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Sauteed Asparagus With Lemon

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Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon is a simple side dish that offers a pop of flavor from the lemons and a delicious crunch from the asparagus. Your fam will eat this stuff up!!

small stems of asparagus piled on a wooden platter with a side of lemon
Image by Sarah Alvord

We love cooking asparagus as a tasty vegetable side dish!! There are so many health benefits to eating asparagus! It is packed with lots of nutrients and fiber, it also makes for fun bathroom trips after you eat it! That lovely smell it gives your urine (yep I went there)….gives you something interesting to talk about! LOL!!

Why We Love This Asparagus Recipe

We love this easy asparagus recipe because it goes perfectly with chicken, beef, pork, and even fish. Asparagus is a simple vegetable side dish that cooks up quickly with just a few ingredients.

Sauteed asparagus is especially easy to make for a busy weeknight meal. The lemon added to asparagus is really such a delicious combination.


Here is all you need to make this asparagus recipe in no time.

  • Asparagus– fresh, green asparagus. When picking out asparagus, take note of the bottoms of the stems, and make sure they aren’t dried out or too big.
  • Olive Oil– for frying asparagus in a pan.
  • Lemon Juice– fresh lemon juice is best in this recipe
  • Lemon Zest– takes the lemon flavor to the next level.
  • Salt and Black Pepper

How to Make Sauteed Asparagus

Let’s walk through the simple steps of how to cook asparagus in a pan on the stovetop.

  1. Prepare the pan. Start with a skillet placed over medium high heat. Add in the olive oil and wait until it just starts shimmering in the pan.
  2. Cook the asparagus. Place the asparagus into the pan and season with the salt and black pepper. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes until the asparagus becomes a darker green color and is crispy-tender.
  3. Add in the lemon. Turn down the heat and add in the juice of one half of a lemon as well as the lemon zest. Use a lemon zester to easily grate the zest from the lemon skin.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!

Quick Tip

Asparagus will get mushy if it is overcooked, so keep a close eye on it while it cooks.

asparagus in a bowl of water

How to Store Fresh Asparagus

If you have ever bought asparagus and left it in the plastic produce bag it comes in and just put it in the refrigerator, you most likely came back to find it dried out or the tops have become all mushy…basically it is inedible.

The best way to store fresh asparagus is to keep the asparagus in the bundle with the elastic and trim off about an inch from the bottom end with a sharp knife. Fill a large bowl with 1-2 inches of water and stand the asparagus in the water until ready to use. This will keep the asparagus fresh for 3-5 days.

Another way to store the asparagus is to wrap the bottom ends in a wet paper towel and place it into the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator.

bending a piece of asparagus to see where to cut it

How to Cut Asparagus

Always start with fresh asparagus. The trick that works best for me is the bend-and-snap method. The way to know where to cut the bottom thicker part of the asparagus is to slightly bend the asparagus at the bottom, it will naturally fold and snap.

You can totally use 2 hands to do this, I just had one for the asparagus and one for the camera!!

fresh asparagus spears on a wooden cutting board

Next, take the spear that you just snapped and place it next to the bunch of clean asparagus.

Line up all the heads of the asparagus and run a sharp knife along the stems trimming them at the same place as the snapped spear.

asparagus sliced into thirds on a wooden cutting board

For this Asparagus recipe, you will want to cut the asparagus into thirds.

Just make two equal slices across the asparagus spears. Now they are ready for the pan!!

sliced, cooked asparagus on a wooden platter

What To Serve With Asparagus

Asparagus is a simple vegetable side dish to cook and goes perfectly with the following:

Lemon Chicken and Pasta; crisp, breaded chicken breasts in a lemon sauce served over pasta.
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs: asparagus goes beautifully with baked chicken.
Slow Cooker Ham Recipe: tender, juicy ham cooked right in the slow cooker with a maple brown sugar glaze.
Cast Iron Flank Steak: tender beef flank steak cooked in a cast iron pan right next to your asparagus to make a simple dinner.

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Lemon with asparagus
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5 from 1 vote

Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon

Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon is a delicious and simple side dish that goes perfectly with whatever you have on the menu!!
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time12 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 36kcal


  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Wash the asparagus. Bend and snap one spear of the asparagus. Line up the snapped spear next to the bunch of asparagus, slice all of the spears at the same length of the snapped spear. Chop the asparagus into thirds. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering add the chopped asparagus. Salt and pepper the asparagus. 
  • Saute the asparagus, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes until the asparagus is dark green and crispy tender.
  • Turn off the heat and squeeze the lemon juice over the asparagus. Zest lemon peel with a zester over asparagus before serving. 



Calories: 36kcal | Fat: 2.4g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
Keyword: Sauteed Asparagus with Lemon
Tried this recipe?Please Rate and Leave A Comment Below!

Recipe updated March 25, 2024 with addition information and tips, recipe remains the same.

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