The best grilled asparagus with olive oil, lemon, and garlic. It's easy to make, healthy, and makes a perfect summer side dish.
Learn how to make perfectly grilled asparagus with any seasoning blend you like. This easy side dish goes with everything and the nutty, sweet flavor is so good. Throw them on the grill with some Grilled Balsamic Mushrooms or Grilled Cauliflower.
In my opinion, there is nothing better than cooking vegetables on the grill. It adds so much flavor and makes for super easy clean up since you can make your whole meal right on the grill. And grilles asparagus - it's amazing. The asparagus gets slightly charred and nutty. The sweetness comes out and you can make it so many different ways - garlic and Parmesan, balsamic, steak seasoning, almost anything works.
Plus it is quick and easy, Asparagus takes under 10 minutes on the grill and doesn't need any marinating or difficult prep. Grab some olive oil, a touch of vinegar or lemon juice, and some spices and you are ready to go.
Another thing I love about grilled asparagus is its versatility. Use it as a side dish, toss it in pasta salad, add it to a salad, use it as a fun twist on crudite with dip, add leftovers to a rice bowl, throw it in a scramble or quiche. Grilled asparagus works with everything.
How to pick asparagus
Making really good grilled asparagus starts with choosing the right asparagus. For the grill, medium sized asparagus are best. Small asparagus spears will fall through the grill grates and quickly overcook. 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 grilling
Once you have your asparagus spears, you want to get them ready for the grill. 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.
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 some 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 over the top 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, lime juice, or another acid.
- Flavor: 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.
- 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 in time since they cook quickly. However, it will come out delicious 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. Then 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.
Recipe Ideas for Grilled Asparagus
There are thousands of fun 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 with it 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 them with olive, salt, and pepper, The grab a bunch of 4-6 spears and wrap 1-2 pieces of bacon around the spears to create a bundle. Secure with a toothpick. Then grill for 4-5 minutes per side until bacon is crispy and asparagus is tender.
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 in the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes. Carefully open the packet and serve.
What to serve with grilled asparagus?
Easy Grilled Asparagus (How to Grill 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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* 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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