Broiled Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan

Broiled Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan is the perfect side dish to pair with any protein! Prepared with just 5 simple ingredients, this asparagus recipe is ready in less than 15 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Love easy side dishes? Don’t miss Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic and Oven Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple and Cranberries.

Spears of broiled asparagus on a white platter next to a bowl of parmesan and lemon

I used to think asparagus was a dish best left to the pros. In fact, I would only enjoy it at restaurants because I’ve ruined more than one bunch of perfectly good asparagus.

HOWEVER, when I learned that I could cook it in the broiler, it was a game changer. No more mushy, droopy asparagus!

Broiled Asparagus is a simple, super flavorful way to prepare the green vegetable!

Why I love this recipe:

This broiled asparagus recipe could not be easier to make at home. And I’d wager to say you’ve probably got the right things in your house already.

This asparagus recipe is tender, but not mushy. The parmesan cheese adds nice saltiness to the final dish, too.

This is a recipe I can make to serve with a weeknight dinner, an at-home date night or even to serve to friends at a dinner party. It’s wonderfully easy to do, and it pairs with so many dishes, too.

Proteins to pair with broiled asparagus: Broiled Steak | Chicken Cordon Bleu | Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf | Cast Iron Ribeye | Mustard Chicken

Need more meal inspiration? Be sure to swing by my Dinner Recipe Index for tons of recipes!

Collage showing asparagus standing up and ingredients in bowls

What you need to make this recipe

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In addition to the tools above, you’ll need a few ingredients, too.

  • Fresh asparagus—green asparagus is my go-to in this recipe because it’s readily available in the United States. Just make sure yours is fresh and not canned.
  • Avocado oil—or another lightly flavored, high smoke point oil. While I love olive oil, I don’t like to broil with it because it gets smoky really fast.
  • Salt and pepper—for seasoning, of course. You can season to taste or follow the measurements that I set out below in the recipe card.
  • Parmesan cheese—sprinkle this on at the end so that the asparagus has a salty, cheesy finish. If you don’t like cheese or don’t eat it, feel free to leave this off.

Let’s talk about asparagus:

Asparagus is a green vegetable that produces edible stalks. It’s grown throughout the world and is beloved in various cultures.

Types of asparagus: There are several different varieties of asparagus.

  • Green asparagus is the most commonly found in the United States. It can be pencil-thin or super thick, just depending on the plant.
  • White asparagus is milder and harder to find in the United States than green asparagus. You can purchase the canned variety, though I do not recommend using canned asparagus for broiling. Also—fun fact! It’s grown underground so it isn’t exposed to sunlight, hence the white color.
  • Purple asparagus is slightly sweeter than its green counterpart and is good when eaten raw, as well as cooked. It has a thicker stalk.
  • Wild asparagus is another variety of asparagus, which is typically found in Europe. However, I can imagine there are some available at farmers markets in the United States, depending on regional climate, etc.

When is asparagus season? Asparagus season is typically thought of as from February to June.

How to store asparagus: If you’re not going to be cooking your asparagus immediately after buying it from the store, store it in a heavy-bottomed glass jar or cup. Make sure to add about an inch of water to the bottom so that the asparagus can stay fresh! Loosely cover with its plastic bag and store. This will make it stay fresh for longer.

Collage showing how to find the woody stems and cut asparagus

How to broil asparagus

Prepare. Move your top oven rack to 6” beneath the broiler, and preheat. (Mine goes up to 550°F, so have yours go as hot as possible. It needs to be screaming hot.) Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper, too.

Cut the asparagus. Take one asparagus and bend it until the stem breaks. (This is going to separate the woody part from the part we want to eat.) Use this as your guide. Line the asparagus up in a row on the cutting board, and trim them all where the first asparagus broke.

Season. Place the asparagus spears into a large bowl, and toss with the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Arrange. Transfer the asparagus into an even, single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Do not overcrowd your pan! The asparagus needs a little space because otherwise, they’ll steam and not broil.

Collage showing how to season broiled asparagus

Broil. Transfer the asparagus into the broiler. Broil for 5-6 minutes, or until the asparagus begins to brown. Remove from the oven.

Check the asparagus. We want it to be tender, so use a fork to pierce a spear. If it’s still tough, you need to broil it a little longer before adding the cheese. If it’s relatively tender, move on to the next step.

Add the cheese. Pop the asparagus back under the broiler for 2-3 more minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.

Remove from the broiler, and enjoy immediately.

Broiled parmesan on a sheet pan before and after adding parmesan

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

Broiled Asparagus are a fancy-looking, yet incredibly simple dish to serve when entertaining. However, you need to feel comfortable firing up your broiler when your friends and family are around. (And you should because it’s easy!)

Here are a few tips and tricks for making this cranberry sauce recipe for a crowd:

  • Double the recipe. If your people love asparagus, you’ll definitely want to do this! Make this in two batches so your sheet pan isn’t overcrowded.
  • Mise en place. If you’re entertaining and making this broiled asparagus recipe, prep it well before guests arrive. This means trimming the asparagus, as well as having your ingredients out. Shred your parmesan cheese and store it in a small airtight food container in the fridge, too!
  • Pair it with something that doesn’t cook under the broiler. Why? So this can be the last thing that comes out, and you’re ready to eat!
Broiled Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan on a baking sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to cook asparagus?

That depends on you and your tastebuds! Personally, I like this Broiled Asparagus recipe because the broiler brings out the bright, intense asparagus flavor. Paired with a little bit of lemon and parmesan, this recipe is out-of-this-world delicious.

How do you cook asparagus so it isn’t tough?

We love this broiled asparagus because it’s so easy and also results in wonderfully tender, flavorful asparagus!

How do you know when asparagus is done cooking?

When the asparagus is fork-tender, it’s done! If you cook it for any longer, it’ll get too droopy.

Can you freeze asparagus?

You can freeze asparagus, though you need to blanche or steam it beforehand because that helps preserve its color and texture. I do not recommend freezing raw asparagus because of this. If you want to do this, check out this article from Northern Nester (https://northernnester.com/can-you-freeze-asparagus/).

Broiled asparagus on a white plate

Quick tips and tricks for the best asparagus

  • Double or triple the recipe. If your people love asparagus, you’ll definitely want to do this! Consider doing it in two separate batches or on two separate sheet pans.
  • How to store: Take leftovers and place them in an airtight food storage container. It will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave until warm.

What should I serve this parmesan asparagus with?

Spears of broiled asparagus on a white platter next to a bowl of parmesan and lemon
Yield: 4 servings

Broiled Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

If you’re looking for an easy side dish to pair with any protein, this Broiled Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan is it! Prepared with just 5 simple ingredients, this asparagus recipe is ready in less than 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb. fresh asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Move your top oven rack to be 6” beneath the broiler.
  2. Preheat the broiler to 550°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus. Place the asparagus in a bowl. (You can reserve the woody stems to make a stock later or toss them.)
  4. Toss with the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss until coated.
  5. Place on the prepared sheet pan in a single layer.
  6. Broil for 5-6 minutes, until the asparagus begins to turn golden and is fork tender.
  7. Remove and sprinkle on the cheese. Broil for another 2-3, until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
  8. Remove from the broiler, and enjoy immediately.

Notes

How to cut the asparagus: Take one asparagus and bend it until the stem breaks. You’re going to use this as your guide. Line the asparagus up in a row with the ends touching, and trim them all where the asparagus broke.

How to store: Take leftovers and place them in an airtight food storage container. It will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave until warm.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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