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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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make garlic parmesan asparagus. Sprinkle a handful of grated parmesan onto the asparagus in the last few minutes of cooking.
- Italian. Add one teaspoon of Italian seasoning with the asparagus.
- Spicy. Sprinkle with chili flakes while cooking.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup almonds (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (2 sliced and 2 minced)
- 1 lb asparagus (cut into 2″ pieces (see notes))
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Sea salt (to taste.)
- 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.1 tablespoon butter, ¼ cup almonds, 4 cloves garlic
- Add the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 8 minutes.1 lb asparagus
- 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.Juice from 1 lemon, Sea salt
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.