Tender, smoky, and sweet, the best grilled asparagus is tossed in olive oil with salt and pepper for the perfect, healthy 15-minute side dish.
Easiest Grilled Asparagus
Side dishes are the connectors of the dinner table, the unifiers that bring the meal together. And because there’s usually more than one side dish to your dinner menu, it’s a good idea to keep the recipes easy.
So when I have a main dish that calls for a few ingredients and techniques to employ, I turn to my tried and true simple recipes.
This 15-minute, 2-ingredient grilled asparagus (plus salt and pepper) is definitely at the top of that list.
The best grilled asparagus becomes smoky and sweetly caramelized when the grill does its job it does so well, when the outside of these bright green spears become lightly charred and crisped, and the interior soft and tender.
Behold, these are the simple steps for making this vegetable side dish creation the easy way.
How to Prepare Asparagus for Grilling
Get rid of the woody ends. The ends of asparagus are woody and tough to eat. Be gone, woody ends!
Trim asparagus with a snap. To prepare the asparagus, simply snap the ends to trim by bending each stalk gently about 2/3 of the way down the stalk. The asparagus will naturally break where the woody part begins, leaving tender stalks perfect for eating.
Or, line them up and cut all at once. If patience is not your virtue and snapping asparagus sounds blasé, line up a handful of the asparagus in a row and use a sharp knife to cut the asparagus 2/3 of the way down the stalk. Likewise, use a knife to tidy up the ends of the snapped asparagus if desired.
Season simply. Because the fire and grill adds so much flavor to grilled vegetables, olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper are the only flavorings you’ll need for dynamite grilled asparagus.
How to Grill Asparagus
Keep it simple. Cooking asparagus on the grill couldn’t be easier! Simply drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and toss the spears with your hands to coat. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again.
You can do this step right before putting the asparagus on the grill, or any time before cooking. Asparagus is sturdy so it won’t wilt or soften with the addition of the oil or kosher salt.
No need for grilled asparagus on foil. Preheat the grill to medium heat (between 350°- 400°F) and brush the grill grates clean. Place the asparagus across the grill grates perpendicular to the bars so they don’t fall through—forget the foil! Grill with the lid closed until the spears are tender and crisp.
Use tongs to roll the spears for even grill marks. Tongs make it easier to maneuver the spears than a flipper or fork.
How Long to Grill Asparagus?
You’ll need to grill thick asparagus spears for roughly 6 to 10 minutes over medium heat.
What’s the Best Asparagus to Grill?
While I love pencil-thin spears for roasting in the oven, when it comes to grilling I buy thick asparagus spears. Thick asparagus spears won’t overcook or char to a crisp, and you won’t have the challenge of losing them through the grill grates as they cook on the fire.
Look for thick spears that are firm and green with ends that aren’t withered.
Grilled Asparagus Topping Ideas
I like my grilled asparagus simple with a squeeze of lemon. But if you’re looking for more ways to jazz up this simple green, try one of these ideas:
- Add browned butter and nuts, like in my recipe for Roasted Asparagus.
- Drizzle the grilled asparagus with balsamic vinegar then sprinkle with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts
- Top with smoky cooked bacon and Parmesan cheese
- Go Mediterranean style and top with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and chopped kalamata olives
- Try it Asian style with ponzu sauce and toasted sesame seeds
Tips for the Best Grilled Asparagus
If you struggle to tell when asparagus is finished grilling, I recommend poking it with a fork to test its doneness. The asparagus should be softened, but not mushy. It should also be bright green in color.
If using regular table salt, scale back the amount of salt you add to the grilled asparagus. Kosher salt has larger flakes, so it’s not as potent as table salt.
Leftover grilled asparagus can be repurposed so many ways — on sandwiches, in frittatas and egg bakes, in salads, and more. It’s delicious cold or room temperature!
What to Serve With Grilled Asparagus
- The Best Greek Chicken Marinade
- Juicy Grilled Pork Chops
- How To Make the Best Grilled Salmon
- The Best BBQ Chicken
- Grilled Shrimp With Sweet or Spicy Mustard Dipping Sauce
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Make THE BEST Grilled Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus , (choose thick spears)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- lemon wedges , if desired
- Preheat the grill to medium heat, about 350° to 400°F, and brush the grill grates clean.
- Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by snapping the ends off. Bend each stalk gently about 2/3 of the way down the stalk until it naturally breaks where the woody part begins. If desired, use a knife to trim the ends of the stalks to tidy up the cuts. Discard the ends.
- Place the asparagus spears in a shallow bowl or on a platter or baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss the spears with your hands to coat. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again.
- Place the asparagus across the grill grates perpendicular to the bars. Grill with the lid closed for 6 to 10 minutes or until the spears are tender and crisp. Use tongs to roll the spears for even grill marks.
- Transfer to a platter and if desired, drizzle with more olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
More Asparagus Recipe Ideas
- Creamy Bowtie Pasta With Salmon And Asparagus
- Spicy Smashed Avocado & Asparagus With Dill Havarti Grilled Cheese
- Asparagus And Mushroom Frittata With Goat Cheese
- Scrambled Egg And Roasted Asparagus Toasts
- Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie With Asparagus And Mushrooms
- 15 Asparagus Recipes That Make A Meal
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