Kick off grilling season with these smoky spears of tender Grilled Asparagus! It’s an effortless, healthy side dish with unlimited possibilities.
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Why You’ll Love this Simple Asparagus Recipe
- Hello, Spring! When asparagus season hits, take advantage while you can! Make Asparagus Soup, Asparagus Tart, and of course, fire up the grill to cook as much grilled asparagus as possible.
- The Char. As much as we love Roasted Asparagus and Air Fryer Asparagus, grilled veggies are special. They are touched by that tantalizing sensation of easy living and kiss of smoke that only the grill can impart Grilled Corn agrees).
- FAST. Grilled asparagus cook in 10 minutes or less.
- Healthy. Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook asparagus and will add nutritional value to your standard cookout fare.
- Easy. Season it simply with salt and pepper for a fast and simple side that can go with any of your other favorite grilled recipes.
- Versatile. Take your asparagus game to the next level by jazzing it up with an array of complementary flavors, spices, and/or herbs. Our go-to is Parmesan and lemon, just like Grilled Zucchini.
5 Star Review
“What a perfect spring side dish. The grilling process makes the asparagus so beautifully green and full of flavor.”— Vicki —
How to Grill Asparagus
- Asparagus. A truly delicious and nutritious veggie to grill and enjoy alongside any grilling recipe! It’s easy to prepare, kid-friendly, and pairs well with a multitude of seasonings and toppings.
- Olive Oil. Adds delicious flavor to the asparagus and helps keep it from burning.
- Seasonings of Choice. See below for a myriad of ideas!
- Trim the Asparagus. The woody end is too hard and fibrous to eat.
- Oil and Season. Be sure the asparagus has a nice coating so the tips don’t burn.
- Lay on the Grill. Place perpendicular to the grates to get nice char marks.
- Grill. Use medium-high heat, about 375°F to 400°F. Grill for 6 to 10 minutes over until fork tender.
- Serve. Grilled asparagus tastes great both warm and at room temperature.
Ways to Season Grilled Asparagus
What you put on grilled asparagus is up to you, but these are a few of our favorite ideas:
- Garlic. Toss the asparagus with 3 cloves of minced garlic prior to grilling, or sprinkle with garlic powder when adding your salt and pepper.
- Parmesan or Feta. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese over the top of your grilled asparagus.
- Lemon. Juice lemon halves over the top.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Herbs. Finish your grilled asparagus with a handful of chopped parsley, basil, or dill.
- Spicy. Sprinkle the grilled asparagus with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Fancy. Combine minced shallot, a squeeze of lemon juice, and oil. Spoon over the grilled asparagus.
- Nutty. Sprinkle your grilled asparagus with toasted almonds or pine nuts.
- Choose Your Own. Try a combination of a few of these to create your own flavor explosion.
- 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. I do not recommend freezing asparagus, as it will be mushy and stringy when thawed.
What to Serve with Grilled Asparagus
While I’ve been known to snack on copious amounts of grilled asparagus as a healthy snack, it’s also one of my very favorite side dish recipes to serve alongside countless other mains.
- Grilled Meats. Try a side of grilled asparagus with Grilled Chicken Thighs, Grilled Pork Chops, or Grilled Pork Tenderloin.
- Seafood. Enjoy with your favorite fresh catch of the day, like Grilled Salmon, Grilled Swordfish, or Grilled Cod.
- Salads. Let cool and cut into small pieces and enjoy added to this Steak Salad, Niçoise Salad, or Italian Chopped Salad.
- Appetizers. I know it will be a good party when I see grilled asparagus on a platter beside some homemade Roasted Red Peppers, Roasted Tomatoes, Grilled Eggplant, and Feta Dip at an event.
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.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- 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.
- 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.
- Dry Your Spears. Asparagus needs to be trimmed and washed before cooking. Be sure to pat it dry to ensure it crisps and caramelizes. If it is too wet, it may steam.
- Bend and Snap. 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. You can also trim off the end with a knife.
- Oil Up. Don’t be skimpy on the olive oil, as it is important to keep the tips from burning. Even with the oil, this simple grilled asparagus recipe 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.
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For The Grilled Asparagus:
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°F to 400°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.
- *INGREDIENT NOTE: 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°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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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You can line your grill grates with grill-safe foil or make a foil packet, similar to these Grilled Potatoes. If you’re using this post to learn how to make grilled asparagus on a gas grill, this trick may come in handy. If you prefer pan grilled asparagus, you don’t need to use foil.
It’s up to you. Soaking asparagus is a great way to clean a large batch of asparagus with minimal effort. Soaking loosens any dirt clinging to the spears or hiding under their fins. If you have a small batch to prepare, however, you can skip soaking so long as you thoroughly rinse each spear before preparing as directed.
While some recipes suggest blanching asparagus before grilling it (or parboiling it), I don’t find it to be a necessary step if you properly season the spears before cooking and manage your heat well.
Asparagus can quickly become soggy if it’s overcooked. To avoid this, keep a close eye on the asparagus spears during grilling to ensure you remove any pieces that finish early. Asparagus is cooked when it pierces easily with a fork.