Get your grill on green-style with these smoky spears of Grilled Asparagus!
Lightly charred outside, caramelized inside, and touched by that tantalizing sensation of easy-living that only the grill can impart (Grilled Eggplant, Grilled Broccoli, and Grilled Corn all agree), this healthy method of cooking asparagus takes 10 minutes or less.
- Season it simply with salt and pepper for a fast, healthy side that can go with any of your weeknight meals.
- Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook asparagus and will add nutritional value to your standard cookout fare.
Or you can take your asparagus game to next level.
- Grilled asparagus with Parmesan, lemon, and/or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar is fit for even the fanciest company.
How to Grill Asparagus
Asparagus can be a little tricky to grill, because those pesky stalks like to fall through the grates and the tender tips (my favorite part!) are easy to burn.
Tips for Perfect Grilled Asparagus
- Use Thick Asparagus Stalks. While the flavor of thick and thin asparagus is the same, thicker asparagus spears are more tender than thinner spears. Thicker spears also don’t fall through the grates as easily, and they can stand up to high-temperature grilling more easily than thinner stalks. (I also prefer thicker spears for Roasted Asparagus.)
- When In Doubt, Use Foil or a Grill Basket. If you only have thin stalks (sometimes my grocery store has only thin, depending upon the point in the season), I suggest cooking them in a grill basket like this or on grill-safe foil. This will prevent your lovely spears from falling to a sad, fiery doom. (You may want to use a grill basket for these Grilled Brussels Sprouts too.)
- Dry Your Spears. Asparagus needs to be trimmed and washed before cooking (do not soak asparagus before cooking; a simple rinse will do it). Be sure to pat it dry to ensure it crisps and caramelizes. If it is too wet, it may steam.
- Oil Up. Don’t be skimpy on the olive oil, as it is important to keep the tips from burning. Even with the oil, grilled asparagus is still healthy. It’s packed with fiber, folate, and vitamins. Plus olive oil has health benefits of its own, such as antioxidants and beneficial fats.
- Season. Season. Season. Even simple kosher salt and pepper will do wonders. See below for more seasoning suggestions and topping ideas.
- Asparagus. A truly delicious and nutritious veggie to grill and enjoy alongside any meal! It’s easy to prepare, kid-friendly, and pairs well with a multitude of seasonings and toppings.
The easiest way to trim asparagus is to snap it with your hands. Hold the stem end in one hand and grip it near the base with the other. Briskly bend and the asparagus will naturally break in the right place.
- Olive Oil. Adds delicious flavor to the asparagus and helps keep it from burning.
- Seasonings of Choice. See below for a myriad of ideas!
- Snap off the woody end of the asparagus spears.
- Toss with the oil, salt, and pepper.
- Lay the asparagus on the grill (perpendicular to the grates).
- Grill for 6 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees F to 400 degrees F.
- Remove the spears to a platter, add desired toppings, and DIG IN!
Ways to Season Grilled Asparagus
- Grilled Asparagus with Garlic. Toss the asparagus with 3 cloves of minced garlic prior to grilling.
- Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top of your grilled asparagus.
- Grilled Asparagus with Lemon. Juice half a lemon over the top of your grilled asparagus.
- Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over your grilled asparagus. (Be sure to check out my Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, which have a fantastic balsamic marinade.)
- Grilled Asparagus with Bacon. Sprinkle bacon bits over the top (Air Fryer Bacon and Oven Baked Bacon are two of my favorite cooking methods). Be sure to check out this Bacon Wrapped Asparagus too.
- Grilled Asparagus with Herbs. Finish your grilled asparagus with a handful of chopped parsley or basil.
- Spicy Grilled Asparagus. Sprinkle the grilled asparagus with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Dressy Grilled Asparagus. Combine minced shallot, lemon juice, and oil. Spoon over the grilled asparagus.
- Nutty Grilled Asparagus. Sprinkle your grilled asparagus with toasted almonds or pine nuts.
- Choose Your Own. Try a combination of a few of these! Lemon, Parmesan, basil, and pine nuts is one of our favorites.
- To Store. Refrigerate asparagus in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- To Freeze. Freeze asparagus in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Note that asparagus that has been frozen will be more mushy.
Leftover asparagus makes a tasty addition to pasta dishes (like this Pasta al Limone), risotto (similar to this Creamy Vegan Risotto with Asparagus and Quinoa), omelets, stir fries, or pizzas (hello, Spicy Turkey, Leek and Asparagus Pizza). It’s also scrumptious on this Scrambled Egg Toast with Asparagus.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Tongs. The ultimate grill tool.
- Grill Pan. Perfect for making this asparagus recipe.
- Grill Basket. Keeps your asparagus from falling through the grates.
Fast to make and spectacular in taste, with a myriad of ways to dress it up and keep it tasting new, grilled asparagus has become a twice-a-week favorite around here. I can’t wait for it to be a regular at your table too.
FOR THE GRILLED ASPARAGUS:
- 1 1/2 pounds thick asparagus*
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR TOPPING (optional):
- Fresh lemon juice
- Freshly grated Parmesan
- Drizzle thick aged balsamic or balsamic glaze
- Minced shallots mix with lemon juice and a little olive oil
- Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or mint
- Preheat the grill to medium heat, 375 degrees F to 400 degrees F (if using a grill pan, preheat it along with the grill). Once the grates are hot, brush them very clean.
- Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus by holding the stem end in one hand and gripping it near the base with the other. Briskly bend and the asparagus will naturally snap in the right place. Discard the stem ends.
- Place the asparagus spears on a baking sheet or serving platter. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the asparagus evenly.
- To grill: with tongs, place the asparagus across the grill grates so that the spears are perpendicular to the grates (or place them in an even layer in the pan or grill basket).
- Close the lid and grill for 6 to 10 minutes, turning the spears once or twice throughout so that they grill evenly.
- Transfer to a platter (I use the same one I used to drizzle the asparagus). Add any desired toppings and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
- *For grilling, I recommend thick asparagus spears, as the thin ones can burn quickly and fall through the grates more easily. If you only have thin asparagus, check out my recipe for Roasted Asparagus or grill the asparagus on a cast iron grill pan or grill basket; watch carefully as the thin spears will cook very quickly.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate asparagus in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F. Asparagus can also be reheated in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze asparagus in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Note that asparagus that has been frozen will be more mushy.
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