Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter Sauce is my go-to recipe when this delicious vegetable is in season. A simple sauce of brown butter, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar is drizzled over perfectly roasted asparagus.
This Oven Roasted Asparagus is my favorite way to prepare this spring vegetable. The roasting brings out the natural sweetness of asparagus and the easy sauce makes it elegant enough for company.
Why You Should Make this Roasted Asparagus Recipe
I adore oven-roasted asparagus. It’s so easy to prepare and superior in taste to steaming or boiling. I typically roast and top with freshly grated Parmesan ala Ina Garten or this easy brown butter sauce recipe.
- First of all, roasting is so much better than steaming or boiling asparagus. No soggy or overcooked vegetables using this method.
- It’s super easy to roast any vegetable.
- If you haven’t made brown butter before, it’s easy. You just need to be near the stove to watch it turn from yellow melted butter to nutty brown butter.
- This is a company-worthy side dish that’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner.
How to Roast Asparagus
- Prep your asparagus stalks, by washing them first, and letting them air dry so they can roast properly. If the spears are not dry, they will steam instead of roast.
- Trim the woody ends by one of these 3 methods: Bend the ends till the woody base breaks off, use a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous covering at the lower part of the stems, or just bend the lower third of the stalk and the tougher end will naturally break off. Peeling wastes less of the vegetable, but I tend to use one of the other two techniques.
- Spread them out evenly on a sheet pan, making sure they’re just one layer deep so they roast evenly.
- Coat lightly with olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
- Roast until the spears are tender when you pierce them with a sharp knife. How Long to Roast Asparagus will vary depending on your oven temperature and the size of your asparagus spears. I’ve given the range of 9-14 minutes at 425 degrees. Very thin spears will take even less time.
How to Make Balsamic Browned Butter
While the asparagus is roasting, start your brown butter sauce.
- Simply melt and simmer the butter, watching carefully.
- Use a light bottom pan so you can see the butter as it browns.
- Swirl the pan on occasion so the milk solids brown instead of burn.
- When you notice a nutty aroma and the butter is the color of light hazelnuts, it’s ready.
- Add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
- Pour over the asparagus to serve.
Voila, this roasted asparagus with Brown Butter Sauce is as easy as pie. Well, actually a lot easier than pie. You simply must add this to your spring menu!
Frequently Asked Questions
Brown butter is exactly what it sounds like, butter that is cooked until browned, but not so brown that it’s burnt. As the butter melts and simmers, the milk solids brown. During the process, via the Maillard reaction, numerous flavor compounds are released! In France, brown butter is called Beurre Noisette because the butter is cooked to a light hazelnut (noisette) color.
The timing will vary as asparagus will be a different diameter nearly every time you purchase it. Thick spears take longer than very thin spears. When roasting, the spears are done when they’re tender (not mushy) when pierced with a knife.
I use 9 minutes at 425 degrees as an approximate roasting time for medium spears. Thinner and I’ll set the timer for less time, and thicker spears will take longer.
Roasting vegetables intensifies their natural sweetness. The sugars are caramelized at the high heat plus roasting in a hot, dry oven dehydrates the spears, also magnifying their flavor. If you tend to boil your vegetables, give roasting a try! You’ll quickly become a convert.
More Asparagus Recipes You’ll Love:
- Chopped Asparagus Salad from The View from Great Island
- Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Boursin
- Cream of Asparagus Soup from Well Plated
- Asparagus Topped Eggs with Hats
- Chicken and Asparagus with Three Cheeses from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- More of the Best Side Dishes
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- 1 or 2 bundles of asparagus, washed with woody stems broken off
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425º. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt.
- Roast 9-14 minutes, till tender. Shake pan at the halfway point to allow for even roasting.
- In a small saucepan, heat butter and cook till lightly browned. Add soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over cooked asparagus.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 226mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Photo circa 2010. Photos and text were updated in 2016, 2021.