Braised Asparagus Recipe

My favorite way to prepare asparagus: sear and cook until tender in stock and butter.

Braised asparagus served on a plate

Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Why This Recipe Works

  • Briefly searing the asparagus develops savory, caramelized flavors.
  • Cooking the asparagus with stock and butter over high heat creates a reduced, emulsified sauce that coats each stalk.

There are many ways to prepare asparagus, and braising is a great choice. Here's what I had to say in our guide to asparagus:

This is my absolute favorite way to prepare it, and the one that was looked down upon for so many years. Why would you want to eat drab green vegetables?, people would say. Because they taste as awesome as MacGyver was cool, that's why. I sear my stalks in a bit of oil first to develop flavor, then deglaze the pan with either water or stock, add a big knob of butter, put a lid on the whole thing, and let the asparagus cook in the liquid as it reduced. By the time the stalks are tender, with good luck, your stock and butter will have emulsified into a slick, stalk-coating sauce that adds richness and sweet flavor to each bite. It's awesome.

How to Buy and Prep Asparagus

May 2011

Recipe Details

Braised Asparagus Recipe

Active 15 mins
Total 15 mins
Serves 4 servings

My favorite way to prepare asparagus: sear and cook until tender in stock and butter.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and peeled (if desired)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Heat oil in a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan over high heat until lightly smoking. Add asparagus in as close to a single layer as possible, season with salt and pepper, and cook without moving until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake pan and cook until browned again, 1 1/2 minutes longer. Add stock and butter to pan and immediately cover.

    Asparagus added to sauté pan, and seasoned with salt and pepper

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

  2. Continue to cook until asparagus is completely tender and stock and butter have emulsified and reduced to a shiny glaze, 7 to 10 minutes. If stock completely evaporates and butter starts to burn before asparagus is cooked through, top up with a few tablespoons of water. Serve immediately.

    Tender asparagus inside sauté pan

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Special Equipment

Sauté pan

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
165 Calories
16g Fat
5g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 165
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 313mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 9mg 45%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 308mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)