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Properly cooking veggies like asparagus can seem intimidating, but when you prepare these bright green stalks simply and in a healthy manner, you really can’t go wrong. Asparagus has elegant texture and taste and doesn’t require fancy bells and whistles to enhance it.

All you need is a large pan for boiling and then sautéing the asparagus in olive oil, and you’ll create the ultimate fresh and nutritional side dish.

This method of how to cook asparagus on the stove is quick and delivers satisfying results.

Seasoned, cooked asparagus on a plate.

Step #1. Prepare the Ingredients

Fresh green asparagus on a wooden rack.

Prepare all of the ingredients before starting to cook:

  • 8-10 asparagus stems
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Freshly ground sea salt & pepper

Step #2. Cut the Asparagus Tips

Asparagus stems getting gut off with knife on cutting board.

Cut the asparagus tips (leaving just the greenest parts).

Step #3. Peel off the Hard Parts

Asparagus stems getting peeled on wooden cutting board.

Using a potato peeler, remove any hard parts so the stems are very soft to the touch.

Step #4. Bring Water to a Boil

Adding asparagus stems to pan with boiling water.

Bring water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and add the asparagus.

Step #5. Boil the Asparagus

Asparagus cooking in frying pan.

Boil the asparagus for about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness), or until they are bright and tender.

Step #6. Remove Asparagus

Cooked asparagus in a pan with tongs.

Remove the asparagus from the water and reserve.

Step #7. Fry Some Garlic

Garlic and olive oil in a frying pan.

Remove the water from the frying pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the olive oil. Once the olive oil heats, add the garlic cloves and cook them until they are brown.

Step #8. Return Asparagus to Pan

Asparagus in frying pan with metal tongs.

Return the cooked asparagus to the pan and mix them thoroughly with the olive oil and garlic.

Step #9. Season the Asparagus

Asparagus on plate with flake salt.

Sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper.

Step #10. Serve

Seasoned, cooked asparagus on a plate.

The long, green stalks are packed with excellent nutrition including protein, iron, calcium, fiber, folate and Vitamins A, B6, C, E and K. This fresh veggie is all about good health. In addition, eating asparagus offers another bonus; it’s a natural diuretic. The versatile veggie helps reduce common belly bloat by flushing out excess fluid and salt from the body.

Lastly, cooking up a pan of yummy asparagus can put you in a better frame of mind. That’s right; the veggie is filled to the brim with tryptophan. The amino acid can elevate one’s mood.

Now that you have a simple, nutritious recipe for asparagus pan-sautéed in olive oil, is this a hearty side dish you’re tempted to try?

Seasoned, cooked asparagus on a plate.

How to Cook Asparagus on the Stove

Joss D
All you need is a large pan for boiling and then sautéing the asparagus in olive oil, and you'll create the ultimate fresh and nutritional side dish.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 147 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 8-10 asparagus stems
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves - chopped
  • Freshly ground sea salt & pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cut the asparagus tips (leaving just the greenest parts).
    Asparagus stems getting gut off with knife on cutting board.
  • Using a potato peeler, remove any hard parts so the stems are very soft to the touch.
    Asparagus stems getting peeled on wooden cutting board.
  • Bring water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and add the asparagus.
    Adding asparagus stems to pan with boiling water.
  • Boil the asparagus for about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness), or until they are bright and tender.
    Asparagus cooking in frying pan.
  • Remove the asparagus from the water and reserve.
    Cooked asparagus in a pan with tongs.
  • Remove the water from the skillet. Turn the heat down to medium and add the olive oil. Once the olive oil heats, add the garlic cloves and cook them until they are brown.
    Garlic and olive oil in a frying pan.
  • Return the cooked asparagus to the pan and mix them thoroughly with the olive oil and garlic.
    Asparagus in frying pan with metal tongs.
  • Sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper.
    Asparagus on plate with flake salt.
  • Serve
    Seasoned, cooked asparagus on a plate.

Equipment

Skillet

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 129mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 485IUVitamin C: 4.5mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1.4mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does asparagus make your pee smell?

Not everyone will notice a smell in their urine after eating asparagus, but if you do, it’s because the asparagus breaks down into byproducts containing sulfur. When you pee, the byproducts immediately evaporate and give off an odor.

Why does asparagus make your pee green?

Asparagus can give your urine a slightly greenish tinge and this is thought to be due to the pigments not being damaged in the digestive process, possibly because of lower acidity in the stomach.

How do you store asparagus?

Uncooked asparagus can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s time to throw them away when the ends become dark/mushy. If you want the asparagus to stay fresher longer, trim the ends and stand them up in a jar or container with an inch of water so that the ends stay moist. Alternatively, you could wrap the trimmed ends in moist paper towel inside of a zip-top bag. Cooked asparagus should last about 3 to 5 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Looking to further enhance your cooking skills? Check out…How to Cook Crispy Bacon

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