Grilled Asparagus in Foil is a tasty, healthy, and easy-to-make side dish that's perfect for summer. Simple to make but packed with amazing foil grilled asparagus gets a nice smoky flavor from the grill, and the foil helps to keep it moist and tender.
I love grilling season! There's something about cooking outdoors that just makes everything taste better. And one of my favorite things to grill is asparagus.
I've been grilling asparagus for years, and I've tried a lot of different ways to make it. But my favorite way is to grill it in foil. Foil grilled asparagus is a summertime staple in our house. This method is so easy and foolproof, and it produces perfectly tender asparagus every time. It's the best way to cook asparagus on the outdoor grill.
Not only does asparagus taste great, it's great for you. It's low in calories and fat, and it's a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It's also really easy to cook asparagus for a variety of recipes. But, the best part is, foil grilled asparagus is so versatile.
You can serve it as an easy side dish with grilled chicken, pork chops or fish, or you can add it to salads or pasta dishes. A large plate of foil grilled asparagus is a great addition to any main dish.
- Asparagus – The best asparagus to use for this recipe is medium-sized spears. If you can't find medium-sized spears, you can use thinner or thick asparagus spears, but you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly depending on the thickness of the spears.
- Olive Oil – I use extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe but use any light, neutral-flavored oil like sunflower or avocado oil.
- Salt – Kosher salt or sea salt enhances the flavor of the asparagus and helps to draw out moisture.
- Pepper – Pepper adds a bit of mild heat and spice to the asparagus. You can use black pepper, white pepper, or a combination of both.
- Garlic Powder – Garlic powder adds a subtle garlicky flavor to the asparagus. You can substitute fresh garlic, if desired but the flavor may be more pronounced. I think simple seasoning works best in this recipe.
- Toppings – Some ideas are a balsamic glaze, a pat of butter, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lemon zest, Parmesan or your favorite shredded cheese, more extra virgin olive oil or anything else that you like on asparagus. You can also try my Panko and Parmesan Asparagus recipe.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Prep and Grill Asparagus
- Wash the asparagus and trim the woody ends. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss the asparagus with oil and seasonings and place asparagus into a foil boat. You do not need to seal it all the way.
3. Place the foil packet on the hot grill and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, then turn the spears for even cooking and cook for another 7 to 9 minutes until the desired tenderness is reached.
4. Transfer the cooked asparagus to a serving platter and top as desired.
Hint: When making the foil boat, don't use more than two layers of foil. You still want heat to be able to reach the spears. The foil simply contains them and prevents them from falling through the grill grates.
Topping Ideas for Grilled Asparagus
Grilled asparagus in foil is a simple recipe but you can certainly bump up the flavor and increase the wow factor by adding a topping or two.
- Lemon Juice – For a tart and citrusy flavor, add a squeeze of lemon juice to the fresh asparagus spears before cooking.
- Parmesan Cheese – For a salty and cheesy flavor, sprinkle the asparagus with Parmesan cheese after cooking.
- Balsamic Glaze – For a sweet and tangy flavor, drizzle the asparagus with balsamic glaze after cooking.
- Herbs – For a fresh and flavorful touch, add a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, or basil.
- Chopped Nuts – A sprinkle of chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans, adds a bit of crunch and texture to the asparagus.
- Crumbled Bacon – A sprinkling of crumbled bacon adds a salty and smoky flavor to the asparagus.
- Yogurt Sauce – A dollop of yogurt sauce, such as tzatziki or raita, adds a creamy and refreshing flavor to the asparagus.
- Hot Sauce – A drizzle of sriracha sauce or gochujang sauce adds a spicy and flavorful kick to the asparagus.
For the best results, use heavy-duty aluminum foil. This type of foil is more durable and will not tear as easily as regular aluminum foil. It is also less likely to stick to the asparagus, which can make it difficult to remove from the foil. If using regular foil, create a double layer.
When it comes to grills, choosing between a gas grill and a charcoal grill is a personal preference. If you want a grill that's easy to use and clean, and you don't mind sacrificing some flavor, then a gas grill is a good choice. If you want a grill that gives food a delicious smoky flavor, and you're willing to put in a little extra effort, then a charcoal grill is a good choice. It's a little trickier to control the temperature of a charcoal grill but both options will get the job done.
You can store leftover asparagus in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat the asparagus, simply place it in a single layer on a baking sheet and heat it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat the asparagus in the microwave or a skillet.
To freeze leftover asparagus:
- Place the asparagus spears in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Freeze the asparagus for 2-3 hours, or until it is frozen solid.
- Once the asparagus is frozen solid, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.
- Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the oven, microwave, or on the stovetop.
Asparagus Grilling Tips
- Asparagus is a delicate vegetable, so it's important to choose fresh spears. Fresh asparagus will be firm and bright green in color. Avoid spears that are wilted, brown, or have bruises.
- The thickness of the asparagus spears will affect the cooking time. Thicker spears will take longer to cook than thinner spears. I prefer spears that are similar in thickness to a pencil.
- Raw asparagus should be stored in the refrigerator in a single layer. If the asparagus is wrapped in plastic or foil, it will trap moisture and the asparagus will become mushy.
- If you can't cook the asparagus immediately, store it in the refrigerator and cook it within a day or two.
- The woody ends of asparagus spears can be tough and chewy, so it's important to trim them off before cooking. To do this, simply snap off the bottom inch or so of each spear.
- Asparagus is a quick-cooking vegetable, so it's important to not overcook it.
- If you don't have a grill, you can use a grill pan to cook the asparagus.
No, peeling the asparagus is not necessary. The outer skin of asparagus is tender and adds flavor when grilled. You do want to remove the woody ends of the stems.
Yes, you can grill asparagus directly on the grill grates without foil. Just be careful not to let the spears fall through the gaps. Using foil helps keep the asparagus contained and prevents it from sticking to the grates.
The asparagus is done when it becomes tender and slightly charred. You can check by piercing a spear with a fork. It should easily go through without much resistance.
I always try to offer a vegetable side dish with most meals I make. Asparagus is always a favorite option but if you are looking for more side dish recipes, give these a try:
Foil-grilled asparagus makes a delicious side dish. You can serve it alongside grilled chicken, steak, or fish. It also pairs well with roasted potatoes, quinoa, or a fresh salad. These are my favorite dishes to serve with Asparagus Grilled in Foil:
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Foil Grilled Asparagus
- 16 ounces asparagus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspooon garlic powder
- optional toppings (see notes below)
- Prep asparagus by washing well then cutting off the woody stalks. Preheat your grill to 400 degrees.
- Roll out a sheet of aluminum foil then place aspargus (no more than double layered) on the foil. Toss the asparagus in olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pull up the sides to keep the asparagus in a loosely wrapped packet.
- Place on grill and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes then turn asparagus using tongs. Cook for another 7 minutes or until asparagus is of desired tenderness.
- Carfeully remove from hot packet and place on a serving plate. Season with more salt and pepper or top with balsamic glaze, a squeeze of lemon and/or parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
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