This season, make sure to plan on trying my recipe for Grilled Asparagus. Once you make it, and see just how easy it is to get the perfect crisp-tender texture, you will make it over and over again! There are only 5 minutes of prep, and it takes only a few minutes to grill!

a white oval platter of asparagus with lemon wedges

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Why We Love Grilled Asparagus

This recipe is an absolute must save! You will go back to it over and over again, because not only is it ready in mere minutes (about 15 to be exact) but it also is low in calories, naturally low-carb and high in fiber!

It is a perfect simple recipe to serve as a spring side dish, or to add to a fancier holiday meal like Easter or Mother’s Day. It goes great with roasts, or chicken or as a side dish to accompany a simple weeknight dinner.

I sure hope you are not getting sick of all of the asparagus I have been sharing here this April. April is the peak of the asparagus season, so I wanted to make sure that you had all sorts of ideas of what to make with this underappreciated veggie.

I did some research before my instagram live where I made this Asparagus Panzanella, and I learned that Americans eat only 1.75 pounds of asparagus per year. That’s opposed to more popular veggies like onions (20.39 pounds) or tomatoes (20.3 pounds.)

Folks, I am set out to change all that! I want to give you all sorts of fun and interesting ways to make fresh asparagus for your dinner table. From recipes like this Shaved Asparagus Salad to this recipe for Asparagus Pizza, I want you to embrace this superstar spring veggie!

Ingredients Notes

The ingredients and ratio for this recipe are almost identical for this recipe as for my roasted asparagus recipe.

ingredients for grilled asparagus

Asparagus

At the farmers’ market or grocery store look for medium-thick to thick spears of asparagus for grilling. Thin spears tend to burn easily. Look for bunches that are free from wrinkles or yellowed spears. The best way to tell if the asparagus is fresh is to look at the bottom of the stalks, if they are fresh and not dried out and starting to turn white, you can tell they were freshly harvested.

Cooking Oil

I recommend organic canola oil or avocado oil. If you have a preference to another high-heat oil, use that instead.

Salt and Pepper

To season this recipe all that is needed is salt and pepper. I add them before cooking. A half teaspoon of coarse kosher salt is just right, but feel free to adjust to your preference. Add on as much pepper as you like.

Lemon

This is optional, but I feel like it really helps to make the asparagus taste less bitter. Bitter is canceled by sour (which is the predominant taste of lemon.) A half of a lemon is plenty!

How To Make This Recipe For Grilled Asparagus

Preheating the grill with the vegetable basket, Snap off woody ends of asparagus

Step 1 Prepare the Grill

Preheat the grill and if you are using a vegetable grilling basket, add that to the grill grate to preheat too.

Step 2: Remove Woody Ends From The Asparagus

Snap the ends off the asparagus. This will remove any pithy parts of the stalks that is woody and fibrous.

toss asparagus with oil, salt and pepper, grill across the grill grates

Step 3: Oil and Season the Asparagus

Toss the asparagus with the oil, salt and pepper.

Step 4: Grill the Asparagus

Place the asparagus directly on the grill grates, crosswise so they don’t fall through the grates, or on the grill basket in a single layer.

grilled asparagus on a platter with lemons

How To Serve:

Once they are done, pull the asparagus off the grill and arrange them on a serving platter or large plate. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice on top. Taste one of the grilled spears and you may want to finish with high-quality extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top and add on additional cracked black pepper and flaky sea salt to make the flavors pop.

Expert Tips and FAQs About This Recipe

FAQs About This Recipe

Can you grill asparagus in foil?

Grilling asparagus in a foil packet defeats the purpose of grilling and I don’t recommend it. The foil traps the steam as the asparagus cooks and will inhibit any browning. The asparagus will be overcooked by the time it browns.

Why is my asparagus stringy?

It is likely that it is overcooked. Try cooking it for a shorter time next time. Also double check that you are snapping off enough of the tough end of the stalk.

Can you grill asparagus in the oven?

Grilling is a single-sided heat source, so you can approximate heat from a grill by using the broiler and essentially “grilling” the asparagus from the top down.
Make sure to use a broiler pan though so that the asparagus doesn’t steam too much. You want the moisture to be kept away so that it browns before the asparagus softens too much.
Broiling times vary widely depending on your oven, so keep an eye on it. Test if it is tender frequently!

Grilling Tips

  • The asparagus spears should be in an even layer, with space around them so that the heat can come between each spear.
  • Let them grill for about 1 minute for thinner spears or up to 3 for thicker spears. The bottom side will brown nicely and the tips will start to darken. The tips may look a little dried or charred.
  • Flip them, with grilling tongs, or roll them on the grill grate so that that the other side can cook.
  • As you turn them, take note of the texture and “bendiness” of the spears. If they are already pliable, they will not need much time at all on the second side. If they are still stiff, you can grill them for about as long as the first side. Look for browning, but don’t let the tops burn.

Notes on Grills and Equipment

asparagus on the grill grates

Grill

Gas Grill: If you have a gas grill turn all of the burners on to high to preheat them. Keep the grill lid closed while you preheat the grill to allow it to get very hot. Once it is hot, use your grill brush to remove any burnt on debris from previous meals.

Charcoal Grill: Preheat your charcoal completely before grilling. I like to use a blend of mostly hardwood charcoal plus a few briquettes. Using a sick or tongs rake out the coals to cover the bottom of the kettle, so that there are no hot spots. Make sure that your grill rack is hot and clean before adding on the asparagus.

Note: charcoal grills tend to run hotter than gas grills, so the timing for this recipe will be faster than for gas. Thin asparagus will take only one or two minutes over hot charcoal.

Vegetable Grill Basket

If you have a vegetable grill basket, this is definitely the recipe to use it! Asparagus tends to fall between the grill grates, even if you are careful, so the grill basket really helps to prevent that.

I also like that they have more surface area and help to brown the asparagus better.

Note: For best results preheat the grill pan completely before adding the asparagus.

Stovetop Grill Pan

If you do not have an outdoor grill you can definitely make this on your stovetop grill pan. This is the style I recommend. You will have to cook the asparagus in batches. Use high heat, and if the pan is smoking excessively, simply adjust the heat down as needed.

Note: indoor stovetop grill pans are not as hot as gas or charcoal grills so it is important to look for crisp tender texture to guide when your asparagus is done, not so much the timing! It may take 5 or 6 minutes per side on your stove. That is normal. You also may not get noticeable char marks and smoky flavor the way you would on an outdoor grill.

Variations To Try

Today we just topped our grilled asparagus with a squeeze of lemon, but if you like to add other flavors, go for it! Here are some ideas:

  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. It is a little sweeter and still has the acidity to cut the bitterness of the asparagus.
  • Top with orange zest and Asian Sesame Dressing.
  • Drizzle with hollandaise sauce.
  • Any of my vinaigrettes from my salad dressing collection would be good.
  • I actually also love this yogurt dill dressing with asparagus too.
  • Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

What Goes With Grilled Asparagus?

If you are wondering what to serve this grilled asparagus with, I am happy to suggest the following meals:

Make Ahead Notes

This asparagus is good room temperature or chilled leftover, but note that it doesn’t reheat well. Serve it cold on a salad or in a buddha bowl or top with dressing.

More Asparagus Recipes

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

Print
a platter of grilled asparagus with lemon wedges

Simple Grilled Asparagus Recipe

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: SIde Dish
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This season, make sure to plan on trying my recipe for Grilled Asparagus. Once you make it, and see just how easy it is to get the perfect crisp-tender texture, you will make it over and over again!


Scale

Ingredients

2 pounds asparagus, woody ends snapped off

1 tablespoon organic canola oil or avocado oil

½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

½ lemon, optional


Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to high heat. If using grill pan add to the grill grates to preheat.
  2. Toss the asparagus with the oil, salt and pepper to coat.
  3. Lay the asparagus spears on the grill grate (crosswise) or on the grill pan. Grill until browned on the bottom, 1 to 3 minutes. Turn over by rolling with tongs and let cook on a second side until tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and squeeze lemon over it, if using.

Notes

Grilling Tips

  • Make sure to completely preheat the grill and the vegetable grilling basket if using.
  • Spread the asparagus out in a single layer across the grill grates, or on the grill pan or grill basket. They should be in an even layer, with space around them so that the heat can come between each spear.
  • Let them grill for about 1 minute for thinner spears or up to 3 for thick asparagus stalks. (Charcoal grills will be hotter than gas grills.) The bottoms will brown nicely and the tips will start to darken, and may look a little dried or charred.
  • Flip them, with grilling tongs, or roll them on the grill grate so that that the other side can cook.
  • As you turn them, take note of the texture and “bendiness” of the spears. If they are already pliable, they will not need much time at all on the second side. If they are still stiff, you can grill them for about as long as the first side. Look for browning, but don’t let the tops burn.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 batch about 4 spears
  • Calories: 52 calories
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g