Want to know how to cook asparagus? Try our best asparagus recipes to make the most out of the British asparagus season (asparagus is in season from the end of April until June). We have plenty of light, spring recipes such as Thai asparagus with crunchy noodles, freekeh risotto with spring greens and our show-stopping ham, egg and asparagus tart.
We’ve also updated classics with an asparagus twist, for example our summer carbonara and asparagus and crab lasagne. Find your new favourite asparagus recipe here.
How to cook asparagus
Asparagus is really good griddled or roasted from raw as it intensifies the natural flavour.
How to grill asparagus: To griddle toss in olive oil and seasoning then add in a single layer to a hot griddle pan. Keep turning and cooking until the spears are grill marked and the spears are tender.
How to roast asparagus: To roast, heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Put the asparagus in a large baking tray or baking dish and add a little oil and seasoning (you can also add aromatics when roasting like garlic cloves, woody herbs or spices). Toss the roast for 10-15 minutes until tender.
How to boil asparagus: The easiest way to blanch or boil asparagus is to use a deep, wide frying pan. Bring salted water to a rolling boil then drop in the asparagus. Blanch for 1 minute then drop into iced water to stop cooking. To cook fully boil for 3-4 minutes depending on thickness then drain.
How to cook asparagus on the BBQ: Asparagus is also great on the BBQ in the summer. Choose thicker stems as they will stand up to higher heat. Brush with oil and seasoning then lay directly on the BBQ. Cook for 2-3 minutes turning until grill marked. Alternatively you can make foil parcels with spears, olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes and roast for 5-7 minutes over indirect heat. The asparagus will steam and cook inside the parcels and merge with the flavourings.
How to prepare asparagus (before cooking)
If your asparagus is young and the spears are slim you just need to give it a good wash before cooking and trim the very ends. Thicker and older asparagus can get tougher at the end of the stems. You can break these off (there is a natural break point if you bend the stems) and use for soup or a less wasteful method is just to use a peeler to shave the bottom few centimetres to reveal the tender inner.
The benefits of asparagus
Our nutritionist, Kerry Torrens, on the benefits of asparagus… “Rich in folate, asparagus is great if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. It also contains vitamin K, which builds strong bones and helps wounds and bruises heal. It’s packed with a fibre called inulin, which boosts friendly gut bacteria – these fibres are reduced during cooking, so try raw in a salad. Look out for the purple variety which contains protective compounds called anthocyanins.”
- Asparagus is at its best from April to June
Those sweet spears are joined by streaky bacon and four types of cheese in this quiche. Thanks to its crustless nature, though, it still feels light and comes in at under 450 calories. More quiche recipes right here.
Asparagus and anchovy spaghetti is the pasta dish you didn’t know you needed until now. Top with a crunchy fennel seed pangrattato to really make it sing.
This asparagus idea is crumbed instead of battered, which helps retain a wonderful texture. The saffron yogurt is a simple version of an aïoli but Middle Eastern style. Make this for an impressive veggie entertaining recipe.
Put asparagus at the heart of this gnocchi dish. Livened up with crunchy prosciutto crumbs, this dish makes for a quick and easy starter. Try our best gnocchi recipes here.
A spicy, vibrant chorizo crust perks-up haddock fillets, which are served alongside a medley of roasted asparagus and red pepper.
Ready in under an hour, this low-calorie minestrone soup is packed with an abundance of spring veggies and topped with crispy pancetta. Check out more of our low-calorie meal ideas here.
Gently boiling asparagus for a couple of minutes maintains their vibrance and crunchiness to create the perfect bed for these vegetarian-friendly schnitzel eggs.
Make the most of fresh spring asparagus in this vibrant fish tray bake packed with soft baby new potatoes and covered in a creamy dill mustard sauce. Discover more of our best traybake recipes here.
Everyone loves carbonara, so we've updated this Italian classic with asparagus and peas for summer. Our summer carbonara is vegetarian, ready in just 20 minutes and makes the most of seasonal veg, what could be better?
Add some asparagus to your shakshuka for the ideal spring treat. Shakshuka, traditionally a North African dish, is typically comprised of spices, eggs and tomatoes, but here we've decided to make it green with asparagus tips and broad beans.
Add texture to this crab salad with shaved asparagus. This bright spring salad is easy to make and under 500 calories. Use sourdough that’s a day or two old for extra-crunchy croutons.
Looking for an easy asparagus recipe? Try our vegetarian tart recipe, topped with vibrant tomatoes and asparagus, for an easy vegetarian entertaining idea. Get more savoury tart inspiration here.
Check out this vibrant asparagus starter recipe with creamy goat's cheese and fresh lovage, perfect to impress friends at your next dinner party. This dish comes from chef Johnnie Crowe at his East London restaurant, Nest. Here is Johnnie's dinner party menu to try at home.
Ever thought of adding asparagus to your noodles? Our recipe for Thai asparagus with crunchy noodles takes a little more effort but is worth it and is a great new way to use asparagus. Use soy sauce instead of fish sauce for a veggie option.
This simple sea bass recipe is super fresh, healthy and perfect for a quick summer evening meal. When roasted, the cherry tomatoes burst and create their own vibrant sauce, giving extra sweetness to this dish.
Asparagus and other spring greens make a fantastic risotto. Freekeh is made from cracked, roasted green wheat. It works well for risotto as the grains keep their bite when cooked. We've put together our best risotto recipes here.
Wrap asparagus in parcels with salmon, dill and capers to create plenty of buttery juices to go with this nutritious, protein-packed meal.
Asparagus is generally in season and plentiful in spring and what better way to use them than in this soft-baked frittata with ricotta and parmesan. An ideal dish for breakfast or brunch. Here are our other brunch recipes to create a show-stopping spread.
This recipe for asparagus with butter, balsamic and capers makes a great starter or lunch. Plus, it's ready in just 15 minutes and is under 300 calories.
Our asparagus, saffron and almond pilaf is a lovely spring dish and a great alternative way to use asparagus. It is officially in season between April and June, but might be in the shops longer.
An easy way to make a speedy lasagne. Made with open layers this is a clever way to cut down on unnecessary calories. By not baking there's no need for the béchamel sauce and as it's a fish filling, it doesn't need cheese. Serve with more asparagus or salad on the side for this quick midweek meal for two.
Västkustsallad is a popular salad in Sweden. There are different versions of this west coast salad served all over Sweden with various seafood – the mushrooms are a constant though, and we've included asparagus.
Our recipe for a ham, egg and asparagus tart is a great option for a midweek meal for the family, or to make for a picnic in the summer.
Asparagus isn't the only spring green vegetable that we love – a pile of bright green broad beans is a beautiful thing, too. This seasonal broad bean, pea shoot, asparagus and ricotta bowl will have you feeling like you're eating a bowl full of goodness.
A simple but sophisticated starter or small plate, this classic combination of fresh asparagus, creamy mozzarella and tangy prosciutto is stylish but easy and quick to make.
Make an asparagus salad! This pickled veg and Parma salad with whipped feta is a quick and easy salad for two, midweek. You can buy Odysea feta and greek yogurt spread from Waitrose.
Tender asparagus spears with bright, fresh, tarragon salsa verde. Looks impressive and tastes even better, ready in just 10 minutes. Serve with toasted sourdough.
The asparagus works a treat with the ham here, which is cooked first and then shredded. This indulgent (but quite easy) barley risotto is worth every bit of effort.