Cheesy Baked Asparagus

published Mar 5, 2024
Cheesy Baked Asparagus Recipe

Tender spring asparagus baked under creamy Alfredo sauce until bubbly and browned is the ultimate spring side.

Serves4

Prep5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
overhead shot of baked alfredo asparagus on a baking sheet.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

Every spring I add asparagus back to my grocery list. The tender stalks cook quickly and are shockingly among the only green vegetables my kids will eat, so I add them to every dinner I can. 

A few years ago I fell for a recipe for asparagus Parm, but, as it turns out, Parmigiana isn’t the only Italian classic that can get the asparagus treatment. Here, I pour Alfredo sauce — the creamy, garlicky, Parmesan cheese sauce that is so popular in Italian restaurants — over roasted asparagus for the perfect cheesy baked side dish (or meatless main) for spring.  This is asparagus you won’t want to miss. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Tender asparagus topped with a creamy garlic-Parmesan sauce is anything but boring.
  • This springy dish is versatile enough to serve as a vegetarian main or as a filling side dish.

Key Ingredients in Cheesy Baked Asparagus

  • Asparagus: Choose medium asparagus, as delicate, thin spears will overcook.
  • Parmesan cheese: Gives the sauce its cheesy, nutty flavor. Parmesan grated at home tends to be finer and more fluffy than store-bought grated, so while the weight is the same the volume differs based on the ingredient you have.
  • Butter and flour: This is the roux that helps to thicken the creamy sauce.
  • Milk: Both whole and 2% milk work for this Alfredo sauce.

How to Make Cheesy Baked Asparagus Recipe

  1. Prep asparagus. Trim the dry, woody ends of the asparagus, then coat with olive oil. Arrange the asparagus, in a single layer and touching, in the center of a baking sheet.
  2. Make the Alfredo sauce. Cook butter, garlic, and flour together, whisk in the milk, and cook until thickened. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
  3. Assemble. Pour the Alfredo sauce over the center of the asparagus, then top with more Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake. Bake until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the top is browned in spots. You can finish the asparagus under the broiler for more browning.

Cheesy Baked Asparagus Recipe

Tender spring asparagus baked under creamy Alfredo sauce until bubbly and browned is the ultimate spring side.

Prep time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    medium asparagus

  • 1 teaspoon

    olive oil

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 firmly packed cup grated or 1/4 cup store-bought)

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

  2. Trim the ends from 1 pound asparagus and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and toss to coat. Arrange so the spears are in a single layer side-by-side and touching.

  3. Grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese on the small holes of a box grater into fine shreds (about 1/2 cup), or measure 1/4 cup store-bought grated. Grate 1 garlic clove on the same holes of the box grater, or mince.

  4. Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and whisk for 30 seconds to 1 minute to cook the floury taste out. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in 1 cup whole or 2% milk. Continue whisking occasionally until smooth and simmering. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and two-thirds of the Parmesan, and stir until melted and smooth.

  6. Pour the Alfredo sauce across the center of the asparagus, covering most of it. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Parmesan.

  7. Roast until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn on the broiler to high and broil until the top is golden-brown in spots, 1 to 3 minutes. Top with a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.