Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

The Spruce / Qi Ai

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
11 Calories
1g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 11
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 146mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 10mg 0%
*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.)

Grilling just may be the best way to cook asparagus. First, as you'll see below, grilled asparagus is crazy easy. Second, the charred, smoky flavor the grill adds highlights the grassy essence of asparagus. Third, grilled asparagus tastes just as good straight off the grill as it does at warm room temperature an hour later, making it a great addition to large parties or buffets by letting you get some of the grilling done ahead of time.

Speaking of which... this recipe is easily doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. It's more a method than a recipe, so feel free to experiment with sauces and toppings once you get them off the grill.


  • 1 bunch asparagus*

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, or canola, grapeseed, or vegetable oil

  • Fine sea salt, to taste

  • Lemon juice, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Grilled Asparagus ingredients

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  2. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for high heat (hold a hand an inch above the cooking grate for just 1 to 2 seconds before pulling it away because it feels so hot).

    heat the grill

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  3. Trim or peel the asparagus (see How to Trim Asparagus and/or How to Peel Asparagus if unfamiliar with preparing asparagus).

    Trimming fresh asparagus

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  4. Toss the asparagus with the oil to coat it thoroughly. Feel free to use more oil, if desired; to coat it with a minimal amount involves lots of tossing.

    asparagus coated in oil on a plate

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  5. Place the asparagus on the grill, cover, and cook until the asparagus color heightens and grill marks appear, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the asparagus, cover, and cook until tender, about 4 to 5 more minutes.

    asparagus cooking on the grill

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  6. Remove the asparagus from the grill. Sprinkle it with salt and lemon juice, if desired. Serve the grilled asparagus hot, warm, or at room temperature.

    Grilled Asparagus

    The Spruce / Qi Ai


  • Look for fat asparagus spears to put on the grill—their meatiness works well with grilling and they're easier to manage on the grate (and less likely to fall through). Contrary to popular belief, thin asparagus isn't more tender than fat asparagus and are not younger, at least the spears aren't. The thickness of asparagus spears is dictated by how old the plant itself is (asparagus plants will produce asparagus for up to 20 years) and the specific variety of the plant. Tenderness has to do with how the asparagus was grown and how recently it was harvested. As with so many vegetables, fresh equals tender. In fact, if they are equally fresh, fat spears will be more tender since they have a thicker inner core so the peel-to-core ratio is lower.

More About Asparagus

Early in asparagus season, the simply lemon juice-dressed asparagus is likely to satisfy, since it highlights the unique asparagus flavor that's been missing from your taste buds since the previous spring. As the season goes on, however, and the asparagus itself becomes less of a compelling draw, you may want to make a sauce to go with it. I'm a fan of aioli, a French garlicky mayonnaise, or rouille, a red pepper mayo popular in the South of France, both of which can be dolloped onto the grilled asparagus or offered on the side sort of for dipping. For those less interested in mayo, a shallot vinaigrette or a fresh basil vinaigrette are both tasty options.