This simple delicious recipe for Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest has only three ingredients and it’s a perfect side dish! And if you’ve never tried fried asparagus before you’re going to love how absolutely easy it is!
PIN the Fried Asparagus Tips to make it later!
Every spring I look forward to the arrival of low-priced asparagus in the grocery store. Take a peek at my Asparagus Recipes and you can tell I love asparagus! I’m also a fan of the “less is more” approach when it comes to cooking asparagus as a side dish, because it doesnt take much fussing to make asparagus taste amazing.
I’ve tried so many good asparagus recipes, but the asparagus side dish I make most often for guests is this Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest with only three ingredients: asparagus, olive oil, and a lemon.
If I make this recipe when I’m having guests, I like to use just the asparagus tips and save the thicker parts of the asparagus stalk to cook using a different method. If that doesn’t work for you, cook the thicker parts of the asparagus stalks for a couple of minutes before you add the tips.
Recently I had some gorgeous asparagus and decided to give this recipe photo update. And this delicious recipe for Fried Asparagus Tips was first posted many years ago, so I’m guessing it will be new to many of you; hope you enjoy trying it!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- asparagus tips (from one pound of asparagus, save the rest of the asparagus to cook another way)
- good quality Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- lemon, remove all zest, then cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice.
How to Make Fried Asparagus using the whole stalk of asparagus:
This recipe is for only two servings, which makes it easy to use the asparagus tips and save the stalks for another use. But if you’re making a larger amounts and don’t want to spend a lot to buy enough asparagus to use only the tips, see tips below for trimming the more woody ends and cooking them before you add the asparagus tips. Those tricks will let you make delicious fried asparagus using the entire stalk of asparagus!
What pan should you use for making Fried Asparagus?
I used a relatively inexpensive Green Pan (affiliate link) to make the fried asparagus, but any heavy non-stick pan will work perfectly for this recipe. Use a large enough pan that the asparagus is not crowded in the pan.
Who else loves asparagus like I do?
If you’re a fellow asparagus fan you can use Asparagus Recipes to see all the idea for asparagus on my site!
How to make Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Before you start to cook, use a lemon zester (affiliate link) or fine cheese greater to remove most of the lemon zest (grated bright yellow lemon skin.)
- When the zest is removed, cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice.
- Trim asparagus so you just have the tips, or if you’re using the whole pieces trim the woody ends and cut asparagus pieces in half, keeping the thicker ends separate from the tips.
- Then heat the olive oil in a large pan and lay asparagus in a single layer as much as you can. (Put the thicker ends in first if you’re cooking the whole pieces, then add the tips after about about two minutes.)
- Cook asparagus over medium-high heat about 4-5 minutes.
- Then turn off heat, pour lemon juice over asparagus, plate it, and sprinkle with lemon zest.
- Serve Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest hot and wait for raves from your guests!
More Tasty Recipes for Asparagus
- Low-Carb Sheet Pan Meals with Asparagus
- Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms with “Everything” Bagel Seasoning
- Low-Carb Chicken and Asparagus Bake with Curry Sauce
Yield: 2 servings
Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest
Pan-Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest is one of my favorite ways to cook asparagus when I have dinner guests, and this easy but WOW asparagus recipe has only 3 ingredients! This simple recipe makes two servings, but the recipe can easily be doubled (or even tripled if you have a large enough pan.)
- 1/2 lb. asparagus tips (from one pound of asparagus, save the rest of the asparagus to cook another way)
- 1 T good quality olive oil
- 1 lemon, remove all zest, then cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice.
- Cut 4-5 inch long tips from one pound of asparagus (saving the thicker stalk ends for another recipe, or see the note at the end if you’re making 4 servings and want to use the whole pound of asparagus.)
- Zest the lemon, then cut lemon in half and remove any noticeable seeds. Squeeze lemon juice into a small dish.
- Heat the olive oil in the largest frying pan you have. I used my favorite non-stick Green Pan (affiliate link), but any good frying pan will work.
- Add asparagus in a single layer and turn heat to medium-high. Cook asparagus 4-5 minutes, turning about once a minute. Asparagus is done when the thickest part of the stalk can be pierced fairly easily with a fork but asparagus still has some snap to it, and asparagus is starting to brown.
- Turn off heat, then pour over desired amount of lemon juice. (Use all the juice if you’re a lemon fan like I am.)
- Arrange asparagus on a plate, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve immediately.
- If you want to cook the whole pound of asparagus, trim the woody ends, then cut asparagus into two pieces, keeping the ends and the tips separate. Cook the ends about 2 minutes before you add the tips to the pan, then add the tips and cook 4-5 minutes more as above.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe for cooking asparagus in Fine Cooking Magazine.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 87Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5.7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 5.5gFiber: 2.4gSugar: 1.5gProtein: 2.8g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon is a wonderful recipe for any low-carb, Keto, or low-glycemic eating plan, including any phase of the original South Beach Diet. It’s a bit of a budget splurge to use only the tips of the asparagus, even when it’s in season, but try it for a special occasion and you’ll be a convert. Or follow my tips and use the whole stalk of asparagus if that’s what works for you.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes or Asparagus Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
I made this several times for my dad and stepmother Norma in the months before she died. even though asparagus wasn’t in season and I was paying premium prices for it. I kept returning to this recipe because she was supposed to avoid salt, and this was something that tasted wonderful with no salt at all. I’m sure I’ll always think of her whenever I make this.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in March 2009, and I’ve made it over and over since then. The recipe was updated with better photos May 1, 2018 and last updated with more information in 2023.