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Simple Grilled Asparagus with Lemon

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grilled asaparagus on a white plate

Try Grilled Asparagus this season. It’s so easy to get the perfect crisp-tender texture and takes only 15 minutes! It’s the perfect simple vegetable side dish to add to your grilling menu!

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I originally published this recipe on April 23, 2021. I have updated some of the text and photos to share it with you again today.

Table of contents​

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This Easy Grilled Asparagus with lemon is the perfect way to use asparagus this spring! Asparagus cooked on the grill takes 15 minutes and is deliciously smoky with a little bit of char!

  • It is low in calories, naturally low-carb and high in fiber!
  • It goes great with roasted meat, marinated chicken or as a side dish to accompany a simple weeknight dinner.
  • It is often on sale and quite budget-friendly in springtime! April is peak asparagus season in the US.

Love grilled veggies? Same!! Try our Grilled Carrots, Grilled Broccoli (in foil), this Easy Grilled Zucchini, these Grilled Mushroom Kebabs and our Grilled Onions.

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Grilled Asparagus Ingredients​


The ingredients and ratio for this grilled asparagus recipe are almost identical for this recipe as for my roasted asparagus recipe.

ingredients for grilled asparagus

  • Asparagus: At the farmers’ market or grocery store look for medium-thick to thick spears of asparagus for grilling. Thin spears tend to burn easily. Look for bunches that are free from wrinkles or yellowed spears. The best way to tell if the asparagus is fresh is to look at the bottom of the stalks, if they are fresh and not dried out and starting to turn white, you can tell they were freshly harvested.
  • Oil: I recommend organic canola oil, avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil. If you have a preference to another high-heat oil, use that instead.
  • Seasoning: You’ll need ground black pepper to taste and a half teaspoon of coarse kosher salt, but feel free to adjust to your preference.
  • Lemon Juice: This is optional, but I love the way that the tart lemon balances any bitterness. Bitter is canceled by sour (which is the predominant taste of lemon.) Juice from half of a lemon is plenty!
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Preheat Grill​


To make this recipe as fast as possible, start preheating your grill before you prep the asparagus. If you have a vegetable grill basket (that’s an affiliate link), this is the recipe to use it! Add it to the grill as you preheat.

Gas Grill: If you have a gas grill turn all of the burners on to high to preheat them. Keep the grill lid closed while you preheat the grill to allow it to get very hot. Once it is hot, use your grill brush to remove any burnt-on debris from previous meals.

Charcoal Grill: Preheat your charcoal completely before grilling. I like to use a blend of mostly hardwood charcoal plus a few briquettes. Using a stick or tongs rake out the coals to cover the bottom of the kettle so that there are no hot spots. Make sure that your grill rack is hot and clean before adding on the asparagus.

Stovetop Grill pan: If you do not have an outdoor grill you can definitely make this on your stovetop grill pan. This is the style I recommend. (Affiliate link.) You will have to cook the asparagus in batches. Use high heat, and if the pan is smoking excessively, simply adjust the heat down as needed.

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How To Grill Asparagus​

snapping the woody ends off the asparagus

While the grill preheats, snap the woody ends off the ends of each asparagus spear

Step 1: Prep Asparagus​


While you preheat the grill prep the asparagus. Snap the ends off the asparagus. This will remove any pithy or woody textured parts of the stalks that is unpleasantly fibrous.

the asparagus tossed with oil, salt and pepper

Next, drizzle the oil over the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Toss so that it is evenly coated.

Step 2: Oil and Season the Asparagus​


Toss the asparagus with the oil, salt and pepper.

the asparagus on the barbecue grill

Line the asparagus spears up on the grill, so they run perpendicular to the grill grates (or use a grill basket.)

Step 3: Grill the Asparagus​


Place the asparagus directly on the grill grates, crosswise so they don’t fall through the grates, or on the grill basket in a single layer. Let them grill for about 1 minute for thinner spears or up to 3 for thicker spears. The bottom side will brown nicely and the tips will start to darken. The tips may look a little dried or charred. Turn over by rolling with tongs and let cook on a second side until tender, 1 to 3 minutes. It should be fork tender and bend lightly when done.

grilled asaparagus on a white plate

How To Serve Grilled Asparagus:​


Once the asparagus is grilled, use cooking tongs to pull it off the grill. Arrange on a serving platter and squeeze fresh lemon juice on top. To taste, drizzle with a high-quality extra virgin olive oil and add cracked black pepper and flaky sea salt to make the flavors pop.

Variations To Try​


Instead of a squeeze of lemon, here are other ways how to season grilled asparagus:

  • Drizzle it with balsamic vinegar after it comes off the grill. It is a little sweeter and still has the acidity to cut the bitterness of the asparagus.
  • Top with orange zest and Asian Sesame Dressing.
  • Drizzle with hollandaise sauce.
  • Any of my vinaigrettes from my salad dressing collection would be good. Try yogurt dill dressing!
  • Top with shaved Parmesan cheese, Manchego or crumbled goat cheese.
  • Add on chopped fresh herbs such as tarragon, dill or chives.

FAQs About This Recipe​

Can you grill asparagus in foil?
Grilling asparagus in a foil packet defeats the purpose of grilling and I don’t recommend it. The foil traps the steam as the asparagus cooks and will inhibit any browning. The asparagus will be overcooked by the time it browns.

Why is my asparagus stringy?
It is likely that it is overcooked. Try cooking it for a shorter time next time. Also double check that you are snapping off enough of the tough end of the stalk.

Can you grill asparagus in the oven?
Grilling is a single-sided heat source, so you can approximate heat from a grill by using the broiler and essentially “grilling” the asparagus from the top down.
Make sure to use a broiler pan though so that the asparagus doesn’t steam too much. You want the moisture to be kept away so that it browns before the asparagus softens too much.
Broiling times vary widely depending on your oven, so keep an eye on it. Test if it is tender frequently!

Storage Tips
Store leftover grilled asparagus in an air-tight container for up to three days.

Leftovers and Reheating
We do not recommend reheating leftover grilled asparagus as it becomes overcooked and mushy. Instead, enjoy it chilled with a little vinaigrette or on a salad or in a buddha bowl.

Can you use a stovetop grill pan indoors for grilled asparagus?
Yes! Indoor stovetop grill pans are not as hot as gas or charcoal grills so it is important to look for crisp tender texture to guide when your asparagus is done, not so much the timing! It may take 5 or 6 minutes per side on your stove. That is normal. You also may not get noticeable char marks and smoky flavor the way you would on an outdoor grill.

grilled asparagus on a platter with lemons

What Goes With Grilled Asparagus?​


If you are wondering what to serve with this grilled asparagus, I am happy to suggest the following meals:


Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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the asparagus on the grill

Simple Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon




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Description


This Easy Grilled Asparagus with lemon is the perfect way to use asparagus this spring! Asparagus cooked on the grill takes 15 minutes and is deliciously smoky with a little bit of char!


Ingredients


2 pounds asparagus, woody ends snapped off

1 tablespoon organic canola oil or avocado oil

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 lemon, optional


Cook Mode Prevent your screen from going dark

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to high heat. If using grill pan add to the grill grates to preheat.
  2. Toss the asparagus with the oil, salt and pepper to coat.
  3. Lay the asparagus spears on the grill grate (crosswise) or on the grill pan. Grill until browned on the bottom, 1 to 3 minutes. Turn over by rolling with tongs and let cook on a second side until tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and squeeze lemon over it, if using.

Notes

Grilling Tips​


Make sure to completely preheat the grill and the vegetable grilling basket if using.

Spread the asparagus out in a single layer across the grill grates, or on the grill pan or grill basket. They should be in an even layer, with space around them so that the heat can come between each spear.

Let them grill for about 1 minute for thinner spears or up to 3 for thick asparagus stalks. (Charcoal grills will be hotter than gas grills.) The bottoms will brown nicely and the tips will start to darken, and may look a little dried or charred.

Flip them, with grilling tongs, or roll them on the grill grate so that that the other side can cook.

As you turn them, take note of the texture and “bendiness” of the spears. If they are already pliable, they will not need much time at all on the second side. If they are still stiff, you can grill them for about as long as the first side. Look for browning, but don’t let the tops burn.

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    Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • icon-clock.png
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • icon-folder.png
    Category: SIde Dish
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    Method: Grilling
  • icon-flag.png
    Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 batch about 4 spears
  • Calories: 52 calories
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g

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