Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. This Sautéed Asparagus is cooked simply, on the stove in just butter and garlic, and it’s ready in 10 minutes or less.

A silver skillet filled with sauteed asparagus.

Asparagus is always best in early spring when the stalks are small and tender and the prices finally drop. I love it because you can cook it quickly (or enjoy it raw) and it goes with everything on the menu.

Especially when you already have the oven going for something else (like a baked ham or a pork roast), stove-top Sautéed Asparagus is an easy, quick way to round out the menu.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Sautéed Asparagus Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for sautéed asparagus.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Asparagus: When trimming asparagus, the stalk naturally breaks near the woody, inedible stem. Depending on the age and thickness of each stalk, up to 50% of a piece of asparagus can be too woody to chew comfortably. So, I plan for 2 pounds of asparagus knowing that after trimming, I can reasonably expect to have 1 pound of edible asparagus, enough for 4 servings.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming subsides. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
Garlic and oil in a silver skillet.
  1. Add asparagus and cook until bright green and tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ¼ teaspoon salt).
A white bowl filled with sauteed asparagus.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe will make about 4 cups of asparagus.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Leftover asparagus is excellent in omelets and scrambled eggs.
A light blue plate with asparagus, roast pork, and potatoes.
Pork Roast with vegetables and Sautéed Asparagus.

Recipe FAQs

How do you shop for asparagus?

 Look for straight, sturdy spears that are bright green with a purple hue at the tip. If the tips of the spears start to open, darken or appear slimy, skip it. Check the bottom of the bunch to see if the stalks are wrinkled, completely dried out, or too woody. 

How do you trim asparagus?

The tough, woody stems of even the most tender asparagus are inedible. The easiest way to remove those ends is to bend a stem near the end, and it will naturally break right at the spot where the woody part ends and the tender stem begins.

How do you store asparagus?

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.

Pasta with Peas and Prosciutto

Pasta with peas and prosciutto is the perfect spring meal. Fresh asparagus, mushrooms, a splash of crisp white wine, salty Parmesan shavings, and a few slices of savory prosciutto complete the 30-minute meal.

30 minutes
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More delicious asparagus recipes

Sautéed asparagus in a silver skillet.

Sautéed Asparagus

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. This Sautéed Asparagus is cooked simply, on the stove in just butter and garlic, and it's ready in 10 minutes or less.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 4 servings (1 cup each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 100

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 pounds asparagus trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (see note 1)
  • Salt

Instructions 

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming subsides. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  • Add asparagus and cook until bright green and tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ¼ teaspoon salt).

Notes

  1. Asparagus: When trimming asparagus, the stalk naturally breaks near the woody, inedible stem. Depending on the age and thickness of each stalk, up to 50% of a piece of asparagus can be too woody to chew comfortably. So, I plan for 2 pounds of asparagus knowing that after trimming, I can reasonably expect to have 1 pound of edible asparagus, enough for 4 servings.
  2. Yield: This recipe will make about 4 cups of asparagus.
  3. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Leftover asparagus is excellent in omelets and scrambled eggs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 77mgPotassium: 238mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1120IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg
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