Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. Even though it’s available year-round, I still like it best when I buy it during spring, when it’s in-season. It just tastes better!
In-season asparagus also means it’s bountiful, allowing a variety of ways to prepare it. That way, I can serve it more than once during the week yet feel as though it’s a completely different dish!
That’s where making grilled asparagus in foil comes in handy. Keep the kitchen cool by easily grilling outside. If you’re already using the grill for another part of your meal, adding asparagus is a snap.
Why I Love This Recipe
There are a few reasons why I love to grill asparagus in foil. First, it requires minimal prep work and clean-up. You simply wrap the asparagus in foil and place it on the grill.
Second, grilling the asparagus gives it a unique smoky flavor that you can't achieve with other cooking methods.
Finally, this recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences.
How to Make Grilled Asparagus in Foil
Preheat grill to medium heat. Wash and trim the asparagus.
Lay the asparagus on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Fold the sides of the foil over the asparagus and seal the packet.
Place the packet directly on the preheated grill grates. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
Your asparagus cook time will vary according to how hot your grill is as well as how thick or thin the spears of asparagus are, so adjust accordingly.
To test the asparagus for "doneness", carefully open a side seam of the packet (watch for steam!) and pierce a stem with a sharp knife or fork. You should be able to judge the tenderness of the stems and whether they are done to your personal preference.
Please note: the foil packet will tend to steam the asparagus, and it will be quite tender. If you prefer a more crisp-tender stem, please refer to the frequently asked questions where I describe how to cook on the grill without foil.
Grilled asparagus pairs well with a variety of dishes. You can serve it alongside grilled chicken, steak, or fish.
It also makes a great side dish for pasta or rice dishes.
Substitutions and Variations
If you love a little butter taste on your asparagus, you can add a little to the foil packet before cooking. I add this in addition to the olive oil and just wrap it up in the packet before cooking.
My favorite flavor for grilled asparagus is Parmesan cheese. I simply sprinkle some on the asparagus as soon as I remove it from the grill. The cheese will melt onto the hot spears and be thoroughly yummy.
If you like garlic, try adding some to the foil packet. Mince a garlic clove and add to the olive oil before you drizzle it over the asparagus.
If you want to take it up a notch, you could actually add all of the above: butter AND garlic AND Parmesan cheese. Yum!
Asparagus is Healthy!
Asparagus is not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious. It is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Asparagus is low in calories, making it a great addition to a healthy diet. Here are some of the key nutrients found in asparagus:
- Vitamin K: Asparagus is a good source of vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone health.
- Folate: Asparagus is also a good source of folate, which is important for healthy cell growth and development .
- Vitamin C: Asparagus contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help protect against cellular damage.
- Other minerals: Asparagus is also a good source of other minerals, such as potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, which are important for overall health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Probably a good idea. Grit, (also known as dirt) will sometimes cling to the asparagus stalks. Rinsing well in cool water will help wash this away. I typically wash and remove the ends all at the same time.
Everyone seems to think there’s only one right answer to this. All I can tell you is that I have done both and either works. It really just boils down to which process you prefer. If you like videos, I did make one showing how to snap the ends. You can view it in my pan fried asparagus post.
The tips are the first to show when asparagus goes bad. They get dark, soft and mushy. It makes me sad. I try very hard to buy my asparagus the same day I intend to serve it just to avoid this.
For some, grilling asparagus with char marks is preferred. And it’s easy. Prep the asparagus the same, by drizzling with oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Place the asparagus directly on the grill grates, perpendicular to the grates (you don't want the spears falling through!) Grill for about 10-15 minutes total, turning frequently. This technique will yield a crisp-tender spear, and the smoky flavor of the grill will be more prominent - YUM!
Placing the spears directly on the hot grates will yield a crispy exterior. Use high heat to nicely char the spear while making the interior tender and delicious. Tip: Be sure to serve immediately, as the asparagus will soften if left to sit.
Many vegetables are grillable. I love to grill beets - they are a favorite here! The grill turns a beet slice into a whole new flavor! I also grill zucchini and stuffed tomatoes. And don't forget you can grill broccoli in foil, just like asparagus. Many possibilities on the grill!
More ways to enjoy asparagus
If you don't have a grill, or the weather isn't cooperating, you can also make pan fried asparagus for a delicious side.
Asparagus and mushroom galette on puff pastry is a cheesy delight, perfect for brunch!
Or for a delicious lunch, try making an asparagus and cannellini bean salad to combine the deliciousness of asparagus with some healthy plant protein!
Grilled Asparagus in Foil
- 1 lb fresh asparagus
- 2 TB olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat grill on medium heat.
- Wash the asparagus by running under water. Cut or snap off the tough ends – usually about one inch or so. Pat dry.
- Place asparagus on a large piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fold the ends of foil over to make a square packet containing the asparagus. Fold the ends over to seal well.
- Place asparagus packet on the grill.
- Grill for 10-12 minutes, until asparagus is tender. Total time will vary according to the size of your asparagus spears.
- Remove from grill, open foil packet carefully and serve.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did you know?
It was long thought that some people digested asparagus differently than others, causing some to excrete a distinct odor in the urine after consuming the vegetable. However, newer studies indicate that the differences lie in a person's ability to detect the odor. All differences are not accounted for, so it appears that the subject is still a matter of debate. (source: Wikipedia)