77 Healthy Ways to Cook With Asparagus
Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus, and Phyllo Tart
If working with phyllo dough fills you with fear, don't worry—this recipe is beginner-friendly. There's no crimping or folding the dough; you just lay flat sheets of dough on top of each other for a rustic, unfinished edge.
Tomato and Black Bean-Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Cap With Asparagus
The mushroom is tender and meaty, and the filling is jammy but still has some bite to it. Try to find mushroom caps with the most defined “lips,” which will hold the filling better than perfectly flat ones.
Arugula, Egg, and Charred Asparagus Salad
Just a hint of char on the asparagus adds fantastic complexity to this simple 5-ingredient spring salad. Look for medium stalks rather than pencil-thin ones—those would char and dry out too quickly. A soft-boiled egg adds protein and richness; let the slightly runny yolks mingle with the rest of the salad before enjoying. Whole-milk Greek yogurt has a lusciousness and milder tang than lower-fat yogurt. It's the perfect binder for the lemony dressing. Serve with a slice of multigrain bread spread with goat cheese and a dash of cracked black pepper.
Asparagus With Avocado-Herb Dressing
All the Green Things Salad
This salad is full of lovely textures ranging from crunchy to creamy. You can make the zippy lemon dressing and blanch, drain, and chill the peas and asparagus up to 2 says ahead, but combine all the elements shortly before serving to preserve the color of the avocado and the crunch of the greens.
Bibb, Radicchio, and Asparagus Salad
Just a little radicchio provides a colorful contrast to the tender, delicate Bibb lettuce, though its slight bitterness may be too much for some kids. Swap in thinly sliced red cabbage or use any other mild lettuce if you like.
Spring Vegetable Soup
At the market, let kids have fun selecting produce for this spring dinner. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to make this a vegetarian dish.
Creamy Asparagus and Pancetta Penne
Fresh spears of asparagus, pancetta, and cremini mushrooms are tossed in a light white sauce. Lemon rind adds a welcomed extra punch of flavor.
Asparagus and Peas With Warm Tarragon Vinaigrette
Fresh spring produce needs little embellishment, although a quick toss with bacon never hurts.
Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Salad With Bacon
A big batch of Ginger-Coconut Quinoa forms the base of this filling spring salad that's packed with fresh vegetables and herbs.
Roasted Asparagus With Almonds
Olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and toasted almonds drizzled over asparagus create a simple but satisfying side.
Beef Tenderloin With Balsamic Asparagus
Beef tenderloin steaks are often considered a special-occasion cut, but when they go on sale (or you're ready for a splurge), this classic preparation is foolproof. Use a timer rather than turning, prodding, or overcooking the steaks, and set the timer again while they rest so you don't slice too soon.
Asparagus With Sesame and Citrus Vinaigrette
Fresh orange juice and a navel orange mixed with asparagus pack a powerful citrus punch.
Fettuccine Alfredo With Asparagus
Cut the heavy cream and save a day's worth of sat fat with this cheesy, veggie-packed pasta.
Asparagus With Bacon and Shallots
Two center-cut pieces of bacon add 4g of protein to this savory side mixed with maple syrup and whole-grain mustard.
Asparagus With Lemon-Parmesan Breadcrumbs
Create a simple, versatile side in just 20 minutes with ssparagus, lemon rind, and Parmesan cheese.
Asparagus With Lemon and Pecorino
Spring asparagus shines with just a few flavor enhancements in this quick and easy recipe.
Roasted Asparagus, Mushroom, and Onion Pizza
Freeze an extra pie tonight for a convenient dinner later that's way better than boxed. Partially baking the pizza before freezing helps draw moisture out of the vegetables and set the crust so it stays nice and crisp. Use any hearty vegetables you like, but skip more delicate items like fresh tomatoes, as they won't hold up as well in the freezer.
Asparagus With Garlic and Balsamic Reduction
Asparagus boasts big flavor on its own, but this fresh combination takes this popular spring veggie to a whole new level.
Tomato and Asparagus “Carbonara”
Toss the pasta and vegetables immediately after cooking to ensure balanced flavors throughout the dish. The heat from the pasta will cook the egg, thickening it into a light, creamy sauce.
Grilled Asparagus with Caper Vinaigrette
Grilled Asparagus with Caper Vinaigrette is a perfect light side dish. Briny capers are a lovely addition to Dijon vinaigrette—especially when drizzled on grilled asparagus.
Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus With Prosciutto
You can also chop the prosciutto and sprinkle it on the phyllo. If you're feeding a large crowd, arrange assembled rolls on a baking sheet, coat with cooking spray, and cover; store in the fridge for up to four hours. Bake an hour or two before the party.
Creamy Spring Pasta
This dish is luxuriously creamy, but the pasta soaks up the sauce quickly. Be sure to serve right away. Use refrigerated pasta to cut several minutes off the cook time.
Romaine, Asparagus, and Watercress Salad With Shrimp
So sophisticated guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen, this succulent salad is ready in just 17 minutes and goes great with a homemade roll.
Browned Butter Asparagus
A hint of tarragon adds unique, fresh flavor to the dish, but you can use any herb you like.
Spring Vegetable Pizza With Gremolata
Packed full of spring’s best produce, this pizza pairs nicely with a side of tomato soup or small green salad.
Grilled Asparagus Rafts
This recipe is a nice twist on traditional grilled asparagus spears. Skewering groups of asparagus spears together makes them easier to flip on the grill. Sesame seeds lend additional crunch and a sprinkling of color to the dark green spears. The secret for cooking asparagus is simple: don’t overcook it. The slender shoots should turn out crisp and bright in color.
Smoky Asparagus and Mushroom Sauté
Showcase delicious and vibrant asparagus in this simple, yet elegant side dish. Garnish with fresh chopped ramp greens or chives if you don't have the former on hand.
Bright lemony notes and tangy Dijon mustard give this asparagus a super fresh flavor that you won't be a able to resist.
Sesame-Ginger Glazed Asparagus
Don't miss out on trying this delicious side dish. The soy sauce mixture is absolutely delicious when sprinkled over the asparagus.
Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes
Simple seasonings turn this recipe a stand-out side dish for busy weeknights. Veggies cook and are ready to serve in just 6 minutes.
Asparagus Spears With Smoked Salmon Spirals
Use hearty asparagus spears for this easy appetizer. You can blanch the asparagus and combine the sour cream substitute, dill, and tarragon up to a day ahead and refrigerate separately.
Asparagus and Spring Greens Salad With Gorgonzola Vinaigrette
Asparagus with tender greens offers bright spring flavors plus the bite of Gorgonzola in the vinaigrette.
Quick Skillet Asparagus
Extra-virgin olive oil adds great fruity flavor to this simple dish, and sauteéing over high heat doesn’t burn away the oil’s healthful antioxidants.
Raisin and Pine Nut Asparagus
Sweet raisins, tart orange rind, and spicy red onion create a trifecta of flavor that you won't be able to resist.
Pickled Ramps and Asparagus
Gnocchi With Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto
Gnocchi–small Italian potato dumplings–are a hearty alternative to pasta. While making gnocchi from scratch could take more than an hour, premade vacuum-packed dumplings cook in just minutes.
Orzotto With Green and White Asparagus
Orzo takes the place of Arborio rice in this risotto-style dish that turns rich and creamy as it's stirred to doneness. Tender asparagus and fresh lemon zest add the welcome flavors of spring in this pasta dish.
Asparagus Salad With Piquillo Peppers and Capers
If you can't find piquillo peppers, you can substitute roasted red peppers. Steam the asparagus and combine the ingredients for the dressing a day ahead; store them separately in the refrigerator.
Marinated Asparagus Bundles
Thin asparagus spears work best in this elegant side dish. You will savor the flavor with each bite.
Black Pepper Pasta Salad With Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Romano
This mayonnaise-based pasta salad veers from the traditional with salty Italian ham, nutty asparagus, and a generous grinding of pepper.
Asparagus Ribbons With Lemon and Goat Cheese
Creamy goat cheese crowns a refreshingly bracing salad. Because the asparagus is shaved, it does not have to be cooked. Thick asparagus spears work best when it comes to making ribbons like these.
Marinated Asparagus-and-Carrot Salad
Veggies bathed in balsamic vinegar are an irresistible side dish to almost any weeknight dinner.
Asparagus, Tomato, and Onion Farinata
Italian flavors abound in this vegetarian one-dish meal. Farinata is a thin cake made with chickpea flour, which makes this crispy crust high in fiber and gluten-free.
Ginger-Scented Corn and Asparagus Stir-Fry
This Asian-inspired stir-fry is packed full of nutritious veggies and rich textures. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s an ideal way to spice-up a weeknight meal with the family.
Vegetable Pasta Salad With Goat Cheese
Ready in just over 20 minutes, this delicious pasta salad is the perfect add-on to a soup main dish or in smaller portions with a meat-based entrée.
Vegetable “Meat” Loaf
Vegetarians and carnivores alike will love this ingenious twist on meat loaf. The meaty-flavored, umami-rich recipe received our Test Kitchen's highest rating. Ordinarily you wouldn't pack a meat loaf into the pan, but since we're using a vegetable mixture, you will to make sure it holds together.
Summer Veggie Pizza
Onion, pepper, asparagus, and corn combine for a veggie-lover’s delight in this fresh, easy-to-make pizza. If you have enough dough left over, freeze it; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before your next use.
Asparagus With Balsamic Tomatoes
This recipe is quick and bursting with flavor. We love the sweetness from the grape tomatoes paired with the creaminess of the goat cheese.
Quick White Bean, Asparagus, and Mushroom Cassoulet
Cassoulet—a rich, slow-cooked bean stew with meat—is reinvented here as a quick-cooking vegetarian dish, starting with canned beans and using mushrooms to lend a meaty mouthfeel and earthy flavor.
Garganelli With Asparagus and Pecorino Cheese
The crisp texture of cooked asparagus adds a special touch to this easy garganelli pasta recipe.
Tuna and White Bean Salad
Incorporate healthy eating essentials–fresh veggies and seafood protein–for a hearty salad that the whole family will love. The best part? This no-cook lunch is loaded with protein, and you didn't even have to turn on the oven.
This risotto is studded with color and vibrant flavor of fresh veggies. Although inexpensive, this dish is attractive and tasty enough to serve to guests.
Asparagus and Smoked Trout Frittata
This fancy frittata is perfect for your next brunch, and guests will never know it only took 30 minutes to make.
Pasta With Asparagus, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts
Pasta is the perfect weeknight meal. Your family will love the comforting flavors, and you'll love that it's surprisingly low in calories.
Greek Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
Sweet onion, rich feta cheese, and fresh dill provide dynamic flavor in this easy weeknight meal. The hardest part about making risotto is the constant stirring while you let this dish simmer for about 30 minutes. Balance the plate with a lively fennel salad.
Spring Asparagus Risotto
Asparagus popping out of the soil is one of the first signs of spring in the garden. The days are warming up, but the nights are still chilly—an ideal time for warm bowls of rich asparagus risotto. Save the more tender tips for the risotto pieces, and blend the larger chopped pieces of asparagus into the broth used to cook the risotto. Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, if you like.
Asparagus With Tomato and Feta
Give your asparagus a blast of flavor with some crumbled feta and grape tomatoes. This tasty side dish is ready in under 15 minutes.
Spring Vegetable Carbonara
Cavatappi, spiral-shaped pasta, adds an element of whimsy to this budget-friendly dish. If you can't find it, substitute fusilli.
Asparagus With Olive Tapenade
Penne With Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon
This pasta toss comes together in a snap on busy weeknights. Complement it with a glass of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc, and garlic-Parmesan breadsticks.
Asparagus With Balsamic Onions and Blue Cheese
Take your baked asparagus to a whole new level with blue cheese and balsamic onions in just 8 easy steps.
Asparagus With Red Pepper and Manchego
Give your asparagus a Spanish twist for dinner with this quick and easy recipe.
Asparagus With Olive Gremolata
Steam the asparagus and prepare the gremolata a day in advance; refrigerate separately. Allow both to come to room temperature before serving.
Asparagus With Peas and Prosciutto
If you like a hearty side with your steak, try this asparagus with peas and prosciutto. The prosciutto accompaniment makes the dish pair nicely with a medium-bodied red wine (think Nebbiolo).
Sautéed Asparagus and Shrimp With Gremolata
Sauté the two main ingredients separately to avoid overcrowding the pan. A fresh lemon-herb topping rounds out the flavors in this entrée.
Asparagus With Chanterelles and Hazelnuts
For a nutty, earthy, savory-sweet twist to your asparagus, add some sliced chanterelle mushrooms and chopped toasted hazelnuts.
Flatbread With Pancetta, Mozzarella, and Asparagus
Salty Italian bacon and fresh asparagus make this crisp-chewy flatbread unforgettable. Use a mandolin to slice the asparagus, or just cut it into 2-inch pieces.
Roasted Asparagus With Balsamic Browned Butter
One of the best (and simplest) sides in our magazine's history, this recipe was named Best Vegetable Side Dish in our 20th anniversary issue. The browned butter with a splash of balsamic vinegar adds an elegance that belies the simplicity of this approach.
Quinoa Salad With Asparagus, Dates, and Oranges
This side dish salad combines several influences: The dates and orange are an Israeli touch; the pecans pay homage to the American South; and the quinoa is a high-protein grain from South America.
Grilled Vegetable Salad
Tailor the types of vegetables to the bounty of your garden or that of farmers' market vendors. Thin asparagus spears may need to cook only four minutes.
Asparagus Salad With Soft Poached Eggs, Prosciutto, and Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette
Eggs are a great source of protein plus zinc, iron, and lutein. Serve with 100 percent whole-grain toast and a fresh fruit salad for a filling brunch.
Rotini With Chicken, Asparagus, and Tomatoes
Reminiscent of a pasta salad, this recipe coats rotini and colorful vegetables with a basil-flecked balsamic vinaigrette.
Gnocchi With Asparagus and Pancetta
Pancetta is cured unsmoked Italian bacon available at the grocery deli counter. It gives this elegant dish a deep, savory note.
This recipe will pull together in as much time as it takes to steam the asparagus. Just a few key ingredients make this a light and flavorful veggie side dish.