Parmesan roasted asparagus on a plate.

April 4, 2022

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Garlic

Ready in less than 15 minutes, this roasted asparagus with Parmesan, garlic and lemon is a quick and easy side dish that’s topped with toasted panko breadcrumbs.

Ready in less than 15 minutes, this roasted asparagus with Parmesan, garlic and lemon is a quick and easy side dish that’s topped with toasted panko breadcrumbs.

Parmesan roasted asparagus on a plate.

No vegetable quite says spring like asparagus. It’s one of the first things to pop up at the grocery store and the farmers market that really signals the season change. Asparagus is anything but shy about its big farewell to winter and enthusiastic hello to all things lush and green.

And that’s why I like to keep my approach simple when I make this roasted asparagus with Parmesan, garlic and lemon. As a rule when you bake any vegetable, you shouldn’t hide its taste and personality.

What I don’t want to do is to cover up the flavor of the asparagus. Instead, I use other ingredients that will only enhance it and celebrate it.

The prep for this side dish is so minimal that it’s tough to even consider it active work time. 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 cheese and roast is in the oven. That’s it.

Bunches of asparagus in rows.

Storing & Preparing 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.

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 slice off the ends.

Ingredients including asparagus, lemon, garlic and panko breadcrumbs

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 are all around 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.
Whisk together the olive oil-lemon marinade in a bowl. Toss teh asparagus on the sheet pan in the marinade.
Combine the panko breadcrumbs ans Parmesan in a bowl. Sprinkle the asparagus on the sheet pan with the mixture.

How To Make Roasted Asparagus

  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 stalks 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 cheese 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 8 minutes. Make sure not to cook it too long. You want it to retain some of its snap.
  5. Season with flaky sea salt before serving.
Parmesan roasted asparagus on a plate.

Oven Roasted Parmesan Asparagus Is The Perfect Side Dish

It doesn’t get much better than a fast side with a short ingredient list. Since this baked 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

I don’t bother trying to reheat roasted asparagus. It will never be as good as it was when you pulled 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. You could even add it to pasta too.

Asparagus also pairs well with eggs. Try chopping it and including it in 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 note that the breadcrumbs will lose their crunch in the fridge.

Roasted asparagus with parmesan and garlic on a plate.

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.

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

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Parmesan roasted asparagus on a plate.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Garlic

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Ready in less than 15 minutes, this roasted asparagus with Parmesan, garlic and lemon is a quick and easy side dish that’s topped with toasted panko breadcrumbs.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. 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.
  4. In another bowl, stir together the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and scatter it over the asparagus.
  5. Roast the asparagus for 8 minutes until it turns bright green, but it is still crisp.
  6. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 105
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fat: 5.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Protein: 5.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 3.6 mg

Keywords: roasted asparagus, parmesan asparagus

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