Easy Steamed Asparagus

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. The absolute best is Baked Asparagus, roasted 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

This steamed asparagus recipe is…

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

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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
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

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.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch asparagus
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the asparagus. Chop off the tough ends and discard. 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

Keywords: Steamed asparagus, how to steam asparagus

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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