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Making steamed asparagus unlocks the vibrant flavor and tender-crisp perfection! This simple method delivers a healthy and delicious side dish ready in minutes. It’s ideal for busy weeknights or a quick addition to any meal.

Steamed asparagus in bowl with lemon.
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Looking for a quick and healthy way to cook asparagus? Try steamed asparagus. Our favorite ways to cook this veggie are lemony baked asparagus or broiled asparagus, or sauteed asparagus cooked with olive oil in a hot pan. But steaming is a great way healthy to cook vegetables and tastes great too!

What we love about this recipe: It’s quick, simple, and healthy! The spears come out bright green and crisp tender: perfect with a zing of lemon and a hint of grated Parmesan.

Gear tip

You’ll need a steamer basket or steamer pan to make this recipe. Here’s the steamer basket we recommend: it’s easy to find online!

How to make steamed asparagus: step by step

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.

Asparagus on cutting board

Step 1: Chop the asparagus to remove the woody, tough ends. Then chop the spears into roughly 2-inch pieces.

How to steam asparagus

Step 2: Add water to a pot under the steamer basket. Add the basket and bring the water to a boil. Add the asparagus and steam with the lid on for about 2 to 5 minutes until crisp tender, taste testing with a fork to assess doneness. Make sure not to overcook.

Steamed asparagus

Step 3: 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.

Ways to serve steamed asparagus

You can eat this steamed asparagus simply seasoned with lemon juice and zest, but there are many more serving ideas. Here are a few other options:

Steamed Asparagus in bowl with spoon.

More asparagus recipes

Love that healthy green vegetable? Here are some of our best asparagus recipes:

Dietary notes

This steamed asparagus recipe is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

How long does it take to steam asparagus?

Thin asparagus spears only need 2-3 minutes of steaming, while thicker spears might take 4-5 minutes. The best way to tell if it’s done is to pierce a spear with a fork – it should be tender-crisp with a slight give.

What can I do with leftover steamed asparagus?

Leftover steamed asparagus can be chopped and added to omelets, frittatas, or pasta dishes. You can also toss it with a vinaigrette for a quick and refreshing salad.

Can I steam frozen asparagus?

We don’t recommend it! Frozen asparagus loses its texture, so it can become mushy when steamed.

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Steamed asparagus

Easy Steamed Asparagus


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

Description

Making steamed asparagus unlocks the vibrant flavor and tender-crisp perfection! This simple method delivers a healthy and delicious side dish ready in minutes. It’s ideal for busy weeknights or a quick addition to any meal.


Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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 at the thickest portion, taste testing with a fork to assess doneness. Take care 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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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