How to Blanch Asparagus

Here’s how to blanch asparagus! Cook until it’s perfectly tender and bright green, then plunge it into an ice bath.

Blanch asparagus

Here’s a particularly useful method for the home cook: how to blanch asparagus! This method preserves this veggie so it stays bright green and tender: perfect for adding to salads, pasta, pizza, frittatas, and more. We know from experience: sauteed asparagus or roasted asparagus don’t save nearly as well as blanched. You can also go directly from blanched asparagus to freezing it. Ready to get started?

The method: how to blanch any vegetable

Blanching might feel like something Julia Child would do, but isn’t really applicable to the modern home cooks. Au contraire! This handy method can be used for many vegetables: as a step before freezing, or to cook something like green beans for a hearty main dish Nicoise Salad.

Blanching is a cooking method that involves boiling vegetables until they’re crisp tender, then plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. The ice water helps to keep the veggies as colorful as possible, and you’ll notice that it makes the spears beautifully bright green. Some experts say the ice water isn’t technically needed, but we like using it because it just tastes better (we think).

How to blanch asparagus

Trim the asparagus first

The only prep step for how to blanch asparagus? Trimming it! You’ll need to trim off the woody, tough ends of the asparagus. It’s fast and easy with a chef’s knife; here’s how to do it:

  • Line up all the asparagus in the same direction.
  • Use a chef’s knife to cut off the ends, just where the green part starts to turn white.

How to blanch asparagus (and how long)

When it comes to asparagus, all you need to know is the timing for blanching! Then you don’t even need to use a recipe. Memorize it, and then you’ll never need to read this again. Here’s what to know:

  • First, trim the asparagus. If you’re planning to chop into pieces, you can do it either before or after you boil.
  • How long to blanch asparagus? About 3 minutes, depending on thickness, until just crisp tender. Blanch thin spears for up to 2 1/2 minutes and thick spears for around to 4 minutes.
  • Plunge into an ice bath. Add to a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Then drain and season!
Blanch asparagus

How to freeze asparagus after blanching

Once you blanch asparagus, you can proceed right to freezing it. Here’s what to do:

  • Place the blanched asparagus spears on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Freeze 1 to 2 hours until solid. Then place in a freezer safe container. That’s it!

Storage info

How long does blanched asparagus last? It’s good for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator, stored in a sealed container. Or, freeze it right away and you can store it 3 months or more.

Ways to use blanched asparagus

What are the best ways to use blanched asparagus? We’ve got lots of ideas! Blanching this vegetable makes it beautifully bright green and helps it hold up well in the refrigerator. This makes it great for throwing into salads or pasta throughout the week. Here’s what to try:

And that’s it! Let us know what you think and what recipe you use for your blanched asparagus.

How long to blanch asparagus

More asparagus recipes

Got more asparagus? Here’s what we recommend to give a try:

This blanched asparagus recipe is…

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

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Blanch asparagus

How to Blanch Asparagus


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to blanch asparagus! Cook until it’s perfectly tender and bright green, then plunge it into an ice bath.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Start 8 cups of water to boil with 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  2. Cut off the tough bottom ends of the asparagus
  3. Once boiling, add asparagus the boil until just tender, about 3 minutes (a range of 2 1/2 minutes for thin spears and 4 minutes for thick spears).
  4. Prepare a bowl of ice water. When the asparagus is cooked, immediately plunge it into the ice water for 1 minute. Then drain. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Refrigerate for up to 4 to 5 days. 
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Blanched
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: Blanch asparagus, how to blanch asparagus, how long to blanch 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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