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Whether it’s sauteeing or stir frying vegetables, making them on the stovetop is often the fastest way to cook them. This tutorial will show you how to saute asparagus in just 10 minutes. The key to this simple sauteed asparagus recipe with garlic and lemon? Start with olive oil to saute, then add a lemon garlic butter at the end. (I use a similar method to make sauteed zucchini, too.)
Easy sauteed asparagus recipes on the stovetop work best with thin stalks. If you’ve got thicker stalks, try my roasted asparagus recipe instead.
You can also use asparagus to make asparagus stuffed chicken, baked cheesy asparagus, or bacon wrapped asparagus. Both the plain version and these variations are delicious drizzled with hollandaise sauce, too.
Sauteed Asparagus Recipe Ingredients
Since it takes just 10 minutes from start to finish and uses common staples, this easy sauteed asparagus recipe makes a great last-minute side dish. You’ll need just 5 simple ingredients, plus salt and pepper:
- Olive oil – I prefer the flavor and benefits of olive oil, but you can also use avocado oil, or any other oil you have on hand.
- Asparagus – As mentioned above, it’s best to use thin asparagus stalks in this recipe, otherwise they won’t cook through as well on the stovetop.
- Butter – Grass-fed butter gives the sauteed asparagus incredible flavor, and we add it toward the end to avoid burning it. You can skip this or use more oil if you are dairy-free.
- Garlic – Use fresh for best flavor, or jarred for an easy option.
- Lemon zest – Use a zester for lemon zest without the bitter pith.
- Sea salt & black pepper
How To Saute Asparagus
This sauteed asparagus with lemon and garlic takes just 10 minutes to make:
- Saute in oil. Heat oil in a large skillet and add asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until asparagus is bright green.
- Add butter, lemon, and garlic. Make a well in the center of the pan, add the butter and let it melt. Add garlic and lemon zest to butter and saute without stirring, until garlic is fragrant.
- Combine. Stir asparagus into the garlic butter mixture and cook until asparagus is done to your liking, usually just a minute or two.
FAQs About Sauteing Asparagus
Can you saute asparagus?
Yes, and this sauteed asparagus with garlic recipe will show you just how easy and delicious it is.
How long should asparagus be sauteed?
The cooking time for asparagus will vary a bit on the size of your asparagus, and as I mentioned above, it does work best with thinner stalks. When the asparagus is thin, it will take just 5-8 minutes to cook.
How to tell when sauteed asparagus is done?
When sauteed asparagus is done is somewhat of a personal preference. Once asparagus turns bright green, it can be considered ready, but many people prefer to cook it for an additional couple of minutes to soften it a bit more. In this lemon and garlic sauteed asparagus recipe, we saute it for a couple of minutes in garlic butter at the end.
Is sauteed asparagus healthy?
Yes! This sauteed garlic asparagus recipe is made with vegetables (obviously!), is keto, low carb, gluten-free, and easily made vegan. It’s something everyone can enjoy.
Can you make sauteed asparagus recipes dairy-free?
Yes. This recipe uses butter, but you could use ghee (technically dairy but removes the milk proteins), your favorite dairy-free butter alternative, more olive oil, or butter-flavored coconut oil.
Is asparagus better roasted or sauteed?
Asparagus is delicious both ways, roasted and sauteed! You can make either one with thin spears, but for thicker spears, roasting asparagus in the oven works best.
Can you make it ahead?
For the best sauteed asparagus, make right before serving. It takes just 5 minutes to cook, so it’s easy to make fresh.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The longer the asparagus sits, the more mushy it will become, so it’s best served soon after cooking. Reheat the asparagus in a hot skillet for best results.
Can you freeze sauteed asparagus?
I don’t recommend freezing asparagus, as it will get mushy after it thaws.
What To Serve With Sauteed Asparagus
Asparagus is the perfect side dish to just about any main dish! Try it with:
- Steak – Popular options are sirloin steak, New York strip, or filet mignon.
- Seafood – Try broiled lobster tail, halibut, or surf and turf for a fancier meal, or for every day, baked salmon, crispy broiled salmon, or pan fried tilapia.
- Poultry – Simple baked chicken breast, roasted chicken legs, or even roasted turkey are all delicious.
- More Sides – Potatoes are an obvious choice for many, but I prefer healthier mashed cauliflower or rutabaga fries.
Tools To Make Simple Sauteed Asparagus
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Large Skillet – This is one of my favorite pans! The large surface area is perfect for sauteed asparagus, and it conducts heat exceptionally well for nonstick.
- Lemon Zester – You’ll use this for everything from citrus zest to cheese to chocolate.
Sauteed Asparagus Recipe With Lemon And Garlic
Sauteed Asparagus Recipe With Lemon And Garlic
Learn how to saute asparagus perfectly, thanks to this simple sauteed asparagus recipe with garlic and lemon! Just 5 basic ingredients + 10 minutes start to finish.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper.
Saute for 3-5 minutes, until asparagus turns bright green but is still slightly crisp.
Make a well in the center of the pan, add the butter and let it melt. Add the minced garlic and lemon zest to the butter. Saute for about 1 minute without stirring, until garlic is fragrant.
Stir the asparagus with the garlic butter. Continue to saute for 1-2 minutes, or until the asparagus is done to your liking.
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Serving size: 3-4 asparagus spears, or 1/4 entire recipe
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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My friend had told me about how she makes asparagus with lemon but I wasn’t sure then I came across your recipe and omg it was delicious me n my son really enjoyed it definitely a keeper and will make it again this way. Thanks for sharing your recipe 20/03/2023
The asparagus was crisp and just right and the flavor was awesome. My problem was that the Asparagus had scortch marks.
There may have been two issues here.
1 the asparagus was crowded in the pan, so I divided the bunch in half and sautéd them in two batches.
2. the real problem was that the olive oil got too hot when I turned the stove to medium high. The temp was just one bump over medium, so more medium than high. The olive oil overheated in the pan at the end of sautéing the first batch, but was able to sauté the two batches. Then added the butter, melted it and added the garlic and the lemon zest. let it saute 1 min. then added the rest of the already steamed asparagus back to the pan. It tasted great, but the asparagus had scorch marks from sautéing . Need your suggestions.
Should I trim all of the asparagus into 1 inch pieces so they all fit in the pan. The large burner had a 14 inch cast iron skillet as the main entreé was the Keto Salisbury steak, so I didn’t have a second large burner for the 14 inch large stainless steel pan in which to cook the asparagus.
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Renee, I’m glad you liked the flavor! I used a non-stick pan, not a cast iron pan, so that is likely the difference. Cast iron retains heat much better, so it probably got too hot. For cast iron, I’d recommend medium heat at most, maybe even a tad lower. Hope this helps for next time!
Thanks for a great recipe and a fresh idea on preparing asparagus. I didn’t have lemon zest on hand but a squirt of lemon juice seemed to work fine. Absolutely delicious and will make again!!
Can’t wait to try this.
I love this recipe do much! It’s beautiful and perfect for this time of the year.
So simple and perfect with any main dish or even on a salad. The lemon is so fresh tasting on asparagus.
I really like your recipe, Wholesome Yum. I will try it soon.
I love asparagus and this was a really easy recipe, not to mention light, refreshing and delicious. Will be a new go to for asparagus.
The butter, garlic and lemon zest make these sauteed asparagus absolutely fantastic!
Sauteed aspargus looks delicious
We love your asparagus and this is easy and perfect!