If you’re children are into muscles and super heroes and you find it challenging to get them to eat asparagus, consider sharing this:
Asparagus is to Chris Hemsworth what spinach is to Popeye. It’s been said that Chris eats it every day to keep up his physique.
For those who have been living in a cocoon; Chris Hemsworth is an Australian actor and is arguably one of the sexiest men in Hollywood.
According to Wikipedia, Hemsworth is best known for playing Thor (the god of Thunder) in eight Marvel Cinematic Universe films, beginning with Thor (2011) and appearing most recently in Avengers: Endgame (2019).
He’s built like a Greek god and reportedly Chris eats asparagus to help maintain that superhero look.
I wish the movie Thor existed when Patrick was young and wouldn’t eat asparagus. It may have inspired him to eat it. I’ll never know, but it might just might work for you.
Asparagus is the super hero of vegetables in my books and finding ways of cooking this delightful veggie is inspirational. Grilling it is one of my favorites, and this recipe includes a few variations that are easy to make and simply delicious!
With grilled asparagus you can add garlic, Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, melted butter and more.
With these symphony of flavors the grilled asparagus comes alive!
I have included an Asian-inspired marinade that you will absolutely love too!
Soak the asparagus for no more than one hour before grilling it, and you will get tender asparagus with a harmonious balance of tangy, sweet, salty and spicy.
Return asparagus to the marinade (chopped or whole) and take a moment to savor this dish.
Grilled asparagus recipes are all super easy and as usual, so many options, so little time.
How to Grill Asparagus in Foil
Most men love to grill and my husband, Ken, is no exception. The thrill of the grill is putting “grill lines” on food and that’s a bit tricky when it comes to grilling asparagus spears individually.
A few spears of grilled asparagus have disappeared through the grate never to be seen again. 😉
To avoid this problem we grill asparagus in foil or in foil packs.
Using tin foil means you no longer have to fear losing asparagus to your hot coals!
Whether using a gas grill, campfire or oven, your grilled asparagus is safe in a foil pack and you don’t have to sacrifice taste when preparing it this way.
This purpose of this post is grilled asparagus and how to grill asparagus in foil but I will quickly show you how to use foil in your oven.
Just in case you’re curious, here is how you do it.
Oven Baked Asparagus Foil Pack Recipe
Bake foil packs at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
Lay a piece of tin foil out large enough for the asparagus to fit flat in a single layer.
Piling a bunch of asparagus together will make it difficult to cook evenly. The asparagus pack should be as flat as possible.
One option is to add the asparagus to one side of a large piece of tin foil, add ingredients on top and then fold the edges to seal the asparagus inside.
Alternatively, lay the tin foil flat, place the asparagus and your ingredients on top of it. Place another piece of foil over top of it; roll up the edges together and press tightly until sealed.
Personally, I found using one sheet of tin foil easier and more economical.
Whether you use one piece of tin foil or two, either way the asparagus will cook perfectly.
You won’t be disappointed.
Foil Grilled Asparagus
It is important to learn how to grill asparagus in foil for the safest (for the asparagus) and best tasting results.
Foil Grilled Asparagus ensures it will not char or burn and it keeps the asparagus in one place. What you end up with is perfectly-steamed asparagus.
Regular Tin Foil or Heavy Duty?
The only difference between the two is the thickness. Regular tin foil is great for baking sheets, wrapping foods and covering dishes.
In this case, use heavy duty foil, if possible.
Although more costly than regular tin foil, it holds weight better, can withstand higher heat and will keep the asparagus hotter for longer inside the foil grilled asparagus.
It’s also great for camp fire cooking and for freezing.
If using regular tin foil, consider doubling it up.
Tin foil, both regular and heavy duty gets very hot, so be careful opening them up as you don’t want to burn yourself when the steam is released.
When grilling, place foil grilled asparagus packs horizontally on the grate.
It makes the foil packs easier to flip and, if you have them, use tongs to do the flipping.
Grilled Asparagus with…
Now that you know how to grill asparagus in foil, and you know how to make your foil packs in two different ways, you need to have some different options to add to your foil packs.
As usual I figure the more options the better. I have included how to season you grilled asparagus with garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon, parmesan cheese, butter and toasted nuts.
Don’t forget about the easy asian inspired marinade. I doubt you will be disappointed in any of these easy asparagus recipes.
Grilled Asparagus with Garlic
Dating back thousands of years and used worldwide, garlic is closely related to onion, shallot, chive and leek. It not only flavors food, it’s also medicinal.
This recipe calls for garlic salt, but if you want to cut down on salt intake, use garlic powder or 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic.
Finely chop it or use a garlic press if you have one.
Garlic and asparagus go together like two peas in a pod. Pleasant and rich, garlic gives grilled asparagus a pop of flavor that really delivers.
Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar
Originally from Italy, this vinegar is dark, sweet, acidic and tangy all rolled into one.
Drizzle a little over grilled asparagus and you’ve got a dish with character.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon
There’s nothing like lemon to balance out acidity and moisture when grilling asparagus.
Whether you use 1/2 of a fresh lemon or 1/4 cup of lemon juice, it will bring out the flavor of the asparagus and give it vitality.
I have also placed a lemon slice or two inside my foil grilled asparagus pack to cook with the asparagus. What a wonderful addition of flavor.
Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese
A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano on grilled asparagus gives it a finishing touch that feels like springtime in Italy.
Grilled Asparagus with Butter
Let the butter do the talking with grilled asparagus. Never boring, recipes don’t get any simpler than that!
Grilled Asparagus with Toasted Nuts
For a little crunch, top grilled asparagus with toasted nuts. Keep a close watch on them as they easily burn.
Toast your nuts before hand. I will add the nuts by themselves or with a little butter too.
- Walnuts – Place on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for approximately 5 minutes or until toasted
- Pine Nuts – 350 degrees for approximately 7-10 minutes on a baking sheet
- Pecans – 350 degrees for approximately 7-10 minutes on a baking sheet
- Pistachios – Baking sheet 350 degrees 4-7 minutes
- Almonds – Baking sheet 350 degrees 5-10 minutes and frequently toss until gold brown
How to Prepare Asparagus
The ends of asparagus spears are tough and need to be removed. So hold both ends of the spear with your fingers and bend until you hear or feel it snap off.
It never ceases to amaze me that asparagus has a natural breaking point, where the woody end meets the tender, fresh part of the spear!
If you’re in a hurry, use a knife to slice off the discolored, woody ends. But if you’re not, give the snapping method a try.
Once the ends are removed, wash the asparagus and let it sit in a strainer in your sink to dry off. Never allow asparagus to sit in water or it will get soggy.
Ingredients in Grilled Asparagus
- olive oil (or another oil of your choice)
- lemon juice
- Parmesan cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- melted butter
- crushed red pepper flakes
- Toasted walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, pecans or almonds
Other Herbs and Spices
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
How to Grill Asparagus in Foil
- Preheat the grill to medium heat.
- For a charcoal grill, spread the coals evenly under the grate.
- For a gas grill turn all elements on.
- Place trimmed asparagus spears in a resealable bag.
- Add the oil and gently massage spears until well-coated.
- Place asparagus into a pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Adjust again.
- Leave the asparagus in the pan until ready to cook.
- Brush the grill grates lightly with olive oil.
- Use tongs to place the spears on the cooking grate crosswise so they won’t fall through the grate.
- Grill for 5 to 10 minutes, turning every minute or two, so all sides are exposed to the heat and start to brown in spots. Watch closely so they don’t blacken and burn.
- The larger the asparagus spears, the longer they will take to cook.
- Remove from the grill and serve as immediately as is.
- Or as soon as you remove the asparagus from the grill, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lemon juice or melted butter.
No matter what options or combinations you choose, the results are always amazing.
Grilled Asparagus Marinade
I stumbled upon this Asian-inspired grilled asparagus marinade recipe years ago from CooksCountry and have adapted my own.
I urge you to give this marinade a try as the the flavors are out of this world.
This Grilled Asparagus Marinade reminds me of our Best Sautéed Chinese Spinach. Similar flavors that taste absolutely wonderful.
When marinating asparagus, it’s important to remember: Do not soak it for more than an hour. The longer it sits, the soggier it will be and the results will be less than satisfactory.
I once made this mistake, and my beautifully-flavored asparagus was so mushy, it was a total disappointment. I will never soak asparagus in a grilled asparagus marinade for longer than one hour again.
I remember my grandmother telling me that soaking asparagus will ruin it too.
That’s one lesson I will never forget and I always seem to learn things the hard way.
- soy sauce
- vegetable oil
- light brown sugar
- garlic cloves
- grated fresh ginger
- crushed red pepper flakes
- toasted sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds, if desired
- salt, as needed
- pepper, as needed
This fermented condiment dates back more than 2000 years. Typically, what’s used today are Chinese Soy sauces:
- Light soy: A thin and lighter liquid mainly used for seasoning and dipping.
- Dark soy: This sauce is primarily used in cooking to give dishes a red/brown color.
- Blended soy: Is thick, sweet and dark used for dipping sauces and foods that require longer cooking time.
One of the oldest crops, it was cultivated in Africa more than 3,000 years ago and has the highest oil content of any seed. Crunchy, nutty-flavored and sweet, it is used in many cultures around the world.
Sesame Oil vs. Toasted Sesame Oil
The difference between the two is that regular sesame oil is made from raw sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil is made from toasted seeds.
Toasting brings out the ultimate nuttiness of the seeds.
A little goes a long way when using this nutty-flavored oil for sauces and cooking. It has medicinal properties and is beneficial in so many ways:
- High in antioxidants
- Controls blood sugar
- Perfect if you want to reduce your salt intake
- Good for the skin and hair
- May protect against UV rays
- It’s been known to help with: arthritis, pain relief and sleep quality.
- In a large resealable bag combine soy sauce, vegetable oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes.
- Adjust until blended.
- Add asparagus and massage until well-coated.
- Marinate at room temperature on your counter for at least 15 minutes and no longer than 1 hour.
- Remove asparagus and do not discard the marinade.
- Grill asparagus, turning frequently, until tender and somewhat charred; approximately 4 to 8 minutes (depending on the size of your asparagus).
- Add sesame oil to reserved marinade in your resealable bag and shake until blended.
- Pour marinade into a deep serving platter or bowl that will hold the asparagus.
- Once grilled toss asparagus again in reserved marinade. If you wish, quickly chop asparagus while it’s hot before tossing it again in the marinade.
- Or line up the asparagus on a cutting board and carefully slice into 2 to 3 inch pieces. Toss with marinade.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Serve and enjoy.
Gourmet Asparagus Recipes
Given, it’s versatility, there are so many scrumptious ways of preparing asparagus. Below are links to some gourmet asparagus recipes I think you will enjoy.
Please feel free to leave me your comments. I care what you have to say.
Grilled Asparagus shows you how to grill asparagus with or without marinade, in a pan or foil, served plain, or with lemon, garlic, balsamic or parmesan.
- 1 pound asparagus, fresh washed and trimmed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt or garlic salt sprinkles
- pepper sprinkles
- 1/2 lemon, juice only or 1/4 cup of lemon juice, optional
- parmesan, grated sprinkles, as needed, optional
- crushed red pepper flakes
- melted butter
Asian Inspired Asparagus
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the grill to medium. For a charcoal grill, spread the coals evenly under the grate. For a gas grill turn all elements on.
Place your trimmed asparagus spears in a large resealable bag.
Add the oil and adjust so all spears are coated.
Dump asparagus into a pan and sprinkle on the salt or garlic salt and pepper.
Leave the asparagus in the pan until ready to cook. Brush the grill grates lightly with olive oil.
Use tongs to place the spears on the cooking grate crosswise so they won’t fall through the grate.
Grill for 5 to 10 minutes, turning every minute or two so all sides are exposed to the heat and start to brown in spots. Watch your asparagus does not blacken and burn. The larger the asparagus spears, the longer they will take to cook.
Remove from the grill and prepare to serve. You have the option to serve the asparagus immediately as it is or you have other options.
You can sprinkle asparagus immediately after grilling with grated parmesan cheese, squeeze the juice of half of one lemon all over it, drizzle melted butter or sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes all over. We have even used a combination and the result is always delicious. Enjoy!
In a large resealable bag combine soy sauce, vegetable oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes. Adjust until blended.
Add asparagus and adjust until coated.
Allow to marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.
Remove asparagus and do not discard marinade, Grill, watching closely, until tender and a little charred, 4 to 8 minutes.
Add sesame oil to marinade and adjust until combined. Pour into bowl or serving plate.
Add grilled or cooked asparagus to marinade and toss until coated. You can also carefully chop your hot asparagus before tossing again in your marinade. I lined the hot asparagus up on a cutting board and sliced it into 2 to 3 inch pieces before adding it to bowl with marinade.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. I rarely do. Serve and enjoy!
Bake in Oven
For the record, you can bake your foil packs in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
Grilling marinade has been adapted from CooksCountry.com