I get so excited for asparagus season every year! Not only are they way less expensive when in season, but they’re also just so much more delicious. And because the price is just so inflated the rest of the year, I pretty much save all my asparagus eating for the spring, when they’re in season. This simple method for Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is one of the easiest ways to prepare asparagus and it’s so scrumptious that I could just about eat the entire bunch myself. Consider that a fair warning. ;)
Why I Love Roasted Asparagus
There are several ways to cook asparagus, but roasting takes first prize for me. Roasting kind of concentrates the flavor, so you get a much more deep, savory flavor than lighter cooking methods like steaming or sautéing. The edges get a little brown and crispy, which gives them so much wonderful texture. They’re just a delight to eat.
When is Asparagus Season?
As I mentioned in the introduction, asparagus is definitely one of those vegetables that you want to buy in season to get the best price and flavor. Asparagus are in season during the spring months, or from late February to early June, depending on where you live.
How to Pick Good Asparagus
Avoid choosing asparagus that aren’t kept moist at the grocery store. Check the cut ends to make sure they’re not dry (even better if they’re displayed with cut ends in water), and make sure the asparagus itself is crisp and not soft or rubbery. The flowering end should be tightly closed to the stalk.
What to Serve with Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus
Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus are a classic, simple side dish for roasted or grilled meats. These asparagus would go great with Lemon Pepper Chicken, Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin, Honey Mustard Pork Chops, or Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions. You might also want to make some Hollandaise Sauce to drizzle over these delicious asparagus!
Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus
- 1 bunch asparagus (1 lb.) ($1.88)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
- 1/8 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
- 1 fresh lemon ($0.89)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the asparagus well, then trim off the dry or woody end of the stem (usually about one inch needs to be removed from the ends). Mince two cloves of garlic.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired. Place the trimmed asparagus on the baking sheet along with the minced garlic. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus until they are coated in garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.
- Transfer the asparagus to the preheated 400ºF oven and roast for 20 minutes or until they have browned to your liking (roasting time may vary depending on the girth of your asparagus). Stir once halfway through roasting.
- While the asparagus are cooking, zest the lemon using the fine side of a box grater or a small-holed cheese grater. You'll need about 1 tsp zest. After zesting, cut the lemon into wedges.
- Once the asparagus are roasted, add the lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon as desired. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.
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How to Make Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse one bunch of asparagus (about 1 lb.), then trim off the dry woody ends. Sometimes I leave the rubber bands on while trimming to make it a bit easier. Mince two cloves of garlic.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if you prefer easy cleanup. Add the trimmed asparagus to the baking sheet along with the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and about 1/8 tsp salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus until they’re coated in oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the oven to roast.
While the asparagus is roasting, zest one lemon. You’ll need about 1 tsp lemon zest. After zesting, cut the lemon into wedges.
Roast the asparagus for about 20 minutes, or until they are browned to your liking (roasting time may vary depending on the girth of your asparagus). Stir the asparagus about halfway through roasting. Once roasted, add the lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Toss the asparagus to coat in lemon. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon to your liking.
Serve the roasted asparagus with the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy! And try not to eat the entire batch yourself…
I made this dish with part of the dinner for my husband for Valentine’s day and he loved it. I was surprised when he took the lemon wedge and squeezed it on his asparagus. He enjoyed it and packed it for lunch the next day. My problem was my own: I overcooked them and they wilted but were delicious. Next time I will know better.
Hi, thanks for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it!
I’m a little surprised because you don’t peel the asparagus.
I’ve never roasted asparagus, but every time I cooked them in water, I was told to peel them. Is it not necessary when roasting?
I’ve never peeled my asparagus, no matter the cooking method. :) I suppose if you have some asparagus that are super woody or fibrous toward the end you might benefit from peeling, but in general, I don’t think it’s necessary.
This recipe is for the tender green asparagus that are found in North America. I’ve only seen the asparagus that need to be peeled in Germany. These are white asparagus that are have a tougher skin that should be peeled first.
It seems like 20 minutes at 400 degrees is going to end up with limp mushy asparagus. Are you sure this is right?
That was the time and temperature that worked well for me, but you’ll always need to keep in mind that ovens do vary and cooking time can also vary depending on the girth of your asparagus.
what is a mustard vinaigrette?
I love roasted asparagus with a good mustard sauce. I think I’ll try it with your Honey Mustard Sauce minus the honey. Another thing I might try is using your mustard vinaigrette instead of the olive oil? What do you think?
Ooooh, all of those are excellent ideas! I especially love the idea of roasting them in the mustard vinaigrette. I know from experience that they’re great in a balsamic vinaigrette, so I bet a mustard one would work just as well.