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Lemon Garlic Asparagus: Easy Pan-Seared

Are you craving a side dish that’s quick, easy, and bursting with flavor? Look no further! This lemon garlic asparagus recipe is not only simple to prepare but also incredibly delicious. In under 5 minutes, you’ll have a vibrant and tasty dish that’s perfect for any meal. Ready to impress your family and friends? Let’s dive in!


How to Make Lemon Garlic Asparagus

Prepping the Asparagus

To begin, ensure you have fresh, clean, and trimmed asparagus. There’s no need to soak them before cooking; simply pat them dry to achieve a crisp texture. Start by heating a pan over medium-high heat.

Melting the Butter

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the hot pan. Butter forms the base of the luscious lemon garlic sauce for this dish. While olive oil is an alternative, garlic butter provides an unmatched flavor combination.

Toasting the Garlic

Add 4 minced garlic cloves to the melted butter. Let the butter finish melting without browning it, allowing the garlic to brown instead. This step should take about 30 seconds, and you’ll know it’s ready when the garlic’s aroma fills the air, reminiscent of garlic bread.

Adding the Asparagus

Once the garlic is toasted, add the asparagus to the pan. Using kitchen tongs, toss the asparagus in the garlic butter until each spear is coated. This ensures an even distribution of flavors.

Seasoning the Asparagus

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning and a pinch of red pepper flakes over the asparagus. Toss them in the pan to evenly distribute the seasonings and pepper flakes. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper to taste, ensuring every piece is well-seasoned.

Cooking the Asparagus

Pour 1/4 cup of water into the pan and immediately cover it with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and let the asparagus cook for 7-10 minutes. Adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of your asparagus; thicker spears will require more time.

Finishing Touches

Once cooked, the asparagus should be bright green and tender, yet firm. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon and add the zest over the hot asparagus just before serving. This fresh burst of lemon enhances the garlic flavor and adds a delightful zest to the dish.

Tips and Variations

Enhance the Flavor

  • Add Parmesan Cheese: Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the asparagus for a rich, cheesy flavor.
  • Use Different Citrus: Try lime or orange juice instead of lemon for a unique twist.
  • Incorporate Herbs: Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or dill can add a refreshing element to the dish.

Cooking Techniques

  • Roasting: For a different texture, roast the asparagus in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes instead of pan-cooking.
  • Grilling: Grill the asparagus for a smoky flavor, perfect for summer barbecues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need to Soak Asparagus Before Cooking?

No, soaking is unnecessary. Simply wash and trim the asparagus, then pat them dry to ensure they remain crisp during cooking.


How Long Does It Take to Brown Minced Garlic in a Pan?

It takes about 30 seconds to brown minced garlic in a pan over medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s ready when the aroma of garlic fills the air.

How Hot Should the Pan Be to Cook Asparagus?

The pan should be heated over medium-high heat to cook asparagus. This ensures the asparagus cooks evenly without burning.

How to Season Pan-Seared Asparagus?

Season pan-seared asparagus with Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Toss the asparagus in the seasonings to ensure each spear is evenly coated.

How Long to Cook Asparagus in a Pan?

Cook asparagus in a pan for 7-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Thicker asparagus will require more time.

How to Know When Lemon Garlic Asparagus Is Done?

Lemon garlic asparagus is done when it is bright green and tender but still firm. It should bend slightly without being floppy.

Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Butter?

Yes, you can substitute olive oil for butter. However, butter provides a richer flavor that pairs exceptionally well with garlic and lemon.

Can I Prepare This Dish Ahead of Time?

This dish is best served fresh, but you can prepare the garlic butter and trim the asparagus in advance to save time.

Kitchen Tools/Equipment Needed

  • Pan with Lid
  • Kitchen Tongs
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
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Lemon Garlic Asparagus


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  • Author: Howard Land
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A quick and flavorful asparagus side dish cooked in a lemon garlic butter sauce.


  • 1 lb fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, zest, and juice


  • Heat a pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter.
  • Add minced garlic and toast for about 30 seconds.
  • Add asparagus to the pan and toss to coat with garlic butter.
  • Sprinkle Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper over the asparagus. Toss to combine.
  • Pour water into the pan, cover with a lid, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 7-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.
  • Squeeze lemon juice and add zest over the cooked asparagus just before serving.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pan-Fried


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 90
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 120mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg

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