Quick & Easy Garlic Sauteed Asparagus

Fresh and healthy sauteed asparagus with garlic and parmesan – a quick and easy, versatile side dish that’s ready in less than 15 minutes.

Quick Garlic Sautéed Asparagus - an easy, healthy, versatile Spring side dish that's ready in less than 15 minutes. via forkknifeswoon.com

Happy St. Patrick’s day!! No green beer or whiskey-laced desserts today, but I do have lots of green for you in the form of one of my very favorite veggie dishes: garlic sautéed asparagus.

Simple, simple, simple. That’s how I like my asparagus, and this quick recipe is no exception.

Three ingredients – okay five, if you count salt and pepper – and about 15 minutes, are all that stand between you and truly delicious, dare I say foolproof, asparagus.

Quick Garlic Sautéed Asparagus - an easy, healthy, versatile Spring side dish that's ready in less than 15 minutes. via forkknifeswoon.com
Quick Sautéed Garlic Asparagus - an easy, healthy, versatile Spring side dish that's ready in less than 15 minutes. via forkknifeswoon.com

For the longest time, I avoided asparagus. I found it bitter, almost astringent at times, or worse, nearly flavorless, often cooked to oblivion. Just… lacking.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, that I saw the light – or rather, was introduced to a better cooking technique – and asparagus became totally worth its high grocery store price tag.

My Dad actually turned me on to the method of quickly cooking the asparagus over high heat with a little oil and generous seasoning, for just a few minutes. This adds a ton of flavor, and yields tender, sweet, perfect asparagus, every time. I’m hooked.

You can do the same thing in the oven – crank it up to 400-425 degrees, toss with some olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper, then roast for a few minutes until just tender – but sautéing is even faster. These babies are ready by the time my oven finishes preheating.

Quick Sautéed Garlic Asparagus - an easy, healthy, versatile Spring side dish that's ready in less than 15 minutes. via forkknifeswoon.com
Quick Sautéed Garlic Asparagus - an easy, healthy, versatile Spring side dish that's ready in less than 15 minutes. via forkknifeswoon.com

A few tips for foolproof sauteed asparagus:

Be choosy about the asparagus you buy. Look for vibrant, crisp and slender spears, which are naturally sweeter and more tender. Avoid the massive, tree-trunk-like, 3/4-inch diameter spears that come 10 to a bunch.

Use a large sauté pan or griddle for this – something with a large enough surface area that all of the asparagus can lay flat in an even layer while cooking.

Cook over fairly-high heat. We don’t want to fry the asparagus in the oil, but we do want the pan and oil hot enough that the asparagus cooks quickly, with the outsides just beginning to crisp. Think flash cooking.

Stir often. Keep the asparagus moving and rolling, to ensure even cooking, and to take on all that garlicky flavor.

Err on the side of al dente – we’re looking for still green, tender spears with a bit of bite left to them. A minute or two is just long enough for the most petite spears. Add another minute or so for slightly thicker asparagus.

A superfine dusting (maybe a tablespoon or so, total) of Parmesan, right at the end, just before serving, takes the asparagus from divine to sublime…

Enjoy!

Quick Sautéed Garlic Asparagus - an easy, healthy, versatile Spring side dish that's ready in less than 15 minutes. via forkknifeswoon.com
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Quick Garlic Sautéed Asparagus - an easy, healthy, versatile Spring side dish that's ready in less than 15 minutes. via forkknifeswoon.com

Quick Garlic Sautéed Asparagus


  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x

Description

Fresh and healthy sauteed asparagus with garlic and parmesan – a quick and easy, versatile side dish that’s ready in less than 15 minutes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch (about 1 lb) asparagus, trimmed
  • fresh garlic, minced
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • optional: 1 Tbsp finely-grated or powdered Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the asparagus spears in a single layer, and gently roll to coat in the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring often, until just tender, 1-2 minutes. Add a minute or two for thicker spears. Dust with the Parmesan, if using. Serve immediately.

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7 Comments

  1. 4.7.16
    Ann said:

    I do something similar with asparagus, but roast it at 450 in the toaster oven , which preheats quickly and cooks rapidly. I add lemon peel and parmesan, omit the garlic. Yum!

  2. 3.18.16
    Joan said:

    Yum! I’ve always loved asparagus, and this sounds like a great — and speedy — way to prepare it!

  3. 3.18.16
    Aysegul said:

    I can never get enough of asparagus. And this simple and “foolproof” recipe is just perfect. 😉

    • 3.18.16
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Aysegul! <3

  4. 3.18.16

    Easy-peasy and so perfect for spring!

    • 3.18.16
      Laura said:

      Thanks so much, Ellie!!

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021, and may not be used without permission.