Easy Oven-Roasted Asparagus Recipe

green baked asparagus
aga7ta / Getty Images
Total Time: 20 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Servings: 4 (about 5-6 spears per serving)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

53 calories
4g fat
4g carbs
2g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 (about 5-6 spears per serving)
Amount per serving  
Calories 53
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 2g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 2g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 230mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Roasting asparagus is a simple, quick, and delicious way to prepare this nutritious vegetable. This recipe requires little prep and fast cooking time. It's an ideal way to get a vegetable on the table during the week without a ton of fuss. In addition, to be easy, roasted asparagus yields a robust and delicious flavor. The high heat allows for the perfect char and crispiness, while the garlic and Parmesan add an extra layer of deliciousness.

Asparagus is naturally low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates and rich in fiber. It is a key source of inulin, a type of fiber that supports healthy gut bacteria. Asparagus is also rich in vitamin K and C, folate, and potassium. It exerts mild diuretic properties and has been associated with helping to reduce blood pressure. Whip some up tonight; you won't be disappointed.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus (about 1 bunch or 20 spears)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (you can substitute for fresh garlic)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme or herbs of choice
  • 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese (can use grated)

Preparation

In the Oven

  1. Heat oven to 400 F.

  2. Wash asparagus thoroughly and break off the tough ends. If the spears are thick you may need to peel them with a vegetable peeler.

  3. Place asparagus in a single layer on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Do not overcrowd the pan or layer them on top of one another; otherwise, they will not char properly.

  4. Drizzle the oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, herbs of choice, and Parmesan cheese.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes; the spears should be tender but still crisp. Depending on how thick your spears are and your oven, the cooking time may vary.

Variations and Substitutions

Substitute the Parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast, which has a pleasantly cheesy flavor and is rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast is also naturally low in sodium.

You can try other cheeses such as feta, blue cheese, or chevre. Also, try topping with toasted walnuts or pinenuts.

Garlic powder yields a stronger garlicky flavor for a smaller amount of garlic. If you'd prefer to have a less garlicky taste, substitute garlic powder for fresh chopped garlic. In this recipe, you can use 1-2 cloves.

Add some spice to these asparagus by adding chili powder or red pepper flakes.

Top with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges for a more refreshing and appealing look—the mixture of green and yellow is a beautifully presented side dish. A drizzle of balsamic reduction is also a delicious topping for asparagus.

Asparagus comes in white and purple, too. The white asparagus tend to have a milder flavor, while the purple variety has a nuttier flavor and turns green when cooking. White asparagus is more fibrous than green and should be cut more before cooking. These types of asparagus can be hard to find but can be available at Farmer's markets in the springtime when they are in season.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Try serving your asparagus with grilled steak, chicken, or fish.
  • Choose asparagus that is bright green and stands straight up. Avoid asparagus that is limp or those that have mushy tips.
  • Keep your asparagus bundle in a rubber band. Trim an inch off the bottoms of the stalks. Wrap the ends in a moist paper towel. Stand them in a small container of water (about 1 inch) and store them in the refrigerator.
  • The ends of asparagus are tough and woody. If you are not sure where to trim them, you can bend the asparagus. You'll notice that the asparagus will naturally snap where the tough end begins. This will give you a good reference for where to cut the rest.

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Article Sources
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  1. Hoving LR, Katiraei S, Pronk A, et al. The prebiotic inulin modulates gut microbiota but does not ameliorate atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic APOE*3-Leiden.CETP mice. Scientific Reports. 2018;8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-34970-y

  2. Guo Q, Wang N, Liu H, Li Z, Lu L, Wang C. The bioactive compounds and biological functions of Asparagus officinalis L. – A review. Journal of Functional Foods. 2020;65:103727. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2019.103727