Sautéed Asparagus

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Need a side dish on the table in a flash? Sautéed asparagus is ready in minutes! Add your favorite seasonings and pair it with tonight’s main dish.

Asparagus is one of my favorite signs of spring. Depending on where you live it might pop up as early as February or as late as June, but it feels like spring all the same.

I love to grab a bundle when I’m out shopping even if I don’t know what to do with it. 

That’s OK because there are so many easy asparagus recipes out there, from bacon-wrapped asparagus to quinoa primavera.

white dish with sauteed asparagus

This sautéed asparagus might be the easiest of them all! With minimal ingredients and cook time, the fresh flavor shines through.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Great intro to asparagus – If you’ve never tried fresh asparagus, this is a wonderful recipe to get started with. 

Quick cook time This recipe only takes about 5 minutes to cook, which means you can throw it together in a flash any time you need a last-minute side dish.

Minimal ingredients – Sautéed asparagus is all flavor, no fuss! 

Great for entertaining – Anyone who has been to a fine dining restaurant knows how elegant asparagus can look on the plate. It always looks great alongside a steak or chopped and tossed with pasta.

Choosing asparagus

Asparagus comes in a variety of colors, but you’ll most likely only have green available at your supermarket.

You’ll notice thin stalks and thick stalks. Younger plants produce the thinner stalks, while more mature plants grow thick stalks. 

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to the stalk thickness, (I prefer thin asparagus) but a good rule of thumb when choosing asparagus is to consider the cooking method.

For roasting or grilling asparagus, thicker stalks are best as they will be able to handle the high heat.

For quick cooking like steaming or sautéing, choose thin stalks.

platter of sauteed asparagus

How to saute asparagus

To prepare the asparagus, begin by trimming off any woody ends. These tough ends are extremely fibrous and not pleasant to eat.

Each stalk has a different point where the woody end begins, so while you can simply trim off the bottom inch of the entire bunch, it’s best to do each individually.

You can do this easily by bending the end of the asparagus stalk. It will naturally break off the woody end, which you can then compost or save for soup stock.

Place a few asparagus spears in a large skillet or sauté pan to make sure they will fit. If needed, cut the spears in half to ensure the ends will not extend out of the pan.

Set the spears aside and add olive oil to the sauté pan. Heat over medium-high, swirling the pan so the oil coats the bottom.

Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the asparagus and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using tongs, toss asparagus to coat.

Cook for 3-5 minutes, until asparagus is a vibrant bright green and crisp tender. Add seasoning as desired and serve.

Recipe variations

Want to add more to your sautéed asparagus? Try some of these options.

  • Add a pat of butter and minced garlic in the last minute of cooking.
  • Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or grated lemon zest.
  • Sprinkle on shaved parmesan cheese just before serving.
  • Toss with your favorite fresh herbs.
  • Add a pinch of crushed red chile flakes.
  • Mix in chopped walnuts or slivered almonds.
sauteed asparagus in serving bowl

This sautéed asparagus recipe is a great way to get more vegetables on the dinner table and try something different! You’ll love having this simple recipe in your back pocket.

white dish with sauteed asparagus

Sautéed Asparagus

Need a side dish on the table in a flash? Sautéed asparagus is ready in minutes! Add your favorite seasonings and pair it with tonight’s main dish.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 54 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Trim the woody ends from the asparagus stalks. If needed, cut stalks in half to fit your pan.
  • Heat saute pan over medium-high and add olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is heated and shimmering, add the asparagus and a pinch of salt and pepper. Use tongs to toss together, then cook 3-5 minutes, tossing often, until asparagus is crisp tender and bright green. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 54 kcalCarbohydrates: 4 gProtein: 2 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 2 mgPotassium: 229 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 2 gIron: 2 mg
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