How to Cook Asparagus on the Stove

All you need is a skillet and a little butter to make this foolproof asparagus recipe from Chef Edna Lewis.

Asparagus in cast iron skillet
Cooking asparagus in the skillet concentrates its flavor rather than diluting it, as steaming or boiling can.Helen Rosner

One of our best recipes for how to cook asparagus on the stove comes from the late, great Southern chef, Edna Lewis. She learned this method from her mother, who taught her that cooking asparagus in the skillet concentrates its flavor rather than diluting it, as steaming or boiling can. This stovetop asparagus recipe requires very few ingredients and seasonings, making it a quick and easy side dish to cook and enjoy within minutes.

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Equipment

Skillet Asparagus
Cooking asparagus in the skillet concentrates its flavor rather than diluting it, as steaming or boiling can.
Yield: serves 4-6
Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse the asparagus well in cold water and trim the tough ends of the stalks. In a heavy skillet with a tight-fitting lid, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the asparagus and shake the skillet from side to side a few times to coat the stalks. Cover and cook until the asparagus begins to steam, shaking the skillet occasionally to prevent burning, about 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the asparagus is tender but still crisp and bright green, 5–10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.

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