Our Best Grilled Asparagus is a super simple low carb less than 15-minute 5 ingredient side dish finished with lemon zest and grated parmesan cheese. The perfect side to dish to one of these delicious Summer Grilling and Chilling Recipes.
Table of Contents
- Best Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan
- What Does Asparagus Taste Like?
- Green vs White vs Purple
- Do you Like Asparagus?
- How Long to Cook Asparagus?
- What's the Best Temperature to Grill Asparagus?
- How to Prepare Asparagus to the Grill
- What's the Best Seasoning for Grilled Asparagus?
- How to Tell if Your Asparagus has Gone Bad?
- More Delicious Grilling Recipes
Best Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan
There is something magical that happen when asparagus hits the grill. It takes on this toasty smoky grilled flavor and needs minimal seasonings to make it the star of the show. With just a few pantry staples like lemon zest, freshly grated parmesan, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and fresh cracked black peppercorns, you can have an epic side dish. Heck, if you are like us, you might even like it as the main.
What Does Asparagus Taste Like?
For us, asparagus tastes a little like broccoli but with an earthy grassy flavor. When asparagus is in season, it is very naturally sweet and tender. If you buy, old asparagus or when it is out of season, it can be much tougher and not as sweet. Springtime is the best time of the year to enjoy this delicious vegetable.
In addition, asparagus takes on the flavors that are in your dish. When asparagus is in season, we love eating it for brunch with a Sautéed Asparagus and Mushrooms with Poached Eggs, lunch and dinner with our Herb Marinated Grilled Rack of Lamb or our One Sheet Pan Dilly Lemon Salmon.
Green vs White vs Purple
Did you know there is many breeds of asparagus and even heirloom? Really, who knew.
There are 3 different colors of asparagus
- Green is the most common and these are usually pretty tender and get their green color from the photosynthesis process.
- Purple asparagus is not as common and is a little sweeter and thicker than the green variety. To keep the purple color this one is great used in salads as the purple color will fade with cooking.
- White is the most expensive type of asparagus. It gets it white color because farmers cover the plants and they are hidden from sunlight, so they do not turn green. Because, the farming and caring for this crop is more laborious they charge more as well.
If you had a blind fold on, could you tell the difference between eating a green or white asparagus? If so, what is your favorite breed to make the Best Grilled Asparagus?
Do You Like Asparagus?
We love its naturally sweet taste. We know there are some naysayers out there that will tell you in an abrupt way, that they refuse to eat asparagus. Kids are notorious for this. They will have a complete melt down at the dinner table, if you give them mushy asparagus. You see, it is a texture thing. We know one thing for sure if you boil the asparagus to mush, a melt down at the table will happen. Heck, if you served us an over cooked asparagus at the dinner table, we would have a meltdown. That brings us to the next topic, how long to cook asparagus.
How Long to Cook Asparagus on the Grill?
This depends on the size of your asparagus. If you plan to grill the asparagus without using aluminum foil, choose a larger sized asparagus and save the little skinny minny asparagus for roasting in the oven or in a stove top stir fry. The best option is to choose an asparagus about the size of your pointer finger, that is perfect fro grilling.
Set your grill on medium, and you have thicker asparagus, it will take approximately 6-10 minutes directly on the grill. Turning halfway through the cooking process. It depends on the size of your asparagus and also it depends how you like your asparagus cooked. We like ours a little aldente but with a nice char so for us that was about 3-4 minutes on each side until you can piece your fork into the asparagus easily. If you like your asparagus more well done, depending on the size of the asparagus, it can take up to 10 minutes.
If you have those super skinny asparagus, you will need to cook either on a vegetable grill plate or grill asparagus on top of aluminum foil, so they do not fall through the grill grates. They will take approximately 4-6 minutes to grill or until toasty on all sides. If you like cooking veggies on the grill, be sure to check out How to Cook Shishito Peppers on the Grill.
What’s the Best Temperature to Grill Asparagus?
We like to first preheat our grill to about 450 degrees F or 232 degrees C. Make sure you clean and oil your grill lightly too. If you do not have an outdoors grill, you can also make our Best Grilled Asparagus on a grill pan or an iron skillet too.
How to Prepare Asparagus for the Grill?
As we stated, it is best to choose the thicker asparagus for the grill as they are less likely to fall through the grates and they hold up best to being placed on the BBQ grill.
First, find out where the tough and the tender part of the asparagus meet and cut it off there. You can do this easily by hand if you wish or with your knife. To find out where the tough and tender portion meet, hold one asparagus spear in your hands and starting from the bottom end slowly move your fingers up until they break off easily. That is where the rubber meets the road.
The next step is to use a vegetable peeler or knife and remove the skin of the bottom ⅓ of the asparagus. If you plan on peeling the bottom portion with a vegetable peeler, you can leave a little more of the bottom on the asparagus as it is the skin portion that can make the asparagus tough.
What is the Best Seasoning for Grilled Asparagus?
You will need some type of oil or butter so that the asparagus does not stick to the grill. We chose olive oil and of course salt and fresh cracked pepper to season it. It is best to make sure that you toss your best grilled asparagus well with olive oil and salt and pepper just before placing them on the grill. Do not season your Best Grilled Asparagus too far in advance or otherwise they will soften.
Lemon zest and parmesan will take your asparagus to the next level by adding a little freshness and savory to the delicious side dish. However, don’t stop there. Feel free to add fresh or dried herbs like basil, oregano or even fresh minced or dried ground garlic to your recipe.
How to Tell if Your Asparagus Has Gone Bad?
Unfortunately, the first part of the asparagus that will go bad is the tips. This is the most prized portion of the asparagus. You might notice that they feel a little slimy.
Another symptom that your asparagus is not at its prime is if it smells odd or has mold. Pitch it!
To help keep your asparagus fresh, store your fresh stalks in the refrigerator with a little damp towel on the bottom of the stems. It is best to use up your fresh produce within 4 days of purchase.
You can freeze asparagus as well. First, trim the asparagus and do a quick blanch, rinse, cool and package them in a freezer safe container or baggie for up to 2 months.
More Delicious Grilling Recipes
- Marinated Grilled Flank Steaks and don't forget the Easy Herbed Butter
- Feta Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
- Chargrilled Halloumi Prosciutto Nectarines and Balsamic Glaze
- Firecracker Grilled Shrimp
- Grilled Nectarines with Coconut Cream - a deliciously light dessert.
- Grilled Swordfish with Crab Salsa
Best Grilled Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus spears raw - bigger is better for the grill- about the size diameter of your pointer finger.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese or more to taste
- Preheat grill to 450 degrees F or 232. Clean and prep the grill
- In the meantime, wash the asparagus and remove the stem at the bottom where it breaks off easily or you can use a knife to trim.
- (optional) Use a vegetable peeler or knife to peel the bottom ⅓ of the asparagus stalk. If your stalks are large you may want to do this to make sure they stay tender.
- Toss asparagus well with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Place asparagus directly on the grill facing in the opposite direction as the grates so that your asparagus do not fall through. You can also grill on a grill pan or use a vegetable grill grate for smaller diameter asparagus.
- Grill larger asparagus for about 6-10 minutes directly on the grill. Turning halfway through the cooking process. It depends on the size of your asparagus and also it depends how you like your asparagus cooked. We like ours a little aldente but with a nice char so for us that was about 3-4minutes on each side until you can piece your fork into the asparagus easily.If you like your asparagus more well done, depending on the size of the asparagus, it can take up to 10 minutes. For smaller asparagus that you need to cook on a vegetable grill these can be done in 4-6 minutes.
- Be sure to turn and check on your asparagus a couple of times during the cooking process and turn as needed. Some of the asparagus might get done first if they are smaller compared to the rest. You can take these off the grill or place on indirect area of the grill until the rest are done cooking.
- Remove the best grilled asparagus off the grill and top with lemon zest and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container up to 3 days. We do not recommend freezing leftovers as the thawing process can leave your asparagus mushy. No one likes mushy asparagus. Take Care