Now that we know a deep bench of health benefits from eating asparagus, whether planning upcoming holiday meal side dishes or just great choices for any weeknight, try these easy, crowd-pleasing recipes for these stalks fo wonder!
There are countless ways to add some more asparagus to your regular diet, so why not start with some of these recipes?
1. Pesto Shrimp Asparagus Pasta
Made with the freshest ingredients, this pasta recipe will be a great choice for your next family dinner.
First, you want to make your pesto. Toast a half cup of pine nuts in a pan over medium heat. They can burn quickly, so keep an eye on them, turning them frequently. Transfer the toasted pine nuts to a food processor, adding 2 ounces of fresh basil, a half cup of grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup of olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper. Blend until you can use it as a sauce or spread, not completely smooth, as you still want a little bit of a chunky consistency.
Cook 10 ounces of pasta (your choice). While your pasta is cooking, toss a little bit of your pesto in an oiled pan with ¾ pound of shrimp (with shells and veins removed) until they are coated. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes, until they are pink and firm.
Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Oil the pan again and add a pound of trimmed asparagus. Cook for about two minutes, until tender, and add a cup of heavy cream, bringing it to a boil. Stir in your remaining pesto and remove from heat. Combine shrimp and pasta with the asparagus-pesto mix, adding a cup of halved cherry tomatoes and ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese.
2. Panko Parmesan Crusted Asparagus
Why snack on fattening French fries when you can enjoy these guilt-free asparagus spears.
Preheat your boiler, and move your oven rack up, making sure it is about 6 inches from the heat source. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. Prep about 14 asparagus spears by cutting off the tough ends (about an inch).
In a bowl (large enough for your asparagus spears to dip into), whisk together one egg, 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs.
Dip the asparagus spears into the eggs mixture, making sure they are coated, then coat them with the bread crumb mixture. Line your breaded spears on your greased baking pan and spray with olive oil. Broil for about 8 minutes, until golden.
Serve as a snack or side with lemon wedges to squeeze over the top.
3. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Chickpeas, Asparagus, and Arugula
Full of protein, fiber, and an abundance of vitamins, these stuffed potatoes are a great addition to any healthy diet.
Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Scrub 4 large sweet potatoes and prick them with a fork all over. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes to an hour, until they are tender enough to be cut open.
While your potatoes are cooling, open a can of chickpeas and spread them out over a paper towel, patting the tops dry. Transfer them to a baking sheet, drizzling olive oil and sprinkling with ½ teaspoon each of salt, chili powder, and cumin. Roast the chickpeas in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Once you remove your chickpeas from the oven, line a baking sheet with ½ pound of trimmed asparagus spears, seasoning with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, until tender, then remove from the oven and set aside.
In a bowl, you are going to make your dressing: mix together 2 tablespoons of tahini paste, lemon juice, and water, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, and a ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Slice the sweet potatoes open lengthwise, and push the ends together to open them up (should look slightly like a boat). Drizzle a bit of the dressing inside each potato (about 1 tablespoon), and stuff each evenly with fresh arugula, chickpeas, and asparagus. Drizzle the remaining dressing over each.
They can be eaten either as a side or a meal on their own.
4. Asparagus Caprese Salad
Mix up your usual Caprese salad by adding some asparagus with this recipe.
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add a pound of trimmed asparagus and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
In the meantime, combine 2 tablespoons of minced fresh basil and parsley, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and a clove of minced garlic. Mix and set aside.
Remove your asparagus from the pot, draining the excess water and rinsing with cold water before patting dry. Place your asparagus in a large bowl, and add a cup of halved cherry tomatoes, 8 ounces of mozzarella balls, and your basil mixture.
Toss together with salt and pepper, and serve chilled or warm.
5. Avocado Pasta with Asparagus
With the creamy goodness of avocado and the freshness of woody asparagus, this pasta recipe is sure to be a favorite.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 8 ounces of pasta (your choice). Right before the pasta is finished, add a pound of asparagus (chopped into 1-inch pieces) and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain your pasta and asparagus, saving about a cup of pasta water.
In a food processor, combine a medium-sized avocado (pitted), a clove of garlic (peeled), ¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt, ¼ cup each of fresh garlic and basil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add ¼ cup of thinly sliced green onion. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes then add two cups of fresh arugula and a cup of frozen peas, cooking for about another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pasta and asparagus. Pour over the avocado sauce, tossing gently and adding a bit of the saved pasta water if everything starts to clump together.
Garnish with fresh parsley and basil, and serve warm.
6. Mushroom Leek Asparagus Quiche
Bring some asparagus to your brunch with this quiche recipe.
For this recipe, you are welcome to make your own crust, or you may use a premade, chilled crust to save time.
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, in an oiled or buttered pan, cook a cup of sliced leek (white or light green part only) until it is tender. Add 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms (your choice) at this time, and cook until the mushrooms are golden in color. Remove from heat and set aside.
Steam 8 ounces of trimmed asparagus for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 4 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese and 2 tablespoons of flour, tossing the cheese until it is coated. Transfer the cheese to your pie shell, and top with your mushroom and leek mixture, seasoning with salt and pepper.
In another bowl, beat 3 large eggs with ¾ cup of half and half, 1 tablespoon of fresh dill, and some hot sauce (to your preferred taste), and pour the mixture into your pie crust, over the leeks, mushrooms, and cheese. Add your asparagus, and place in your preheated oven. Allow to cook for about 30 minutes, then lower the heat and allow to cook for another 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is golden in color and filling has set up.
7. Black Pepper Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry
Add a bit of Asian flair to your asparagus with this stir fry recipe.
Dice 3 large chicken breasts, and season with cracked black pepper and a teaspoon of garlic powder. Set aside, and make your sauce in a pan, mixing together 4 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 8 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 ½ teaspoons of cornstarch. Once the cornstarch is completely incorporated, add 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper.
Place your pan on your stove top and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat and set aside, allowing the sauce to thicken as it cools.
In a wok, over high heat, drizzle some sesame oil, and once the oil is heated, add diced asparagus (about a bundle’s-worth). Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, then remove from the wok and set aside.
Heat some more sesame oil in your pan and cook your chicken in about 2 to 3 batches, adding sesame oil in between.
Once your chicken is cooked through, turn the heat down to medium-high, and add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic. After about 30 seconds, add your asparagus and about half of your sauce, stirring everything together as it cooks just long enough for everything to be well incorporated and heated through.
Serve over rice or noodles, and top with remaining sauce as desired.
8. Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Soup
There is nothing better on a cool autumn day than a cup of heartwarming soup, and this recipe is sure to hit the spot.
Preheat your oven to 450°F, and line a baking sheet with foil. Trim about 2 pounds of asparagus and smash 10 cloves of garlic, then toss both with olive oil, salt, and pepper, ensuring they are fully coated. Transfer to you baking dish, arranging the asparagus and garlic in a single layer, and roast in your preheated oven for about 12 minutes (until asparagus is soft), stirring halfway through.
Remove the asparagus and garlic form the oven and place in a blender, adding 3 cups of vegetable broth and 1 cup of milk. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a pot.
Heat your soup over medium-high heat, adding broth as needed to thin it out. Season with salt and pepper to your preferred taste.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.