Spring is finally here, and that means a whole new crop of in-season produce is too. While you can find asparagus in stores pretty much any time of year, it’s in its prime (juicy, tender, sweet) during the spring—and costs less too. The pretty green stalks are easy to cook with and full of health benefits, such as vitamin K (yay strong bones!) and antioxidants. Need more convincing? Asparagus is on the Environmental Working Group’s 2017 “Clean 15” list of produce least likely to contain pesticides. We’ve rounded up healthy recipes that use the tasty greens in all kinds of ways, from soups to skillets to pastas. Hello, new favorite veg.
One-pan meals are our favorite because, well, they’re easy AF and perfect for busy weeknights. Dice up a sweet potato and some chicken; cut fresh asparagus into pieces; and let garlic, chicken broth, salt, and pepper do the work.
Roasted asparagus, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy chopped pecans pretty much guarantee this quinoa salad will be a winner. After you’ve cooked the quinoa and roasted the asparagus, add ’em to a bowl with olive oil, sea salt, cheese, red wine vinegar, and garlic powder. Stir it all up and dig in.
There’s something about asparagus that makes it so dang good when paired with lemon. This sheet-pan dinner takes advantage of that, coating the salmon, asparagus, and peas in lemon juice and olive oil for a simple but flavor-packed meal.
Dairy-free and creamy don’t usually go together, but with the help of soaked and blended cashews mixed with chicken broth, this soup makes it possible. The only other ingredients you need are asparagus spears, salt, and pepper… plus maybe a grilled cheese to pair it with.
Roasted veggies are kind of the best, especially since the kitchen work involved is very minimal. Go beyond your usual drizzle of olive oil and add feta, lemon juice and zest, and chopped pistachios to the mix.
Vegans, rejoice: This creamy veggie pasta is what you’ve been waiting for. Baby bellas and sliced asparagus dress up penne pasta and taste amaze mixed in with a cheesy vegan sauce. Add in extra red pepper flakes if you like your pasta on the spicy side.
Zucchini fries are delicious, but asparagus may take the cake here, given they’re naturally the perfect shape for fries—no chopping needed. Coat the stalks in panko bread crumbs, flour, and eggs, plus some spices for extra flavor, then bake for 10 to 12 minutes. And since fries are meant to be dipped, this recipe comes with a Greek yogurt-ranch sauce too. Our mouths are watering.