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Crispy and sweet – there’s no quicker way to get delicious roasted asparagus that’s big on flavor, but easy and budget-friendly where it counts.
For the longest time, I avoided asparagus. Maybe it was a bad experience as a kid, maybe I just thought those green, wheat-like stalks were suspicious. But, like with so many vegetables, once I learned how to cook it properly (and not just boil it to death), I found myself totally converted.
This roasted asparagus recipe is packed full of goodness, ready in as little as fifteen minutes, and makes a great veggie side dish outside the traditional rotation of broccoli, beans, and carrots.
Asparagus is also at its peak during the spring, so it’s a great transition veggie to get you out of the heartiness of the winter and into the sunshine. Enhanced with garlic and olive oil, the natural nuttiness of the stalks is brought out through roasting.
So it’s perfect for adding to your favorite dinner or sharing with friends and family. Not to mention, it keeps in all the nutrients that make asparagus so popular, including its naturally low-calorie count and high levels of Vitamin K, C, and antioxidants.
Ingredients for Roasted Asparagus
You only need 5 ingredients for this recipe:
- Asparagus: Choose fresh asparagus over canned and frozen. The latter tend to have a lot of water retention, which will make your baked asparagus soggy. For the best crispy exterior, pat your asparagus dry after rinsing it.
- Olive oil: I prefer using extra virgin olive oil as it’s unrefined and often the highest quality available. EVOO also has a high smoking point – great for asparagus in the oven.
- Salt and black pepper: This is going to add depth and flavor to your roasted asparagus, though you can add other herbs if you like.
- Garlic: Take a couple of cloves for this recipe, though you can adjust based on your quantities of asparagus or your flavor preference. They’ll need to be minced before roasting.
How to Roast Asparagus in the Oven
First, rinse your asparagus well to get rid of any dirt, dust, or germs – this is especially important with fresh asparagus.
If you need to, remove the woody ends of the asparagus. You can easily snap them by finding the pressure point of the stalk and pushing them down or, if you prefer, cut them.
Should I Blanch Asparagus Before Roasting
This is a totally optional step – if I’m on a time crunch, I just throw the asparagus in the oven. However, if you want to do it, here is my easy method.
Boil the asparagus stalks in hot, salty water for 3 minutes. Then, immediately place the stalks in an ice water bath. Not only does this maintain the beautiful green color of the asparagus, but it gives you a headstart on cooking the veggies in the oven.
When you bake them, the outside won’t overcook before the insides are done and the exterior will be nice and crispy.
How Long to Roast Asparagus
Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet or oven-safe pan and season well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste, then add the minced garlic. Drizzle the asparagus with the olive oil and toss so the stalks are completely covered.
Place in the oven and bake. The size of the asparagus stalks will determine how long they cook for:
- Thin: 8-11 minutes
- Medium: 12- 15 minutes
- Thick: 16-20 minutes
When properly cooked through, the roasted asparagus should be easily pierced with a fork and be tender, though with a crispy exterior.
How to Serve
If you prefer to keep your side dishes simple, the best way to enjoy roasted asparagus is with a squeeze of lemon juice or a pad of butter allowed to ooze all over the hot stalks.
You can even add extra seasoning to complement the asparagus’ unique flavor – I’m partial to garlic parmesan asparagus. Just sprinkle the seasoned stalks with fresh parmesan before baking. This gives it a whole new boost of flavor and can turn an ordinary side dish into something spectacular.
Tips for Perfect Roasted Asparagus
Roasted asparagus in the oven isn’t a difficult side dish. But if you want perfect stalks, every time, these handy tips will make even the easiest dish easier.
- Trim the asparagus: Raw asparagus usually has woody, hard ends that aren’t particularly nice to eat. But they can be easily removed by snapping them (which is very satisfying) or just by chopping. Trim before roasting; it’s a real pain to remove after.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC: Preheating the oven means it’ll be hot enough to start roasting the asparagus immediately. If it sits too long in the oil without cooking, it can get soggy. So make sure it’s hot enough before roasting!
- Season Generously: Toss the asparagus stalks well so they’re entirely coated. They won’t brown evenly if not – and the seasoning will only stay on one side! If you want more than salt and pepper, I recommend using fresh chives, tarragon, or dill to complement the flavor of the stalks, rather than overpower it.
- No Overcrowding: If you leave your asparagus piled on top of each other, they’ll never roast evenly. Too close together and you’ll get steamed asparagus that’s soft and mushy – rather than crispy and browned. Spread out across the baking sheet or use two if it’s not big enough.
- Don’t Over Roast: Like most ingredients, too much time baking can dry it out, cause it to burn, and generally, lose a lot of its flavor. Keep a close eye on your roasted asparagus and test it before taking it out. You want to bake it until it’s tender but still has some texture. Properly baking it will also keep its beautiful color intact!
More Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Radishes
- Easy Roasted Artichokes
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Perfect Roasted Green Beans
- Whole Roasted Beets
If you try this oven-roasted asparagus recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Oven Roasted Asparagus (So Easy)
- 14.1 oz asparagus fresh is best
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic or more to taste
- Start by rinsing it to get rid of any dirt, dust, or germs. If necessary, you should remove the woody ends of the asparagus (if they haven't been removed already).
- This step is optional and I usually skip it: Blanch the asparagus spears. Prepare a bowl of iced water. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil, then add the asparagus. Boil for 3 minutes, remove the asparagus using a slotted spoon or tongs, and place it in the ice bath for a few more minutes.
- Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet pan and season. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, then add the minced garlic. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil so all the asparagus stalks are covered.
- Roast in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes at 400ºF/200ºC, though the time should be adjusted for the size. – Thin: 8-11 minutes– Medium: 12-15 minutes– Thick: 16-20 minutesThe best asparagus will be lightly browned and fork-tender when it's ready.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.