Ingredient spotlight: Asparagus

Healthy Recipes
Fresh raw green Asparagus on wooden chopping board

Asparagus is loaded with nutrients that can provide a host of health benefits, making it a valuable addition to any diet. Its high fiber content promotes healthy digestion, fosters gut health and supports cardiovascular health. Asparagus is also a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, folate, iron, copper and calcium. 

When it comes to eating vegetables, getting enough and eating a variety of them are key. Most adults should aim for two to three cups of vegetables each day, and enjoy a wide variety throughout each week.

Vegetables are categorized into five  subgroups: "dark green," "red/orange," "beans/peas/lentils," "starchy" and "other." Choosing vegetables from all five subgroups throughout the week helps ensure you get all the nutrition vegetables have to offer. 

Asparagus falls under the “other” subgroup of vegetables, and the Dietary Guidelines recommend most adults aim to eat about four to five cups per week of vegetables from the “other” subgroup. Add variety to your veggie routine and enjoy these delicious asparagus recipes:  

Asparagus salad with lemon-garlic dressing


  • 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk or 1 tablespoon fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 medium garlic clove (minced)
  • 24 medium asparagus spears (trimmed)
  • Poppy seeds (optional)


  • In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, buttermilk, lemon zest and garlic. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  • In a large saucepan or skillet, pour in enough water to barely cover the asparagus. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water and drain well. If desired, cut on the diagonal into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Add the dressing, tossing gently to coat. Lightly sprinkle with the poppy seeds.

Recipe adapted from

Asian-inspired pasta salad with asparagus, snow peas and avocado


  • 12 ounces whole-grain fusilli or rotini
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces snow peas, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (lowest sodium available)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 medium green onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 medium avocados, halved, pitted and diced


  • Prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt.
  • Two minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the asparagus and snow peas to the boiling water. Transfer the cooked pasta mixture to a colander. Run cold water over the pasta and vegetables to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and honey. Stir in the carrots, bell pepper, green onions and pasta mixture.
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to chill. If serving immediately, gently stir in the avocado. If chilling, gently stir in the avocado just before serving.

Recipe adapted from

Roasted asparagus with parmesan


  • 2 lbs asparagus
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Snap the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard.
  • In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with the olive oil, pepper and lemon zest.
  • Place the asparagus on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven, then sprinkle with cheese and lemon juice.

Recipe adapted from

Next steps:

Register for an upcoming nutrition and healthy eating webinar or cooking class at the King of Prussia Teaching Kitchen

Nutrition information, recipes and food safety tips are provided in collaboration with Main Line Health King of Prussia's Teaching Kitchen.

Interested in preventing Type 2 diabetes? For more information about our Diabetes Prevention Program and upcoming groups, fill out this interest form.

Learn more about Main Line Health's nutrition counseling and weight management services

Want more recipes and health-focused content? Follow us on Pinterest! Want to get the latest health and wellness articles delivered right to your inbox? Subscribe to the Well Ahead Newsletter.

well ahead logo Content you want, delivered to your inbox

Want to get the latest health and wellness articles delivered right to your inbox? 

Subscribe to the Well Ahead Newsletter.

Man smiling looking at his phone