Asparagus is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that is easy to prepare and cook. You’ll learn to cook asparagus to perfection with expert tips and tricks for getting the most out of this versatile veggie.

Asparagus is a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.  It’s low in calories, and high in essential vitamins and minerals like folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. These nutrients help support your body’s healthy immune system, improve digestion, and promote healthy skin and hair. What’s not to love? 

But cooking asparagus can be tricky, especially if you’re new to it. Cooking asparagus is easy once you know what you’re doing, and it’s very versatile. It can be grilled, sautéed, roasted, or steamed and pairs well with various flavors and seasonings. 

Asparagus makes an excellent option for those looking for a healthy and easy-to-prepare vegetable to add to their meals. You can use it in many dishes, such as soups, salads, pasta, and omelets.

Asparagus is also a great option if you are looking to add more plant-based foods to your diet. You can use it as a meat alternative in dishes such as asparagus risotto, a great alternative to traditional meat-based risotto, or on pizza instead of a meat topping. 

With its delicious taste, nutritional benefits, and versatility, asparagus is an excellent easy vegetable to include in your weekly cooking routine.

Preparing Your Asparagus

Before you start cooking, you’ll need to prepare the asparagus. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  • Clean your asparagus by rinsing it under cold running water, then pat it dry.
  • Snap off the rough woody end of the asparagus stalk by gently bending it until it snaps. (This is where the asparagus is naturally tough and inedible.) Throw away the woody ends. 
  • Peel the skin off the remaining bottom half of the stalk if it’s thick or tough.

Check out this spring guide to asparagus for tips on how to select the freshest stalks, how to store the vegetable and more!

Garlic roasted asparagus and potatoes.

Cooking Asparagus

Now that you’ve prepped the asparagus and it’s ready to go, it’s time to start cooking! Here are five different methods you can use to cook asparagus, including air frying asparagus:

Boiling Asparagus

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the prepared asparagus. Cook for 3–5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain and serve immediately.

Steaming Asparagus

Place the prepared asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover the basket and steam for 3–5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Cooking asparagus in the Instant Pot results in very similar texture to steamed asparagus.

Grilling Asparagus

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Toss the prepared asparagus with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill it for approximately 5–7 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and deliciously charred. Similar to grilled green beans, a grill mat works well for this method.

Roasting Asparagus

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the prepared asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Roast for 12–15 minutes, until tender and slightly caramelized. This roasted asparagus and potato side dish is a spring time favorite.

Air Frying Asparagus

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper, and optional Parmesan cheese. Place the prepared asparagus in the air fryer basket and cook for 6–7 minutes. These air fryer asparagus fries can be made in the oven or air fryer! Air fried bacon wrapped asparagus is another way to turn this vegetable into an indulgence. The air fryer is the perfect cooking vessel for both the asparagus and the bacon.

Asparagus fries on a plate with dipping sauce.

What To Serve With Asparagus 

Grilled steaks with asparagus: Grill any type of steak and serve with lemon roasted asparagus.

Homemade lentil and vegetable shepherd’s pie with asparagus: Make a lentil and vegetable pie filling and top it with perfect mashed potatoes. Serve asparagus on the side.

Fried rice or quinoa with asparagus: Make a classic fried rice dish adding cut up pieces of asparagus to the skillet. Try this bacon and asparagus fried couscous for something similar.

Stuffed bell peppers with asparagus: Stuff bell peppers with a mixture of rice, vegetables, and cheese. Serve with a side of air fryer asparagus.

Shave raw asparagus for a salad: Asparagus can also be eaten raw when shaved thinly. Try this lemony shaved asparagus salad with tomatoes and parmesan for a light side dish.

Roasted root vegetable medley with asparagus: Roast an assortment of root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets, and serve with a side of asparagus.

Spinach and ricotta stuffed shells with asparagus: Prepare stuffed shells with a mixture of spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Serve with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus.

Tofu and vegetable stir-fry with asparagus: Cook a stir-fry with tofu, vegetables, and a sauce of your choice. Serve with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus.

Grilled cheese sandwich with asparagus: Make a classic grilled cheese sandwich and serve it with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus. Or, stuff the asparagus inside the grilled cheese for some texture.

Vegetable bhuna with asparagus: Cook butternut squash in a curry sauce made with a delicious curry base sauce and bursting with spices. Serve with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus.

Shaved asparagus salad in a metal plate with a wooden spoon.

The Final Word

Cooking asparagus is easy and fun once you get the hang of it. By following the expert tips and tricks outlined in this article, you’ll be able to cook perfectly crisp and tender asparagus every time. Try different methods of cooking asparagus to find the one you like best, and don’t be afraid to experiment with other seasonings and herbs to add some extra flavor.

Watch the web story: Cook Asparagus Like A Pro.

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Chopped asparagus on a cutting board.
Chopped asparagus. Photo credit: Pexels.

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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