You can make this elegant Sauteed Garlic Asparagus with the perfect amount of crunch and flavor. Crispy, buttery, and easy, this recipe only takes 15 minutes!
Table Of Contents
This Sauteed Garlic Asparagus recipe had been my “go-to” side for years. It’s super simple, healthy, and quick, and I just love the flavor.
- TASTE: With the strong, earthy flavor of asparagus combined with butter, salt, and garlic, you have a flavorful dish that pairs well with everything.
- TEXTURE: Blanching the asparagus keeps them from overcooking so you have perfectly tender spears that are also crispy.
- TIME: It’s a very quick and easy side – ready in less than 20 minutes.
- EASE: This recipe couldn’t be simpler. Follow the instructions for perfect sauteed asparagus every time.
What You’ll Need
- Asparagus- Look for asparagus spears that are firm and plump for the best flavor. Their color should not look faded and the tips should be tightly closed.
- Garlic- Fresh cloves that you mince yourself will give the best flavor and aroma. Garlic powder won’t work here.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Add Parmesan cheese- The nutty, salty flavor of this cheese is a great addition to the dish. Toss the spears in cheese before serving.
- Add bacon- You can add bacon pieces or wrap the asparagus in bacon and bake them. Either way, this savory ingredient makes a yummy add-in.
- Add herbs- Try this recipe with fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, marjoram, dill, or oregano so it will complement the main course you’re serving.
How to Make Sauteed Garlic Asparagus
- Prepare the asparagus spears. Rinse the asparagus with cold water, then snap off the bottom of each asparagus spear and discard the ends.
Pro Tip: When you’re taking off the ends, I usually cut off about 1-2 inches. Use a sharp knife to make a clean cut in this fibrous vegetable.
- Blanch. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the asparagus for about 2 minutes. Then pour the hot water out, draining them in a colander.
- Saute the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in 2 minced garlic cloves for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the asparagus. Add the blanched asparagus to the skillet and cook until tender. Only saute for a few minutes to avoid overcooking. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and then serve.
- Cut of the tops and bottoms off the spears- Discard the bottoms and the stiff ends on top. They distract from the really tasty top of the asparagus and can taste bitter.
- Blanch the asparagus- This step locks in their vibrant green color without overcooking them. The asparagus cook much faster after doing this.
- Drain them after blanching- Pour the hot water out of the pot to prevent the asparagus from cooking any further. You want to immediately stop the cooking process.
- Saute the garlic first- Garlic needs a few minutes to cook so its flavor mellows, so add it first, then the asparagus. This way you don’t overcook them.
Different Ways to Cook Asparagus
There are so many ways to cook asparagus. Here are some of my favorites:
- Steamed– Place the asparagus in the steamer basket, over boiling water. Steam for 5-8 minutes, when they turn bright green and a little more tender.
- Instant Pot – Place the asparagus in a steaming basket. Add water to the Instant Pot. Set the IP to Steam and 2 minutes. That’s it! Carefully release the steam and enjoy.
- Air Fryer – The air fryer makes the asparagus really crunchy, so be prepared for a change in texture. Lightly sprinkle asparagus with olive oil. Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and fry for 5 minutes.
- Oven Roasted – Coat the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.
Asparagus can be made with lots of herbs, such as rosemary, dill, oregano, thyme, cilantro, or basil. Spices like nutmeg, garlic powder, lemon pepper, or cayenne can also be used for added flavor. This vegetable is very versatile so you can use it with lots of flavor variations.
The best way to make your asparagus tender and not tough is to blanch it beforehand. Doing this will cook them partially, then stop the process while they are bright green and tender. Then saute them for a few minutes to finish them. You’ll end up with tender crispy spears this way.
What do you serve with crispy, savory, Sauteed Garlic Asparagus? Lots of things! Try one of these scrumptious meal pairings.
- Meats: Serve them with Garlic Herb Crown Roast of Pork, Cast Iron Ribeye Steak, Mini Chicken Pot Pies (VIDEO) or Juicy Air Fryer Pork Chops (VIDEO).
- Seafood: Enjoy this side dish with Salmon Wellington, Beer Battered Cod, She Crab Soup, and Cedar Plank Salmon.
- Potatoes: Pair the sauteed asparagus recipe with Scalloped Potatoes, Super Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Air Fryer Baked Potato, or Air Fryer Potato Wedges.
- Pasta: Serve them alongside Shrimp Scampi Pasta, Easy Pasta Primavera, Lobster Ravioli, and Creamy Tortellini Alfredo.
Make This Recipe in Advance
Make ahead: You can blanch the asparagus and then allow them to cool, storing in a ziplock bag in the fridge until you are ready to saute them with the garlic.
Storing: Store any leftover Sauteed Garlic Asparagus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop in a pan or on a baking sheet in the oven for the best texture.
Freeze: You can freeze the asparagus once they have been blanched. Lay them on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours, then transfer them to a freezer bag. They will last for up to 3 months.
More Delicious Side Dishes!
Full Recipe Instructions
Sauteed Garlic Asparagus
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Rinse the asparagus with cold water. Then snap off the bottom of each asparagus spear and discard the ends. I usually take off about 1-2 inches.
- In a pot of boiling water, blanch the asparagus for about 2 minutes. Then pour the hot water out to prevent the asparagus from cooking any further.
- Add the blanched asparagus to the skillet and cook until tender. Only sautee for a few minutes being careful not to overcook the asparagus.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.