How to Cook Asparagus

It is good for you, it brings new flavours to your plate, and makes a great side. However, when it comes to asparagus, there are not many ways to dress it up. Boil, steam or grill are about the extent of it when it comes to how to cook asparagus. Nonetheless, all result in a delicious dish.

different ways to cook asparagus

Asparagus is a green stalk that belongs to the lily family and is native to areas around the Mediterranean. The best time to enjoy asparagus is when it is in season, which usually translates to spring and early summer. There are several different varieties of asparagus found in markets today: green, purple and white with purple tips. The most common types of asparagus are green varieties, which typically have thicker stalks than purple or white varieties. Regardless of variety, here are some tips on how to cook asparagus perfectly every time!


Boiling is the easiest and fastest way to cook asparagus. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the asparagus. Keep in mind that thicker stalks will take longer to cook than thinner ones. When you can easily pierce the stalk with a fork, it is done. Most people keep the tips out of the water using an asparagus holder, which submerges only the stalks. Drain the water from the pot and you are good to go. The only drawback is that the asparagus ends up tasting a little “blah” because it does not actually “cook” when you boil it. It’s just being heated up by the water. Boiling is ideal for asparagus you want to serve as a side dish.


Steaming asparagus is another easy method. Like boiling, it is a great option for a side dish. Steaming works by suspending the asparagus above a pot of water and allowing it to be “cooked” by the steam. It is one of the healthiest ways to cook asparagus because it does not involve adding any extra fat or calories. You will want to use a steamer basket or colander set above the water. Cover and let it steam until the asparagus is fork-tender. Be sure to check it while it cooks to make sure the water is not boiling away.


Grilling asparagus is a fantastic option as it adds a little smokiness to the stalk. It is a great method when you are serving the asparagus as a main dish. Grilling asparagus is very similar to grilling vegetables like courgette or aubergine. You can also throw some mushrooms on the grill at the same time for a complete meal. You will want to thread the asparagus on skewers or just lay them across the grill. It is best to grill them over high heat so they get a nice char on the outside while staying tender inside.

Asparagus Cooking Tips

  • Use fresh asparagus. Asparagus is grown all year long, but it is at its peak during the spring months.
  • Cut off the woody ends. The bottom inch or so of each stalk is woody and fibrous. You can also peel the bottom a few inches with a vegetable peeler.
  • Let it sit in water. Cold asparagus takes longer to cook than hot asparagus. Let it sit in the water for a few minutes before you put the heat on.
  • Don’t overcook it. Cook it until it’s tender but not mushy.
  • Stay away from butter. Butter makes asparagus taste “oily” and it’s not an ideal pairing. Use herbs, lemon, or sauces instead.
  • Don’t forget the salt. Season your asparagus with a little salt towards the end of cooking. It brings out the flavour.

Asparagus Nutrition

Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable. It is low in calories but high in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. For instance, asparagus is rich in B vitamin folate, which has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and certain types of cancer. It also contains vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Asparagus is also a good source of iron, which is necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body. This can help prevent anaemia, particularly in women and children. Asparagus also contains small amounts of other nutrients, such as riboflavin, niacin and potassium.


Asparagus is a delicious, nutritious and healthy vegetable. It is also super easy to cook and can be served as a side dish, main dish or even in a dessert! Asparagus is in season during the spring months when it is harvested, and makes a great addition to any meal. Whether you are looking for a healthy side dish or a delicious main, the above methods will ensure that you can enjoy asparagus with ease whenever you so desire.