This grilled asparagus is easy to make, healthy, and makes the perfect summer side dish! Ready in just 10 minutes, this asparagus is delicious with grilled meats, salads, salmon, grain bowls, and more.
If you haven’t tried Grilled Asparagus, you don’t know what you’re missing. It's amazing! The asparagus gets slightly charred and nutty and the sweetness really comes out. Best of all, grilled asparagus can be made in so many different ways. Try it with garlic and Parmesan, balsamic dressing, steak seasoning, and more. I guarantee almost anything will work.
There is nothing better than cooking vegetables on the grill. It adds tons of flavor and makes for a super easy kitchen cleanup when you make your whole meal on the grill.
This tasty side dish goes with everything and the nutty, sweet flavor is absolutely delicious. Throw the asparagus on the grill with some Grilled Balsamic Mushrooms, Grilled Cauliflower Garlic Grilled Broccoli, or Grilled Cauliflower for a medley of grilled vegetables.
Why We Love Grilled Asparagus
Here are a few reasons why we enjoy eating grilled asparagus.
- Tasty: Grilled asparagus tastes fabulous. It's slightly smoky, has a great tender-crisp texture, and the most delicious crispy edges,
- Adaptable: There are so many ways to serve this tasty asparagus. Eat it as a side dish, toss it in grilled vegetable pasta salad, add it to a green salad, use it as a fun twist on crudites with hummus. Add it to a grain bowl, throw it in a quiche, or use it in scramble and frittata.
- Quick and easy: In less than 10 minutes you can have a tasty side dish ready to go. No fancy prep or marinating is required. No running from the kitchen to the grill.
Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Here are the ingredients you need to make this grilled asparagus recipe and a few alternatives.
- Asparagus: Choose medium-sized, uniform asparagus or use green or wax beans.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil works well but you can also use avocado oil
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice tastes the best but jarred is fine.
- Seasoning: Garlic powder, salt, and pepper add tons of flavor.
How To Pick Asparagus
Making really good grilled asparagus starts with choosing the right asparagus.
For the grill, medium-sized asparagus is the best. Small asparagus spears will fall through the grill grates and quickly overcook and large asparagus tend to be woody and fibrous.
The asparagus spears should be firm and bright green in color. A little bit of a violet tinge is also fine, but there shouldn't be any brown spots. Lastly, the tips should be compact and closed.
How To Prep Asparagus for the Grill
Once you have your asparagus spears, you want to get them ready for the grill.
1. Prep the Asparagus
Start by taking one spear in your hand and breaking it towards the bottom of the stem. There will be a natural spot where the asparagus spear snaps. Trim the remaining asparagus to a similar length. This removes the fibrous end that can sometimes be chewy or hard to eat.
2. Add Flavor
Next, you will want to add flavor. You'll want to focus on adding:
- Oil: Asparagus cooks best with a little bit of fat. For the grill, I like to add olive oil. Avocado oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, and other oils will also work. Butter tends to burn on the grill, so if you would like to use butter, wait and drizzle it after grilling.
- Acid: The slight sweetness of asparagus pairs great with acid. You can use vinegar or citrus for that additional flavor. Consider balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice.
- Seasoning: Last up, add some flavor. You can go simple and use salt and pepper or spice things up with grill seasoning, lemon pepper, Cajun seasoning, or any other spices or seasonings you like. Many people like to add garlic to asparagus. Fresh minced garlic or garlic powder both work.
Once your asparagus is flavored, there are a few options for cooking it.
How To Grill Asparagus
Here are a few ways you can make up a batch of grilled asparagus.
- Directly on the grill: Asparagus can be cooked directly on a hot grill. The only complication is that the asparagus may fall through the grill grates and it can be difficult to flip all the asparagus before they start to burn as they cook quickly. However, they will be deliciously cooked right on the grill. Using skewers can make this easier, see below.
- Skewered on the grill: One trick for making asparagus easier to grill is to put the asparagus on skewers. Lay the asparagus out and thread them on the skewer. When it is time to flip the asparagus, you can flip them all at the same time. One skewer will suffice, but two skewers threaded through the top and bottom of the stalk, make it incredibly easy to flip and cook.
- Grill basket: Grilling asparagus in a grill basket is another really easy way to cook them. Add them to the basket and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to char on one side. Shake the basket and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Foil: If you don't have a grill basket, you can also just create a simple foil basket. Grab some heavy-duty foil and fold up the edges. Add the asparagus in the center and place on the grill. Do not seal the foil, leave it open. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then shake the foil. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. You won't get quite as much char with this method as a grill basket, but it works in a pinch.
Seasoning Ideas for Grilled Asparagus
There are thousands of ways to make asparagus on the grill. Between herbs, spices, seasoning blends, cheese, and citrus, the combinations are endless. With that said, here are some of my favorites.
- Lemon and Feta: There is something extra special about grilling asparagus with fresh lemon and finishing it with feta cheese. One of my favorite combinations.
- Steak seasoning: The sweetness of the asparagus goes really well with the peppery notes in steak seasoning. Just toss with olive oil and steak seasoning before cooking.
- Balsamic vinegar: Another classic option is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss the asparagus before cooking and drizzle some on top before serving.
- Garlic Parmesan: Toss the asparagus with lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper before grilling. Then top with fresh Parmesan right when it comes off the grill.
- With bacon: Another popular option is wrapping the asparagus with bacon and then placing it on the grill. This works best with smaller asparagus. Start by seasoning the asparagus with olive, salt, and pepper. Then grab a bunch of 4-6 spears and wrap 1-2 pieces of bacon around them to create a bundle. Secure with a toothpick. Then grill for 4-5 minutes per side until the bacon is crispy and the asparagus is tender.
How To Store Leftover Asparagus
If you happen to have leftovers, here’s what to do with them.
- Fridge: Leftover grilled asparagus will keep for 3 days in the fridge though it may lose its crunchy texture.
- Freezer: You can freeze grilled asparagus for up to 3 months.
- Thaw: If you do freeze it, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
- Reheat: Reheat the asparagus in the oven or under the broiler to crisp it up.
How long to grill asparagus
One of the most common mistakes people make when grilling asparagus is to overcook it. Asparagus will take 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness. Start by cooking it on one side for 3-4 minutes and grill marks appear. Flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
The asparagus should remain bright green and be tender-crisp. It shouldn't be mushy or soggy. It should have some snap and bite.
Can I grill asparagus wrapped in foil?
If you prefer softer, steamed asparagus you can cook it right on the grill in a foil pouch. Start by laying out a piece of heavy-duty foil. Add the asparagus and season with oil and any seasoning you like.
Then seal the packet. Place directly on the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes. Carefully open the packet and serve.
What to serve with grilled asparagus?
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about cooking asparagus on the grill.
No, there is no need to boil asparagus before you grill it. It will cook completely in 8-10 minutes.
Whether or not you peel your asparagus before grilling is entirely up to you. Some people like to peel the outer layer off since it can be tougher to chew. Many people just trim the bottoms and skip peeling it.
Easy Grilled Asparagus
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- 1 lb asparagus
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
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Decide how you would like to grill it - directly on the grill, on skewers, or in a grill basket. Grill the asparagus for 3-4 minutes until it is just charred. Flip the asparagus (or shake the grill basket) and cook for 2-3 minutes more. For extra flavor, grill some lemons to squeeze over the asparagus when it comes off the grill.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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