Spring is here, ushering bundles of leafy spinach, pods of sweet peas, and baskets full of earthy morels into produce aisles everywhere. Although the season is pretty much synonymous with fresh, bright produce, there's one popular spring vegetable that I, until recently, thought I hated: asparagus. Oddly shaped, strongly flavored, and easily overcooked into mush, I just couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about.
That is until I discovered a simple recipe that changed my mind: Half Baked Harvest's sesame roasted asparagus with whipped feta. Made by simply seasoning slender spears of asparagus, then slow roasting them in olive oil—it's a crazy-delicious recipe that I, a former asparagus hater, now make at least three times a week. In case you need more than one recipe to convince you to stock your crisper full of the vegetable, now while it's at peak deliciousness, here are the seven best asparagus recipes to make on repeat this spring. Yes, including the one that forever changed my mind about the seasonal staple.
Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Reduction
The Recipe: Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Reduction
Why I Love It: Topped with a balsamic reduction sauce, pine nuts, and shaved parmesan cheese, this grilled asparagus pairs well with any protein or makes a great meal all on its own. The asparagus cooks up in less than 10 minutes, so it's ideal for a quick weeknight dinner.
The Pro Tip: "Asparagus should never be cooked for long," notes recipe creator Natalie of The Modern Proper. "Even when cooked in the oven it should never be under the heat for more than 8 minutes. Cooking the asparagus longer than that results in a really mushy, unappetizing texture."
Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich
The Recipe: Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Why I Love It: Packed with fresh greens—asparagus, spinach, avocado, and sprouts—this isn't your typical grilled cheese. Slathered in green goddess spread, made with fresh herbs, anchovy paste, and mayonnaise, it's an elevated take on a classic.
The Pro Tip: "A butter/mayo combo spread on the bread results in the crispiest, crunchiest crust," divulges recipe creator Holly of The Modern Proper.
Prosciutto Pea and Pesto Pasta Salad
The Recipe: Prosciutto Pea and Pesto Pasta Salad
Why I Love It: Meant to be served cold, this pesto pasta salad is the ideal make-ahead recipe. In other words, prepping a big batch of this salad on Sunday means a fridgeful of ready-to-go lunches for the entire week. (Score.)
The Pro Tip: "In the last minute of cooking [the pasta], add in asparagus," suggests recipe creator Sarah of Broma Bakery. "Drain completely, then run cold water over everything until it comes to room temperature."
Sesame Roasted Asparagus With Whipped Feta
The Recipe: Sesame Roasted Asparagus With Whipped Feta
Why I Love It: As you already know, this is the recipe that converted me into a lover of the spring veggie. Essentially, it's asparagus that's been slow roasted in olive oil is served over a base of creamy whipped feta and topped with crunchy toasted ciabatta breadcrumbs. It's perfection.
The Pro Tip: "Here's my trick, once the asparagus has roasted, remove it from the oil, then make a vinaigrette/sauce situation with the leftover oil by adding in a splash of apple cider vinegar and honey," says recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Trust me, it's SO GOOD."
Asparagus and Brie Quiche
The Recipe: Asparagus and Brie Quiche
Why I Love It: If I'm being honest, this recipe had me at brie cheese. The decadently creamy ingredient lends a depth of flavor and a custard-like consistency to this quiche. The best part? You only need to set aside 20 minutes of prep time to make it.
The Pro Tip: "I'm currently loving this as a light spring-filled dinner with a heaping pile of lemony arugula on top," confesses recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
Green Goddess Lasagna
The Recipe: Green Goddess Lasagna
Why I Love It: Made with asparagus, green peppers, spinach, and basil, this lasagna is brimming with good-for-you ingredients (and plenty of melty cheese for good measure). Keeping with the green theme, this recipe swaps red marinara sauce for green enchilada sauce, which makes this dish, dare I say, even better than traditional lasagna.
The Pro Tip: "Unless you're feeding a crowd, you'll likely have leftover[s]," admits recipe creator Sarah of Broma Bakery. "To reheat leftover lasagna, either cover it with aluminum foil and bake it in the oven at 350ºF until it's heated through, or microwave it in a shallow dish with a little water in it (the water will prevent the lasagna from becoming rubbery)."
Roasted Asparagus & Baby Red Potato Salad
The Recipe: Roasted Asparagus & Baby Red Potato Salad
Why I Love It: This roasted asparagus and baby red potato salad is simple cooking at its finest. It calls for readily available ingredients—like garlic, red onion, and balsamic vinegar—that I usually have on hand, making it easy to whip up in no time.
The Pro Tip: "This stunning salad is so easy but packed with [flavor]—the wee red spuds are roasted with garlic, and the asparagus at the end of cooking," says recipe creator Sarah of Stuck in the Kitchen. "I know it sounds super simple (and it is) but the [flavors] are magic together!"