Asparagus is an incredibly nutritious and versatile vegetable. Theses 8 healthy asparagus recipes are easy to make and will allow you to serve up this nutrient rich veggie in creative and delicious ways.
Did you know that ancient cultures thought asparagus was an aphrodisiac? And that the ancient Egyptians cultivated asparagus? These cultures may not have understood exactly why asparagus was a valuable addition to their diet, but they were on to something. The health benefits of eating this savory plant are clear to us today.
Health Benefits of Eating Asparagus
Asparagus contains a unique type of carbohydrate called inulin. Inulin doesn't get broken down and digested by the small intestine, but rather passes on to the large intestine. Inulin is an ideal food source for the healthy bacteria in our gut. Thriving gut bacteria are associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergy and lower risk of colon cancer.
Asparagus is high in disease-fighting antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese and selenium. It's also a rich source of anti-inflammatory compounds that are thought to reduce your risk for chronic health problems.
Asparagus has nutrients that can help ward off diabetes. It's an outstanding source of folic acid, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2, niacin, choline, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. B vitamins play an important role in the metabolism of sugars and starches; thus making them critical for healthy blood sugar management.
So, want to make some asparagus?
Easy Asparagus Recipes
1. Grilled Asparagus
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat grill for high heat.
- Wash and trim Asparagus.
- Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Grill over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or to desired tenderness.
2. Steamed Asparagus in Lemon and Olive Oil
- 1 pound thick asparagus
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Wash and trim asparagus.
- Place 3 cups water in the bottom half of a steamer pan set and bring to a boil.
- Steam over high heat until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer the asparagus to a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and lemon zest.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
3. Roasted Asparagus Recipe
- 1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F.
- Wash and trim asparagus. Mince the garlic and juice a lemon, set aside.
- Add the asparagus, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. Toss to coat each spear.
- Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness.
- Sprinkle with lemon before serving. (optional)
4. Stir-Fried Asparagus
- 1 tablespoon of a healthy oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon chopped roasted garlic
- Wash and trim the asparagus.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Saute onions until tender.
- Stir in asparagus and garlic; saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly cooked.
More Complex (But Worth It!) Asparagus Recipes
If you're looking to go beyond the basic, try one of these four asparagus recipes from some of our favorite food bloggers.
5. Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan
This asparagus soup from Jenn Segal of Once Upon a Chef is delicate, creamy and luxurious, yet it’s made without heavy cream.
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 bunches asparagus (about 2-1/4 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Handful fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill or basil (optional, for garnish)
Visit Once Upon a Chef for cooking instructions.
6. Asparagus and Eggs
Asparagus and eggs are a nutritious and flavorful way to start you day! You can find the recipe for this perfect morning meal at the food blog Naturally Ella.
- 5-6 stalks asparagus
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup goat or blue cheese (*optional)
- Pepper to top
Visit Naturally Ella for the full recipe.
7. Asparagus Subzi
This recipe from the Indian food blog, Show Me the Curry will have your taste buds dancing!
- 1 lb (approx 1/2kg) asparagus, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed (powdered)
- 1 tsp, grated or crushed ginger
- 5 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Red chili powder to taste
Visit Show Me the Curry for the full how-to.
8. Pistachio Crusted Asparagus with Feta
This roasted tender, yet crunchy, salty and fresh dish from Joy the Baker makes for an impressive side dish.
- 2 pounds large asparagus
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup shelled roasted and unsalted pistachios
- 1 scant teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch of sea salt
- several grinds of black pepper
Visit Joy the Baker for the full recipe.