Roasted asparagus is wonderfully tender-crisp. And it's ready fast - I bake it in a 400°F oven for just 15 minutes.
Overcooking will make it stringy, so you definitely want to avoid that. As for leftovers, try them cold, antipasti-style! They are delicious this way.
Roasting vegetables greatly enhances their flavor and texture, and asparagus is a good example. When done just right, it's tender-crisp and very flavorful.
You'll only need five simple ingredients to make oven-roasted asparagus. The exact measurements are in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh asparagus: Try to find medium-thick stalks. Not the very thin ones and not super-thick ones.
Olive oil: I like extra-virgin olive oil. If you're worried about its low smoke point, you could use refined olive oil or avocadi oil.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use.
Garlic powder: Make sure it's fresh. I actually prefer it to fresh minced garlic in this recipe, because it more uniformly coats the spears.
Grated Parmesan: Finely grated works best, not coarsely shredded.
Baking asparagus in the oven is easy! The detailed instructions for making this recipe are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
First, you arrange the asparagus spears on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Next, you drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with seasonings and with grated parmesan cheese.
The final step is to bake the spears in a 400°F oven for about 15 minutes.
I use garlic powder or garlic granules when making this recipe because the fine granules coat the spears uniformly. However, if you prefer fresh minced garlic, that's fine too.
Frequently asked questions
I roast it in a 400°F oven for just 15 minutes. I find that this is the optimal time and temperature when using medium-thickness stalks. Remember that overcooking will ruin its texture and make it stringy.
I suspect this happens when it is overcooked. This vegetable cooks fast. So although you do want it cooked, not raw, it's better to slightly undercook it, and let it finish cooking on your plate.
If you don't overcook it, the stems will be tender-crisp and very flavorful. When overcooked, it becomes mushy and stringy.
Yes, you should wash it. Make sure to dry it well with a clean kitchen towel or with paper towels, so that when it's in the oven it bakes rather than steams.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Use melted butter instead of olive oil.
- Add more spices - try a pinch of garlic granules and a pinch of dried thyme.
- Grated Pecorino Romano is a good substitute for parmesan.
- Sometimes I sprinkle the finished dish with red pepper flakes for a hint of spice and some added color.
- You can also sprinkle the finished dish with bacon bits.
This is such a versatile side dish. It goes with almost anything. But since I use a 400°F oven to make it, I like to serve it with a main dish that I can cook in the same oven. Here are a few examples:
The leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 3 days.
How to enjoy them? I have a great tip for you. Cold roasted asparagus is delicious! Think antipasti... that's the idea. I often have it for my lunch, with poached eggs. It's really good!
Sometimes I wrap the cold leftovers in prosciutto slices for an improvised version of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.
Of course, you can also reheat the leftovers. If you do, it's best to use the microwave on 50% power.
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Roasted Asparagus wjth Parmesan
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus tough ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic granules
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese divided
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the asparagus on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Drizzle with the olive oil, then toss with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic granules, and half the Parmesan.
- Bake until tender-crisp, about 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.