This recipe for roasted asparagus comes out perfect every time, with super crispy tips and perfect browning! Roasting at a high temperature (450 degrees F) and broiling at the end ensures crispy asparagus tips and tons of flavor. And peeling – NOT snapping – the ends of the asparagus results in more tender, delicious asparagus that’s longer and more evenly shaped.
Before roasting, the asparagus is drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. After cooking, I sprinkled it with parmesan cheese and drizzled with balsamic glaze. While this flavor combo is SO delicious, it’s also really easy to make this recipe for roasted asparagus your own!
You can keep it simple and stick with just the oil, salt, and pepper. Or, add other spices to it if you want, or lemon zest. Roast the asparagus spears along with cherry tomatoes, thinly cut carrots, or thinly cut potatoes. And the parmesan and balsamic finishing touches? Feel free to leave out the parmesan for a vegan version, and drizzle the roasted asparagus with any other things you love (gochujang mayo, anyone? Or how about some homemade ranch dressing? Or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice?).
My point is this: this recipe for roasted asparagus can be as versatile as you want it to be. The most important things here are the high roasting and broiling temperature and peeling the asparagus – read on to find out how!
Peeling vs. Snapping Asparagus
You may have heard the advice for prepping asparagus – either trim off, or snap off, the tough, woody ends.
The reason for this is: the ends of an asparagus spear can be tough and fibrous, leaving an unpleasant texture that takes far too long to chew. Asparagus is best when it’s tender.
But while the OUTER layer of an asparagus spear may be tough and fibrous towards the end, the INNER layer is tender and lovely!
Which has caused me to change everything I thought I knew about prepping asparagus. Peeling – NOT snapping – is the answer. Here’s how.
First, trim off just a little bit of the ends of the asparagus spears, to make them all relatively even in length and cut off the very end, which is often kind of dried out.
Then, use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer layer of the bottom part of the asparagus stalk off. This can be anywhere from about one-third to one-half of the spear – or more, if the spears are more mature/thick.
The goal here is two-fold: 1) to remove the tough outer layer to yield a more tender result, and 2) to make the asparagus an even thickness which will result in more even cooking.
Can I still use the asparagus scraps for something?
Sure! Reusing asparagus scraps is a great way to reduce food waste.
Asparagus has a kind of strong taste, but you can in theory add it to vegetable broth. You can then use that veggie broth for an appropriate recipe, such as asparagus risotto or a cream of asparagus soup. Personally, I wouldn’t use it for any purpose where the taste would be too strong or there isn’t any asparagus already in the recipe. But a broth with asparagus can enhance the asparagus flavor if that’s what you’re going for!
You can in theory also make a puree of the asparagus scraps. Some parts may be too tough to get a super smooth puree. But using a high-powered blender, or straining the puree through a mesh sieve, may help with this. I’m loving the look of this recipe for scallops with asparagus puree!
How to make Roasted Asparagus
After peeling and prepping your asparagus, toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (and a little crushed red pepper if you want!) on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in a high temperature oven – 450 degrees F – for about 10 minutes. Flip the asparagus around (either using tongs or a spatula or simply shaking the pan around a bit to turn them). Broil for about 3-5 minutes, or until the asparagus is nice and browned on the outside. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!
Please note: cooking time will vary based on how thick your asparagus is. So be sure to keep an eye on it.
After it’s done cooking, you can eat it as is, or dress it up. I sprinkled with parmesan cheese and drizzled with balsamic glaze. You can top it with chopped herbs, lemon juice/zest, sriracha or gochujang mayo, your favorite ranch dressing… make it your own!
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure the asparagus is evenly coated before roasting. I recommend using your hands to make sure the asparagus is evenly coated in the olive oil and seasonings. This will ensure more even cooking and flavor and a more reliably crispy result.
- Since you’re broiling the asparagus at a high temperature, you’ll need to keep an eye on it toward the end. You want the asparagus, especially the tips, to be nice and browned but not burnt. For a more hands-off (albeit less crispy) approach, you can roast at 400 degrees F for a total of about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through for best results, skipping the broiling part all together.
- I recommend not using parchment paper to line the pan. While it may make things neater, direct contact of the vegetable with the baking sheet will result in a browner roasted veggie, since the metal conducts heat more than the paper. Plus, parchment paper is not broiler safe. You can try lining the pan with foil if you want.
- A Nordicware Half Baker’s Sheet is always my sheet pan of choice. It’s sturdy and doesn’t warp under temperature changes, it conducts heat beautifully, and it can take a beating with any metal utensil or scrub brush you want. I find they are easy to clean, but also can develop a patina over time that looks rustic and beautiful. And they’re inexpensive, too!
What can I serve roasted asparagus with?
Roasted asparagus is a wonderful side dish. Here are some ideas for what to serve it with for a full meal:
- Olive Oil Scrambled Eggs with Feta and Tomatoes – eggs aren’t just for breakfast!
- Greek Chicken Bites have the perfect flavor profile to match the parmesan balsamic asparagus.
- Who says you have to serve meatballs with pasta? I love serving meatballs as the star of the show with a veggie side like this asparagus. Greek meatballs, or Keftedes, are one of my favorites, as well as these chicken zucchini meatballs.
- Salmon and asparagus are a match made in heaven – whether they’re salmon patties made from canned salmon, or seared salmon.
- Garlic sautéed shrimp would be delicious here too.
Other asparagus recipes
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Crispy Roasted Asparagus
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. (see note below about high temperature). For best results, place the top oven rack in the top ⅓ of your oven.
- To prepare the 1 lb. asparagus spears, after washing them, cut the very bottom of the end off so they are all evenly sized. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer layer off of the lower half of the asparagus, to remove the fibrous tough layer and to make them an even thickness.
- Place the prepared asparagus spears on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder, if using (or other spices/seasonings you prefer). Use your hands to make sure each asparagus spear is coated evenly in the oil and spices, then spread out so they aren't touching each other on the baking sheet.
- Roast for 10 minutes on the top rack. Turn the asparagus (using a spatula or tongs or just carefully shaking the pan a bit). Now, broil for another 3-5 minutes, or until asparagus is nice and browned on the outside. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
- Serve as is, or sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese and drizzle with the 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze (see notes for variations).
- Roasting temperature: Because this asparagus is roasted at a high temperature to achieve crispy tips, and then broiled, be sure to keep an eye on them toward the end of cooking. You want them to be nice and browned, but not burnt. For a more hands-off approach, feel free to roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so, skipping the broiling part all together. For best results, flip halfway through.
- Variations: feel free to season the asparagus how you like before roasting – add lemon zest, or other spices, or keep it simple with just oil, salt, and pepper. After roasting, you can eat as is, or top with other ingredients, such as a spicy mayo or homemade ranch dressing, fresh herbs, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Asparagus is best in the spring. For the most tasty result, use in-season asparagus (as a bonus, it’s often less expensive when it’s in season, too!).
- I don’t recommend using parchment paper for most roasted veggies. Metal conducts heat better than parchment paper, so you will get a browner, crispier result putting the asparagus directly on the baking sheet. You can try foil if you want, though I always prefer just using the pan for roasted veggies. Plus, parchment paper is not broiler safe.
- I always recommend a Nordicware Half Baker’s Sheet for the perfect rimmed baking sheet. These sheet pans are sturdy, can take a beating with any metal utensil or cleaning scrub, conduct heat beautifully (but don’t retain it for long since it’s aluminum, making them easier to handle after cooling for only a short time), and they don’t warp with temperature changes.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: