Garlic butter asparagus is an easy, crowd-pleasing side dish that you can whip up in less than 15 minutes. Chopped almonds and garlic get sauteed in butter then the asparagus is cooked until crisp-tender. A little squeeze of lemon finishes the dish. We like to cut the asparagus so that it easily fits into a pan, but if you want, you can leave the stalks whole.

This asparagus recipe goes beautifully with juicy baked pork chops, juicy baked chicken thighs, or even some simple soy sauce chicken.

A pan of garlic butter asparagus with a wooden spoon taking a scoop.

Why we love garlic butter asparagus

  • Crisp-tender asparagus, all wrapped in garlicky butter, is pretty hard to resist.
  • Crunchy almonds provide the perfect contrast.
  • Garlic cooked two ways – crispy pan-fried slices that burst with flavor and finely minced garlic added at the end that flavors each bite.
  • A little lemon juice brightens the taste.
  • 15 minutes from start to finish.

How to cook asparagus with garlic butter

Start by snapping off the tough ends of the asparagus – that's the fun part! Snap snap snap. We like to cut the asparagus into bite-sized pieces. But if you'd rather serve them whole, you can do that, too!

Once the asparagus is prepped, here's how to cook it:

  1. Saute the almonds and sliced garlic for a couple of minutes. Both will brown and become super flavorful. You'll want to remove them from the pan before cooking the asparagus.
  2. Now cook the asparagus in some butter until it is soft but still has a little bite. Or if you prefer your asparagus more tender, simply cook it for an extra few minutes.
  3. Now add the minced garlic and let it cook for a minute before adding the toasted almonds and sliced garlic back into the pan.

Garlic asparagus variations

While we love our garlic butter version with almonds, there are a few ways that you can switch things up to keep the recipe fresh and new each time that you make it.

  1. Make garlic parmesan asparagus. Sprinkle a handful of grated parmesan onto the asparagus in the last few minutes of cooking.
  2. Italian. Add one teaspoon of Italian seasoning with the asparagus.
  3. Spicy. Sprinkle with chili flakes while cooking.

Favorite asparagus recipes

Garlic butter asparagus in a black pan.
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Garlic butter asparagus in a black pan.

Garlic Butter Asparagus

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 2 mins
  • Cook Time: 13 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: North American

Description

Garlic butter asparagus is an easy, crowd-pleasing side dish that you can whip up in less than 15 minutes. Chopped almonds and garlic get sauteed in butter then the asparagus is cooked until crisp-tender. A little squeeze of lemon finishes the dish. We like to cut the asparagus so that it easily fits into a pan, but if you want, you can leave the stalks whole. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup almonds, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 sliced and 2 minced
  • 1 lb. asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces (see notes)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Sea salt, to taste. 

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the almonds and garlic and cook until the almonds start to brown and the sliced garlic begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. 
  2. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 8 minutes. 
  3. Once the asparagus is soft, add the almonds and garlic back into the pan and squeeze the lemon over the top. Season to taste with salt. 

Notes

You can prepare the asparagus whole if you prefer. Simply snap the tough ends off the asparagus and continue with the recipe. 

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Garlic butter asparagus in a black pan with the recipe title on top of the picture.