German White Asparagus (Spargel)

Cooked white asparagus spears drizzled with butter on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 pound
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
54 Calories
3g Fat
6g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 331mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 9mg 44%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 255mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you've never seen white asparagus, let alone worked with it, it is rather beautiful as far as vegetables go. You can cook with it in all the ways you would with regular green asparagus, but the flavor is milder and more delicate, with a slight bitterness. This dish for German white asparagus (spargel) is easy to cook and serve.

To prep asparagus, you can either cut off the woody stems or bend them back at their natural breaking point, which is usually within an inch or so at the bottom. Sometimes when you bend them back, they snap easily and naturally.

Follow these instructions and make some German boiled potatoes (dampfkartoffeln) to go with them. Serve with melted butter and deli ham, both cooked and dried (like prosciutto). A dry white wine rounds out the meal.


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 pound white asparagus

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for German white asparagus recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Fill a pot or pan with a tight-fitting lid halfway with water and add the salt, sugar, and butter.

    Pot with water, butter, and seasonings on the burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Cover, and bring to a low boil over high heat.

    Pot with boiling water covered with a lid

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Clean the asparagus by snapping off the woody end of each spear, where it bends naturally.

    Asparagus spears on a cutting board with ends snapped off

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 

  5. Using a vegetable peeler, and starting about 1 1/2 inches from the tip of each spear, peel away the remaining tough outer layer.

    Peeled asparagus spears on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Place the prepared asparagus either lying down in the pan or standing up in an asparagus basket that fits inside a tall asparagus or spaghetti cooker. Cover and reduce heat to medium to keep the water at a simmer.

    Asparagus immersed in water in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Cook the asparagus 8 to 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted in 1 stalk comes out smoothly.

    Paring knife being inserted in an asparagus spear

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Remove from pan and drain. Serve immediately with ham, melted butter, and boiled new potatoes and Hollandaise sauce, if you wish.

    Drained cooked asparagus spears on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • If using a tall asparagus pot, it can be helpful to tie the asparagus into bundles with kitchen twine for ease of transfer.
  • Cooked white asparagus is a fantastic accompaniment to ham and boiled new potatoes with melted butter or Hollandaise sauce.
  • Cooked asparagus is also nice with some lemon juice and grated lemon zest sprinkled on top of it after a simple steaming.
  • It's also really great alongside a simple dish of broiled shrimp or scallops, or grilled chicken or pork. Ham and asparagus make for an especially German-influenced meal.

How to Store German Asparagus

Asparagus, once it's cooked, will keep in a covered container for up to three to four days. You can reheat it simply on the stovetop. It's best to avoid cooking it in the microwave because you could lose too much water.