Asparagus is a delicious, versatile vegetable that makes a great side dish for almost any meal. However, fresh asparagus is not always easy to come by, especially during the winter months, and you may not always have fresh asparagus on hand. That’s where frozen asparagus comes in!
Frozen asparagus is easy to find and cook, just as nutritious as fresh asparagus, and tastes great.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how to cook this frozen vegetable in the following ways: air fried, oven-roasted, pan-fried, steamed, boiled, grilled, and in the microwave.
How to Cook Frozen Asparagus in the Air Fryer
One of our favorite ways to cook frozen asparagus is in the air fryer. It’s a quick and tasty side dish that requires little effort.
Here’s how to get the tastiest asparagus in the air fryer:
- Preheat your air fryer for five minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place frozen asparagus into a bowl (do not defrost!), drizzle with olive oil or melted butter, and then toss to coat. Alternatively, you can place the asparagus straight from the bag into the air fryer basket and lightly coat with a spray oil of your choice. Olive oil or avocado oil are great options – you can even use this Misto sprayer to make your own spray from liquid oil. The wonderful thing about air frying is that you don’t have to use a lot of oil to get great results.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper or other seasonings of your choice. Garlic salt, seasoning salt, minced garlic, lemon pepper, and red pepper flakes are all great options.
- Air fry for 15-20 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
- Be sure to check the asparagus every few minutes and toss. All air fryers cook differently, so you may need to adjust the cooking time up or down depending on your air fryer and how crisp you like your asparagus.
- When the asparagus is cooked to your liking, remove it from the air fryer, give it a squeeze or two of lemon juice (optional) and serve immediately. Enjoy!
How to Cook Frozen Asparagus in the Oven
Roasting fresh asparagus is a classic technique, and it’s just as delicious when done with frozen asparagus.
Here’s how to get the perfect roasted asparagus:
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat your baking sheet at the same time by placing it in the oven while it heats. A really hot oven and pan are key to getting crispy frozen vegetables.
- Once the oven is preheated, carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and line with parchment paper for easy cleanup (optional). If you don’t line the baking sheet, you’ll want to spray it with cooking oil.
- Spread the asparagus stalks on the baking sheet in a single layer. Don’t crowd them together – this can result in mushy asparagus. You can use multiple pans for a larger batch, or an oversized baking pan like this one with plenty of room.
- Drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking oil.
- Sprinkle with your choice of seasonings. Keep it simple with sea salt and pepper, or you can add garlic salt, red pepper flakes, or minced garlic for added flavor.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes, depending on how tender you like your asparagus.
- Turn asparagus at around 7-8 minutes.
- (Optional) With about 3 minutes left to cook, sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy!
How to Cook Frozen Asparagus on the Stove
If you’re looking for a stovetop method for cooking frozen asparagus, here are three great options: pan-frying, steaming, or boiling. Steaming or boiling is great if you are short on time or want to keep it simple. Pan-frying takes a bit more time, but the flavor is incredible.
How to Cook Frozen Asparagus in a Skillet
- Place frozen asparagus directly from the freezer into the skillet, in an even layer. Use your largest skillet. You want the asparagus to have plenty of room so it can cook evenly without overcrowding.
- Add olive oil or butter, then toss to coat.
- Add seasonings and toss to coat again. We like minced garlic, salt, and pepper but you can use any seasonings you like. You can also include bacon or scallions for added flavor.
- Cover and pan fry over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once asparagus reaches desired level of tenderness, remove from heat. Add a squeeze or two of lemon if you’d like.
How to Steam Frozen Asparagus
- Add a few inches of water to a pot and set to high heat.
- Place a steamer basket on top and add the frozen asparagus to the basket.
- Cover and steam over boiling water for about 4-5 minutes, or until tender.
Check out this awesome pot with basket to steam frozen asparagus.
How to Boil Frozen Asparagus
- Fill your largest skillet with about an inch of water and bring to a boil.
- Place frozen asparagus directly in the water. You can also add lemon, salt, and other seasonings to the water for extra flavor.
- Boil asparagus for 4-5 minutes and remove from heat.
How to Cook Frozen Asparagus in the Microwave
The microwave is one of the quickest ways to cook frozen asparagus. It’s a great option if you need to make a small batch or if you’re short on time. This method also works great for a single-serve side dish or snack.
- Wrap frozen asparagus in a damp paper towel (or multiple damp paper towels). You’ll want to make sure the asparagus are completely covered and in a single layer. This is best for a small quantity of asparagus spears.
- Place in a microwave-safe dish or directly on the turn-table.
- Cook for about 2 minutes, then check to see if the asparagus are heated all the way through. If not, cook in small increments (15-20 seconds) until done.
- Be careful when removing the asparagus from the microwave, it will be very hot!
- Season however you’d like. We like to drizzle a bit of melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Alternatively, you can place your bag of frozen asparagus all together in a baking dish and cook for 2-4 minutes, again checking after 2 minutes and then cooking in shorter increments. This method will result in softer asparagus.
How to Cook Frozen Asparagus on the Grill
Grilling is a great way to enjoy frozen asparagus (our favorite for summertime!) and it’s really easy to do. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have perfectly cooked asparagus in no time.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Place the frozen asparagus spears on the grill in a single layer and on the hottest part of the grill. No need to thaw beforehand.
- You’ll want to cook them until they start to brown, flipping them every so often. This usually takes about 15 minutes, but you may need to adjust this cooking time up or down depending on your grill.
- Once the asparagus are done, remove them from the grill. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them or drizzle melted butter for extra flavor. Season with garlic salt, seasoning salt, or garlic powder with salt and pepper. Yum!
Other ways to Cook Frozen Asparagus
In addition to cooking frozen asparagus on its own as a side dish, you can also add it to other dishes. Its flavor complements a wide variety of recipes.
Here are a few ideas:
- Pasta dishes
- Stir fry
- Fried Rice
Here are answers to commonly asked questions about cooking frozen asparagus.
How long does it take to cook frozen asparagus?
It depends on the cooking method you use. Boiling, steaming, or microwaving will take just 2-5 minutes. Other methods like oven-roasting, pan-frying, grilling, or air frying will take 15-20 minutes.
Should I defrost asparagus before cooking?
Thawing frozen asparagus before cooking is not necessary. In fact, it’s not recommended if you want to retain crispness when sautéing, air frying, or roasting. Go straight from the freezer to the pan, skillet, or air fryer basket.
Is frozen asparagus any good?
Frozen asparagus is just as tasty as fresh asparagus, just as nutritious, and can be prepared in many of the same ways. It’s a great option for when fresh asparagus is out of season or you need a quick and easy side dish.
How do you keep asparagus from getting soggy when frozen?
Sautéing, air frying, or roasting in the oven are the best ways to achieve crisp-cooked asparagus from frozen. Other methods result in softer asparagus, and if overcooked, they might become soggy.
Tips: Do not thaw before cooking. When roasting or pan-frying, make sure the asparagus is in a single layer with plenty of space. This will help them cook evenly and prevent overcrowding, which can lead to mushy asparagus.
If you are roasting frozen asparagus, make sure to cook at a high temperature (425+ degrees Fahrenheit) and preheat your pan before adding the asparagus.
What seasoning goes well with asparagus?
There are many different ways that you can season asparagus, depending on your personal preference. Some common seasonings include salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. You can also add bacon or scallions for extra flavor, or sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley after cooking. Experiment and find the combination that you like the best!
So, now that you know how to cook frozen asparagus, it’s time to get cooking! Whether you choose to roast, sauté, or steam your asparagus spears, they are sure to be a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.
Let us know in the comments below your favorite way to enjoy these tasty frozen veggies!
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