This Roasted Asparagus with Lemon is a quick and easy side dish that pairs well with a variety of main dishes. It requires just a few ingredients and can be made in about 15 minutes. It works perfectly as a simple side for a weeknight dinner or served as part of a fancier holiday meal.
Roasting asparagus until crisp-tender brings out the best flavor and texture of this spring vegetable. You don’t need much else to make this tasty side dish. A sprinkle of lemon zest, squeeze of lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper does the trick.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Asparagus ~ Choose asparagus spears that are firm and sturdy with tightly closed tips. They should be bright green with some white at the bottom and may have a darker green or purple hue on the tips.
Thinner spears are younger and will be more tender than thicker spears. They will also take less time to cook.
Oil ~ A bit of oil will help the asparagus to brown and will keep the tips from drying out and burning. A little goes a long way, though, you don’t need much. I use just 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons for one bunch.
Seasoning ~ Salt and pepper is all you need.
Lemon ~ Lemon is a delicious complement to roasted asparagus. After roasting the spears sprinkle them with lemon zest. Just before serving squeeze some of the juice over the top, if desired.
Extras ~ Fresh dill or thyme would be great with this roasted asparagus with lemon. If you like heat, sprinkle on some crushed red pepper flakes. You can’t go wrong with garlic powder either.
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar right before serving would be a wonderful addition.
Want a crunch? Toast up some nuts, like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios, and toss them onto the vegetables before serving.
Or finish off the serving platter by sprinkling a tablespoon of vegan parmesan cheese over the spears.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus spears.
You can do this by bending the spears toward the bottom and let it snap on its own or you can use a sharp knife and cut where the green color starts to fade.
Arrange the asparagus spears in one even layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil and roll the spears around so they are coated all over, especially the tips so they don’t dry out and burn. Spread them back out into one even layer.
Sprinkle salt and pepper generously all over the spears.
Roast until lightly browned and crisp-tender. They are done when they can easily be pierced with a fork.
Fridge: Roasted asparagus with lemon is best eaten immediately. However, leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Freezer: I do not recommend freezing leftover roasted asparagus.
Reheat: Gently reheat in the microwave, in a skillet on the stovetop, or in the oven on a baking sheet.
No matter how you reheat leftover asparagus, it won’t be as fresh tasting or crisp as when freshly roasted, but will still be delicious. Consider adding leftover asparagus to pasta primavera, risotto, vegan quiche, or asparagus soup.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Snap off (or cut off) the fibrous, woody ends of the asparagus.
~ Use enough oil to lightly coat the spears all over, especially the tips so they don’t dry out and burn in the oven. But don’t use too much oil, either. A little goes a long way. 2 teaspoons per bunch is plenty.
~ Use a rimmed baking sheet so the asparagus spears don’t roll off.
~ Arrange the asparagus in one even layer, with space in between each spear, on the baking sheet. Overlapping the spears or overcrowding the pan could cause them to steam instead of roast which won’t result in the crisp-tender texture we’re looking for.
~ Don’t over cook! Overcooking can cause the roasted asparagus to become soggy.
~ This easy roasted asparagus recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. Just be sure to use several baking sheets so the vegetables aren’t overcrowded on the pan.
Personally, I think roasting is the best way to cook asparagus. The veggies get crisp-tender with a lovely caramelized flavor on the areas that are browned.
Nope. No need to blanch or soak the asparagus before roasting.
Asparagus can become soggy if it is over cooked. Thin spears need just 8 to 11 minutes in the oven. Thicker spears may take closer to 15 minutes.
A little bit of oil goes a long way, too. 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of oil per bunch is all you need. If you use too much, that can also cause soggy asparagus.
Lastly, do not over crowd the pan. If not spaced out properly, the asparagus may steam instead of roast, which may result in soggy veggies.
The asparagus is done when it is lightly browned and can be pierced easily with a fork.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
Be sure to sign up for my FREE Newsletter to be the first to get my NEW recipes! You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Easy Roasted Asparagus with Lemon
- 1 bunch thin asparagus
- 1-1 ½ teaspoon(s) olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of ½ lemon or to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus spears and discard.
- Lay out the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of oil. Toss the asparagus until evenly coated in the oil. If there are some dry spots, use another ½ teaspoon of oil.
- Arrange the oiled asparagus in one even layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 8 to 11 minutes, until crisp-tender and lightly browned. If you have thicker spears, they may take up to 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.