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6 Fresh and Delicious Recipes with Asparagus


Looking for the perfect asparagus recipe to cook tonight? We’ve got you covered with our favorite ways to prepare this popular, nutritious, and delicious green veggie. Save this round-up of asparagus recipe ideas and refer back to it so you’ll always have many ways to incorporate asparagus into meals as a side dish or even part of the main attraction. These six easy asparagus recipes range from sauteed to grilled to roasted to baked into a quiche. Enjoy them year-round, but especially when peak asparagus season hits from late February to June.

The Health Benefits of Asparagus

Asparagus is what we refer to as a very nutrient-dense food, meaning that it packs a lot of nutrition for every calorie. The fiber in asparagus is mostly insoluble fiber, which can help your digestive system. The antioxidants and minerals in asparagus are of the variety known to be especially beneficial for lowering blood pressure and acting as a natural anti-inflammatory agent in your body.

Have a friend who is pregnant? Asparagus would be an especially good choice for her because it’s high in folate, a nutrient that helps form DNA for healthy development and growth. Just 1/2 cup of asparagus supplies nearly one-fourth of the daily folate needed during pregnancy and more than one-third of the daily folate that all adults need.

Fresh asparagus spears catching the sunlight with lemon wedges in the background

How to Store Asparagus

If you don’t plan to cook asparagus the same day you purchase or harvest it, then treat it like a bouquet of flowers.

To properly store asparagus, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Trim 1 inch off the bottoms and stand the stalks up in a glass or jar with a few inches of water. Store in your refrigerator for up to 4 days, replacing water as needed. Keep the glass near the front or door area of your refrigerator (which are the warmer areas of the refrigerator) so it remains cold, but not too cold.
  • Step 2: Before cooking, rinse asparagus and trim off the bottom 1-2 inches.

A bunch of fresh cut asparagus stalks on a grey and white counter

What is Asparagus Sweat and Asparagus Pee?

If you’ve ever wondered why your sweat or pee smells differently after eating asparagus, don’t “despairagus.” Nearly 3 out of 4 people detect a slight odor in their sweat or urine after eating asparagus. This is due to a sulfur-containing molecule unique to asparagus, called asparagusic acid. And if you think it’s weird, it’s actually completely normal. In fact, everyone has this, and the 25% of people who say they don’t actually just can’t smell it.  The safe scent typically goes away in about 6 to 8 hours.

Asparagus stalks lined up on a grill tray ready for cooking

More Interesting Facts About Asparagus

Entertain friends and family with these lesser-known asparagus facts.

  • The Thick of It. It’s a widely held misconception that thick stalks of asparagus are less tasty. The thickness of the stalks (which shoot up from the root ball that is under the surface of the ground) is dictated by the age of the plant and variety, not how long the stalk has been above ground. This means the stalks don’t get thicker as they age. Both thin and thick stalks are tender and sweet, and some people think the thick stalks are slightly more tender because of less concentrated stalk fibers. We like thicker stalks for grilling because they’re less likely to fall between the grates.
  • Green Light. Though most people have only tried green asparagus, white and purple varieties exist. Both are nearly identical to green asparagus in nutrition and taste but can cost a lot more. White asparagus is grown under tarps or mounds of dirt to prevent it from getting sunlight, therefore it lacks chlorophyll, a natural plant pigment. Purple asparagus is a genetic variety, but it converts to green when cooked anyway.
  • Spargel! There’s a festival in Germany that lasts for six weeks from mid-April to late June called Spargelzeit, meaning “asparagus time.” During this time, Germans consume 275 million pounds of asparagus, most of it being the white variety, and smother it in hollandaise sauce.

Now that you’re filled with fun asparagus trivia and asparagus nutrition facts, let’s get cooking! Enjoy some of our favorite ways to prepare this good-for-you and delicious green spring vegetable!

Fresh asparagus gets sautéed to crisp-tender perfection, then topped with toasted almonds and a flavorful, garlicky, lemon goat cheese sauce. The sauce is so good and simple that you’ll want to drizzle it over everything!

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Grain-free | Vegetarian

Sautéed asparagus on a speckled plate drizzled with goat cheese sauce and toasted almonds

Grilling asparagus is the perfect way to make the stalks tender and crispy, you’ll find this recipe surprisingly simple to pull off. Serve hot off the grill or make ahead and serve cold – it’s delicious both ways. Finish it off with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for gobbled-up veggies every time.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free | Vegetarian

Grilled asparagus topped with fresh parmesan shreds and lemon wedges in a grill pan

This baked asparagus recipe is easy enough to make any weekend (or prep it ahead for easy reheat breakfasts during the week). But it also makes the perfect addition to a special occasion meal, such as an Easter or Mother’s Day brunch, a spring birthday, a bridal or baby shower, or a Sunday gathering with family. This low-carb quiche is sans crust, but you won’t even miss it since this crowd-pleaser is so full of creamy feta and delicious tender spring vegetables.

Gluten Free | Grain Free | Nut Free | Vegetarian

A crustless asparagus, feta, and leek quiche in a white pie plate topped with fresh herbsPhoto Credit: Plays Well with Butter

Here’s a roasted asparagus recipe that’s always a hit. Employ your sheet pan to make a well-rounded meal tonight, complete with well-seasoned and tender flank steak, creamy baby potatoes, and crisp fresh asparagus. The variety of food groups ensures you’ll feel nutritionally satisfied with each delicious bite.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Grain-free | Nut Free

A sheet pan filled with sliced steak, roasted potatoes, and asparagus spearsPhoto Credit: Plays Well with Butter

A low-carb carbonara is just the thing when you want a full and satisfying meal without feeling weighed down afterward. Here we combine spiraled zucchini noodles (make your own or buy them already this way) with tender shrimp and crisp bacon. Our favorite addition to this nutritious meal? The fresh asparagus that is perfectly seasoned with garlic and Parmesan.

Gluten Free | Nut Free | Paleo | Whole 30

A plate filled with zucchini 'noodles' topped with shrimp, asparagus, and parmesan cheese!Photo Credit: Plays Well with Butter

This veggie-packed, well-balanced meal is easy enough for a weeknight and fancy enough for a date night. It features a creamy non-dairy ‘alfredo’ sauce that you’ll want to put on everything. And all of the components (sauce, spaghetti squash, and chicken) can be prepped ahead then reheated and combined when it’s time to eat, saving you loads of time later.

Dairy Free | Gluten Free | Paleo | Whole30

A plate full of spaghetti squash chicken alfredo topped with asparagus and baconPhoto Credit: Plays Well with Butter

We hope you make and enjoy these delicious, nutritious, and easy Asparagus Recipes. If you make a recipe please leave a comment on the blog post, and tag us @therealfoodrds on social media.

Pin This Now & Make Them Later!

A collage of six healthy asparagus recipes with text overlay for a Pinterest pin

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish any of these recipes, please rewrite the recipes in your own unique words and link back to the source recipes here on The Real Food Dietitians so credit is given where credit is due. Thank you!

About Jessie Shafer

Jessie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living near Denver, CO where she splits her time among nearby playgrounds, typing away at her trusty laptop, and heating up her home kitchen with delicious experiments. Her best taste tester is her husband, a Denver firefighter with a well-trained palate. A former magazine editor-in-chief, Jessie has a long career in food publishing and health writing. While she once played centerfield for the Northwestern University softball team, Jessie now prefers her fitness in the way of biking up mountain passes and chasing two busy toddlers (the latter proving to be the more exhausting activity).



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