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My Favorite Way to Cook Asparagus

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“The best thing about this method is that it is completely and easily do-ahead! Great for company! Since HIS favorite way to EAT asparagus is as a separate course on buttered toast, at the end of the 8 minutes cooking time, I drain almost all the water out of the skillet, add a chunk of butter, heat slightly until the butter melts and serve on (yes) buttered toast. Edited to say: call me crazy, but I peel my asparagus with a potato peeler unless it is under 1/4" thick!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Snap off bottom third of stalks or where they snap easily. Arrange the thoroughly washed stalks in 2 or 3 flat layers (bigger stalks on the bottom) in a 10-12" skillet.
  2. Cover with cold water until it stands ½" above the asparagus. Add a tablespoon each of salt and sugar.
  3. Bring UNCOVERED to a rolling boil; let boil from 2-4 minutes depending upon the thickness of the asparagus and whether you like it very crisp or not quite so chewy.
  4. Remove from the heat and let stand, still uncovered, in the water at least 8 minutes or until ready to serve.
  5. If the wait to serve is too long and the asparagus gets cold, simply bring to a boil once more, drain and serve immediately.
  6. Sometimes I get crazy and sizzle the stalks in the butter for a couple of minutes. Still have to put that on toast, though.
  7. Cooking Tip: Frozen asparagus may be cooked the same way. Start with frozen, cover with cold water, bring to a boil separating stalks; boil 1 minute, take off the heat and let stand for 4 minutes.
  8. Maybe you would like a smashed garlic clove and/or red pepper flakes in the water. I haven't tried that yet.

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