Turning a bunch of asparagus into a crazy delicious—and super easy—side dish is almost fool-proof when you use this straight forward method for how to cook asparagus in the oven. You can scale it up or down depending on how much of this roasted asparagus recipe you want to serve, and serve it cut, long, or in small pieces to please your kids. Trust, me, this is one veggie that’s hard not to eat straight off the pan!
Easy Roasted Asparagus Recipe
When I learned how to cook asparagus in the oven, it was like a lightbulb went off. This method is so easy because all you do is to toss the asparagus with a little oil, sprinkle, with salt, and let the heat from the oven soften up the stalks. They even get a little sweet as they roast!
How to Cook Asparagus in the Oven Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at how this method of roasting asparagus works.
- Choose your bunch of asparagus. Thick and thin spears taste the same, but keep in mind that the super skinny ones cook really fast—so adjust the coking time if that’s what you find at the store. This recipe is meant for spears of a traditional thickness, but it’s easy to adjust as needed!
- Wash, pat dry, and snap off the ends. Usually, there’s an area of the ends that’s white/grayish and it naturally snaps off. So go to that area, start to snap, and it will break at just the right spot like magic!
- Line a baking sheet with foil. This makes clean up a breeze! (You can skip this step if you don’t mind washing your pan.) Place the asparagus on the baking sheet and toss with oil. Sprinkle with salt and spread into one even layer. You want air and steam to be able to escape from each spear, so try not to overlap them.
- Set the timer for the lower end of the time range in the recipe and test for doneness. I like to poke the point of a paring knife through the middle of a spear. If it slides in easily and the spears are bright green, they’re done! (You can also simply remove a spear from the pan, let it cool for a moment, and taste it.)
- You can serve the spears long—most kids like to pick them up and eat them that way—or slice into smaller rounds which may be easier to chew for younger eaters. Try this as a side or incorporated into a pasta or rice dish! Or with eggs!
How long do I bake asparagus in the oven?
The range for this recipe is 12-14 minutes, though it could be a little less or a little more (though it won’t be much more since it cooks quickly!) depending on the thickness of the asparagus. I like to start checking it at 12 minutes and if it’s not quite soft enough, return it to the oven in 2 minute increments.
What temperature is best for baking asparagus in the oven?
I cook asparagus in the oven at 375 degrees F, which is a little lower than the standard 400. I find this slightly lower temperature easier to control since there’s a little less likelihood that the asparagus will overcook and it ensures that the spears are tender all the way through without too much browning. (I’ve had more than one meal spoiled by roasted veggies that got too brown and looked unappetizing to my kiddo!)
Easy Asparagus Side Dish Recipe
Once you learn how to cook asparagus in the oven, you can turn to the method for any night when you need a simple side dish to go with family dinner. This roasted asparagus recipe pairs nicely with fish like salmon and shrimp, but is also delicious alongside burgers. Really, it’s very flexible!
Easy Oven-Roasted Asparagus
I make this roasted asparagus recipe a lot in the spring and we have it as a side as much as we have it in simple main dish dinners. So I like to toss it with buttered pasta or ravioli and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Or chop the roasted asparagus and fold it into scrambled eggs. Or add it to an array of taco fillings or put it on top of pizza. If you think your kids might be hesitant to try it, try sprinkling a little cheese on top right when it comes out of the oven and/or letting them pick up long spears. It’s a really fun way to eat their veggies!
How to Store Asparagus
For the freshest tasting asparagus, eat it within a day or two of bringing it home from the store. But when that isn’t possible, or to store it during that timeframe, store stems standing upright in a mason jar or vase like flowers. You just need an inch or two of water in the container. This keeps the stalks super fresh!Print
Try this simple oven-roasted asparagus method and serve up the spears as a simple side or meal component. I’m assuming medium asparagus with about a dime-size diameter here. If you have super skinny pencil-like asparagus (or skinnier!) reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Wash and pat dry the asparagus. Snap off the ends that are gray/white. Start to break the spears in that area of the stem and it will naturally break just where it’s supposed to. This removes the less tender part of the stalk.
- Place asparagus onto the prepared baking sheet and toss with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, adjusting the time down a few minutes if your asparagus is super skinny. (12-14 is usually perfect for classic medium thickness spears.) You can use a paring knife to poke into the center of a spear to make sure it’s nice and tender, or simply remove one from the pan and taste it!
- Serve warm as a side dish or tossed into pasta, ravioli, rice, or a salad.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Try adding leftover roasted asparagus to an adult salad or chop and fold into scrambled eggs.
As soon as you pull the pan from the oven, you can sprinkle with grated or shredded Parmesan or shredded cheddar. Roasted sunflower seeds and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice are also delicious toppings!