This sautéed asparagus takes 5 minutes to cook and makes the perfect companion for any main dish you have in mind!
Growing up, asparagus definitely wasn’t one of my favorite vegetables. I found it hard to chew these grassy stalks that often tasted bitter and off-putting. Now, this healthy vegetable is one of my favorite things to have as a side whether I am eating out or having dinner at home.
Similar to Brussels sprouts, arugula, and broccolini, this vegetable benefits from hot and fast cooking. It doesn’t need to be heavily spiced, either. Asparagus is at its best when its natural flavor and crispy texture shine through.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Super easy and quick. It takes less than 5 minutes to cook asparagus in the pan. Just season it properly and add some minced garlic to make the spears taste better almost instantly.
- The perfect crisp-tender texture. Asparagus is only good when it hasn’t been overcooked. Cooking the spears over high heat for just a few minutes results in the perfect asparagus texture.
- Pairs with almost anything. When it comes to versatility, asparagus is certainly up there with roasted potatoes and sautéed carrots. Whether it’s a family dinner or a large gathering, this easy asparagus side dish will help you out.
How to make sautéed asparagus
Similar to any vegetable sauté recipe we have up, this one is easy to make too. It calls for very little prep work and a couple of cooking staples.
- Asparagus. Trim and chop the asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces. Try to use thinner stalks for sautéing as they work best for hot and fast cooking.
- Butter. I love sautéing my vegetables in butter as it imparts a rich nutty flavor.
- Olive oil. As butter has a low smoke point, adding a dash of oil to the pan helps prevent it from burning.
- Garlic. No matter how simple I keep my sautés, minced garlic is the one ingredient I almost never miss. It provides an incredible aroma and rich flavor for any sautéed vegetable.
- Salt and pepper. Add to taste.
Sautéed asparagus is an elegant side dish that comes together in a few minutes.
Add butter and oil to a non-stick pan and put it over medium heat. Choose a pan large enough not to crowd the spears.
Once the butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the chopped asparagus and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic when the asparagus is almost done cooking and give it a good mix.
- Choose good asparagus. The key to good-tasting asparagus, whether it’s sautéed, air fried, or blended into a soup, is to choose good asparagus. Buy stalks that are fresh and firm, bright green, and have tightly closed tips.
- Add garlic last. Minced garlic burns quickly over high heat and can ruin the entire dish in a blink of an eye. To prevent this from happening, add the garlic to the asparagus sauté last.
- Finish with grated parmesan. Topping asparagus with freshly grated parmesan is an easy way to elevate it. The nutty and salty flavor of this aged cheese perfectly complements the earthy flavor of asparagus.
- Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Crushed pepper flakes add some heat and color to the sauté.
- Add bacon. If you want to make your asparagus side dish a bit more filling and exciting, add some chopped bacon to the pan. The salty bacon will add great texture and flavor to this easy side dish (like we see with bacon wrapped asparagus).
To store. Once cooled, transfer the leftover asparagus to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat. Reheat leftovers in a skillet over medium heat with a few drops of oil. A quicker way to reheat asparagus is to use the microwave.
To freeze. The best way to freeze cooked asparagus is to transfer it to a freezer bag and push out the excess air. Cooked asparagus will last up to 3 months in the freezer. There is no need to thaw the asparagus before reheating it. Simply add it to a pan and cook covered over medium heat until the stalks are fully defrosted and warm.
Frequently asked questions
You don’t need to blanch asparagus before sautéing, especially if the stalks are thin and delicate. But if the spears are thicker, you may blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes before cooking them in the pan.
Yes, you can sauté frozen asparagus. There is no need to thaw the asparagus stalks before cooking them. Simply put frozen asparagus in a heated skillet with olive oil, season, and cook on medium heat until the stalks thaw and cook.
Both cooking methods work well for asparagus. Roast asparagus if you like the stalks to be charred and if you like unattended cooking. Sautéing, on the other hand, is great for days when you need the food to be ready in less than 10 minutes.
- Add the butter and olive oil into a large non-stick skillet or pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the asparagus and saute for 3-4 minutes, until almost cooked. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.