Grilled asparagus is ready in 15 minutes and is the perfect side for barbecue. Crisp on the outside with a smokey flavor, this healthy side dish is everyone's favorite.
We love grilling and when the weather is warm enough, you can always find me grilling something. From juicy spatchcock chicken and beef shish kabob to shrimp kabob and zaatar chicken, we love that smoky flavor of the grill! Today's grilled asparagus recipe is a quick 15-minute side dish that's healthy and so delicious.
Asparagus is a humble vegetable with subtle flavor but if it's prepared properly, like we have done here by grilling, it tastes wonderful and delivers a great texture since it's crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
You need just a few ingredients to make this easy grilled side dish. We love serving it with a tasty lemon tahini sauce that's so easy to make.
Tips to make the best gilled asparagus
- Choose fresh: Fresh asparagus is firm and the tips are tightly closed. The color of the asparagus changed according to the variety, however fresh asparagus always looks bright and rich in color and not faded.
- Trim the ends: The woody end of the asparagus snaps naturally. Be sure to remove that part for best flavor and texture.
- Don't overcook: The key to tasty asparagus is to grill it just enough for it to be cooked. Overcooking it might result in chewy and stringy texture.
Why is asparagus good for you?
- Asparagus has essential vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.
- It's a good source of fiber which improves digestive health.
- Research has found that asparagus can lower blood pressure.
How to make grilled asparagus
- Preheat the grill (gas or charcoal) to medium/medium-high.
- Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and place them in a pan. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Make sure all asparagus is coated with olive oil.
- While the grill is heating, make the lemon tahini sauce by mixing tahini, yogurt, lemon zest and juice, salt, minced garlic and just a bit of water to thin it out.
- Place the asparagus on a grill pan with holes or directly on the grates. Close the lid and grill for 5 minutes, then flip the asparagus and grill for another 5 minutes until they are cooked but crisp.
- Plate the asparagus and top with lemon tahini sauce.
Variations and ideas
There are different ways to serve grilled asparagus. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Give it a garlicky twist by dipping it in toum (Lebanese garlic sauce).
- Top them with some freshly grated parmesan and chopped basil.
- Drizzle with some balsamic glaze for a lot of flavor.
- Top with vegetables such as tomatoes and red onions.
- Serve with some dijon mustard to dip the asparagus in.
- Go simple and top with some freshly squeezed lemon juice!
I love serving this as a side dish with our summer barbecue dishes such as grilled wings, grilled steak, shish tawook, zaatar chicken or salmon kabob. It's such an easy side dish to make and goes well with almost any protein.
Frequently asked questions
If the asparagus has turned soggy and not crisp, it could be for a couple of reasons. First, the asparagus wasn't fresh to begin with and second, it's been overcooked. Keep an eye on it while grilling and remove it as soon as it's cooked which usually takes about 10 minutes.
You don't need to blanch fresh asparagus before grilling since it cooks very fast on the grill.
It depends on the variety of asparagus, the type of grill and its heat. However, it generally takes about 10 minutes to grill asparagus on medium-high heat, flipping once.
It's best to serve and eat grilled asparagus fresh out of the grill for the best texture and flavor. However, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, place them on a pan over medium heat, stir a few times so they heat evenly. You can use them in salads or with eggs for breakfast.
More grill side dishes
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Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 1 lb asparagus
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 2 tablespoon tahini
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- Preheat the grill to medium/medium-high.
- Trim the woody ends of the asparagus, it naturally breaks or you can use a knife. place them on a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Using your hands, coat the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Make the lemon tahini sauce by mixing the tahini with yogurt, lemon zest and juice, salt and garlic. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time if you need to thin out the sauce.
- Place the asparagus on the grill. I used a grilling pan with holes for better handling. Close the lid and let it grill for 5 minutes. Give it a good stir and grill for another 5 minutes until they are crisp and cooked. Transfer them to a serving platter.
- Drizzle the lemon tahini sauce over the asparagus, top with Aleppo pepper and sesame seeds if desired and serve warm.
- Serving suggestions: Serve with grilled spatchcock chicken, Greek grilled chicken, grilled steak or beef shish kabobs.
- It's best to serve and eat grilled asparagus fresh out of the grill for the best texture and flavor. However, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, place them on a pan over medium heat, stir a few times so they heat evenly. You can use them in salads or with eggs for breakfast.
- Make sure to use fresh asparagus that's bright in color and feels firm. Canned asparagus will not work for this recipe.
- For a dairy-free version, use plain dairy-free yogurt.