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This easy asparagus recipe is an incredibly quick and delicious way to cook asparagus! You just need a skillet and some butter, and it’s ready in under 15 minutes.

Craving more asparagus? Try this Creamy Salmon and Asparagus Pasta or this Creamy Lemon Asparagus Pasta!

the best asparagus on a beige plate

Why you’ll love it

When I picture perfect asparagus, it’s tender crisp, beautifully green, and tastes like spring. There’s nothing unnecessary added to it. It’s the simplicity that makes it memorable. You don’t need much more than butter and sea salt for it to shine. This pan method shows how simple techniques can be totally mind-blowing.

I guess technically the way we’re cooking it here is shallow poached, but that’s just a fancy-pants term for cooking asparagus in a skillet on the stove without messing it up. Whatever you call it, this recipe is definitely the easiest way to cook it. It’s also really easy to get on the table as a fast side dish.

Everything you’ll need

  • Asparagus – it goes without saying, but choose a bunch that looks particularly fresh
  • Butter – don’t skimp on the butter. It really brings out the flavor!
  • Water – for poaching
  • Salt and pepper – be fairly generous with both here
close-up (in a stainless steel pan) of easy poached asparagus

How to trim asparagus

  • I like to leave the bunch tied up, and I simply trim about 1.5 inches off the ends. That usually works for most standard thickness since it’s no fun chewing those tough woody ends.
  • A good rule of thumb is to cut the white part off if you’re in doubt.
  • You can also snap the end off, but I find this method takes longer and you actually waste more of it.  

Tips for success

  • It’s up to you if you want to use the remainder of the buttery poaching liquid. You can spoon some over top, or discard the rest if you wish!
  • If you want to dress it up a little bit, grate some lemon zest and parmesan cheese over top. I love my Microplane zester/grater for this. However, freshly cracked pepper and sea salt are all you really need for asparagus to taste amazing, though.
  • If you do appreciate it softer/more crisp, just adjust the cooking time until it’s your ideal texture, checking as necessary.
poached asparagus in a pan with buttery poaching liquid

How to cook asparagus

This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

  • Trim the ends off.
  • Add the butter and water to a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add in the asparagus.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes until tender-crisp.
  • Season with salt & pepper and the buttery poaching liquid if desired. Enjoy immediately!

What to serve with asparagus

close-up of the easiest asparagus (butter poached)

Questions or made this recipe? Leave me a comment and star rating below. As always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you’ve made one of my recipes. 🙂

the best asparagus on a beige plate
5 from 3 votes

How to Cook Asparagus

This easy asparagus recipe is an incredibly quick and delicious way to cook asparagus! You just need a skillet and some butter, and it's ready in under 15 minutes.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 13 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Trim about an inch and a half off the ends of the asparagus (I do this with a sharp knife while they're still tied with the rubber band).
  • Add the butter and water to a deep skillet over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter has melted, add the asparagus to the pan.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes. I found this time perfect for medium-thickness asparagus to be slightly more done than tender-crisp. If your asparagus is thicker or thinner or you prefer it to be more crisp, you may need to add or subtract a minute or two.
  • Season the asparagus generously with salt & pepper. You can spoon some of the buttery poaching liquid over top if you wish when serving.

Notes

  • I used a small-to-average bunch of asparagus (around 1 pound and standard thickness), but you could definitely add more as long as it fits in your pan!
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 104mg, Potassium: 172mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 998IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I LOVE YOUR RECIPES.. I don’t have to run to the store to find some obscure spice or season or sauce! Everything is sooooooooo simple but tastes gourmet. Thank you…. You are my goto page now. I’m cooking the Honey Lemon Salmon by demand. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    The asparagus was so good I didn’t have time to take a picture. I’ll definitely use this recipe when I cook asparagus again.