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Mastering how to cut asparagus is easier than you think! This guide shows you a simple way to trim asparagus, ensuring tender spears without any woody bits in a just few steps.

How to cut asparagus: asparagus spears on marble.
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Got a big, bright bunch of asparagus and ready to cook with it? Grab your knife and let’s talk about prepping this delicious vegetable. Here’s how to cut asparagus—or how to trim it—so that you can use it in recipes of all kinds.

Here’s the most important thing to know about asparagus.

The thick bottom part of the spear is white or light purple in color: it’s very tough and not meant to be eaten! Contrary to what you might think, the easiest way to remove it isn’t just to snap it off. The best way is with a knife! Here’s a fast and easy way for how to cut asparagus.

How to cut asparagus: step by step

Step 1: How to trim asparagus

Step 1: Line up the asparagus spears on a cutting board, all facing the same direction.

Step 2: How to cut asparagus

Step 2: Grab half of the stalks with your non-cutting hand. Using a large chef’s knife, slice off the bottom tough parts of the stalks just where the color turns from white to green (about 1 inch). Repeat with the other half of the stalks.

And that’s it: your asparagus is ready to be used in any recipe! Keep reading for ideas.

How long does asparagus last?

Fresh asparagus lasts refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. A best practice for storage: use those trimmed asparagus spears and stand them up in a jar or wide glass with 1 inch of water in the bottom. Cover the tops with a plastic bag and refrigerate. However, we often just store our asparagus in the produce drawer and it does fine.

Ways to use asparagus

After you’ve mastered how to trim asparagus, there are so many asparagus recipes to use it! Here are some favorite ways to cook asparagus.

How to trim asparagus: trimmed asparagus on marble.

Tip: use a great chef knife

A good knife can drastically improve your time in the kitchen! We’ve had our chef knives for over 10 years and they still work great. Our favorite knife is this 7″ Chef’s Knife. For safe storage, you can use a drawer knife organizer like this one. Make sure to keep your knives sharpened using a local service or home knife sharpener.

Why do I need to cut asparagus?

The bottom portion of asparagus is woody and tough. Cutting it removes this inedible part, making sure only the tender, flavorful spears reach your plate.

How much asparagus should I cut off?

Look for the color change where the vibrant green transitions to a paler white. That’s where the tough part begins. Aim to cut about 1 inch from the bottom.

Can I snap the asparagus ends off instead of cutting them?

Yes! Asparagus naturally breaks at the point where the tender and tough parts meet. Simply hold the spear near the bottom and gently bend it until it snaps. This works well for most asparagus, but thicker spears might require a final trim with a knife.

My asparagus is really thin, do I still need to cut anything off?

For very thin asparagus spears, you might not need to cut much. Simply inspect the base for any woody sections and trim accordingly.

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How to cut asparagus

How to Cut Asparagus


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pound 1x

Description

Mastering how to cut asparagus is easier than you think! This guide shows you a simple way to trim asparagus, ensuring tender spears without any woody bits in a just few steps.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound asparagus

Instructions

  1. Line up the asparagus spears on a cutting board. 
  2. Grab half of the stalks with your non-cutting hand. Using a large chef’s knife, slice off the bottom tough parts of the stalks just where the color turns from white to green. 
  3. Repeat with the other half of the stalks.
  • Category: Knife Skills
  • Method: Cutting
  • Cuisine: N/A
  • 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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