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Beautiful thin spring asparagus is in-season! Asparagus is low in calories and a great source of nutrients, including fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. However, not everyone is a fan of these green spears. I wasn’t! I had only had thick woody asparagus, which had a distinct, strong, somewhat bitter taste and was over-cooked. No, thank you. Hard pass! My opinion quickly changed when I was introduced to fresh asparagus, roasted until just tender. It has a much more pleasing texture and milder taste. If you are feeding non-believers, like I was, this recipe is sure to make them converts! This asparagus is roasted with garlic and topped with melted mozzarella cheese making it a perfect veggie side dish for any dinner. There are only four ingredients (plus salt & pepper), it’s ready in 15 minutes, and the clean-up is easy breezy. You can’t make it any easier. Plus, it’s low-carb and keto-friendly!
Start with about a half-pound of fresh asparagus, about a half package. (This is a straightforward recipe to double if you want to use a full pound.) I prefer the thin asparagus spears, but that’s a personal choice. To prep the asparagus, you need to get rid of the woody portion of the stalk. There are two ways to know where to cut. You can eyeball it and cut where the stalks turn from white into green. Or you can hold the asparagus spear firmly on each end. Gently bend the asparagus so that it bows out away from you. Keep bending until the asparagus snaps. It’s a natural separation. Although you can snap each spear, I do just one and then line up the rest of the bunch on a cutting board and uniformly slice them the same length.
Clean-up is made easy by using a rimmed baking sheet/pan lined with aluminum foil and lightly coated with non-stick spray. Parchment paper will work too — as it’s non-stick, no need to spray it. The trimmed asparagus goes on the prepped pan.
Using a grater or zester, grate four cloves of garlic. I like grating them directly into a glass measuring cup. Add in the olive oil, and salt & pepper and thoroughly combined. Drizzle the mixture on top of the asparagus. Make sure that each spear is coated. Place the pan in a pre-heated oven and roast for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks. Remove from the oven just as they are beginning to get tender.
The oven setting is then changed to broil – HIGH. Sprinkle the asparagus with the shredded mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler for just a minute until the cheese melts and begins to brown. Do NOT walk away from the broiler! The cheese melts almost immediately and will burn quickly. Remove from the broiler and transfer to a serving plate.
Zhoosh it up by adding ½ teaspoon of your favorite fresh or dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, chives). ENJOY!
Roasted Cheesy Garlic AsparagusCourse: Side Dish, VeggieCuisine: Low-Carb, Keto-FriendlyDifficulty: Easy
Roasted Cheesy Garlic Asparagus is a delicious low-carb and keto-friendly side dish. Tender asparagus roasted in garlic and topped with mozzarella cheese takes just 15 minutes and four ingredients (plus salt & pepper).
1/2 pound asparagus – trimmed
1½ tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Prep: Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet/pan with nonstick cooking oil spray. Trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Grate garlic with a zester/grater.
- Arrange asparagus on foiled lined prepped baking sheet. Set aside. In a small bowl mix together olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the oil mixture over the asparagus and toss to evenly coat. Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until tender. (Do not overbake!)
- Remove from oven and top with the mozzarella cheese. Change oven setting to Broil. Return pan to oven and broil until the cheese melts and becomes golden (about 1 minute). Serve immediately.
- Asparagus time saver: Bend one spear to the snapping point (that determines where the woody stem begins), line up the remainder of the spears on a cutting board, and slice to that length.
- Zhoosh it up: Add ½ teaspoon of your favorite fresh or dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, chives)