Marinated Asparagus

Donna Pilato
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 17 mins
Servings: 5 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
78 Calories
7g Fat
3g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 78
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 119mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 176mg 4%
*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.)

This tangy marinated asparagus recipe makes a great side dish or salad and is often seen on Southern buffets and dinner tables. It's incredibly easy to prepare; the asparagus spears are cooked until al dente and then marinated in the refrigerator for several hours. For maximum flavor, let them come to room temperature before serving.


  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound asparagus

  • 5 to 6 lettuce leaves, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small bowl, prepare the marinade by combining the chopped onion with the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the oil and set aside while you prepare the asparagus.

  3. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a skillet large enough to lay asparagus flat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  4. While the water is coming to a boil, wash the asparagus in cold water. Break off the tough base of each. Remove scales if they are large or sandy.

  5. Place the spears in the boiling water. Let the water return to a boil, then simmer the asparagus gently for 5 to 7 minutes. Asparagus should be slightly crisp.

  6. Drain and place the asparagus in the dish you plan to marinate them in—an oval-shaped dish works best.

  7. Whisk the marinade and pour over warm asparagus. Allow it to marinate at room temperature until cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  8. Remove asparagus from the refrigerator and return to room temperature before serving. Serve as is or, if desired, place lettuce leaves on 6 to 6 plates and top with the marinated spears.


  • Asparagus can quickly become overcooked so try preparing this recipe with asparagus that have been cleaned, trimmed, and blanched for 1 minute only but not fully cooked. Remove them from the water with tongs or a wire wok skimmer and immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Combine them with the marinade and refrigerate.

Recipe Variations

  • Asparagus, the darling of springtime, has a unique, mild flavor that can be paired with most foods. Try combining the marinated asparagus with a protein of your choice; chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and crab all work well for a main-course salad. Hard-cooked egg slices with asparagus is a popular combination, particularly in spring. After you have plated the spears on a bed of lettuce, add egg slices or wedges and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Or, instead of serving marinated asparagus on a bed of lettuce, cut the spears into bite-sized pieces and combine them with Asian rice noodles or cooked ramen noodles. Also, consider adding Kalamata olives and julienned multicolored bell peppers to the marinade for an interesting and colorful spin.