Perfect Roasted Asparagus

Or as my 4-year old likes to call it, Spa-garagus. I think he secretly wishes we were eating spaghetti everytime spa-garagus lands on the menu.

Asparagus is the quintessential spring vegetable and I happen to be a lover of the tender, green stalk. One of my favorite ways to prepare it is to simply roast it in the oven. Brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with coarse salt and black pepper and baked for hardly any time at all, this dish is a breeze and can be altered to your liking. Sprinkled with Parmesan cheese? Delicious. Served with lemon wedges? Wonderful. Drizzled with balsamic vinegar? Divine.

I hope spa-garagus makes it to your table this spring. My son will be glad it’s your table and not ours (although I’ll be a mite jealous).

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Perfect Roasted Asparagus

Yield: Serves about 4

Perfect Roasted Asparagus


  • 1 pound asparagus spears (the thicker the better for roasting)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher/Coarse salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, gently break off the lower ends of the asparagus. This is the tough part that isn’t so great for eating. The asparagus should break naturally when you bend the asparagus about 1-2 inches up the stalk. Discard the lower, tough portion.
  2. Lay the asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil. Using your fingers, gently roll the asparagus to evenly coat with the oil. Sprinkle the asparagus with salt and pepper. Again, lightly roll the asparagus so the salt and pepper gets evenly distributed.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, checking often the last one to two minutes of baking, until the asparagus is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe

46 Responses to Roasted Asparagus

  1. chrissy says:

    OMG, love asparagus… roasting it is the best!… why is it that kids aren’t thrilled by it?? do they think the spears will attack? so far i have been using your recipes and i am quite happy!. thanks

  2. Cammee says:

    I’ve never roasted my asparagus. It’s on the menu today so I’m going to roast it right up!

  3. I am getting excited for asparagus… I can’t wait until we can pick it here!

  4. Lisa says:

    LOVE Asparagus and I cook it just that way. 🙂

    Hope your weekend has been wonderful!


  5. Scoggdog says:

    Roasting asparagus is also my favorite way to enjoy it. Your recipe/method and mine look about the same, but I bump the temp up to 425 and I find the “tips” get a bit more crispy (perhaps its just my oven).

    Have you ever tried roasting the “white” asparagus? I never have.

  6. Shonni says:

    I love my asparagus this way! When it comes out of the oven, I also like to sprinkle on some tarragon.

  7. My husband’s grandmother has an asparagus bed that we raid every spring. He and I were just saying the other day that it’s almost “asparagus time.” We eat roasted asparagus every chance we have in the spring, when it’s fresh from Mamaw’s garden, because we’re too tight to buy it in the store. Who knew a vegetable could be so good?!

  8. Crystal says:

    I love it too! I loved with all of your ingredient and garlic. Delish!

  9. Cyndi says:

    Wow- perfect timing for me to get this post on my google reader! I just bought, for the first time ever, a bunch of asparagus. We were going to have it for dinner tonight with some grilled chicken, and I thought about doing it on the panini. Your method looks a lot easier and most likely will be tastier – I love roasted veggies of all kinds!

  10. Bonnie says:

    WE love asparagus -I have never baked it though, I will be trying this this coming week for sure 🙂

    My 6 year old ds calls it “aspare-kiss”

  11. Amanda says:

    Mmm I love asparagus! I do this except I also add some freshly shredded Parmesan cheese on top too!!

  12. Lauren says:

    YUM- sounds good! I usually just saute it in butter, s&p, but I’m gonna try it this way with the asparagus I have planned for this week. We grew it at our old house- so much better than the store-bought stuff- I miss it! My kids also don’t love it- but at our house it’s called “spare-grass”. Hubby tries to convince daughter to eat it by telling her it’s fairy wands- it doesn’t work! PS we loved the sticky coconut chicken!

  13. grace says:

    great method, melanie. i’m getting a kick out of reading the previous comments and the funny names kids call this potent veggie. the fairy wand idea is pretty brilliant! i personally call it pee perfume; sorry if that’s unladylike. 🙂

  14. JJ says:

    There are only 2 ways I ever cook asparagus & that’s roasting or grilling. My 4 year old loved it when she was a toddler but now I can barely get her to eat any veggies other then carrots or broccali.

  15. Candace says:

    I loved grilled asparagus. Last year on a package of asparagus from Costco, they gave a recipe almost exactly like this, except after you broi/grilll the asparagus, you drizzle some balsamic vinegar on it. It was delicious and very unique with the vinegar. I think my kids would prefer it like your recipe though. 🙂

  16. Stacie D. says:

    I recently discovered roasted asparagus and I agree that it is the way to go! Try Melissa d’Arabian’s (Food Network) Lemon Viniagrette on top. We love it!

  17. Alicia says:

    It is even better if you sprinkle parmesean cheese on top after it comes out of the oven. Mmmmm…….

  18. Mel says:

    Scoggdog – nope, never tried the white asparagus. I’ll have to, though. Sounds interesting and different (although the white variety is a bit harder to find where I live).

  19. Erin says:

    I just love following your recipe blog! I enjoying checking it a few times a week, and have tried many of your recipes! Keep them coming:)

  20. amanda says:

    I am so glad you posted this. I roast veggies almost daily, but have been having trouble with asparagus turning into shriveled little weaklings. It didn’t even cross my mind to use the thicker asparagus! They turned out perfect for dinner last night!

  21. Marisa says:

    Tried this last night for dinner and loved it! I am not a big asparagus fan but this turned out perfect and was quite yummy.

  22. Smirking says:

    I’ve only eaten asparagus a couple of times before. Your post inspired me to try making it myself for the first time. It turned out great! Thanks for sharing this great (and easy) recipe!

  23. Mel says:

    amanda – glad you liked this…thanks!

    Marisa – I’m glad that for a non-asparagus fan, you still liked these! Thanks!

  24. Mel says:

    Smirking – yay! So glad it worked out great.

  25. idahomichele says:

    simple- delicious and my kids swear that this is the best way to eat asparagus! We agree.

  26. Danielle says:

    We had this with our Easter dinner. It was so yummy. I loved that it still had a bit of crunch to it. My husband, who merely tolerates my love for asparagus, LOVED it. YAY!

  27. Mel says:

    Danielle – I agree that asparagus is better with a bit of crunch and not a soggy mess. Glad you liked this (especially glad your husband loved it!).

  28. Leah F says:

    I’ve been browsing because I just found your site through SortaCrunchy. I love roasting asparagus this way and am excited because my MIL called and left me a message that someone had given her fresh asparagus from their garden and to come get it (I’m the only one she knows in the family that will use/eat it)! YAY for me!

  29. Veronica M. says:

    Yummy! Thanks for helping me with a healthy side-dish! I like asparagus any way I can get it (I was munching it raw while preparing dinner) but I prefer this to steaming b/c it still has a fresh crunch to it. Next time I’ll try not to oversalt it!

  30. Michelle says:

    Mmm. This is also my favorite way to prepare asparagus. I’ve got to get to the farmers’ market and pick some up asap.

  31. Mel says:

    Leah – thanks for your comment! How fun that you get some fresh (free!) asparagus. Can’t beat that!

    Veronica – glad you liked this – I, too, like the bit of crunch left in the asparagus after cooking it this way.

  32. Jessica P. says:

    I have been a follower of your blog for awhile but this is the first time I’ve commented. I made this while on vacation with my ultra picky/organic mother and nieces/nephew who also derive from an organic mother. We made it with the spaghetti and this was a total hit. My mom indicated that she wants to cook her asparagus this way from now on. My nieces and nephew had more of this than the spaghetti. Thanks so much for all your great recipes!

  33. Stacey says:

    I LOVE asparagus but have never roasted it. We did it last night and it was delicious!!! My 4 yr old LOVES it as well. Well how many 4 yr olds do you know that you have to make them stop eating their vegetables LOL. The only different thing was I put on Garlic Salt. It was so good I texted my dad (who loves it too) and told him all about it. Then I had to call my sister! Thanks for your amazing recipes. I think I have over 20 that are on my menu to try this next few weeks!

  34. ruth says:

    I hadn’t tried sparagus until a few yrs back my friend roasted them with olive oil salt and a minced garlic clove, it was delicious! I love when they’re crunchy!

  35. Stacy says:

    I am not a fan of asparagus, however, I know they are healthy for me, so when I saw them on sale today I bought them. Then I came home and thought, now what on earth am I going to do with these! Well, I was on here using your hasselback potato recipe, so I just did a quick search and came up with this recipe. This was so good! I really LOVED asparagus! I’ll be using this one often!

  36. Brittany says:

    Love roasted asparagus! Another delicious addition? Toss in some dried rosemary in addition to the salt and pepper. Yum!

  37. Kat says:

    “Perfect” is just the right word to describe this side dish. Who knew something so simple could be so scrumptious! I’ve never enjoyed eating asparagus so much before. Thanks for the instructions! (Oh, and the tip on breaking off the asparagus where it naturally snaps. So helpful!)

  38. Multimeg says:

    Yep. It’s perfect. Astounded our Easter guests today with these babies, and grilled sweet potatoes to go with our spiral sliced ham. ASTOUNDED! Thank you!

  39. Shannon says:

    My sister who doesn’t really like asparagus confessed that she quite liked the way this was prepared. I am so glad asparagus is in season right now because we are loving it!

  40. Melissa says:

    We use Sesame Seed oil with our asparagus. It’s amazing!

  41. shellice maraccini says:

    I have a question Mel…
    Do you know of an easy way to roast asparagus on the grille? I have always used the oven but it is unusually warm right now and would love to not heat up the kitchen.
    This is the best way to make asparagus. After removing the tough ends I use a peeler and peel the skin off of the bottom (2-3 inches) to keep it from being stringy. I love me some Spa-garagus!

    • Mel says:

      Shellice Maraccini – Thank you for the tip on shaving the ends of the asparagus. I’ve never grilled asparagus so I’m afraid I’m not much help but maybe if you did a quick google search you could turn up something. Good luck.

      • Shellice M says:

        Hey Mel,
        I tried to do a google search but got impatient after not finding it by page 2 so I improvised. I just lined the top rack of my grill with foil and put my spa-garagus and bell peppers on it. Cooked my meat and veggies with the lid closed and Walla! Success. ♡ thanks so much for always replying to my posts. You are kind of awesome. Ok. You are really awesome. Have a great weekend.

  42. Layne says:

    Pleasently happy when my husband turned to me and said how good it was. Thank you!

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