This asparagus vegetable salad drizzled with an easy balsamic vinaigrette is one of our favorite spring salads when asparagus season starts (and this is an asparagus recipe kid friendly recipe approved by my daughter!) This vegetable recipe is great because it makes one of those easy side dishes or even asparagus meals on its own. If you’re looking for an asparagus easy recipe or perfect salad ideas this is it! Add it to chopped summer asparagus salads list, too!
The Best Healthy Asparagus Vegetable Salad Ever!
If you’re wondering can you put asparagus in salad, the answer is YES! This quick and easy asparagus salad is ready in just minutes and makes a light meal on its own or a great side dish for a party, cookout, or any fast dinner after work with just a few simple ingredients! Start looking for fresh asparagus in farmers’ markets and stores in early spring as warm weather approaches!
How To Make Asparagus Salad
Simple Asparagus Salad Recipes Ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Balsamic Vinegar (or favorite store bought vinaigrette)
- Fresh parmesan (shaved parmesan or grated parmesan)
- Nuts (optional, sometimes we make asparagus salad with walnuts, pecans, or toasted pine nuts, but you can leave them out and it’s just as good)
KEEP SCROLLING for the full asparagus salad vinaigrette recipes printable card (including the easy asparagus salad dressing recipe). Be sure to read through the recipe FAQs before the recipe card. We cover important things like asparagus in salad raw or cooked and more.
Asparagus In A Salad
What is salad asparagus?
Asparagus salad is simply a salad made with asparagus, either cooked or fresh. Asparagus salad can made in many different ways!
Asparagus in salad dishes:
- Asparagus salad strawberry recipe
- Asparagus avocado salad
- Asparagus prosciutto salad
- Asparagus noodle salad
- Asparagus green salad (add asparagus to regular green salads or asparagus on salad!)
- & SO MANY MORE!
There are so many ways to make salads with asparagus! Play around with it and add your favorite ingredients!
Is asparagus good in salad?
YES! Lightly cooked or grilled asparagus makes the best salad recipe ever! (Grilled asparagus salad is awesome!) You’re in for a treat with this light asparagus salad recipe if you’ve never tried it this way!
Before we get to the roasted asparagus salad recipe, let’s cover some facts about asparagus and questions people often have about the vegetable. (These are fun to go through when cooking with kids, too!)
You may be wondering can asparagus be eaten raw in a salad…
Can you eat asparagus raw in a salad?
Some people eat raw asparagus salad or shaved asparagus salad without cooking. However, it can be tough, especially the woody bottom parts of the asparagus. Shredding it into a salad (or using a vegetable peeler) will make asparagus easy to eat, or saute it lightly in oil before adding it to the salad.
So, my answer to can you eat raw asparagus in salad is… maybe? We don’t prefer raw asparagus in our house. We like lightly steamed asparagus that still holds a nice crunch!
Can you eat cooked asparagus cold?
Yes. You can eat asparagus cold or warm right after cooking. This asparagus salad recipe is great served immediately or even after it has been chilled. We often serve our fresh asparagus salad cold.
This is one of my daughter’s favorite side dishes / salad dishes! We often eat this as an asparagus cold salad (but we like it as a warm salad, too!).
What part of asparagus should you eat?
Most people eat the top of the asparagus spear, which is the most tender part. The woody bottom ends of the spear are tough, but can be used in soups, purees, stir fry dishes and more. So, while you can eat the whole asparagus stalk, the top spear is the best.
If you’re wondering are asparagus stalks edible, the answer is yes. But, they are best used in soups or puree recipes because they’re so tough.
What does asparagus taste like?
Asparagus is a unique taste that is unlike anything else. It has a distinct flavor that is a little like stronger, more earthy, freshly-cooked green beans (in both taste and texture). If your asparagus is sour or bitter, it means that it has gone bad (or may have been cooked too long).
If you tried it and don’t like asparagus, it may have been because it wasn’t cooked right.
(There’s nothing worse than mushy, overcooked asparagus or … asparagus from a can. Shudder. If you’re looking for canned asparagus recipe ideas, this recipe for asparagus salad doesn’t work great with can asparagus.)
So, if you tried asparagus before and didn’t like it, especially for the texture, you might be in for a treat with this recipe (and the other things you learn here!).
For this recipe, you want a crisp-tender asparagus that is taken right from the boiling water to a bowl of ice water for cold asparagus salads. (Yep, just put it right in water with ice cubes!)
You can also serve it at room temperature.
What asparagus good for?
Asparagus is a really versatile vegetable. You can eat it alone, steamed, grilled, baked or boiled, with just a little salt and olive oil. There are also many different asparagus recipes like asparagus soup, asparagus and chicken, asparagus quiche and more!
Is asparagus healthy?
It’s probably no surprise, but plain asparagus is very healthy! It is low in calories and fat, but is also high in fiber and Vitamins A, C, E and K (and more!).
Asparagus Benefits include:
- High in protein
- Is an antioxidant
- Full of vitamins
- Low in calories
- Low in fat
- High in fiber
- Has healthy minerals
- Acts as diuretic
SUMMER SALAD RECIPES TO TRY:
Easy Black Bean and Corn Salad (Cowboy Caviar)
Asparagus How To Cook and Prepare
How Do You Cook Asparagus?
There are many different ways to cook asparagus and asparagus recipes! Here’s how to serve asparagus if you’re wondering what is the best way to eat asparagus!
Ideas For Asparagus:
- Grilled asparagus with lemon
- Boiled or steamed on the stove
- Baked asparagus in the oven
- Asparagus with lemon
- Asparagus wrapped in bacon (YES! It’s a thing!)
- Asparagus soup (great way to use asparagus stalks leftover from the salad!)
- In a casserole
- Asparagus with parmesan
- Asparagus quiche
- In a frittata
- Grilled and dipped in Dijon mustard (kids love this!)
- Simple chicken and asparagus recipe (or salmon and asparagus!)
- Asparagus risotto
- Tossed with creamy goat cheese and sharp red onion or green onions
- In pasta with some fresh herbs
- Asparagus fries
- Tossed with a little lemon zest
- With grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and salty feta cheese for another delicious asparagus salad (main dish or side dish!)
- Asparagus stir fry
- Asparagus in the air fryer
- Sauteed with a splash of red wine vinegar before serving
Honestly, I could keep going, but I think you get the idea. (You can use almost anything for fresh flavors with asparagus!)
There are so many good asparagus recipes and asparagus dishes, but it’s good (and simple) tossed in a little olive oil with salt sprinkled on it. (You can also use asparagus for shaved salads!)
How do you clean and cook asparagus?
Asparagus is simple to prepare. You wash it and then snap the bottom parts off. (If you bend the asparagus spear, it will naturally break at the “woody ends” point that you discard.) There are many ways to cook asparagus, but the easiest way is to steam it for around 5-7 minutes, until just tender but still crisp. Steaming or grilling is better cooking asparagus for salad.
There are asparagus steamer pots (with baskets), which are great! You can also just use a regular vegetable steamer insert or a steamer set (which is what I use).
Cooking asparagus stove top is really easy! It’s quick to cook to give it a slight crunch! You can even make this as a roasted asparagus salad!
Do you wash asparagus before cooking it?
Yes, just run the asparagus spears under cool water to remove any dirt or grit. Then, bend each asparagus stalk until it snaps. Discard the woody lower end. The top portion is the part you keep and cook!
How long do you blanch fresh asparagus?
Blanching fresh asparagus is very fast. Add asparagus to boiling salt water and let it boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain and transfer to an ice bath immediately to stop the cooking process.
About Asparagus Season
When asparagus in season?
The prime harvesting season for asparagus is April, but asparagus season is from late February to June. However, it is available all year in most grocery stores, even though spring season is the true asparagus season.
Can asparagus go bad?
Yes, asparagus can go bad. It becomes discolored and turns mushy. It may even taste sour or bitter if you eat asparagus without realizing it has gone bad.
How do you know when asparagus goes bad?
Like many vegetables, asparagus is easy to look at (and feel) and tell if it has gone bad. If it is soft or mushy, is discolored, has black spots on the stalk, or if the tips are very dark green (almost black) and mushy, the asparagus is bad and should be thrown away.
TRY THIS EASY RECIPE NEXT: Have salad with asparagus with egg salad recipe!
How long can asparagus last in fridge?
Fresh, raw asparagus can last around 4 days in the refrigerator. (It will depend on how fresh it was in the grocery store!) To store asparagus, wrap the bottom parts of the stalk (the woody ends, not the tips) in a slightly dampened paper towel inside an unsealed plastic bag or stand in a glass jar with a enough water just to cover the bottom ends. Place in refrigerator until ready to eat (within 4 days).
Can asparagus be frozen?
Asparagus can be frozen. It is best to use frozen asparagus in dishes and for cooking as it won’t have the same flavor and texture as fresh asparagus. It is best to blanch the asparagus before freezing to help retain the color and nutrients.
Let’s get to how to make fresh asparagus salad!
How To Cook Asparagus Salad (Kid-Approved Family Favorite Recipe!)
Easy Asparagus Salad With Asparagus Balsamic (Roast Asparagus Salad)
This is one of those healthy asparagus salad recipes that packs a lot of flavor into each bite! You can serve this asparagus salad immediately or as a chilled asparagus salad. (This is one of my favorite spring vegetables to eat in different ways!)
If you want to make this a chopped asparagus salad, just cut the asparagus in smaller, bite-size pieces.
Want to change it up? Instead of shaved parmesan, add feta cheese and cherry tomatoes to make this a Mediterranean asparagus salad or a simple asparagus salad with feta. And, use a lemon vinaigrette or a toss it with a squeeze of lemon juice in a large bowl for a lighter taste and complete meal!
(Someone told me that they make asparagus salad with egg, but we’ve never tried it that way!)
This is a great asparagus salad BBQ side dish, asparagus salad Easter brunch, asparagus salad Christmas dish, or even a light lunch! Super versatile recipe! The bright green color makes such a beautiful bright salad with a fresh taste!
RECIPE TIP: We made an easy vinaigrette for asparagus salad, but you can use your favorite store-bought balsamic for this asparagus salad recipe or even make it with asparagus Italian dressing, too. It’s also easy to make this asparagus salad dairy free. Just leave out the cheese!
Don’t miss our recipe and read for kids pairings after this printable recipe card. This is an easy recipe for kids to make, so definitely add it to the family cooking projects! Kids love this tasty asparagus salad!
Simple Asparagus Vegetable Salad
Once you've had asparagus in salad, you may never want to go back to a plain salad recipe again!
The toasted nuts are (obviously) optional, but give a nice extra crunch to this dish.
- 2 bunches asparagus, cut and steamed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan, or 1/4 C shaved parmesan
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans, walnuts or pine nuts (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse asparagus and bend each stalk until it breaks. Discard the bottom tough ends (or save for a soup purée). Cut the remaining tender tops into 1-inch diagonals.
- Steam the asparagus pieces for 5-7 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from steam immediately and place in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.
- Pour half of oil/vinegar mixture over asparagus and toss. Add the rest of the oil/vinegar mixture if needed, or to taste. (We like ours with a little more dressing so we add all of it.) Set aside.
- Toast nuts in oven just until brown. Watch closely because they will burn quickly in just a couple of minutes! (You can also do this on the stove top with a little butter or oil in a pan.)
- Toss asparagus mixture again just before serving. Top with parmesan cheese, toasted nuts, and salt and pepper. Serve.
Store leftover salad in refrigerator for up to two days. (How dare you have leftovers of this yumminess?!)
Want to make this a chilled asparagus salad? Remove asparagus from heat and immediately place in water and ice bath for up to 5 minutes. Strain and mix with olive oil and vinegar.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
How Asparagus Is Grown
Asparagus is a fun to cook with kids for several reasons:
- It’s quick and easy.
- It’s healthy.
- Asparagus is a fun finger food.
- Learning how asparagus is grown is interesting.
- There’s that whole bodily function aspect (with asparagus making pee stink), which kids always appreciate. (More on that in a bit. You’re welcome.)
It’s interesting to see asparagus growing because (to me) it just looks like someone stuck a bunch of asparagus spears from the store into the ground.
Watch this video with your kids to learn about growing asparagus and harvesting. (There’s a lot of cool history in there!)
DID YOU KNOW IT TAKES 5 YEARS TO GO FROM ASPARAGUS SEED TO A FULLY YIELDING PLANT TO HARVEST THE ASPARAGUS?
Asparagus grows fast! Sometimes as much as 6 inches in one day!
Asparagus Fun Facts For Kids
About That Asparagus Pee Smell Thing (Asparagus Making Urine Smell)
You may have heard about how eating asparagus make your pee smell.
But, does asparagus make pee smell really?
Why does asparagus pee stink?
Asparagus contains asparagusic acid (for real). The human body breaks it down into sulphur compounds. The sulphur is what gives urine that asparagus smell. (Sulphur is that same smell from rotten eggs and skunks!) The tricky part comes in if the person who ate the asparagus is an excreter or non-excreter AND if you are someone who can actually smell the asparagus in the urine. (Not everyone can!)
WATCH THE VIDEO WITH THE KIDS HERE
(And do your own science project. You’re welcome.)
RECIPE AND READ: Vegetable and Growing Children’s Books Good To Pair With This Asparagus Recipe
- The Vegetables We Eat
- Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet
- Up In The Garden And Down In The Dirt
- Grow: A Family Guide to Growing Fruits And Vegetables
- Gardening Projects For Kids
ALSO CHECK OUT THESE KIDS ACTIVITIES AND FUN RECIPES: HOW TO GROW A VICTORY GARDEN WITH KIDS AND HOW TO MAKE DANDELION SALAD (FOR REAL!)