Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Garlic
on Apr 19, 2023
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With less than 10 ingredients, this roasted Parmesan asparagus side dish is a simple way to cook this spring vegetable. It has lemon and garlic that enhance its lovely flavor. Asparagus is one of the first things to pop up at the grocery store and the farmers market that really signals the season change.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Asparagus spears take just 7 minutes to roast in a 425-degree F oven. It can’t get much quicker than that when you’re roasting vegetables.
The prep work is minimal too. You just whisk together the olive oil-lemon marinade and toss it with the asparagus right on the baking sheet. Then top it with a combination of panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and roast it in the oven. That’s it.
The additions of Parmesan, lemon, garlic and breadcrumbs all pair perfectly with the distinct taste of asparagus. That’s why I like this simple approach. As a rule whenever you roast any vegetable, you shouldn’t cover up its personality.
How To Store Fresh Asparagus
When I get home from shopping, I always put asparagus in a half inch to an inch of water in a container that allows the stalks to stand up straight. This keeps them hydrated. Either a vase or wide-mouthed jar both work well. Then I leave it out on my kitchen counter at room temperature and not in the refrigerator. Try to use it in 2 days, so it’s at its freshest.
Some people like to put a plastic bag over the asparagus in water and put it in the fridge to store it longer, but I strongly recommend cooking it sooner while it’s at its peak. If you see the spears start to grow taller, wrinkle or the crowns are opening up, you need to use it as soon as possible. These are signs it’s going bad.
How To Prep Asparagus
To prep asparagus to roast or cook for pretty much any recipe, you need to cut off the woody ends. The best way to do this is to line up a small group of stalks at the same time on your cutting board and use a sharp knife to trim off the bottom ends.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is what you need:
- Asparagus: The best bunches will have asparagus spears that are firm and straight. Avoid any that are wrinkled or soft. The tops should be tight and not open. If possible, it does help if the asparagus stalks are all about the same diameter because then they will roast in a similar amount of time.
- Parmesan is an Italian hard cow’s milk cheese that is practically a given with garlic and lemon. Pecorino is sheep’s milk cheese that would be a great option for a substitute that’s more salty and pungent.
- Garlic: To mince the garlic really fine to the point that it’s nearly a paste, I like to pull out my microplane to grate it. A garlic press would work too.
- Lemon: The recipe calls for the juice of one lemon.
- Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs. They are known for being extra crunchy. They come in white, whole-wheat and gluten-free varieties. Any of these are fine. Just avoid pre-seasoned breadcrumbs because you don’t want to overpower the asparagus.
- Salt & pepper: The lemon marinade is seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper. Then before I serve the roasted asparagus, I finish it with flaky sea salt.
How To Make Roasted Asparagus
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
1. Whisk together the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
2. Toss the asparagus in the marinade. You can do this right on the sheet pan because it will save you from having to wash another dish. Then spread out the asparagus spears into a single layer. Take advantage of all the space you have on the pan, so you don’t overcrowd the vegetables.
3. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a small bowl. Top the asparagus with this panko-cheese mixture. In the end you don’t need garnishes, because this toasted coating will do the job.
4. Roast the asparagus until it turns bright green. This will take about 7 minutes. Make sure not to cook it too long. You want it to retain some of its snap. Season with flaky sea salt before serving.
How To Serve Roasted Asparagus
A fast side with a short ingredient list is alway handy. Since this roasted parmesan asparagus recipe doesn’t involve much prep and the cook time is less than 10 minutes, it can be one of the last things you do when you are cooking dinner or another meal.
Here’s an example, you could roast it while the chicken or turkey you just pulled out of the oven or the steak you just grilled is resting.
Leftovers & Storage
I don’t bother trying to reheat roasted asparagus. It will never be as good as it was when you took it out of the oven. What I like to do is to roughly chop it and stir it into cooked grains along with leafy greens like arugula and make a hearty salad including a pasta salad.
Asparagus also pairs well with eggs. Try chopping it and adding it to a scramble, an omelet or a frittata with lots of fresh herbs.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container up to 3 days. Please know that the breadcrumbs will lose their crunch in the fridge.
Tips for The Best Roasted Asparagus
- Don’t overcook it! Err on the side of undercooked rather than overcooked when it comes to asparagus. You want it to be crisp and not mushy. When you leave it in the oven too long, it loses its signature snap.
- Use the freshest asparagus possible. With any recipe that doesn’t have many ingredients, there is nowhere for a vegetable that’s in less than stellar condition to hide. Don’t buy your asparagus too far in advance of when you’re going to cook and eat it, or it will compromise the flavor.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. If you are planning to roast more than the pound specified in the recipe, you will need to use a second sheet pan. It’s important to give the asparagus some space, so the stalks roast and caramelize a bit instead of just steaming each other.
When you roast it at 425 degrees F for 7 minutes, asparagus will cook quickly and still keep some of its crisp texture and bite and be tender in the middle.
If you overcook it, asparagus will turn out soggy. Also when roasting it in the oven, do not put too many spears on the pan. If you overcrowd them, they will steam instead of roast. Use another sheet pan if necessary.
The asparagus will turn bright green and some of the edges may be lightly browned. The texture should be crisp-tender.
More Asparagus Recipes
Roasted Asparagus Soup
Sesame Tofu Asparagus
Roasted Asparagus Potato Salad
Sheet Pan Mushroom Asparagus Gnocchi
Grilled Asparagus Tomato Salad
Grilled Asparagus Salad
Udon Noodle Stir-Fry with Asparagus, Mushrooms & Peas
Asparagus Salad with Cannellini Beans
Did you try roasting asparagus? Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!
Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound asparagus trimmed
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Flaky sea salt to serve
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
- On a baking sheet, toss the asparagus in the olive oil-lemon mixture. Then spread the asparagus spears in a single layer using the entire pan.
- In another bowl, stir together the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and scatter it over the asparagus.
- Roast the asparagus for 7 minutes until it turns bright green, but it is still crisp.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Originally published April 4, 2022. Updated: April 19, 2023.