Simple Grilled Asparagus
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 smoky sweet taste and 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!
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Table of contents
Why We Love Grilled Asparagus
This Easy Grilled Asparagus with lemon is an absolute must-save recipe and the perfect way to use asparagus while it is in season this spring! You will go back to it over and over again, because not only is it ready in mere minutes (only 15 to be exact) but barbecue asparagus is delicious!
- Deliciously smoky with a little bit of char makes this springtime veggie so savory!
- 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 is low in calories, naturally low-carb and high in fiber!
- It goes great with roasts meat, chicken or as a side dish to accompany a simple weeknight dinner.
- It is often on sale and quite budget-friendly in springtime! April is the peak of the season.
The ingredients and ratio for this bbq asparagus recipe are almost identical for this recipe as for my roasted asparagus recipe.
- 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.
- Oil: I recommend organic canola oil, avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil. If you have a preference to another high-heat oil, use that instead.
- Seasoning: You’ll need ground black pepper to taste and a half teaspoon of coarse kosher salt, but feel free to adjust to your preference.
- Lemon: This is optional, but I love the way that the tart lemon balances any bitterness. 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
Store leftover grilled asparagus in an air-tight container for up to three days.
We do not recommend reheating leftover grilled asparagus as it becomes overcooked and mushy. Instead, enjoy it chilled with a little vinaigrette or on a salad or in a buddha bowl.
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.
- Add on chopped fresh herbs such as tarragon, dill or chives.
What Goes With Grilled Asparagus?
If you are wondering what to serve this grilled asparagus with, I am happy to suggest the following meals:
- Add to a power bowl like these quinoa and lentil bowls.
- This Fish Casserole is wonderful with asparagus.
- Try it with this Crispy Skin Chicken and Lemon Quinoa.
- The flavors of this Tilapia with Tangerine Salsa would be yummy with it too!
- Our Grilled Greek Boneless Chicken Thighs are another recipe to toss on the grill with this asparagus.
- Add chopped leftover grilled asparagus to your scrambled eggs for healthy breakfasts.
- Make sure to scrub the grill with your grill brush before adding the asparagus. And if using a grill pan, preheat it for a few minutes before adding the asparagus for the best color.
- 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.
- Gas grills, charcoal grills and grill pans all have varying heat and cooking time. See our Grilling Tips below for more details about the type of grill you have.
More Asparagus Recipes
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
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!
2 pounds asparagus, woody ends snapped off
1 tablespoon organic canola oil or avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 lemon, optional
- Preheat grill to high heat. If using grill pan add to the grill grates to preheat.
- Toss the asparagus with the oil, salt and pepper to coat.
- 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.
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.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: SIde Dish
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/6 batch about 4 spears
- Calories: 52 calories
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 6 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 3 g
Keywords: grilled asparagus,barbecue asparagus, asparagus on the grill,asparagus barbecue, bbq asparagus
Notes on Grills and Equipment
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.