Gluten-FreeLow CarbPaleoAsparagus

Quick and easy asparagus recipe! How to cook asparagus spears perfectly, dress with olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of the quickest and easiest ways to prepare fresh asparagus is to simply blanch them for a couple of minutes and toss them with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and lemon zest.

Boiling them for only a couple minutes ensures that they will be cooked through, but still crisp and vibrant green. Asparagus should have a gentle crunch to them; they should not be mushy.

A little lemon zest helps brighten the natural flavor of the asparagus, and the Parm and olive oil? Well, of course they make everything taste good.

More great asparagus recipes

Asparagus Recipe

  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
  • 2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (omit if cooking vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Heat blanching water: Fill a medium saucepan halfway with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil.

2 Prep the asparagus: While the water is heating, prepare the asparagus. Rinse them thoroughly; break off any tough, white bottoms and discard.

Cut the spears into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.

3 Blanch the asparagus: Add the asparagus to the boiling water and lower the heat slightly to maintain a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water.

4 Toss with olive oil, Parmesan, lemon zest: While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.

Note that when you are working with so few ingredients, it's important to make sure they are of the highest quality.

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Showing 4 of 57 Comments / Reviews

  • Dwayne

    This is a simple but awesome way to prepare asparagus. Delicious nutritional quick and ease steps done in minutes. The crunch of the asparagus was still intact really love this recipe. Thank you for posting and sharing it with us all

  • [email protected]

    Excellent method for asparagus — easier than stir-frying or grilling! 2 minutes cooking time is just PERFECT, and this is great served right away, or served at room temperature. Thank you so much for another winner from your kitchen !

  • Sharon Reeve

    This is my go-to vegetable recipe. I use organic ingredients. The raw milk parmesan at Trader Joe’s is excellent for this too. I also make it with broccoli and it is just as delicious! You are right, about using the best quality extra virgin olive oil with the richest flavor. Thank you.

  • Adam

    Awesome recipe. I just paired it with salad and steak – best. asparagus. ever.

  • amy

    I found some beautiful asparagus at Trader Joe’s and used a very slight amount of organic lemon juice because I didn’t have a fresh lemon around. Turned out wonderful.
    Even my 4 year old loves this one. My asparagus phobia husband will eat it. Great side dish!


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