Sautéed asparagus is a vibrant spring dish. Ours is a quick and easy recipe for asparagus on the stovetop cooked with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper.

To make them pop, serve them with a squeeze of lemon juice, or with our quick and easy mustard vinaigrette.

sautéed asparagus served with lemon

Check out our Guide to Cook Asparagus

Sautéed asparagus is the tastiest and best way to cook asparagus on the stove. The asparagus turns out tender-crisp in just about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how thick they are.

You can use pan-fried asparagus for many dishes. From pasta to risotto, from quiche to frittata. Or you can just enjoy them as a side dish, drizzled with our quick and easy lemon-garlic vinaigrette.

While most recipes cook Sautéed asparagus with minced garlic, we prefer to use crushed garlic so that it won’t burn and turn bitter.

For garlic lovers, we make a mean garlic-mustard vinaigrette that you can use as a dressing. Your asparagus will taste fresh and zesty, with a hint of garlic and lemon aroma. We are sure you’ll love them cooked this way.

We also don’t use butter for this sauteed asparagus recipe and opt for heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil instead, rich in antioxidants and phenols and delicious with asparagus.

pan fried asparagus with slivered almonds and lemon

Ingredients

Asparagus: you can pan-fry fresh asparagus or frozen asparagus. If in season (late February to June), we recommend using fresh ones. They stay crispier than frozen. You can use both farmed and wild asparagus. Wild ones are often found in farmer’s markets, and they are often a little thinner and tastier. In this blog post, we use farmed green asparagus since they are the most common.

Olive oil: use extra virgin olive oil if you can. Its high antioxidant content makes it stable at high temperatures (it won’t burn) and suitable for sautéeing. Also, olive oil adds a nice flavor to the asparagus.

Garlic: crushed; it won’t burn this way while still infusing the asparagus with its aroma.

Salt and pepper: that’s the only seasoning we use to cook the asparagus spears.

Lemon: you can use both lemon zest and juice. Sprinkle and drizzle on top just before serving.

Optional Ingredients

All you need to enjoy sautéed asparagus is a squeeze of lemon juice.

However, we are food geeks, so we want to give you options. These are some more ingredients that go well with fried asparagus. Pick your favorites:

White wine: completely optional. Use it to deglaze the pan. It adds a touch of acidity, which brings out the asparagus flavor even more.

Fresh Herbs: Flat-leaf parsley is perfect with asparagus. Finely chop and sprinkle on top. Alternatively, basil, mint, dill, and chives are great options.

Nuts: pine nuts, walnuts, and almonds complement the asparagus flavor. Lightly toast them on a pan, chop them, and sprinkle on asparagus spears.

Mustard Vinaigrette: whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, grated garlic, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. This is delicious with fried asparagus.

Instructions

Rinse and trim the woody ends of the asparagus with a sharp knife.

trimming asparagus woody ends

Chop the asparagus spears into smaller chunks. If you want to saute asparagus whole, then you’ll need a large pan that can fit them.

chopped asparagus spears

On a large skillet, warm up a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the asparagus, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper. Sauté on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, add a splash of white wine (or water) and stir.

Let the wine evaporate, turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a lid and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus is.

sauteed asparagus on a pan

To check for doneness, pierce the stalk with a fork. It should be tender-crisp, not mushy and overcooked.

pan fried asparagus

Serving suggestions

Lemon & herbs

The simplest way to enjoy sautéed asparagus is with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley.

Add nuts: to make it a little fancier, you can add some nuts on top. We used lightly toasted slivered almonds, which go super well with the asparagus.

sauteed asparagus serve with lemon and almonds

Mustard vinaigrette

If you want something a little more special, then try our mustard vinaigrette. Make it with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of mustard, ½ teaspoon of salt, a few twists of black pepper, and one grated clove of garlic. Whisk well and serve alongside the pan fried asparagus for people to drizzle on top.

This vinaigrette adds a lot of flavor to this simple recipe. It’s tangy, zesty, a little sweet, and sour. We think it’s delicious with fried asparagus.

lemon vinaigrette

Tips

Blanching: (optional) without blanching sautéed asparagus won’t be as bright-green as, for instance, steamed asparagus. They tend to have a dustier, brown hue. If you want a brighter color, you can blanch them first. To blanch asparagus, cook them in salted boiling water for about 1 minute, then drain, and rinse under cold water for 20 seconds. Pat them dry with a kitchen cloth and sauté.

White wine: deglazing the pan with white wine adds acidity to the dish, which makes the asparagus flavor pop in your mouth. Deglazing simply means adding cold liquid to a hot pan. Use a dry white wine to deglaze asparagus.

Crushed garlic: I always found minced garlic to be quite annoying with asparagus. It tends to burn, turing brown and bitter, and it covers the asparagus flavor. Try adding crushed garlic instead. You’ll get plenty of garlic aroma, but more subtle.

More asparagus recipes

If you like asparagus, check out our other recipes:

What to serve with sautéed asparagus

You can serve this recipe as a side dish with pretty much anything. We love this recipe with:

And as a side to many more of our best vegan dinner recipes. Check them out!

Questions

How long does it take to fry asparagus?

It takes from 5 to 10 minutes to fry asparagus in a skillet with a tablespoon of oil. Thicker asparagus take longer, thinner asparagus can take as littl as 5 minutes to fry.

Storage

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in microwave. We do not recommend freezing.

For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.

sautéed asparagus

Sauteed Asparagus

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 1 vote
Sautéed asparagus is a vibrant spring dish. Ours is a quick and easy recipe for asparagus on the stovetop cooked with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper.
To make them pop, serve them with a squeeze of lemon juice, or with our quick and easy mustard vinaigrette.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Side dish
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (1 lb) asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 twists black pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine or water
  • 4 wedges lemon to squeeze on top

Instructions 

  • Rinse and trim asparagus ends. Try to cut off only woody part.
    trimming asparagus woody ends
  • Chop the asparagus spears into smaller chunks. If you want to saute asparagus whole, then you'll need a large pan that can fit them.
    chop the asparagus spears
  • On a large skillet, warm up a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the asparaguscrushed garlicsalt, and pepper.
    Sauté on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, add white wine (or water) and stir.
    Let the wine evaporate, turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a lid and cook for another 3 to 7 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus is.
    sauteed asparagus on a pan
  • To check for doneness, pierce the stalk with a fork. It should be tender-crisp, not mushy and overcooked. Serving suggestions below.
    pan fried asparagus

Notes

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

LEMON & HERBS
The simplest way to enjoy sautéed asparagus is with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley.
Add nuts: to make it a little fancier, you can add some nuts on top. We used lightly toasted slivered almonds, which go super well with the asparagus.
MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
If you want something a little more special, then try our mustard vinaigrette. Make it with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of mustard, ½ teaspoon of salt, a few twists of black pepper, and one grated clove of garlic. Whisk well and serve alongside the steamed asparagus for people to drizzle on top.
This vinaigrette adds a lot of flavor to this simple recipe. It’s tangy, zesty, a little sweet, and sour. We think it’s delicious with sautéed asparagus.

Nutrition

Calories: 68kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 247mg, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 858IU, Vitamin B6: 1mg, Vitamin C: 7mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 49µg, Calcium: 32mg, Folate: 59µg, Iron: 3mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 18mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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