Asparagus is the lazy cook’s best friend. It doesn’t require any fancy tools or loads of prep to get it right. With just a bit of trimming and as little as a glug of oil or pot of water, you can have an instant, elegant vegetable on your table in minutes.
Pictured: Asparagus with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint from CHOW
So while simple sauté or poach will get you some fast green (or purple or white), there are, of course, plenty of ways to eat up your stalks. Here are eleven recipes that will help you get your asparagus fix in a flash.
1. Roasted Asparagus
The simplest method of them all. You can also get quick and tasty asparagus on the stove, but it’s worth turning on your oven to get an especially deep, roasted flavor. Get our Roasted Asparagus recipe.
2. Shaved Asparagus Salad
Raw asparagus? Yes, please! Use a vegetable peeler to create thin, crunchy ribbons, and let the lemony vinaigrette do the talking. Get our Shaved Asparagus Salad recipe.
3. Baked Asparagus Fries
There are few things that aren’t improved by a layer of something breaded and crispy, but somehow these panko-coated stalks seem especially suited for the oven-fried treatment. Just imagine them perched on the end of your fork or going for a dainty dunk in some dip. Get our Baked Asparagus Fries recipe.
4. Grilled Asparagus Bruschetta
Great bruschetta depends on creating balance from just a few ingredients. Asparagus, pine nuts, and pecorino are a trio up to the task, making for a classy party snack. Get our Grilled Asparagus Bruschetta recipe.
5. Crispy Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
These spears can be found at many a cocktail party, usually cold and limp and frankly, just kind of sad. This recipe gets it right, however, by taking both the asparagus and the prosciutto for a crisping whirl under the broiler. Get our Crispy Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus recipe.
6. Chilled Asparagus Soup
There’s more to asparagus soups than “cream of” straight from the can. This dairy-free variation not only puts the vegetable front and center, it’s best served chilled, for a variation that could be called refreshing. Get the recipe here.
7. Asparagus, Green Bean, and Wax Bean Salad
Fitting for a picnic or a backyard get-together, this salad practically has “warm weather favorite” written all over it. Snappy, bright, and fresh, it’s just as comfortable next to a light grilled fish as it is a filling, barbecued meat. Get our Asparagus, Green Bean, and Wax Bean Salad recipe.
8. Asparagus Benedict with Chèvre-Dijon Sauce
Asparagus and eggs are one of those enduring pairings: the grassiness of the stalks helps liven up the yolky richness, which in turn, tempers any sharpness in the veg. This Benedict variation gets an extra bit of tang from a perky chevre-mustard sauce. Get our Asparagus Benedict with Chèvre-Dijon Sauce recipe.
9. Asparagus Frittata with Horseradish Sour Cream
Another recipe that’s fit for breakfast or brunch, this asparagus frittata is a great way to fit some green into your morning meal. Get our Asparagus Frittata with Horseradish Sour Cream recipe.
10. Pasta with Fresh Asparagus Pesto
Herb-based pestos are great and all, but sometimes you just want a green sauce that won’t knock you over the head with flavor. This asparagus-based version is bright and savory, but with just a smidge of basil, it makes its case quietly and with plenty of eloquence. Get the recipe here.
11. Salmon and Asparagus Kebabs
Asparagus loves a grill—just look at those smoldering grate marks! Pair it on a kebab with salmon for a two-in-one power combo. Get our Salmon and Asparagus Kebabs recipe.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.