Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping

March 30, 2020
Love roasted asparagus? Take it to the next level with crunchy Parmesan cheese on top!  This Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping is super flavorful -- and super easy to make.  A perfect side dish for Easter or everyday dinner.
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Plate of Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping Image

Roasted asparagus is truly one of the easiest side dishes around.  Lay asparagus spears on a pan, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, and pop them in the oven.  About 10 minutes later, you've got yourself one perfectly-roasted pan full of delicious roasted asparagus.

But do you want to know how to take that delicious roasted asparagus up a level, all while being pretty much just as easy?

Add a crunchy Parmesan topping, that's how.

The cheesy, crunchy topping adds a really nice textural crunch and fabulous flavor to the asparagus. -- While only adding about five extra minutes of prep time. And it's 5 minutes that's totally worth it for the tasty result it yields.

The cheesy, crunchy topping adds a really nice textural crunch and fabulous flavor to the asparagus. -- While only adding about five extra minutes of prep time.

The topping is a simple mix of Parmesan cheese and Panko-style bread crumbs, seasoned with just a touch of salt and pepper.  You wouldn't think such a simple little topping would do much, but it sure does amp up the wow factor and flavor of the roasted asparagus quite nicely.

Just sprinkle on the topping, pop the roasted asparagus under the broiler for a minute or two, and you're good to go with a beautiful and tasty pan of Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping.

Baking Sheet of Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping Image

To prepare a pan of this deliciousness, first prep and roast the asparagus -- just as you would if you were making straight-up plain roasted asparagus.

Start by rinsing the asparagus and breaking off the woody bottoms of the stems.  

To break off the woody bottoms of the asparagus stems, just hold onto a spear of asparagus toward the bottom with both your hands.  Then bend the asparagus spear gently until it snaps.  It will naturally snap apart at the best place to separate the woody end and tender tip. 


To break off the woody bottoms of the asparagus stems, just hold onto a spear of asparagus toward the bottom with both your hands. Then bend the asparagus spear gently until it snaps.  

Or, you can just cut the spears with a knife, cutting where the green color fades if you'd prefer.  Personally, I like the "snap" method best.

If the asparagus is young and thin, you just need to trim off the very bottom of the spears -- no need to snap the spears because there's really no thick, woody part to them yet to snap off.

Lay the spears on a baking sheet and drizzle them with about 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

How to Roast Asparagus Image

Pop the seasoned asparagus in the oven and bake it at 450 for about 10-12 minutes, until tender.  I like my asparagus on the crunchy side, so always go just 10 minutes -- and sometimes even less.

Preparing to Roast Asparagus Image

While the asparagus roasts, mix together the crunchy Parmesan topping.

Combine some Panko bread crumbs, grated or shredded Parmesan, a little olive oil, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Give it a stir to get it mixed together good.

Now, a little side note on the Parmesan.  In such a simple preparation, it would make sense to go for the ultimate Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, right?  And as we all know, this fabulous Italian cheese can be a tad pricey.


The moral of the story is, use whatever Parmesan you like best and are most comfortable paying for.

So we decided to head-to-head taste test a batch of this asparagus prepared with freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano vs. a batch prepared with grocery store brand pre-shredded Parmesan.  

The results?  A flavor difference, yes -- but not to the degree one would expect.  I liked the asparagus with Parmigiano-Reggiano best, but only just slightly more than the grocery store Parmesan.  My husband actually preferred the asparagus prepared with the grocery store brand Parmesan.

The moral of the story is, use whatever Parmesan you like best and are most comfortable paying for.  The result will be tasty, either way 

Crunchy Parmesan Topping for Roasted Asparagus Image

Once the asparagus has roasted for 10-12 minutes, remove it from the oven.  Then turn on the broiler to start heating up.

Sprinkle the roasted asparagus evenly with the Parmesan crumb mixture.

How to Make Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping Image

Then pop the pan back in the oven under the broiler, and broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Watch it closely, because the topping will brown pretty quickly.

Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping on Baking Sheet Image

Then serve up the asparagus hot or at room temperature on the pan it was roasted on, or use a large spatula to carefully transfer it to a serving platter.

And that's all there is to whipping up a pan of this tasty Parmesan-topped asparagus.  Pretty easy, right?

So the next time you're making roasted asparagus, take 5 extra minutes to take it up a level and make a pan of Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping.  It's 5 minutes that will be worth it for the tasty result.

Platter of Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping Image
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roasted asparagus recipe, how to roast asparagus, roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese
Side Dishes
American
Yield: about 6 servings
Author:

Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping

Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping

Love roasted asparagus? Take it to the next level with crunchy Parmesan cheese on top! This Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping is super flavorful -- and super easy to make. A perfect side dish for Easter or everyday dinner.
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 12 MTotal time: 22 M

Ingredients:

Asparagus:
  •  1 1/2 lbs. fresh asparagus
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Crunchy Parmesan Topping:
  • 1/2 c. grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper

Instructions:

How to make Roasted Asparagus with Crunchy Parmesan Topping

Roasted Asparagus:
  1. Rinse asparagus and break off the woody bottoms of the stems.
  2. Lay spears on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with the 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes.
Crunchy Parmesan Topping:
  1. While asparagus roasts, combine Panko, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Once asparagus has roasted for 10-12 minutes, remove from the oven.  Turn on the broiler to heat up.
  3. Sprinkle roasted asparagus with Parmesan crumb mixture.  Broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown.
  4. Serve asparagus hot or at room temperature on the pan it was roasted on, or use a large spatula to carefully transfer to a serving platter.
TRACEY'S NOTES:
  1. To break off the woody bottoms of the asparagus stems, just hold onto a spear of asparagus toward the bottom with both your hands.  Bend the asparagus spear gently until it snaps.  It will naturally snap apart  at the best place to separate the woody end and tender tip.   Or, just cut the spears with a knife, cutting where the green color fades if you'd prefer.
  2. If the asparagus is young and thin, you just need to trim off the very bottom of the spears -- no need to snap the spears because there's really no thick, woody part to them yet.
Created using The Recipes Generator

3 comments

  1. YUM! We eat asparagus often here. Have you ever tried it with asiago cheese? Your photos make my mouth water!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cheese makes everything better! I love turning Parmesan into a crispy topping. This looks like a great side dish for Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I LOVE asparagus season. Can't get enough of the stuff. And it's gorgeous with parmesan... So I guess I have to try this! x #WhatsforDinner

    ReplyDelete

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