Browned Butter Roasted Asparagus

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Given the choice, I’d opt for roasted asparagus over steamed asparagus any time. Not only does roasting the asparagus bring out so much more flavor, but using browned butter in the balsamic soy drizzling sauce adds a rich, nuttiness—perfectly complimenting roasted asparagus.

A favorite Thanksgiving side dish, this baked asparagus recipe is one vegetable that requires very little prep or oven time.

Browned Butter Roasted Asparagus

Over the years, I’ve had mixed results when roasting asparagus. What I’ve learned is that the secret to perfect roasted asparagus is choosing the right size stalks and avoiding overcooking.

Choosing really skinny asparagus will result in shriveled up spears and the really large asparagus stalks can tend to be tough.

The best choice for tender roasted asparagus is a medium-size stalk and the optimal baking time is right around 12 minutes.

A baking sheet with asparagus

How to perfectly roast asparagus

  • When purchasing asparagus for roasting, look for stalks that are a medium size. Young, skinny stalks tend to shrivel up when roasted, so I like to steam those for use on salads instead. First, rinse the asparagus and dry the stalks by rolling them in a clean dish towel.
  • Trim or break off the tough end of the stems, which will be about two inches. If you hold each end of the asparagus spear and bend gently, the tough end will normally break off naturally. If it’s easier, it’s fine to use a knife to cut off the ends.
  • Place the asparagus on a baking sheet and with drizzle with olive oil. Toss with your hands to make sure all the stalks are completely coated. Spread them into a single layer and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Roast in a preheated 400-degree oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the asparagus. Check the asparagus at 12 minutes, which is usually plenty of cooking time.

A bottle of balsamic vinegar and a colander of asparagus

How to make browned butter

Making browned butter only takes about five minutes, but you’ll need to pay close attention because there’s a fine line between browned butter and burnt butter.

If you want to learn more about the science behind browned butter, check out this detailed explanation by Serious Eats.

The simple directions are below:

  1. Slowly melt butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula.
  2. As the butter melts, the water content will evaporate leaving the butter fats. At this point there will be a lot of foaming and you should stir continuously.
  3. Continue stirring and cooking until the butter turns a light brown color. Watch carefully as the butter can go from browned to burnt very quickly.
  4. Once browned to your liking, remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl.
A baking sheet with asparagus

Browned Butter Roasted Asparagus with balsamic vinegar is one of my mainstay recipes!

Perfectly roasted asparagus drizzled with a nutty browned butter sauce is an elegant side dish for steak or seafood and requires only 12 minutes baking time!

Serving suggestions

A plate of food, with asparagus


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A plate of food, with asparagus

Browned Butter Roasted Asparagus

Perfectly roasted asparagus drizzled with a nutty browned butter sauce is an elegant side dish for steak or seafood and requires only 12 minutes baking time!
4.56 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Vegetables & Sides
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 89 kcal


  • 30-40 medium asparagus spears trimmed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons browned butter directions follow
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and dry asparagus; break off tough end of stems.
  • Place asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 12 minutes. 
  • Slowly melt butter in a heavy saucepan, stirring often. Continue cooking about 3 minutes until butter turns a nice golden brown with a few flecks. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  • Remove butter from heat and stir in the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over the roasted asparagus and serve immediately.





Serving: 1gCalories: 89kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 319mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword asparagus, browned butter, side dish, vegetable
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One Comment

  1. OMG this was so delicious! I’ve been looking for a really good way to cook asparagus and I’ve finally found it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

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