Sautéed asparagus and peas is a simple, healthy and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed as a side dish or added to a variety of recipes. With their vibrant colors and complementary flavors, this dish is not only nutritious but also a feast for the senses.
Simple Sauteed Asparagus Recipe
Why you'll love it:
- Easy and quick method - Sauteing asparagus is a quick way to enjoy this healthy side dish with minimal effort and prep. Sauteeing allows the veggies to retain their natural flavor and texture. It only takes about 3-4 minutes for this dish to be cooked through.
- Versatile - this dish is simple yet flavorful and it can be enjoyed on its own, as a side dish, or with a variety of other dishes. We love it with chicken pasta!
- Healthy - Asparagus is a nutritious vegetable that offers multiple health benefits: low calorie, high in fiber content, loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, burst with antioxidants, helps to lower blood pressure, and is anti-inflammatory which is great for our gut health.
📋 JULIA'S TIP Choose asparagus that is vibrant green in color, firm, and with straight stalks. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus, this should happen easily without almost any force. Or place a bunch of asparagus stalks on a cutting board and cut off the ends with a knife about 1-2 inches from the ends.
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
- Asparagus - medium-thick or skinny asparagus or white asparagus (these typically are thicker and need longer time to cook). I don’t recommend using frozen (too soggy after cooking) or canned asparagus in this recipe.
- Seasonings - we use simple seasoning here but you can customize it with other options such as fresh garlic, garlic powder, celery salt or seasoned salt, onion powder, Italian Seasoning (Herbs de Provence), paprika, red pepper flakes.
- Salt - sea salt or kosher salt for the best natural flavor.
- Fresh lime juice - drizzle the sauteed asparagus and peas with lime or lemon juice or serve separately. Don't skip this as it pairs extremely well with bitter-sweet asparagus and sweet peas.
- Peas - for convenience's sake we use frozen peas. Let them thaw for a minute in a bowl with warm water or rinse them first before sauteeing.
- Basil - we like our asparagus with fresh basil or fresh oregano. These combinations have worked by far the best when paired with asparagus and peas. Use fresh herbs rather than dried ones (lack of flavor).
📋 JULIA'S TIP Using good salt does matter. I like to use sea salt or sea salt flakes when seasoning my veggies. It brings out the veggie taste even more, at the same time keeping its natural flavor (regular table salt doesn't).
Trim asparagus. Clean asparagus by rinsing it under cool running water to remove any debris. Pat dry the spears with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
Trim asparagus by snapping off the ends, one by one. To do so, hold each spear by the tough part and bend it until it snaps.
It should happen easily without force leaving you with bright green stalks ready for baking. I find this method easiest but you can cut the tough ends with a sharp knife too. Line up a bunch of spears on a cutting board and cut off the ends (about 1-2 inches).
If asparagus is thicker, you may also want to use a vegetable peeler to remove any tough outer skin from the lower part of the stem.
In a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus to the hot pan and saute for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently to ensure even cooking. Asparagus should turn bright green and tender.
Add peas and stir for 1-2 minutes. If using frozen peas, place them into a warm bowl of water first to thaw them slightly. Season with salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of lime juice or leave it for serving.
Serve warm as a side dish with fresh basil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and grated parmesan on top. Enjoy.
🥗Make It Healthier
Buy veggies in season and organic if possible.
Use a good quality oil for cooking. We like extra virgin olive oil.
Serve with a healthy wholesome main course with extra veggies, grains, and lean protein.
- For added creamy flavor stir in 1 or 2 teaspoons of butter either together with olive oil or later when serving.
- Don’t overcook asparagus, it should be tender with a crisp bite to it.
- Choose veggies in season and thinner asparagus - it tends to have a sweeter taste.
- If the asparagus is thicker, use a vegetable peeler to remove any tough outer skin from the lower part of the stem.
- For best results, choose a large skillet so the veggies can cook evenly without overcrowding the pan.
- Asparagus cooking time will majorly depend on its thickness of it. Allow enough time for the veggies to become tender.
- How to tell if asparagus is done? Asparagus should be crunchy/crisp-tender, and should still have a little bite to it. Same with peas.
- For the healthiest option, buy veggies locally, organically, and most importantly during asparagus season.
How To Select and Prepare Asparagus for Sautéing
- Visual and texture - choose asparagus stalks that are visually smooth and straight, firm with tightly closed tips. If the tips are open or loose it indicates that asparagus is not the freshest.
- Snap test - snap the end of one of the stalks. If it snaps easily, it's fresh.
- Color - fresh asparagus should have a bright green and some purple hue to it. Avoid stalks that start to brown or have a yellow color to it.
- Size - I prefer using thinner spears rather than thick ones. The flavor is somewhat similar but thinner ones tend to be more sweeter, flavorful, and tender.
- Smell it! - if it has a sour or weird unpleasant odor the asparagus is spoiled. Fresh asparagus will have a fresh grassy smell to it.
There is no certain rule on what to serve with sauteed asparagus or what seasonings to use. Don't be afraid to experiment with different flavor combinations to find your favorite!
Our favorite ways to serve it:
- As a side dish - we like it with roast chicken, steak or salmon fillets. To make it even easier, cook the asparagus together with chicken or turkey breast. We love Asparagus Stuffed Chicken recipes.
- As a Vegetarian meal - for a wholesome veggie dinner serve this dish with baked sweet potatoes, smashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, roasted zucchini, parsnips, or any other vegetable you like.
- With cheese - similar to asparagus with cheese add grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese or crumbled feta cheese on top of hot veggies before serving. Allow the cheese to melt and serve.
- With pasta - especially with creamy sauces like bechamel or alfredo.
- In a salad - chop the leftover asparagus into smaller sticks and together with peas add them to your favorite salad. A simple salad we like to make consists of cherry tomatoes, mixed green lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, and a light olive oil-based salad dressing or even herb yogurt dressing.
- With a poached egg - serve the veggies with simple poached eggs, eggs royale, and eggs benedict. Place the veggie strips on to serving plate or on top of the toasted bun and add a poached egg and drizzle with hollandaise sauce (optional). Any leftover asparagus works wonderful in omelette the next day!
- With nuts - serve with toasted pine nuts, almond flakes, pecans or cashews.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
- To Store. Let the veggies cool before wrapping them in aluminum foil or an airtight container. I like to add a piece of paper towel underneath to prevent veggies from becoming soggy too quickly. Refrigerate and consume within 3-4 days.
- Freezing. I don’t recommend freezing sauteed veggies but you can freeze the unbaked veggie slices in an appropriate freezer bag many months in advance. Freezing only makes the cooked veggies mushy after reheating.
- To Reheat. The best way, to reheat the veggies is in an Air Fryer or skillet.
These are just a few ideas for seasonings that you can use to enhance the flavor of sauteed asparagus. Don't be afraid to experiment with different spices and herbs to find your favorite flavor combination.
- Salt and pepper - you’ll be surprised but my favorite way to enjoy veggies is very simple: with good quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Veggies have tons of flavor on their own and salt and pepper will only intensify the natural taste.
- For added flavor use these powerful aromatics: minced garlic and finely diced shallot. Add these to the skillet before sauteeing asparagus.
- More seasonings - everything bagel seasoning, butter garlic seasoning, ranch seasoning, cajun, creole, Chinese 5 spices.
- Paprika - regular, sweet, or smoked paprika is sure to add a smoky depth of flavor to any roast vegetable dish.
- Lemon zest - lemon is often paired with asparagus, but don’t be afraid to experiment with orange or lime zest. Delicious!
- Nuts - for an extra nutritious meal serve sauteed asparagus with toasted almonds, pecans, walnuts and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze.
It takes less than 5 minutes to saute asparagus until it’s tender and yet still crisp. Don’t overcook it as it will become mushy and loose it’s delicious flavor. My best tips here are making sure the pan is hot when you add the asparagus; use a larger skillet to prevent overcrowding the pan; use a good cooking oil; taste for doneness.
Not much at all. You should use enough oil to coat the asparagus lightly and evenly, but not so much that it pools in the pan. For about 8-10 oz of asparagus, I typically use about 2 teaspoons of oil or even less.
The cooking time for asparagus will vary depending on the thickness of the spears and the desired level of doneness. Typically, skinny or medium asparagus spears would take about 3-5 minutes to cook through over medium-high heat. Test for doneness by piercing the thickest part of the asparagus with a fork or the tip of a knife. It should be just tender but still have some bite to it.
More Side Dishes
- Roasted Carrots and Asparagus
- Air Fryer Buffalo Zucchini Skins
- Lemon Tahini Kale Salad
- Air Fryer Jalapeno
For a more salads hop on to our Salad recipe archives. or check out these yummy kale recipes:
💗I hope you'll enjoy this sauteed asparagus recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations! 💗
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Sauteed Asparagus With Peas
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 8-10 oz asparagus (trimmed and woody ends cut off)
- 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Basil for serving (or mix it in)
- ¼ cup or more parmesan cheese (grated for serving)
- 1 lime or lemon wedge for serving
- Clean asparagus by rinsing it under cool running water to remove any debris. Pat dry the spears with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Trim asparagus by snapping off the ends, one by one. To do so, hold each spear by the tough part and bend it until it snaps. It should happen easily without force leaving you with bright green stalks ready for baking. I find this method easiest but you can cut the tough ends with a sharp knife too. Line up a bunch of spears on a cutting board and cut off the ends (about 1-2 inches).
- If the asparagus is thicker, you may also want to use a vegetable peeler to remove any tough outer skin from the lower part of the stem.
- In a large nonstick skillet add olive oil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus to the hot pan and saute for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently to ensure even cooking. Asparagus should turn bright green and tender.
- Add peas and stir for 1-2 minutes. If using frozen peas, place them into a warm bowl of water first to thaw them slightly. Season with salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of lime juice or leave it for serving.
- Serve warm as a side dish with fresh basil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and grated parmesan on top. Enjoy.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
This recipe has been inspired from Family Food On The Table