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Steamed asparagus is a quick and easy way to cook this healthy vegetable! Here’s how to steam it the right way, so it comes out bright green and tender.

Steamed asparagus

Want a quick and healthy way to cook asparagus? Try steamed asparagus. Quick caveat first: this isn’t our favorite way to cook this healthy veggie. Our favorites are Baked Asparagus or Broiled Asparagus, cooked until browned and tender in a hot oven. The next best is sauteed in a hot pan. But steaming is a valid option: it’s healthier than most ways since you don’t need to use as much fat! If you do it correctly, it comes out bright green and crisp tender: perfect with a zing of lemon. Here’s how to do it!

How to make steamed asparagus

The trick to steamed asparagus is this: don’t overcook it! Because all asparagus differs in size and maturity, you’ll use a range for how long to steam it. The perfect timing for steaming this green veggie is about 2 to 5 minutes. Again, this all depends on the thickness: thin, slender asparagus steams faster than thick, tougher asparagus.

Gear required: You’ll need a steamer basket or steamer pan to make this recipe. Here’s a steamer basket you can buy online.

Step 1: Chop the asparagus.

With asparagus, you’ll need to chop off the tough ends. You know where it looks almost white-purple? Hack that part off. Then we like steaming asparagus in roughly 2-inch pieces.

How to steam asparagus

Step 2: Boil the water.

The main thing you need to know for how to steam asparagus: bring the water to a boil first! Don’t be tempted to boil the water with the veggies in the pot. You’ll boil the water in a saucepan or pot before you add the veggies.

Step 3: Add the asparagus, cover and steam for 2 to 5 minutes, until crisp tender.

Once the water is boiling, add the veggies and cover. Cook for 2 to 5 minutes, until bright green and tender. Keep taste testing during this time: it’s important not to step away! Even a minute or so can take the asparagus from bright green to muddy yellow green and overcooked.

Step 4: Drain and season.

Remove from the heat and add the asparagus to a bowl. Stir it together with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. That’s it! Perfect steamed asparagus.

Steamed asparagus

Serving steamed asparagus

You can eat this steamed asparagus as is, and it’s a tasty way to eat this fresh veggie! Of course, there are so many other ways to serve it: here are some ideas!

  1. Top with grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese for an elegant flair.
  2. Add slivered toasted almonds for a crunch.
  3. Top with feta crumbles for a Mediterranean flair.
  4. Add to a grain bowl with quinoa or farro, and top with Tahini Sauce.
  5. Serve with sauteed shrimp like our Garlic Butter Shrimp for a quick and easy meal.

Asparagus nutrition

Why eat this healthy green veggie? Here are a few great reasons to add this steamed asparagus to your weekly repertoire:

  • Great source of fiber: 1 cup of cooked asparagus has 4 grams of fiber. (Source)
  • High in protein for a green vegetable: 1 cup also has 4 grams protein. (Source) That’s a similar level to broccoli and potatoes.
  • Can aid in eye and hair health and may have potential anti-aging properties. (Source)
Steamed asparagus

More asparagus recipes

Love that healthy green stalk? Here are some of our best recipes using it:

This steamed asparagus recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Steamed asparagus

Easy Steamed Asparagus

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Steamed asparagus is a quick and easy way to cook this healthy vegetable! Here’s how to steam it the right way, so it comes out bright green and tender.


  • 1 large bunch asparagus
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Wash and dry the asparagus. Chop off the tough ends of the stalks and discard them. Cut the stalks into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Boil the water: Add water to a pot so that the surface is right under the steamer basket. Add the steamer basket and bring the water to a boil.
  3. Steam: Once boiling, add the asparagus. Steam with the lid on for about 2 to 5 minutes until crisp tender and the thickest portion, taste testing with a fork to assess doneness. Make sure not to overcook it!
  4. Season: Carefully remove the asparagus to a bowl, draining away any water. Toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Steamed asparagus, how to steam asparagus

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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