Here is a simple pan fried asparagus recipe that is perfect as a healthy side dish for any dinner table. Asparagus is an amazing spring vegetable full of flavor and nutrients, and this recipe is the best way to enjoy it.
Pan Seared Asparagus
Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in various ways, but pan-frying is a particularly tasty and easy way to enjoy it.
With just a few simple ingredients and some fresh asparagus, you can create a flavorful and healthy side dish that is sure to please.
One unique feature is that it can be enjoyed year-round, although it is most flavorful and budget-friendly during the asparagus season.
So if you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious vegetable to enjoy throughout the year, skillet asparagus is worth trying!
How to Tell if Asparagus is Fresh
Here are a few signs you can look for to ensure you have the freshest bundle of asparagus:
- Texture: Look for stalks that feel firm to the touch, and have a smooth texture. They should also be able to stand up straight. Avoid stalks that look limp or wilted. The tips should be tightly closed and compact without any signs of spreading or softness.
- Color: Fresh asparagus should have a rich green color. Avoid any stalks that look dull in color, as this indicates that they’re not fresh. Some tips may have dark green or purple highlights, which is normal.
- Size: ranging from small to large. While all sizes are flavorful, it’s important to choose a bundle with stalks that are uniform in length and thickness. This will make preparation easier and result in more consistent cooking.
When shopping for asparagus, remember that it’s best to purchase it during the spring when it’s in season.
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Pan Fried Asparagus Ingredients
- Fresh Asparagus: Fresh stalks should have a bright green color and firm texture and be free of blemishes or bruises.
- Butter: butter is used to fry the asparagus and adds a delicious flavor!
- Salt + Pepper and Minced Garlic: simple seasonings to bring out the best flavor in this recipe!
How to Pan Fry Asparagus On the Stove
This method is perfect for creating crispy, tender asparagus and is a great way to enhance its natural flavor. In this article,
1. Prepare the Asparagus
Before frying, asparagus should be washed and trimmed to remove the tough woody part. Here is how to prepare asparagus before pan frying it in a skillet:
- Cleaning: Start by washing a bunch of fresh asparagus spears. Rinse them well with cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Drying: After washing, dry the spears completely. Place them on a clean kitchen towel and gently pat them dry with another towel.
- Trimming: To trim, use the snapping method or a knife to trim them on a cutting board. The remaining stalks can be left whole or cut into smaller pieces.
The snapping method is considered the best way to trim asparagus. To start, take three to four spears and hold them loosely in your hand. Gradually bend the stems, allowing them to flex and slightly bend until they snap.
Spears naturally snap where the woody section ends and the juicy, tender part begins. The woody ends can be gathered for a compost pile or kept for making vegetable stock.
2. Prepare the Skillet
Get the cast iron skillet hot by heating it on the stove top over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Ensure the skillet is large enough to accommodate all the spears without overcrowding.
You can fry it in small batches if you do not have a large skillet.
Add butter or oil to the hot skillet and let it melt or heat up before adding the asparagus.
3. Add Asparagus to the Skillet
Add the asparagus to the skillet and stir well to coat with the butter or oil.
Then fry for 6-8 minutes, occasionally stirring until tender and crispy. Add salt, black pepper, and garlic and stir well.
4. Serving the Asparagus
Remove the asparagus from the skillet and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil or butter. Then transfer the cooked spears to a serving platter.
Garnish with a little bit of lemon zest to taste or grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Serve hot, and enjoy! This simple sautéed asparagus recipe is a delicious way to enjoy this tasty side dish that is sure to become your favorite way to eat asparagus.
How Long to Fry Asparagus
The time it takes to sauté asparagus depends on how thick the spears are and how hot the pan is. It takes 5 to 8 minutes to cook until tender and lightly browned. Thicker stalks may require a little extra cooking time.
Also, it’s important to note that the cooking time can differ if you use thin asparagus spears. If this is the case, closely monitoring them after the 3-minute mark is recommended.
Regardless of the thickness, it’s important to avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure they fry evenly. Make sure the spears are spread out in a single layer, with enough space between each.
How to Know if Asparagus is Fully Cooked
There are a few ways to tell if asparagus is fully cooked.
One way is to pierce the spear with a fork or a sharp knife. The asparagus is likely fully cooked if it goes through easily without much resistance.
Another way is to check the color – when fully cooked, it should be bright green with light browning or char on the tips. Overcooked asparagus will turn dull green or even yellowish.
While I think asparagus sautéed in garlic and butter is the best way to enjoy this vegetable, there are a few other options you can try:
- Lemon and Parmesan: Adding lemon and parmesan to your asparagus is a classic and tasty combination. This variation adds a fresh, tangy flavor to the vegetable. Sauté, asparagus in butter and garlic as usual, drizzle with fresh lemon juice and grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus: Everything is better with bacon; asparagus is no exception! This variation takes a bit more effort, but the result is tasty. Wrap each spear in a slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Sauté until the bacon is crispy and the asparagus is cooked through.
How to Store and Reheat
Knowing how to store and reheat pan fried asparagus with garlic correctly ensures that your leftovers are just as delicious. Here are some tips:
- Refrigerate: After pan-frying asparagus, allow it to cool before storing it. Place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- Reheating in a Pan: To reheat pan-fried asparagus, you can use a pan. Place it in a pan with a small amount of oil or butter and heat it over medium heat until it’s hot.
- Oven: Alternatively, you can reheat fried asparagus in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F, place in a baking dish, and cover it with foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
- Microwave: If you’re short on time, you can reheat asparagus in the microwave. Place in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 30-60 seconds or until heated.
What to Serve With Asparagus
You can serve this healthy asparagus recipe with any of your main dishes as a side dish. Here are a few of my favorite ones:
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Clean Asparagus
Rinse the asparagus under cool water. Gently dry using paper towels or a clean linen kitchen towel.
Seasoning for Asparagus
The best seasoning for asparagus is simple – salt, pepper, and minced garlic. But, if you are feeling adventurous, there are a variety of dry seasoning blends that you can use:
- Cajun Seasoning
- Ranch Seasoning
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Italian Seasoning
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning
What is the Best Type of Pan to Cook Asparagus in?
A cast-iron skillet is a great tool for cooking asparagus because it heats up quickly and evenly. A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet will provide a non-stick surface perfect for pan-fried asparagus.
Printable Recipe for Pan Fried Asparagus
This recipe is an easy way to make a quick side dish that is both healthy and delicious. You can sauté asparagus any time of the year, and it will always be a hit at the dinner table.
Try this simple recipe with your favorite main dish and enjoy the tasty, crisp asparagus that perfectly complements any meal.
- Fresh Asparagus: For this recipe, I used 3-4 pounds of asparagus
- Butter: 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
- Salt: 2 teaspoons
- Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
- Organic Minced Garlic: 1 tablespoon
Step 1: Wash and Trim Asparagus
Rinse the asparagus spears well in cold water and then trim the ends of the stalk by using the snapping method. Take three to four stalks of asparagus and hold them loosely in your hand. Bend the stems, allowing them to flex and gently bend until the asparagus snaps.
Step 2: Heat Cast Iron Pan
In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
Step 3: Add Asparagus and Cook
When the butter has melted, add the asparagus to the cast iron pan and cook until lightly browned and softened. Cook 5 to 10 minutes until asparagus is fork-tender stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Step 4: Season Asparagus
When the asparagus is almost finished cooking, add in the salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Adding garlic at the end of cooking will prevent burning and result in a better flavor. Asparagus is best served hot.
Tips For Cooking Pan Fried Asparagus
- Add Garlic at the End: Since garlic cooks very quickly, adding it at the end of coooking the asparagus will prevent the garlic from burning.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Asparagus will cook more evenly if they are not overcrowded.
What To Serve With Asparagus
You can serve this pan fried asparagus recipe as a side dish with any of your main dishes. Here are a few of my favorite ones: