Here’s How to Blanch Asparagus perfectly to enjoy in salads, pasta, or all by itself. It’s an easy technique to learn whether you want to meal prep, make a veggie tray, or freeze asparagus for later.

Chopped asparagus on a wood cutting board.

Tutorial notes:

  • Trimming: To trim the tough, fibrous portion of each spear, you can cut it with a knife or bend it until it snaps. The asparagus will break precisely where the tender part ends and the tough part begins.
  • Buying: Fresher is always better. Look for straight, sturdy spears that are bright green with a purple hue at the tip. Check the bottom of the bunch to see if the stalks are wrinkled, completely dried out, or too woody. And, inspect the tops of the asparagus. When the tips of the spears start to open, darken or appear slimy, skip it. Last, consider your recipe with regard to spear-size. For example, thin spears are great in asparagus salad while thicker spears are great for asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.
  • Washing: Fresh asparagus beans is susceptible to mold growth, so wash it only right before you will use it.
  • Storing: Trim off the ends with a sharp knife and place the bunch upright in an inch or so of cold water inside the refrigerator until you need it. A square-bottomed mug or ramekin works great for this.
  • Freezing: Store blanched asparagus in a sturdy freezer bag or vacuum sealed package for up to 9 months. Thaw and add to soups, stir-fries, pastas, all of it!

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Bring a stockpot or Dutch oven filled with an inch or two of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the size of your asparagus. (Cut up pieces of asparagus and very thin asparagus cook even quicker.)
    Asparagus in a silver frying pan.
  2. Remove from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to halt cooking. Once completely cool, drain completely and pat dry.
    Asparagus in ice water in a white dish.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Peeling: If the skin seems thick and tough, use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel the stalk to within about 2 inches of the tip.
  • Leftovers: Cooked asparagus will also last 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Expired: Asparagus tips are the most tender part of the vegetable and always the first to go bad. If the tips start to change to a very dark green color and fall apart easily between your fingers, it’s time to toss.

Asparagus salad in a wooden bowl.

Delicious recipes for blanched asparagus:

Chopped asparagus on a wood cutting board.

How to Blanch Asparagus

Here’s How to Blanch Asparagus perfectly to enjoy in salads, pasta, or all by itself. It's an easy technique to learn whether you want to meal prep, make a veggie tray, or freeze asparagus for later.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Servings 6 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 30

Ingredients 

For the salad:

  • 2 pounds asparagus trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon salt optional

Instructions 

To blanch the asparagus:

  • Fill a large bowl with water and ice. In a large saucepan or stockpot, bring 1 inch water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil. Add asparagus, cover, and boil until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Immediately remove from boiling water and plunge into ice bath to stop the cooking. When completely cool, drain well and pat dry.

Notes

  1. Trimming: To trim the tough, fibrous portion of each spear, you can cut it with a knife or bend it until it snaps. The asparagus will break precisely where the tender part ends and the tough part begins. 
  2. Buying: Fresher is always better. Look for straight, sturdy spears that are bright green with a purple hue at the tip. Check the bottom of the bunch to see if the stalks are wrinkled, completely dried out, or too woody. And, inspect the tops of the asparagus. When the tips of the spears start to open, darken or appear slimy, skip it. Last, consider your recipe with regard to spear-size. For example, thin spears are great in asparagus salad while thicker spears are great for asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.
  3. Washing: Fresh asparagus beans is susceptible to mold growth, so wash it only right before you will use it.
  4. Storing: Trim off the ends with a sharp knife and place the bunch upright in an inch or so of cold water inside the refrigerator until you need it. A square-bottomed mug or ramekin works great for this.
  5. Freezing: Store blanched asparagus in a sturdy freezer bag or vacuum sealed package for up to 9 months. Thaw and add to soups, stir-fries, pastas, all of it!
  6. Peeling: If the skin seems thick and tough, use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel the stalk to within about 2 inches of the tip.
  7. Leftovers: Cooked asparagus will also last 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
  8. Expired: Asparagus tips are the most tender part of the vegetable and always the first to go bad. If the tips start to change to a very dark green color and fall apart easily between your fingers, it’s time to toss.

Nutrition

Calories: 30kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1166mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1143IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 3mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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