How to grill asparagus: The best grilled asparagus recipe

Eating vegetables is a healthy decision. However, the average person would rather pick a bucket of grilled chicken over a plate of asparagus. But that’d be because they don’t know how to grill asparagus. If you could make your greens as crispy and flavorful as those finger-licking meals from a fancy restaurant. 

Grilled asparagus leaves much to be desired, on that note. For foodies who’ve never tried smoking their veggies, it’s one of the easiest side dishes to make. As you read on, you’ll learn our grilled asparagus recipe and we also answer your doubts with some common questions.

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How to grill asparagus: Pre-cooking factors

Is asparagus healthy?

Asparagus is a healthy vegetable. It’s low in calories, which are responsible for weight gain when you consume too much of them. So you can have as many rations as you like. 

A bowl of grilled asparagus with lemon slices
Grilled asparagus with lemon slices

A single spear of asparagus contains 1 to 3 calories. At most, expect 20 calories in 100g of asparagus. A full cup has just 27 calories. Meanwhile, a bacon ranch salad with grilled chicken at McDonald’s chicken has 230 calories per 100g.

Asparagus is also rich in vitamins A, C, and K, which are essential for strong bones, blood clotting, and reducing inflammation, among other benefits.

Ingredients for grill asparagus

You need little to complete your grilled asparagus recipe. In fact, all you need is your fresh asparagus. You can get these from budget stores like Aldi, Kroger, and Meijer for $1 to $4. Other ingredients you need are probably already in your kitchen.

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Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to grill your asparagus nicely:

  • 1 pound of large asparagus spears
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (Preferably Kosher)
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • Lemon zest (optional)

This portion of ingredients should fetch you 4 servings of grilled asparagus. If you want double servings, then increase the volume of the ingredients. But don’t add too much salt and pepper. 

How to serve grill asparagus

Grilled asparagus is a versatile side dish, so it can complement numerous main courses. If you’re a picky eater, you’ll find this helpful. Not sure where to start with the food combos? Here are a few ideas.

Serve your asparagus alongside honey and garlic-glazed salmon. The delicious blend of the grilled salmon and asparagus will have you feeling like you’re in a five-star restaurant. 

Another combo you should definitely try is grilled asparagus and tuna egg salad. But if you’re not a fan of fish, try them with a chicken casserole or corned beef hash instead. You can shred your corned beef with potatoes, onions, and garlic.

How to prepare grill asparagus

1. Pre-heat your oven

Pre-heat your grill to prevent the asparagus from sticking to the metal grates. It’ll also make them cook faster.

For gas grills, preheat for 10 to 15 minutes. For charcoal grills, preheat for 15 to 20 minutes because they’re slower. Preferably, wait till it’s heated to 350° to 400°F. If you can’t tell what temperature it’s at, here’s a simple trick.

Place your hand slightly above the grill’s grates. If it’s too hot and you remove your hand between 1 to 2 seconds, then it’s at a high heat of 450° to 600°. If you wait 2 to 3 seconds, then you have a medium heat of 400°to 450 Fahrenheit. Any second longer than that and you have low heat.

Otherwise, just get an oven thermometer

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2. Prep and season your asparagus

Chopping off the woody ends of asparagus on a wooden board
Chopping off the woody ends of asparagus

While you wait for your grill to heat, bring out your asparagus. Trim the woody ends of the spears by snapping them off with your fingers. Alternatively, you can use a chopping board and a knife to cut them off.

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Trimming asparagus will make all the parts cook evenly. The woody ends are tougher to cook and so would need longer time on the grill. So it’s better to chop them off and throw them away.

After trimming, soak your asparagus in cold water for 15 minutes. This will remove sand particles and dirt that could choke or make you sick. Then take them out of the water and rinse them thoroughly. You’re almost done learning how to grill asparagus now. 

3. Season the asparagus 

Get a bowl or a wooden chopping board and place your asparagus.  This will help you season it properly without spillage. 

First, drizzle a little extra virgin oil on the spears. Then toss them in the bowl. You can also use your hands to spread the oil and coat them evenly. 

Pour one teaspoon of salt on the asparagus along with the ground black peppers. If you want a sharp taste, get one lemon and then grate the outer skin to get lemon zest. Use that to season your asparagus.  

Don’t use lemon juice. It will dye your asparagus from a healthy green shade to a pale yellow. Also, your asparagus will be sweeter without it.

4. Grill the asparagus 

Asparagus spears on a grill
Asparagus spears on a grill

Drizzle some of your olive oil onto the hot metal grates of your grill. This will prevent the asparagus from sticking to them. Then gently place the asparagus on the grates.

Ensure that the thickest parts are resting on the hottest side of the grates. This will make them cook evenly. 

Grill your asparagus for 2 to 4 minutes, while turning them occasionally so that they don’t burn or cook unevenly. You can set a timer to be on the safe side.

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Finally, remove your asparagus from the heat and serve it with your favorite meals. 


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FAQs on Grill asparagus recipe

Should asparagus be soaked before grilling?

It’s important that you soak your asparagus in cool water before grilling. Asparagus can carry sand particles, which can be unpleasant to taste in food. They also carry germs that can contribute to food poisoning.

Why is my asparagus soggy?

If your asparagus or vegetables turn out soggy, it means you’ve overcooked them. The sturdy stalks will turn soft when they come in contact with heat. The longer they stay on your grill, the softer they become. Sometimes, your asparagus will cook even after you’ve taken them off the grill. The best solution for this is to remove them a few minutes before they’re fully cooked. 

Why is my grilled asparagus stringy?

Your asparagus is stringy because you’ve stored it for too long before cooking. When you store them for too long, the spears convert sugars inside them to lignin. Lignin is a component in the cell wall of plants that makes them stiff while growing. This allows them to grow properly and stand firm on their own. Prolonged cooking can’t make your asparagus soft, at this point. The best solution is to buy fresh asparagus.


Now you know how to grill asparagus. It’s one of the fastest and most affordable side dishes to make at home. It can be your go-to option when you need a versatile and healthy vegetable to go with your salmon, tuna, chicken, and even beef. The best part is you can feed your family and friends without using up many ingredients. 

We hope your meal turns out flavorful. Enjoy your asparagus!

Paul Goral

Paul Goral

I am the founder of Brooklyn Grill and I have a master’s degree in Engineering Acoustics. I love cooking, grilling, and trying new recipes. I also love camping and high-quality knives. I wanted to start this blog and share my passion with others.