Oven asparagus will redefine “easy” in the kitchen. The result is a perfectly tender crisp asparagus side dish and no clean-up.
You know that feeling when you go to tackle an easy recipe, but end up having a pile of dishes to wash? I hate that feeling. In my book, in order to qualify for easy, it must be easy to make and quick to clean up after. It must take next to no effort and be possible to do while drinking a glass of wine.
This oven asparagus is definitely easy in my book. You don’t even need a knife or cutting board and clean up includes tossing some aluminum foil into the trash or recycle bin. Seriously easy.
It’s one of those recipes that I make all the time, in fact whenever my oven is on this is the side dish I serve. I almost didn’t share. It’s so easy I wasn’t sure what to write about it. Then, on Valentine’s Day, I screwed it up. It was the simple error of not setting the timer, but it was an error that had me starting the dish over again from scratch.
The problem was that when I pulled the asparagus from the oven it smelled bitter. I know that I have a sensitive nose but when fresh, sweet, tasty asparagus turns bitter, you know it’s over cooked. I picked up a piece of it and it drooped. It was sad. Then I squeezed it. It was mush. I became sad.
It also reminded me that there is no such thing as a “no-fail” recipe. In the wrong circumstances, even the best of us can make an utter mess of a recipe that we could normally make with our eyes closed. Luckily, we were having filet mignon with seared scallops – so good! I hadn’t yet started the scallops, so I left the steak to rest just a few minutes longer and delayed dinner to remake the asparagus. It was worth it!
If you’ve never tasted raw asparagus, I highly encourage it. It’s crisp, bright, and almost sweet tasting. It doesn’t really need any dipping sauces, but it definitely appears on veggies trays around our house. The key to getting great cooked asparagus it to not over cook it. You want it slightly tender, but still sweet. This can be accomplished in about 3 – 4 minutes with a steamer, but then you have to wash it.
One day, out of sheer laziness, I realized that baking asparagus is the way to go. Granted, it’s easiest when you are using the oven anyway. You can just slide it in next to whatever else is in there. Once you try it, this oven asparagus will have you inventing reasons to use the oven for dinner.
I’ve baked it at temperatures from 350 – 425, adjusting the cooking times accordingly. I’ve found it works best at 375 degrees for a quick 8 minutes. Since we are wrapping the asparagus in foil, it will create steam inside it’s packet. The seasoning goes on before you cook it, so it comes out ready to serve.
The ends of the asparagus can be snapped off with your hands. I usually do about 4 – 5 at a time, holding the the middle and snapping off the ends. It removes the fibrous chewy part that isn’t so appetizing. I do this right over the foil and toss the ends into the compost bin. Drizzle on some olive oil – healthy fats help your body absorb nutrients – sprinkle on salt and pepper, and finish with a bit of grated parmesan cheese. If you like to grate it yourself, like I do, you’ll have to dirty your microplane. Yes, it means you’ll have to wash it, but I think it’s worth it for the better flavor.
When you wrap the foil, tent it to leave room for steam to gather as you can see in the picture above. Bake it for 8 minutes, rest it for 1, and serve.
The foil can be tossed and the pan put away, as no food touched it.
Super easy, super simple, super healthy, and super delicious.
Find the full recipe below.
What’s your favorite type of baked vegetables? Have you ever baked asparagus before? Let me know in the comments below!
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Easy Oven Asparagus
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Measure out a piece of foil large enough to wrap your asparagus in a packet. About 1 1/2 times as long as it is wide.
- Snap the ends off of the asparagus and lay on the foil.
- Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, adjusting to your own preference.
- Wrap foil around asparagus, leaving about 2" between the top and the asparagus.
- Fold over both ends to create a seal.
- Place on a baking tray and bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and rest for one minute before opening the foil packet.
- Serve immediately.